Review – RAM Doubler 8.0.1

RAM Doubler 8.0.1
Company: Connectix Corp.
Estimated Price: $44.99

What would you do with more RAM? Start thinking,
because RAM Doubler 8.0.1 from Connectix could provide
a quick solution to double or triple your existing memory.
The new version features enhanced speed, compatibility, and many new features that will make doubling (or even tripling) your RAM a more pleasurable experience.

Out With the Old…
Remember RAM Doubler 2? Imagine that it never crashed, worked faster, and was compatible with more applications. The end result would be something very similar to RAM Doubler 8.0.1. Compared with previous versions, this memory enhancement works like a dream. Although you will still see a noticeable speed hit, it’s still much, much faster than the Mac OS built-in virtual memory scheme and still faster and more compatible than ever before.

… And In With the New
Not only does RAM Doubler 8.0.1 boast better compatibility and improved speed, but it introduces several new and useful features in the control panel.

The layout of the control panel is now a three-tabbed approach. The first tab allows the user to determine what the memory should be increased to (no increase, double, triple, and a few settings in between). A new pie chart feature on the second tab lets you see what percentage of each application’s memory is in active use, paged, compressed, and free. The third tab features advanced settings and displays. Six vertical bars show the memory paging fault rate, RAM compression rate, and disk access rate (for stored memory data).

How Slow Can You Go?
If you want to see a testimonial to RAM Doubler 8’s power, look below for a screenshot:


RAM Doubler 8 is shown supporting the following applications with only 48 MB of physical RAM: Illustrator (18.5 MB), Photoshop(39.1 MB), AOL (14.6 MB), HyperCard(5.9 MB), Finder (15.6 MB), PlayerPRO (7.8 MB), and VirtualPC (30.7 MB).

Even while running all of these applications at the same time on a PowerMac 6400/200 with RAM Doubler 8.0.1, I didn’t crash at all. Of course, I wasn’t running at full speed, but I was operating at twice the speed of the standard Mac OS virtual memory. Note that it’s still pretty extreme to triple your memory and run that many applications at once; doubling your physical RAM is the best cross between enlarging your memory and retaining your computer’s speed.

RAM Doubler also gives the user all of the benefits of standard virtual memory. It reduces the amount of memory that PowerMac-native applications need (as seen in the Get Info dialog). However, it adds several seconds to your startup time as it prepares itself for use.

Wow, That’s Smart!
Memory enhancement is also smarter than ever. If you try to give an application more than the amount of physical memory you have, its memory partition is automatically reduced to the maximum size. It also features a small “paging indicator”, a dot that flashes in the upper left corner whenever RAM Doubler is working its magic. The control panel is also now outfitted with a help box that provides information on whatever you point to.

The Summary
With gratly improved speed, reliability, and compatibility, RAM Doubler 8.0.1 is a better buy than ever. Its useful charts and graphs show statistics about your memory down to the smallest detail, and even has many smart features to prevent easily avoidable crashes. However, RAM prices have continued to fall; you can get 32 MB of real physical memory for $45 at most places. If you have a fair amount of existing memory, a fast computer, and you want a little extra memory to play with, you may get substantial value out of RAM Doubler 8.0.1. But if you have 16 MB memory or less, a slow computer, or a desire to triple your memory, RAM Doubler 8.0.1 will work, but at the price of a substantial slowdown.

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