Available from the Mac App store for $5.99, Memory Cleaner is an intriguing app, from the same developer that brought us Security Camera, which promises to make us ‘work more productively by freeing wasted memory’.
Read our comprehensive review below to help you decide whether this is the app you need to help your Mac run faster.
We have a fair amount of RAM running on our office iMac’s that’s true. But even with 16GB on our late 2009 Core i7 iMac’s it can sometimes mean apps start crawling after a while and, by mid afternoon, we nearly always need to perform a restart just to get the apps behaving as they should.
That said, we often run Parallels Desktop (for Imatest), Excel, Word, Lightroom, Photoshop, ScreenSteps, MediaPro, Mail, Chrome, Safari and have Acrobat Pro open all at the same time. And if we really want to watch our memory leak away we’ll open Aperture as well (okay, we admit, it’s referencing images on a G-Technology external RAID 5 array).
We also have Activity Monitor showing just how much of our precious memory is being used at one time, indeed it’s a permanent fixture in our Dock. So when we got a chance to review this sweet little app we were tingling with anticipation. We’ll be honest, what you see above is really all there is to it.
Well that’s not strictly true, when launched there’s a little icon in the menu bar, click that and you’ll open the window shown above (top).
Parallels, Photoshop and Aperture all take their toll on memory allocation (and there are plenty of others that do too), but at least you can see exactly which programs are doing what and with only a small window open.
Hit the Clean My Memory button, though, and you’ll see the above warning. We weren’t tempted to disobey, and so far we have been rewarded with glitch-free operation. The only unexpected behavior we did note, somewhat ironically, was that Memory Cleaner’s window would close and then not re-open while at the same time removing the icon from the memory bar, but clicking Memory Cleaner’s icon in the Dock would immediately reveal both. No untoward side-effects were observed.
With all the previously mentioned apps open, though minimized as appropriate to our workflow at the time, we ran Memory Cleaner to see how efficiently Snow Leopard was handling the memory allocation.
As you can see from the above grab, Memory Cleaner recovered 1.1GB at a stroke, which is impressive (especially so in percentage terms). As well as that, another feature we really like about memory Cleaner is the realtime readout of free memory. Activity Monitor does the same but only if you have the main window open, which is kind of distracting in everyday use.
Activity Monitor’s icon, on the other hand (displaying memory allocation as a pie-chart in the dock) was a good compromise and but it’s not so much an essential addition now. We think having Memory Cleaner open, ready to clear the cache at anytime, is far handier. We can also see which apps are hogging RAM after they’ve been closed and release it if necessary.
We’ve been using Memory Cleaner a few days now, and we’re surprised by just how much more lively and responsive our office iMac’s feel, and while not a scientific test we wouldn’t want to go back to being without it.