Keep Resource Hogs Under Control With Process Tamer
By Steve Horton
Many popular apps have poor memory management, for any number of reasons. If you’ve ever taken a look at your Task Manager and seen an app hogging 70% or more of CPU, there’s usually nothing to be done except close the app or kill its processes. Process Tamer (free/donationware) offers an alternative. This tiny app stays resident in the background and keeps a watchful eye for any apps that attempt to hog CPU (which can slow the whole system down). Process Tamer then automatically lowers priority on said app, freeing up all-important resources for whatever else you’re running.
There may be cases in which you’d rather an app used as much CPU as it can, such as when editing a large image in Photoshop or playing a hardware-intensive game. In that case, you can either double-click the DonationCoder balance scale icon in the quick launch bar, or set up an exception with a few clicks.
I tested Process Tamer on an AMD Phenom II X2 550 system, a dual core PC equivalent to an Intel Core 2 Duo. This medium-range system handles many open apps with ease, but can still be bogged down by too many processes. The default CPU percentage before Process Tamer takes action is 70%. I was able to reduce that to 40% easily by clicking the Configuration tab. At 40%, I found Process Tamer more likely to go off and keep unruly apps under control without sacrificing much speed or usability in said apps. Note that when Process Tamer goes to work to reduce an app’s CPU usage, that app can experience temporary slowdown or unresponsiveness until the process is complete.
Process Tamer would be especially useful on older, single-CPU PCs. Where there’s no dual core (or more) to share the load, CPU management is essential. The best part is, ProcessTamer runs in the background with little to no intervention required. No setup is needed: Just launch and continue working normally.
Here’s a tip: Process Tamer is one of the apps included in DonationCoder‘s handy auto-updating software DCUpdater. If you’d like an easy way to keep ProcessTamer updated to the latest version, grab DCUpdater first.
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