Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Memory-Optimization Hoax

RAM optimizers make false promises

Mark Russinovich writes: "As you've surfed the Web, you've probably seen browser pop-ups such as "Defragment your memory and improve performance" and "Minimize application and system failures and free unused memory." The links lead you to utilities that promise to do all that and more for a mere $9.95, $14.95, or $29.95. Sound too good to be true? It is. These utilities appear to do useful work, but at best, RAM optimizers have no effect, and at worst, they seriously degrade performance.
Literally dozens of so-called "memory optimizers" are available—some are commercial products and others are freeware. You might even be running such a product on your system. What do these products really do, and how do they try and fool you into thinking that they live up to their claims? Let's take a look inside memory optimizers to see exactly how they manipulate visible memory counters in Windows."

A while ago I found a free utility called PerfOptXP, that isn't a memory optimiser in the cateogry described by Mark, but rather a utility that allows you to tweak the settings on Windows so it works a bit better. Unfortunately the company that wrote it, WM Software, no longer distributes or supports it. But you can download it here (5,097,929 bytes), or from my free stuff page.

Read The Memory-Optimization Hoax | free stuff | WM Software


Willy2 said...

(At the end of this page I read,

there was a link to this webpage).

Memory optimization a Hoax ?? Fully agree !! Those programs use doubtful techniques (e.g. push A LOT OF data to the pagefile) to achieve that goal and that (temporarily) degrades system performance.

But there's certainly a possibility to reduce memory usage !!! It turns out that there's a Windows API called EmptyWorkingSet()

that actually does reduces memory usage. To be more precise: it reduces the amount of "in Use" memory (See Resource Monitor (memory tab) in e.g. Windows 7) and this API is available in - at least - Windows XP and later.

This API reduces the amount of "In Use" memory (if & when possible) and pushes that amount of the memory(-pages) into the "Modified" part of the memory (See Resource Monitor) and then the Windows memory management (as described by Mark Russonovich

) has to do its "job" from that point onwards.

And using that API is the center of a program called "CLEANMEM" (available from the website called "PCWINTECH"). A second feature of this program is to kill the file cache and that cache can be VERY BIG (e.g. GBs in Windows 7).

More over, the basic features of the program are free of charge. I would highly recommend to try the program BEFORE you make a decision regarding this post.

Donn Edwards said...

Thanks for the info. CleanMem can be found at