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Last post Author Topic: Rambooster. Junk?  (Read 22170 times)

siouxdax

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Rambooster. Junk?
« on: March 20, 2009, 03:29:42 AM »
Hello all:
I've noticed recently that my laptop (and my desktop) will often slow down and not release RAM after closing RAM-hogging programs. Firefox will hog a lot of RAM if it's been open all day, but when I close it, it doesn't give back the RAM it was hogging. So I was reminded of an app that I used a few years ago, RAMbooster.net, that freed up RAM.

So I was told by a tech-savvy friend that programs such as this are junk and don't do what they claim to. Is this true? The only method I have been using is restarting my laptop/desktop, which is a method that I don't revel in at all. So I'd like your opinion about this. I still have the license key for RAMbooster.net, so I could reinstall. Good idea? Bad idea? Again, your opinion is greatly appreciated.
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

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f0dder

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 04:50:21 AM »
When you close firefox you will get back the hogged-up RAM, but sometimes it can take a while for FF to shut down cleanly. On my (pretty beefy) workstation, it can take some 20-30 seconds after a day of using FF, and I'll have a single core maxxed out while memory is being cleaned up.

And yes, programs like that are generally junk - they don't do anything Windows doesn't do by itself automatically on a as-needed basis, and most of the programs use very dirty methods that are pretty counter-productive.
- carpe noctem

Steven Avery

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Rambooster. Junk? - the good, the bad and the optimized
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 05:58:04 AM »
Hi Folks,

Thanks f0dder for the Firefox closing tip.  It would seem that proper closing should close all fine (I think even killing harshly in Task Manager .. DTaskManager here .. should do so - experts ?) and a reboot becomes not necessary. 

And I will add that if you have a good bookmark system (e.g. Linkman) you are more likely to bite the bullet and not reopen the "saved session" windows.  And note that the Session Manager extension with 3.0 now gives you the ability to see the individual windows and tabs if you want to remember that way.  We tend to think what we have open is so important .. usually just start clean is best.

======

Now for the memory programs and tweaks ins and outs, the good, the bad and the optimized.

siouxdax, I am no expert on PC memory usage (nor how to keep Firefox from taking and hogging) however I read up on this lately.  Generally these programs cannot do much for XP memory management, yet CleanMem made a case for his methodology that is reasonably interesting (below).  And other programs give their own little special reasons.

Oh .. first ..  can you purchase more memory ?  You do not mention your current size. (I am just in the process of upgrading from 1gb and made sure a work puter was upgraded).. likely it is good to have 2 Gigs .. or more up to 4Gb (to get about 3.5 usable for programs) .. on an XP system.  If you only have 512 or even 1 Gb, that would be the first big improvement, far more important than the time and effort of tweak-city.  Second might be to check whether there are any pagefile tweaks, although on that the techies will comment.  Note that Outertech (Linkman) has a Cacheman XP tweaking program, Linkman shows they are very good programmers, note that while they are very responsive they do not have a web-forum.

Also you can search and ask in the mozillaZine forums (and other places) about memory usage in Firefox. e.g. The Raymond page below mentions a  config.trim_on_minimize setting.  There is probably a lot on mozillaZine.

Then we go to the controversial RAM programs.  There is a freeware program originally developed for Firefox.

Minimem
http://minimem.kerkia.net/

Raymond mentions this
http://www.raymond.c...program-at-interval/

(Note: bypass the google ad plague, imho google ad sites that are behind good software should block the ads to scamware and can do so with a little time and effort with google and checking. I have been trying to help mozillaZine and Noscript clean up their sites in this way.)

And freewaregenius

http://www.freewareg...-programs-on-demand/
Minimem: reduce the memory footprint of individual programs on demand
(more google scamware-ad plague)

Interesting, although not compelling.

Now, note that Gizmo is reasonably pro for a few programs and mentions Rambooster 2. That is different than your Rambooster.net.  CNet reviews say that Rambooster.net is a Chinese ripoff of Rambooster 2 that doesn't work.  And the web site inspires no confidence, looking like the cookie-cutter spamware sites.  Similarly Fileforum and CNet have a 2003-2004 date, indication it is abandonware, sell-anyway-ware (even the source code for the gullible newbie programmer).

http://www.techsuppo...memory-optimizer.htm
Best Free Memory Optimizer -
An easy-read article and notes at bottom, CleanMem begin the "Best".

Similarly Freeware Genius, who actually liked another called SweepRam.

On the other hand, Lifehacker, quoting Mark Russinovich, says ferget about all this.

http://lifehacker.co...mance-tweaking-myths
LifeHacker: Debunking Common Windows Performance Tweaking Myths
Clean, Defrag and Boost Your RAM With SnakeOil Memory Optimizer

DonationCoder posters tend to be similarly aghast.

http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=14332
LifeHacker: Debunking Common Windows Performance Tweaking Myths

http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=14487.0
CleanMem - apparently a memory optimizer with a difference...

For balance, Shane from CleanMem gives his explanation/response here:

http://www.pcwintech.com/node/145
CleanMem v.1.3.0

And watch this discussion

http://groups.google...68faf4ec63f?lnk=raot
alt.comp.freeware - CleanMem Memory Cleaner   

Here I emphasize CleanMem because the developer, Shane, seems to be more ready to mix-it-up in explanation and discussion.  

