[24hoursupport] Re: Question on ram doubler 9

  • From: "Ron Allen" <chizotz@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: 24hoursupport@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 23:14:35 -0600

 

>Do any of you use this, and is it what it is cracked up to be?
>I looked on Connectix webpage and it said they discontinued
>it. If anyone has it, I would like to try it. Even if it isn't
>supported anymore.

WARNING: lengthy, some would say verbose, response ahead! :)


Hello Doug,

That's a Mac product, and I'm a PC person, so I can't speak from=
 experience. However, I would venture to say that the name "RAM Doubler" is=
 probably a little misleading. My bet would be that an actual doubling of=
 the effective RAM is the theoretical maximum that in practice is never=
 achieved. Much like the claims that some disk file compressors make about=
 reducing storage space to 50%; in theory it's true, but the reality is a=
 different story. You never see a true 50% compression, and depending on=
 the data in the file you may see as little as 1% or, worse, an actual=
 _increase_ in the file size after compression.

I found this web site http://www.lowtek.com/maxram/rd.html

which states that the product does three things. It manages memory,=
 presumably better than the Mac OS does or there would be no point to it=
 having that ability; it compresses RAM, much like zip or StuffIt does=
 files; it creates and manages virtual memory, supposedly faster than the=
 Mac native virtual memory manager does.

Based on this, I would say that the only real effort at doubling the RAM in=
 your machine the program does is in the compression area. If you compress=
 the data in RAM, of course you will see an decrease in the RAM used. The=
 cost, though, is in access speed. Compressed data can not be used by the=
 processor, it has to be decompressed first and then compressed again when=
 the CPU is done with it. The addition of that additional layer between the=
 CPU and the data _will_ cause a performance hit.

Memory management can affect the available RAM to some extent, but=
 generally not dramatically. Some savings can be made if the data being=
 held in RAM is arranged in a more efficient way, for example. The=
 reorganizing of data in RAM, though, can also cause a performance hit as=
 the program has to move chunks of data around in RAM to continually update=
 to more efficient organizations. RAM is so fast that often times the=
 performance hit involved would be negligible. On the other hand, when=
 dealing with large amounts of data the hit increases, and that's also the=
 situation when an efficient organization is needed most.

Virtual memory is virtual memory. I don't know what scheme they use that is=
 so much faster than the native Mac OS virtual memory manager, but=
 ultimately you can have all the virtual memory your drive can hold, with=
 data stored and accessed in the most efficient way possible, and it is=
 still limited to the speed of your hard drive access.

RAM Doubler may be the most stable product ever released to the public, I=
 can't say. However, my experiences with similar software making similar=
 claims in the PC world tell me to be wary. Without exception, every RAM=
 utility I have tried has introduced some kind of problem into the system.=
 RAM is such an integral part of the function of the computer and the=
 interoperability between the OS and hardware that it very often just=
 doesn't pay to mess with it. Certainly, the benefits I saw with various=
 products were minimal compared to the performance hits and other problems=
 introduced.

RAM is very cheap these days. I would suggest looking into adding=
 additional RAM to your system rather than trying to find a software=
 solution.

HTH,

Ron



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