I’ve been seeing a about memory optimizers recently which make promises to clean up excessive amounts of RAM that Windows and some programs use. Much like “RAM doubling” programs which made the rounds during the Windows 95/98 days, virtually all of these programs are merely a ruse:
Memory boosters, optimizers, and washers — whatever the name, they all do the same thing: free up physical RAM. They accomplish this by forcing RAM to be ‘paged out’. That means, the memory is taken from RAM and put into the page file, which exists on the hard drive. Does this make your computer run faster? The short answer is No. In fact, just the opposite is usually the case.
By forcing the RAM into virtual memory (the page file), actual RAM is freed up which, at surface level, gives you the impression that you magically have a bunch of available memory. From the statement above, the reason the opposite is the case is when memory is paged out to the hard drive, it takes roughly 10-15 times longer to access the data than if it were resident in memory. So when you go to reopen one of the programs whose memory was “optimized”, it has to load from virtual memory instead of physical memory.
Windows has a very good memory manager. If it didn’t it would crash or grind to a halt on a regular basis (Windows haters: please spare us the comments on how M$ WinDoze is horrible and blue screens after 5 minutes of use). Let the system garbage collector handle your memory and steer clear of these types of programs.
Does anyone have an experience using memory optimizers? If so, share in the comments.
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