In summary.

1) Close the program in the most precise way occasionally and reopen clean.
2) More memory on the system if possible.
3) Firefox tweaks
4) Pagefile or other tweaks. Consider the Outertech shareware trial for simplicity.
5) CleanMem or Minimem or other .. and report back to us :)

While I would like to hear if #5 really helped, probably if you do some of the earlier numbers it is not necessary.

Incidentally, for my rebooting I like Karenware's ShowStopper, rarely does it have a problem getting closed and to a restart and I simply keep an icon on the Start tab which I call Karenware Force Reboot (her program makes it trivial to set up such an icon, now I simply want to add a cordial Eudora close first, in case downloading is in process).

Shalom,
Steven Avery

PS.
To be bypassed.
Firefox Ultimate Optimizer
http://www.ghacks.ne...-ultimate-optimizer/
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 06:19:15 AM by Steven Avery »

siouxdax

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 07:55:52 AM »
Wow. I've got a lot of reading material to go through.  :) You asked about RAM: I have 1GB on both machines. Unfortunately, I can't afford to upgrade right now; maybe later in the year.

f0dder: Yes, I do let Firefox shut down cleanly; I've watched it several times in Process Explorer. I'm guessing that after I see the process close I move on and don't check back to see if it freed up that RAM.

Steven: I'll have my more tech-savvy friend tweak my pagefile and/or Firefox, then work from there. I'm no PC moron, I just don't know much about tweaking stuff other than using TweakUI. Also, Steven, thank you for including such a well of information on the topic; it is much appreciated.

I'll try to remember to report back here with some results, in hopes of making this thread useful to others. :) Thanks again!
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

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f0dder

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 12:29:33 PM »
Well, once FireFox terminates (and that means all firefox processes - if you use "minimize to tray" or the likes you need to get rid of that too), memory is freed. After a day of browsing, this usually means around 800MB or more on my system. Keep in mind that FireFox isn't the only memory-hungry/leaking application out there, though. Also keep in mind that "System Cache" reported in Process Explorer can basically be though of as free memory - if there isn't enough free memory to satisfy a memory request, cache will be dropped before paging things out to disk.

None of the memory "optimizers" can work magic, none of them will do anything windows won't do by itself. Windows should actually be targeting the least-recently-used applications when it decides it needs to trim working sets, whereas the memory "optimizers" are generally pretty dumb and trim everything (and the majority don't trim processes, they try to allocate as much memory as they can, thereby being much more likely to cause pagefile activity).

The ability to trim individual processes might sound appealing, but in reality you're better off restarting an application than trimming it - that will get rid of leaked memory, reduce memory fragmentation, etc.
- carpe noctem

housetier

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 03:15:02 PM »
In the end the windows kernel does a good job of managing the scarce resource ram; badly programmed software will make the job harder.

Rambooster and other crapware like it will only interfere with what your operating system was designed to do: They manage resources, it's their job and it should not be the job of yet another program (which relies on the OS to do its shitty work).

cmpm

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2009, 03:35:36 PM »
Well my vote goes with CleanMem. I use it of course.
My page file is actually smaller then it used to be.
I have it set to system manged since I'm low on actual ram sticks.

I think CleanMem just kicks XP into doing it's job if it hasn't yet.
No programs that I've been running ever have been affected when does it's few second job every 30 minutes or however you want it to run.
As stated in the explanations it works with what is already on XP.
Don't know about Vista, that's a different setup I think.

Actually I think sometimes the pagefile maybe faster then my sticks.
Since I'm still using pc100! Yeah I know, upgrade to a newer computer.
But other things come before this.

Josh

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2009, 04:11:37 PM »
clearmem is a tool left over from the OLD NT Days where memory management wasn't a BIG issue since the most ram any system had was between 256 and 512MB. Microsoft has cleaned up it's game in that department and Windows does a fine job on it's own. I also label any software like this to be shamware.

cmpm

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2009, 04:36:34 PM »
well u might miss something
with such a broad stroke

the same has been said about process programs
yet they are still around

cmpm

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2009, 04:37:28 PM »
and it's clean mem not clear
big diff

siouxdax

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 04:46:27 PM »
Off-topic:
Ack! Josh, I've been wanting to squish your avatar! Every time I see it I get fooled. :)
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

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Josh

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2009, 04:47:26 PM »
Process programs exist for another reason. If you are referring to stuff like Process Explorer, then yes, you missed the big thing these programs offer. They make system management that much easier because you can get path names of executable files, find out kernel usage of applications, and various other statistics about the OS.

Clearmem and memory utilities like that claim big performance increase yet all they do is force windows to page all data to disk (the swap file). This then slows down the system when running processes have to re-read said data from disk. It's an old argument which might have held true through NT4, but since Win2K/XP, it has no valid purpose in the modern computing era. Unless of course you are app103 and running Windows ME ;-)

siouxdax: Ain't it great :)

cmpm

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2009, 05:03:44 PM »
CleanMem does not claim big performance increase.

