I am always looking for ways to make my computer function faster, but I do not like engaging in tactics such as overclocking, which consists of changing the voltage your CPU or memory receives in order to increase their performance. Overclocking parts of your computer can be dangerous if done incorrectly, so I generally avoid such measures. I do not mind, however, using small and safe programs like CleanMem version 1.4.2. I found out about CleanMem from a website that specializes in listing freeware (free) programs. CleanMem is a utility that periodically frees up your computer's memory for certain processes that you are running.
For example, I am currently running Windows Vista 64 bit. Vista, as many people know, requires around 2 GB to function adequately. Before using CleanMem, my computer's memory usage would hover between 1GB and 1.25GB whether or not I was doing minor tasks. After installing CleanMem, I would notice from time to time that the memory usage would fall under 1GB, and sometimes, it gets as low as 700MB! That is very impressive, considering how resource-heavy Vista is.
Installation is deceptively easy. It is a passive program like SpywareBlaster and does not have a manual method of activation; once it is installed, it will run about every 30 minutes by default, free some memory, and then shut down.
There are potential downsides to using CleanMem, although it is not the fault of the product itself. I have 4GB total installed in my computer, and CleanMem, while potent, is not nearly as noticeable with that much memory. In a computer that has less than 1GB and struggles to function, CleanMem would be much more useful and have a more significant effect on its operation. I appreciate what the program does for me, but if I were to install the maximum of 8GB on my computer, its influence would likely be negligible. In addition, CleanMem only works with Windows OS as far as I know.
I would still recommend CleanMem to people who have computers that have under 1-2GB of memory and cannot afford to upgrade. As a free program, it is an exceptional alternative to spending money on new memory sticks.
(I have been trying to find the author of CleanMem, but the only clue I have is the name "Shane" in the product's release notes. I apologize for not properly crediting the author.)