Optimize RAM
3:45

Optimize RAM

Services & Software
>> I have a problem. I run way too many programs on my computer. Yeah, I know, even two gigs of RAM sometimes isn't enough for me. But I know a way to squeeze more speed out of my memory. I'm Tom Merritt from CNET.com. On Today's Insider Secret I'll show you how to use a tiny, free program called RAM Booster to speed up your PC. ^M00:00:20 [ music ] ^M00:00:32 Let's say this sponge is RAM, and the, all this water is the programs eating away at your RAM. Essentially what RAM Booster does is squeezes that sponge a little, freeing up space so other programs can use it. First you need to know how much RAM you have, and that's harder than just looking at your sponge. Here's how to do it. Right click on My Computer, select Properties. You should see your amount of RAM right there. That wasn't so hard after all. Now for some math. Now wait a minute, this really isn't that hard. RAM Booster counts everything in megabytes. If you have five hundred twelve megabytes of RAM, you're golden, it's all in megabytes. But if you have one or two gigabytes, just remember, there's a thousand twenty four megabytes in a gigabyte. So one gig is ten twenty four meg, two gigs, two thousand forty eight. Okay, so let's launch RAM Booster. First thing you'll see is a monitor, very useful on its own, it shows you how much free RAM you have, and what your CPU usage is. Now let me show you how to use it to free up RAM when your memory gets full, squeeze out some of that water. Go to Edit, then Options. This is where your math comes in. The auto optimization level sets the low point your RAM has to dip below before RAM Booster starts swinging in and freeing up memory. Set it too high, like at the eighty percent mark for instance, and the program will actually slow your system down by constantly trying to liberate RAM. The developers recommend keeping your setting at about ten percent or less of your total RAM. So for my two gig, I set it at two hundred four meg, that's ten percent. This section here tells it how much RAM to try and free up, and a little goes a long way. So I'm gonna put mine at a hundred and see how it goes. You can find the best level for you, but you probably shouldn't put it at more than half your available RAM. This next option is a nice safeguard. It tells RAM Booster to only try to free up RAM if the CPU is processing below a certain level. I'm gonna leave mine at ten percent. Now if you wanted to turn that off, just put it at zero, turns it right off. Just two more settings to look at. Interval to refresh is how often the program updates RAM usage. Leave it at one second, unless RAM Booster itself is slowing down your machine by running too much. Times to retry optimization tells RAM Booster how many times in a row to keep trying to claim back RAM if it fails the first time. Your chances of success on a retry are small, so leave it at a low number. Next, if you want RAM Booster to automatically optimize your PC, check that box. Now press Done. If you don't want auto optimization, you can choose to optimize only when you notice a problem. Just press the optimize button any time you want to manually optimize. And that's it, you can tweak your RAM performance to your heart's content. Want to thank Jessica Dolcort [assumed spelling] at CNET's download.com for the tip-off on this program. She also reminds us that no utility can actually replace installing more RAM. So if you need it, buy it, and you can still tweak it with RAM Booster later. That's it for this edition of Insider Secret, I'm Tom Merritt for CNET.com. Now if I only had a RAM Booster for my brain. ^M00:03:41 [ music ]

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