Darwin

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2009, 05:54:03 PM »
Let's all try to remember not to be too personal in stating our opinions. I happen NOT to think RAM cleaning/optimizing/defragging applications have any real use today, but that is just my opinion. If cmpm uses such an applicaiton and is happy with the result, leave him (or her?!) be!

 :)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

cmpm

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2009, 06:09:13 PM »
Naw, I didn't take it personal.
It helps my old clunker.
On a newer machine it may not matter.
This one I have thinks slower then the newer ones.

And I just stated a fact.
While others claim great performance gain,
CleanMem does not.
Just a smoother ride.

So I don't take it personally.
Heck, you can see how fodder and I get along!
:)
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 06:10:59 PM by cmpm »

Steven Avery

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2009, 06:51:19 PM »
Hi Folks,

Quote from: Josh
Clearmem and memory utilities like that claim big performance increase yet all they do is force windows to page all data to disk (the swap file).

Above I included two urls where there is real discussion of the API involved, how it is used by .Net and its history and place in XP.  One thing is very clear -- CleanMem  (Shane) says very specifically that this paging technique (by taking memory) is not the technique he uses and he does explain how CleanMem works.  (Whether it is worthwhile or not.)

Josh, please permit me to say this straight -- you undercut your own claim of shamware if you make a sham assertion or two.

(Note: I have never used CleanMem, although I may give it a wing. I simply believe that we need to be very careful in our assertions and accusations. I also appreciate that CleanMem is free and than Shane was willing to mix it up with the detractors in the discussion forums.)

There are actually three problems with the assertions above.

1) "big performance increase" - not the claim, ok simply a bit of hyperbole
2) "force memory to page all data to disk" - used in some programs, not CleanMem
3) "a tool left over from the OLD NT Day"

(2) is the critical technical issue.  And (3) is interesting historically.  On the threads above Shane even conjectures that Microsoft may have beefed up the memory API-call for .Net and specifically indicates that he is unsure how well it would work on NT.

http://groups.google...msg/7e79ca6e5f3c3b44
Message from discussion -- CleanMem Memory Cleaner

"I wonder if MS beefed up the API with .Net and maybe why it works so well now. So far I have only seen what cleanmem does on Xp and above, not on nt or 2000. "

Incidentally, I am not going into whether Minimem or SweepRam or one or two others use the page-file technique, Shane's API-call method, or something else or a hybrid.  Shane was the one willing to mix it up in discussion so his program understandably becomes the focus.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 07:14:28 PM by Steven Avery »

housetier

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2009, 07:23:15 PM »
My page file is actually smaller then it used to be.

Which means you now have less virtual memory than before. I do not see the benefit in that.

cmpm

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2009, 07:48:25 PM »
The paging file was larger then required.
Virtual memory is not just the paging file.

cmpm

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2009, 07:54:37 PM »
Anyone else?

Here is my answer-

http://www.pcwintech.com/node/145

Josh

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2009, 08:05:29 PM »
Please forgive me if my post sounded like an attack. It was not intended that way. I was also referring to CLEARMEM as that is what I thought I saw. So for that I apologize. I will make a longer post detailing why i feel these tools are a waste tomorrow when I have a clearer head (long day at work).

cmpm

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2009, 08:37:31 PM »
No problem Josh.

Steven Avery

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2009, 09:11:43 PM »
Hi Folks,

Understood Josh.  Two different software items were being referenced, Clearmem being a dinosaur from Microsoft.  Will be interested in your thoughts on newer stuff, especially Cleanmem

Shalom,
Steven

f0dder

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2009, 01:17:41 PM »
The old method of gobbling up ram was lame.

Iterating over processes and calling SetProcessWorkingSetSize(process, -1, -1) is what the "smarter" tools do, but it's still plain old silliness. Windows does this by itself as necessary, and it does it smarter by trimming the least recently used processes first.

Really, there's no reasons to use applications like this.
- carpe noctem

Steven Avery

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CleanMem and EmptyWorkingSet
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2009, 04:07:27 PM »
Hi Folks,

Quote from: f0dder
SetProcessWorkingSetSize

Just so we first have our facts in order.

Shane of CleanMem discusses the distinction between two functions.

http://www.pcwintech.com/node/145
EmptyWorkingSet
SetProcessWorkingSetSize

And says that CleanMem uses Empty, not Set.

Whether it is silliness nonetheless or not, I dunno. (I know that Microsoft does not always use every tool properly and to fullest advantate -- I even remember IBM once sorting in some super-duper clunky way, it happens.) However the fact that the critics don't seem to read the available discussions about how the program works, easily web-available and already pointed to in this thread -- runs towards my having simpatico with the program, to give it a trial.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: March 21, 2009, 04:13:54 PM by Steven Avery »

f0dder

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Re: Rambooster. Junk?
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2009, 04:13:09 PM »
Quote from: MSDN
BOOL WINAPI EmptyWorkingSet(
  __in          HANDLE hProcess
);
Remarks: You can also use the SetProcessWorkingSetSize function to do what EmptyWorkingSet does if you pass it -1 for the minimum and maximum sizes.

:)
- carpe noctem