Download of the Week:
If you’re the type of person who’s always looking to get the most performance out of your PC I have a great program for you.
As you may know, RAM is the memory that your CPU works with directly. What happens when you have a program or number of programs running that are using more memory (RAM) than you physically have in your machine? Well, Virtual kicks in. Virtual memory is hard drive space that the Operating System uses as RAM (You will also hear this referred to as “paging the hard drive”). That’s fine, but simulated RAM running from the hard drive is way slower than the memory coming from actual RAM. This can cause a performance bottleneck, and result in noticeable performance loss.
Never fear, Cacheman is here! Cacheman is a program designed to limit the frequency of paging the hard drive and recovers unused ram to increasing performance, system reaction time, and overall system stability. Cacheman also optimizes disk cache, icon cache, name and path cache, and CD-ROM cache. There are ways to increase your PCs performance by configuring and making changes to the virtual memory settings in Windows, but this is something that I am hesitant about recommending to the novice end-user to do out of sheer complexity.
Cacheman has a wizard for every setting available and predefined profiles for generalized performance settings in the program, making it hard to do something wrong. The program is powerful, flexible, and robust enough for the experienced user with extra tweaks and settings to help fine tune. Also, once installed the program puts an icon by your system clock and any time you hover over it the icon will display how much memory is free, and how much virtual memory is being used.
When you first install the program, it will save your current settings, and keep them within the program files (this file cannot be deleted without the uninstall of Cacheman). This save is your “Get out of jail free card”, meaning that no matter what you do you can always bring the system right back to the stable state it was prior to the install. Cacheman also has log files and history graphs to give you a good idea of what’s going on in your PC over periods of time—this is the information you can use to complete memory usage profiles.
Adding RAM is the cheapest and most noticeable way to increase system performance. Cacheman allows you to manage and get the most out of your RAM, for free—now that’s a deal. The program’s developer does want you to register and pay $10, which will give you email tech support, but it’s not necessary.
Just head over to the Outer Technologies  website, click Downloads and select Cacheman XP (if you have Win NT/2000/XP) or Cacheman (for all versions of Windows 9x/ME/2K/XP) from the drop-down box, select “Default Distribution” from the next box, then choose a download location.
This program is quit unique and you could potentially see a big increase in performance through it’s use.
~ Chad Stelnicki