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MemoKit 3.0 review:

MemoKit 3.0

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The Good Defragments memory to make programs run faster; configurable, easy-to-read interface; recovers RAM with one click; identifies your computer's worst memory/resource hogs.

The Bad Sometimes inaccurately tags programs as heavy resource users.

The Bottom Line MemoKit combines a relatively intuitive memory manager with advanced tools that pinpoint the worst memory gobblers on your computer. It's our favorite memory manager, bar none.

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CNET Editors' Rating

9.0 Overall

Review Sections

Sure, you could install a run-of-the-mill memory manager that simply defragments your RAM as you work. But why settle for adequate when you could have MemoKit? Our favorite memory manager not only defragments and recovers memory, it also tells you how much free RAM your PC has, alerts you when resources are running low, and identifies programs that hog and squander precious system resources. Best of all, MemoKit is easy to use. If you're looking for a simple, robust, feature-laden memory manager, stop hunting and get MemoKit. Sure, you could install a run-of-the-mill memory manager that simply defragments your RAM as you work. But why settle for adequate when you could have MemoKit? Our favorite memory manager not only defragments and recovers memory, it also tells you how much free RAM your PC has, alerts you when resources are running low, and identifies programs that hog and squander precious system resources. Best of all, MemoKit is easy to use. If you're looking for a simple, robust, feature-laden memory manager, stop hunting and get MemoKit.

Breezy setup
Installing MemoKit takes only a minute or two. Just download the 485K executable file, open it, and follow the instructions. Once you get MemoKit up and running, the program works in the background to defragment your PC's memory, flush its cache, and recover RAM when it drops below a given point.

Interfacing with your RAM
Although MemoKit runs unobtrusively in the background as you work, you can bring up its small control window by clicking the MemoKit icon in the system tray. The program window displays both a list of applications currently running on your computer and a dynamic bar graph that you can set to show how much of your memory, resources, or swap files are free. This information can help you decide which apps to shut down if you run low on memory.

Scattered around the edge of the program window, you'll find buttons that let you access key commands, including one that activates one-click RAM recovery and one that prints a list of all running programs and the RAM they require. In addition to the buttons, you can right-click anywhere in the MemoKit interface to pull up all of these controls.

Free your RAM
How does MemoKit work its magic? As your programs and data load and unload over time, your PC's RAM becomes fragmented, leading to sluggish system response and a higher chance of crashes. MemoKit rearranges your memory as you work so that programs run faster and more efficiently. Many applications consume more memory when they start up than they actually need to run, but they hold the extra RAM hostage until you finally close them. MemoKit and other good memory managers free this memory, thereby giving you extra RAM for loading other tasks and more speed for memory-intensive operations such as Web searches.

Another problem: some applications cut their file size by sharing certain files and components (DLLs, for example) from universal libraries already on your hard drive. So a few of these apps load a shared component but don't release that component's memory back to Windows when you close it. This leaves portions of these applications draining RAM. MemoKit lists all of the programs currently running; if you see an app that you closed a while back, just right-click, choose Terminate, and voilà! Your memory is restored. MemoKit also lists the priority Windows automatically assigns to each currently running app (real-time, high, normal, idle). If you need more resources for a memory-intensive application, such as a project manager or a database, simply right-click various programs in this list and reprioritize them so that the most processing power goes to the app that needs it.

Root out memory and resource hogs
Our favorite feature? Click Reports in its menu, and MemoKit generates a report of all programs you're running that consume a lot of RAM or resources. Although there's nothing inherently wrong with these apps, when you're in a low-memory or low-resources situation already, loading a memory hog can crash your system faster than you can say "blue screen of death." Older versions of MemoKit popped up a generic warning when memory or resources were low. Now, by specifically identifying the greediest programs, MemoKit helps you avoid loading them under dangerous conditions in the future.

Unfortunately, the feature isn't perfect. If the piggy program uses another one as a carrier (AOL activated through Internet Explorer, for example), MemoKit fingers the carrier instead of the guilty party. Still, that doesn't happen often, since most programs run independently.

Best of a good lot
While all four applications in our memory management roundup perform the basic, behind-the-scenes tasks well, MemoKit offers the most configurable settings and easy-to-master tools for partially controlling the process. In short, MemoKit beats the competition hands down.

MemoKit produces a report that reveals which applications are absorbing the most RAM.

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