Can You Free Memory (RAM) In Windows?
all your system settings and by monitoring resource usage more
carefully, performance slow downs can be avoided, resulting
in a smoother and more stable PC environment and experience.
However, this is easier said than done! Learn
how you can automatically improve system performance by freeing
up RAM in Windows.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) of your computer
is the brain that performs the hundreds of instructions embedded
in all programs. Computer memory (e.g. RAM) supplements the
CPU to help it perform these programs in the blink of an eye.
Working in tandem CPU and RAM allow you to watch movies, play
games, write emails, browse the internet and run all other applications
on your PC without noticing anything except the user interface.
However is it truly in the blink of an eye?
Or has your computer slowed down lately? Are you so
fed up from slowing computer response times that you are seriously
considering upgrading? Well, as explained in "Improving
PC Performance Without Upgrading your Hardware", you may
not need to upgrade your PC just yet. The solution to your problem
may be just a stone's throw away.
When your computer slows down, people usually
tell you to upgrade your RAM memory and/or CPU. This may be
the case but your computer may be slow for a variety of reasons
do Computers Slow Down?) and investing in hardware upgrades
may be a costly and unnecessary exercise that hides the true
reason for slowing performance rather than solving it.
In this article you will learn how you can tweak
your computer memory without spending a lot of money to upgrade
your computer RAM
Complex Applications Take up CPU Time and
The processing power stored in the CPU of a PC is extremely
important when running games, movie players, compression products
and graphics software. However, when analyzing overall system
performance, CPU speed comes second to having sufficient physical
memory (RAM) to run these complex applications.
While many of today's computers have enough
RAM to store a small library, modern software and media files
do require a lot of memory consuming resources. Memory-related
problems can cause delays and glitches that can drastically
hamper the software being used with, for example, noticeable
slowing down of movies (or delays in playback) and games.
By optimizing all your system settings and by
monitoring resource usage more carefully, these problems can
be avoided, resulting in a smoother and more stable gaming experience.
Windows, Paging Files and Performance
CPUs can only perform one task at a time however all applications
have thousands of instructions that need to be performed almost
instantaneously so that your experience will be as smooth as
possible. To do this, your opreating system (Windows) prioritises
among the tasks and allocates system time to each task within
the application. The CPU and RAM work in tandem exchanging tasks
and instructions that display this article on your screen, for
example. If you hit CTRL+ALT+DEL right now, you will notice
some 30 or 40 different processes running at the same time.
You will also see two other columns - CPU and
MEM Usage. Word, for example, is now using 54k of the memory
of my computer at the moment because it is stored in memory
while I am using an HTML editor to type and edit this article.
The HTML editor is occupying about 54% CPU time. As I switch
from Word to the HTML editor, Windows allocates memory and CPU
time accordingly to make my experience appear as stable as possible.
When your computer runs out of physical memory,
Windows will use your hard drive to store the information that
it cannot place in RAM. It will indiscriminately create what
is called virtual memory or a paging file (or a swap file) that
stores data from RAM that hasn't been used recently to load
up and manage the more recent applications.
In comparison to the minute integrated circuitry
of a RAM Chip, a mechanical hard drive is not very fast. The
read/write speed of the hard drive is slower than RAM and the
technology of the former is not designed toward accessing small
pieces of data at a time.
This slows down your hard drive and eventually
may lead to a system crash. The greater the number of (or the
more power-hungry) applications running, the more RAM is required
and the larger the paging files may be.
The easiest solution to this problem and perhaps
the most expensive is to upgrade your RAM. There are, however,
less expensive solutions that will greatly enhance your PC memory.
Ideally, you would want to avoid using the paging
file (hence, your hard drive) directly for complicated operations
by making sure that there is always enough RAM to execute these
programs. On the other hand, a large sound file containing 30
minutes of audio data might not have to be stored in RAM all
the time. By moving less important data to the hard drive, making
the physical memory available to the applications that really
need it, you can improve both performance and stability considerably.
Managing Memory with Performance Optimizers
Windows is indiscriminate when it moves data from RAM to
virtual memory. Windows will also use leave a lot of unused
information in RAM until this information is explicitly removed
by the application that created it or until the RAM is needed
by other applications. In addition, the operating system does
not know which applications are more important or whether you
are going to start a memory-demanding application.
In the article Finding
the Right Performance Optimizer, I suggest that performance
optimizers are able to substantially boost up your computer
performance just by spending less than $30 rather than spending
a hundred dollars (plus) just to upgrade your memory. Optimizing
your PC is much better than upgrading RAM simply because optimization
maximises what you already have taking away the sources of slowdowns.
With memory upgrades you do increase the speed of your PC but
you don't solve the problem - you just mask it.
By using a performance optimizer to monitor
your RAM usage in real time, you can easily find out if there
is enough RAM to run your favourite applications. Performance
optimizers allow you free up RAM at any time with a single click.
This can be very useful if you running a game or play a
DivX movie. By freeing up memory before starting a demanding
application, you won't have to experience pauses or skipped
frames while the application is running. Such performance optimizers
like SpeedUpMyPC can also free up memory automatically
whenever your memory usage exceeds a certain limit. This
can help you avoid running out of resources when running multiple
applications, and will also prevent resources-related crashes.
One way I use SpeedUpMyPC, for example, is to
monitor RAM and Page-File Memory. I've set warning levels so
that as soon as my page file usage reaches a critical level,
SpeedUpMyPC will inform me about the situation, giving me enough
time to terminate some applications before the computer crashes
or stops responding.
I have also written a tutorial article about
you can boost up gaming performance with SpeedUpMyPC. Have
My suggestion at this point is to try SpeedUpMyPC.
I did and I've saved a lot of money (plus I can play Civ 3 with
only 5% MEM Usage while waiting for the next installment from
Firaxis). There's not much to lose: Uniblue guarantees that
if you are not satisfied, they will give you a full refund
100% no quibbles!