Windows Must-Have Utilities – Cacheman

There are many utilities for Microsoft Windows which are intended to make the operating system easier to use, or make the user more productive, in the everyday operation of their computer. Many times the ability to control needed parameters can be found with something which is freely available, and the user can take advantage by downloading the code, and following the instructions to implement the changes.

There are a few things that are beyond the reach of the simple registry change, or configuration option, and positive change must be undertaken with something that the utility author has taken time with, to have complete understanding of the underlying processes which are occurring, and which Microsoft has chosen only the most rough estimations for, to get adequate performance over a wide variety of hardware and software usage. When something is developed that will make changes that remove any of the stumbling blocks that many will have with an average Windows set up, it becomes a utility worth purchasing.

One of those utilities worth purchasing is Cacheman, which is a utility which allows the user fine grained control over the memory usage of their machine, and is available in two versions, Cacheman XP, and Cacheman 7.

Cacheman XP has been around nearly as long as Windows XP, and back in the bad old days, before every machine built had at least 2 GB of main memory, Windows own control of system memory was sometimes so poor that fits, stutters, and jerks in the operation of a machine would frequently occur, especially if one had several programs running concurrently. Cacheman XP makes the use of machines with less than adequate memory bearable, eliminating the herky-jerky behavior, which is the hallmark of many Windows machines, and makes machines with adequate to copious amounts of memory, smoothly fly.

I went back in my archived mail to see that I have had a Cacheman XP license since August 2004, as I was previously using a free older version of the program (at the time called Cacheman, still available now as Cacheman Classic , and works great on Windows 9x machines – if you have any of those lying around), but liked the results so well that I knew I needed the increased performance of the new version.

Unlike some other software authors, the people at Outertech have continued to improve and refine Cacheman XP well beyond what might have been done by some, with at least two upgrades that I remember since the release of Windows Vista. As a matter of fact, another update was released this month, bringing the version number to 2.10.

When changes in Windows, specifically Windows XP SP3, Vista, and Windows 7, made change in the way the memory, and system caches were handled, Outertech was quick to release a new version, called Cacheman 7. It works well to eliminate any problems with the memory usage of Windows versions released since 2007. With the changes came new problems, which I have reported on here, as my Windows 7 Ultimate version used to get messages stating that I was out of memory. I had not gotten those types of messages in ages, and after installing the new version of the Outertech utility, the out of memory messages went away. Incidentally, I have removed the Cacheman 7 utility, to see if the problem would return, just to see if the problem had been remedied by Microsoft with any update delivered over the last 17 months could have taken care of it.

It has not, and without Cacheman 7, I still get those out-of-memory messages, where I am told my system resources are low.

The really nice thing about Cacheman XP, or Cacheman 7, is the fact that the user can allow the program to do an analysis of the machine to get a setting which when applied after a reboot, will give excellent performance, remove any problems with slowness caused by constant (unnecessary) paging file usage, and give the machine much of the snappy behavior it had before lots of software, and the changes made by that software, changed the way Windows performs.

After the user has more an idea of how his machine works, Cacheman (XP or 7) allows great control of individual settings, and for the tinkerer, the possibility to get the very best performance for the type of use the computer gets most often.

From the website

Cacheman is a Windows software designed to speed up your computer by optimizing several caches, managing RAM and fine tuning a number of system settings. Auto-Optimization makes Cacheman suitable for novice and intermediate users yet it is also powerful and versatile enough for computer experts.

The program has been lauded in many major magazines (back when there were many major computer magazines), and continues to be the very first thing I install after the various drivers on any Windows machine, and I tend to recommend it to everyone whose machine I work on. (Showing them the difference between their machine and one of mine, usually drives the point home nicely.)

In these times of fewer dollars in everyone’s pockets than is desired, it is hard to justify the additional spending for a utility for which Microsoft swears there is little need. Take my word for it, Cacheman XP or Cacheman 7 is still something that will make positive changes you can easily see and feel in your machine, while giving control of parts of the overall picture usually hidden to the user, and reporting on other changes which can affect your system’s performance. It is worth it, and then some, especially when you consider that the purchase includes any updates which are not major, and (usually) a deal on any major ones.

The company also makes a few other great little utilities, all of which can be found at the Outertech website.

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