Some of you may remember this entry that I made several months back touching on the topic of HEM2. For those who don’t, or don’t feel like clicking the link, here is what I said:
My thoughts on HEM 2 in general are pretty negative. I like a few features and it does seem faster in terms of import speed and pulling up big reports for hundreds of thousands or millions of hands but overall it still has a buggy, clunky feeling to it. The HUD doesn’t feel right and I wouldn’t advise upgrading just yet. I still use HEM 1 as my main program and only import the hands over to this version every few days. One cool feature I will mention is the Multi Table Report. It essentially breaks down your hands played into the number of tables (from 1 to x in increments of 1) so you can see if there’s a “tipping point” where your play starts to really deteriorate or if you would be better off z tabling to y tabling.
At the time I stand by what I said, and think that the program was released too early or had a lot of unforeseen/unanticipated issues upon release that made it not the greatest to use.
I recently got a new computer and with my upgraded hardware decided to give the program another shot. I am impressed. It runs infinitely better than it did the last time I used it and despite a couple of minor issues, when you consider the improvements in speed and new features I have no plans to return to HEM1. I think there are two major reasons for the improvement in the way the program runs:
1) Basically the software is just better. They have fixed a tonne of bugs and issues that caused crashes and sluggishness and these improvements should be noticed by everyone.
2) My newer, better hardware has certainly helped the program run quicker and smoother.
I don’t know exactly how much each piece of hardware is contributing to the performance boost but one thing I must recommend is to get yourself an SSD (Solid State Drive). These are basically the next generation of hard disks that run at speeds far, far faster than the older models. They aren’t exactly cutting edge as they have been out for a few years now, but they have recently become affordable to the point that almost anyone should be able to afford one – especially if you are at the point in your poker career where you are purchasing software like HEM2. A 64gb drive should run you about $100 here in Aus and probably less elsewhere in the world.
When I was researching SSDs I came across a quote in an article that said something along the lines of “Upgrading to a SSD will show the greatest improvement in the speed of your computer of any upgrade and it’s not even close”. While it’s great to get it for HM2 you will notice an improvement in speed in everyday use. My computer starts up in 15 seconds flat. Programs open as soon as you open them – waiting times are drastically decreased. These things are amazing and I can’t recommend the upgrade enough if you are someone who spends a lot of time on the computer.
HEM Support is also great and they are willing to work with you to fix any issues you may have. They’ve gone into a lot more detail here and here about possible ways to increase speed and performance if your program isn’t working too well, so check out those links too.
Getting my HUD right was another important consideration for me but after installation and importing my hands (2 million, was done in a few hours) it didn’t take long at all. You could even set it up while your hands are importing. If you want your HUD to look similar to what it did in HEM1 then select Verdana size 10 as the font.
I still haven’t gotten around to tinkering with street-by-street HUDs or delving into the other features of the program – of which there are many great ones – but I am excited with the prospect of it. I haven’t felt this way since I first discovered PokerTracker 2 (and an old friend Excession’s articles on autorating and other things) way back in the day and went to discover all the great aspects of that program. My interest piqued when I first heard of HEM2, was shot down with how the program ran for me back then, but is now back in full form. What can I say – I like stats and numbers and there are no shortage of either in hem2.
Edit: Re-reading over this it reads like I am a shill for hem. I am not. I just think a lot of people have completely written off the program. My advice is get a SSD and give it another chance.