The Shareware Review People

FreeMem Professional

FreeMemPro.gif (11334 bytes)

Type of Program: Memory Manager
Supported Platforms: Windows 95/NT
Author's Name: Meikel Weber
Version: 3.0
Price: free to try/ $15
Installed size: 810K


Now you can get your memory back! How many times have you tried to free up your system's RAM by closing an app or two -- only to have Windows cling to it like a jealous girlfriend? Then your machine acts like you have 8M rather than 64M, maybe even freezes -- since Windows didn't release some RAM in time. (Executables and DLLs often stay in memory long after you closed them, until they're forced out later. This causes needless use of your swap file, evoking disk-writes that bog down your machine.)

FreeMem Professional gives you both automatic and manual control over your physical memory, and lets YOU (not Uncle Bill from Redmond) decide when to free up memory, and how much RAM you want. When running in the background FreeMem Professional can automatically monitor RAM and do its job behind the scenes.

If you use the Auto-Start option (upon booting Windows), FreeMem Professional can free up a lot of your RAM that gets grabbed by startup Libraries and other background stuff that you're not actually using. So you can literally get off to a good start and recover these RAM resources immediately.

An excellent option added to this Pro version (there's a freeware version called Free Memory Tool) is the system tray icon. This isn't your ordinary icon. It allows you to make RAM status checks at a glance --plus on-the-fly manual RAM free-ups. And just place your mouse over the tray icon to get a readout of available RAM.

The user interface is a five-tabbed window -- showing you Free Memory (to select how much RAM you want free at bootup), Statistics (which charts ongoing RAM usage), Background (where you select your critical and warning levels, plus background options), Startup, and Icon options. Basically, depending on the amount of RAM installed, you choose your RAM warning levels (there are three levels) and free-up quantities. These levels are then reflected during operation by the tray icon's color (red, yellow, green). And a right click on the icon gives you a menu showing your pre-selected amounts of RAM you can recover from Windows. If the system's really busy, FreeMem Professional will retry, and the number of times is your choice. Or anytime you're in doubt about settings, just use the default values. In fact, the Help file contains lots of useful information and tips that make this product both easy and interesting to use.

Another very useful feature of the Pro version, especially if you're a dyed-in-the-wool gamer, is that from the tray icon, you can turn off background operation of the program for best performance of your games. The Icon says OFF in this case, and when background operation is enabled, the icon says RAM. Just toggle from the tray menu.

This lifesaving gem of a utility (guess who's had big-time RAM problems lately, despite having 160M installed) is not only worth the $15, but also a 5-pound box of chocolates sent directly to the author. It works! Maybe now, all the hair I've torn out of my head will grow back. If you also want your memory -- and your hair -- to come back, this is a must-have. And if you're THAT darned cheap, the freeware version (Free Memory Tool) is available from the same download page, just remember that it's stripped down to very bare basics. The Pro version is the way to go, and I've seen nothing else yet, especially at this price, that works so effectively.

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Bobbie Crowell
ICQ # 9407183

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