RAM Charger and RAM Doubler
are very different enhancements.
Whereas RAM Doubler provides the same
memory features as Apple's
virtual memory (enabled in your "memory" control panel), RAM
Charger is very different. A more in depth discussion of RAM
Doubler, and explaination about its memory enhancement being
the same as Apple virtual memory, is provided on the page
"What is RAM Doubler (RD), and
should I use it?"
Since RAM Doubler virtual memory is provides the same
memory enhancement as Apple virtual memory, the real
How does RAM Charger compare to virtual memory?
Because RAM Charger adds completely different
functionality to your Mac than virtual memory, the only
similarity is that each helps you accomplish more with less
RAM. The real comparison is the difference: RAM Charger
makes more efficient use of your
memory without increasing it;
Virtual memory increases your
memory without making more
efficient use of it.
Whereas vitual memory does not change the way your Mac
works at all, instead simply increasing the amount of memory
like adding RAM, RAM Charger brings new features to the Mac
that are otherwise unavailable. RAM Charger provides each
application with access to all free memory on your machine.
Because of this, RAM Charged applications can grow and
shrink in memory usage while they operate. Moreover,
applications reserve only what they require at startup, yet
do not run out of memory until all your memory is in use.
They don't hog memory, nor do they run out of memory
Without RAM Charger applications are limited to the
amount of memory they start with - no more, and no less - no
matter how much memory (real or virtual) the Mac has. The
amount each application starts with is configured in the
Finder's "Get Info" window. The memory dedicated to each
application is visually apparent after the application
starts by opening the Finder's "About This Mac" window. Once
an application uses its starting memory, it is unable to use
any more memory even though the memory may not be in use.
So, it is common for Mac users to "Run out of memory" in an
application, despite the fact that there is plenty of unused
When is RAM Charger valuable?
RAM Charger's ability to remove the artificial "fixed"
limitation is most valuable for any application that does
not use the exact same amount of memory every time it is
used. RAM Charger will allow you to start such applicaitons
in a reasonable size, rather than an inflated provisional
size, without worry that the application will run out of
memory prematurely. By starting the applications in
reasonable sizes, you will leave more memory for other
applications and system operations.
In particular, applications in which you open and close
documents tend to vary greatly in memory usage depending on
how large the documents are, and how many documents you
open. However, even applications that fluctuate small
amounts can benefit since you do not need to provide them
with extra precautionary reserves - just start them in what
they require and RAM Charger will fulfill any extra
Because RAM Charger shares memory between applications in
a more cooperative way, more benifit is gained the more
applications you have open at the same time.
When is virtual memory valuable?
Virutal memory is valuable when you can't run the
applications you need to run regardless of how efficiently
your memory is used. As a result, it is our opinion that you
should try RAM Charger first to see if you can accomplish
your goals using real memory (just RAM), before resorting to
virtual memory which substitutes slower techniques to
provide "memory" beyond your real RAM.
Virtual memory is also valuable for anyone running a
PowerMac using PowerMac native applications. This is
discussind in great detail on the page
"Should I use VM?"
Why don't people call RAM Doubler "virtual
The answer would be "marketing".
Since the original implementations of Apple Virtual
Memory were so poor, a stigma developed about the term
"virtual memory". This is unfortunate, since virtual memory
has long been used and accepted without such a stigma in
both Unix and Windows - due to better implementations.
Our specualtion is that Connectix did not want the term
virtual memory to be associated with their product, despite
the fact that it is virtual memory. It is tru that RAM
Doubler uses an alternative method for "backing storage",
however this is not releavant. It employs virtual
addressing, and provides functionality no different than any
other virtual memory implementaion.
Instead, Connectix took a term "extended memory", which
is clearly defined to be something totally different in the
DOS PC environment, and redefined it for their own purpose.
Despite the fact the proper term virtual memory existed,
uninformed users and reviewers adopted the new term.
Connectix marketing was successful. Very few people
understand that RAM Doubler provides no features over Apple
Virtual Memory, and many confuse its features with RAM
Charger. We thikn it only proper that users understand that
RAM Doubler is virutal memory.
RAM Charger and virtual memory (Apple or RAM Doubler) are
very different methods of making most of your Mac. RAM
Charger works on a per application basis to make the most
efficient use of your memory, and vitual memory increases
the amount of memory without puchasing more hardware. Since
these are fundamentaly different, the two techniques can be
used together to obtain the most from your Mac. Depending on
your usage, you may wish to use virtual memory to supplement
with RAM Charger.