Computers once had such small memories that Windows couldn't remember where it put its keys without registering them (it still can't, actually), but today's PCs have so much random access memory (RAM) that Windows can do much more than walk and chew gum at the same time, computationally speaking. Plenty of PCs still come up short in the RAM department, though, including a lot of older machines struggling to keep up with today's bloated Web sites and high-quality multimedia. For those PCs, the answer is the same today as it was way back then: a tool that monitors your system's memory and frees it up when it drops below a certain point. PGWARE's SuperRam is an up-to-date shareware release of this venerable class of utility. It runs in the background and frees up memory resources on demand. It's free to try for 30 days and costs just under $15; it's not expensive, certainly, but whether it's worth the cost depends on your system.
SuperRam's colorful, dialog-style interface is fairly typical of shareware system utilities in their varieties, with a large pie graph depicting RAM use, controls to access settings and run the benchmarking test, and some links, but little else. SuperRam is designed to run in the background. We started by opening the Settings to view the program's options. SuperRam's Memory Performance Settings involve two sliders, Memory to maintain and Memory to free. Changing a slider changed the memory values in the detailed explanation of what SuperRam does -- a nice touch. The Advanced Settings let us refine the percentage of memory to be freed, as well as the interval and similar options, and we could also change the background and graph colors. Clicking Help opened a complete Help file. However, SuperRam proved easy to use without it.
On a scale of one to 10, SuperRam benchmarked our test system's 8 GB RAM's performance at 10, so we saw little benefit from running it (and more from not running it, actually). But it's definitely worth a look if your PC's memory is failing: It's free to try, and way cheaper than a new PC.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of SuperRam 220.127.116.113.