if you have misbehaving applications that seem to magically start behaving properly when using one of the many magic ram freer/defragger utilities then you should probably try running memtest86 on that machine, as all that is probably happening is you’re avoiding a bad bit or two in your ram by sheer luck when you’re running the mem util. All memory utils designed to free up or defrag ram are completely bogus in their claims, all they can do in reality is request x amount of memory for themselves. You can accomplish the same thing with an incredibly small .vbs file:
a nice value for a 512MB example machine. Open
notepad, save as memdefragrocks.vbs and double click to enjoy the benefits
of free and defragmented ram!
strMsg = vbCrLf & “Click OK to defrag memory.”
MsgBox strMsg,“Defrag Memory”
MyString = Space(469762048)
Seriously, there is nothing any of those utils can do besides the exact same thing this .vbs file would do. The only thing different is they might use a dynamic value rather than the constant value you’d have in this .vbs file. Unless an application developer has marked their memory as allowed to be messed with by other apps (and what do you think the chances of that are?) then no other app can touch its memory. The only thing you can do that comes close to touching another app’s memory is what this .vbs file does, request a shitload of memory for itself and hope windows pages every little thing out that it can.
The only thing apps like this accomplish is forcing way more pagefile activity (and you want the LEAST pagefile activity you can possibly get, if you care at all about performance) than there normally would be. Lots of times people cite how much faster application ‘X’ starts up after they use such a util. Well, sure, because you just freed up a whole crapload of ram. Did you remember to start timing startup time from the moment this utility forced an insane amount of pagefile activity? Or did you run the util, and then time it from when you clicked the other application’s shortcut? Guess what? Insanely good bet it took longer to run the util and start the app then it would have taken to start the app without the util, since the util forced way more pagefile activity. In other words, you aren’t gaining anything by using these utils, you’re just forcing windows’ memory management to do a LOT more work than it would otherwise have to do and you’re hurting your overall performance in the process.
edit - whoops, forgot this…go read up here if you wish to learn why the mem utils (very, very likely) can’t touch other apps’ memory, because the app would have to be written to allow that to happen http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/memory/base/memory_management_reference.asp