Max your memory

Maximize your system's available memory with this free utility.

MaxMem from AnalogX is a simple program that maximizes the amount of physical memory available to your system at any given moment. You configure how much memory you want available under certain circumstances, and MaxMem will passively monitor your system's resources, freeing up memory as needed.

When it's running, MaxMem lives in the System Tray; right-clicking its icon calls up a menu with selections for configuring and running the program. We clicked Config, and the Configure dialog appeared. It has sliders for MaxMem's three memory-freeing functions, each of which accurately describes its behavior, too: Minimum, Periodic, and Aggressive. Minimum is the smallest amount of memory the system requires; Periodic checks every 3 minutes when memory is idle; and Aggressive flushes everything not in use every half an hour. This dialog also has a drop-down menu for choosing which of the three cleanup options is triggered when you left-click the System Tray icon. We chose Aggressive to gauge the maximum effect, set our Memory Boundaries, and clicked OK. We looked in the System Tray, and MaxMem displayed our system's memory use for the last 60 seconds in the tiny but surprisingly readable bar graph that serves as its icon; hovering the cursor over this icon also calls up a small box displaying memory resources and percentage free. We clicked on the icon, and a message indicated MaxMem was working. The program's displays showed that aggressive cleaning had indeed reclaimed memory, but whether it freed up enough of our test system's 6GB of RAM to make a substantial difference in performance is hard to say.

If your system is new or has lots of RAM, you might think you don't need MaxMem, but it can improve performance in gaming, video production, and other memory-intensive operations. In older systems or those with less memory, it could help bridge the gap between efficiency and frustration. MaxMem is free, too, so it's cheaper than the least-expensive RAM upgrade.

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