The Truth About RAM Optimization
Bitsum has always been very critical of the RAM optimizer market, even during the height of its popularity – and with good reason. We’ve written articles trying to correct the misapprehensions that fed this beast of a market.
Misconception: More free RAM is good
REALITY: Some free RAM is good, but your RAM is the fastest storage medium you have, so ideally you want it to be fully utilized. Also note that memory considered ‘free’ is normally used as a disk cache by operating systems. So, then you get into the definition of ‘free memory’. Basically, it’s mostly used to mean how much memory is available to applications for allocation. Caches can be thrown away, thus can be held in this ‘free’ memory.
Misconception: RAM needs defragmentation
REALITY: This is just patently absurd. RAM is Random Access Memory. That means there is no mechanical head moving (as in HDDs & optical drives) from one spot to another. Any byte of memory is retrieved as quickly as any other, no matter where it is located.
Misconception: There is leftover junk in RAM
REALITY: NO. Modern operating systems like Windows are designed in such a way that when a process terminates, it takes all its allocated virtual memory with it. Now, there may be extremely rare examples of violations of the ‘protection’ surrounding a process’ virtual memory space, but they aren’t applicable here. It’s just more smoke and mirrors.
Perhaps the biggest reason we object to these ‘optimizers’ is that the implementation of every one we’ve evaluated has been atrocious. Many allocate as much memory as they can, until they are finally denied memory. Then they release it. Thus ‘cleaning’ your virtual memory.
Others use the correct APIs to clear the working set. However, they do so for ALL running processes, regardless of whether the process has any excessive RAM use or not. That immediately causes those processes to page back in the memory that was being actively used (page faults). Every time they do this your PC has to essentially pause and recover from this brutish operation!
Bitsum’s SmartTrim, part of Process Lasso, is an effort to mitigate the negative effects of improperly written RAM optimizers & imperfect RAM usage, while giving users the control they desire. We know users want control over their PCs. We’re here to give it to them. Certainly we make absolutely no claim that SmartTrim will make your PC better, faster, or more pretty.
Enter SmartTrim – The intelligent RAM Manager
So what does Process Lasso’s SmartTrim do differently? Well, it acts conservatively and with sophisticated selectivity. It doesn’t force everything out of memory all at once. It politely asks memory hogging background processes to release their working sets. It has many other criteria built-in, such as never trimming the application you’re actively engaged with. This, and more, make it the first truly intelligent RAM management algorithm ever conceived – and it’s about time! I mean, all we’re doing here is not being dumb about RAM optimization.
– Throttled paging
Screenshot from Process Lasso: