Oh, boy, here we go again - another post about Process Lasso. The program proved long ago that it is largely ineffective for me, but I've recently found some excerpts from Bitsum's own website that say what I've observed all along - that Process Lasso doesn't actually restrain processes (even though it should).
Below are some notable quotes from one of Bitsum's pages (http://bitsum.com/how-probalance-works/).
It is designed to act conservatively and safely. It makes only marginal, temporary changes during it’s activities and has no deleterious effects. It is able to do this because it takes only a small fraction of CPU cycles to restore basic responsiveness, thus taking these from the overall pool has a negligible impact on performance, but a huge impact on responsiveness.
No wonder it hasn't worked - it makes only "marginal" changes.
The small and conservative adjustments ProBalance makes are truly efficacious at helping to retain PC responsiveness and CPU fairness to all processes.
They really haven't been for me. Whenever processes like instup.exe, CompatTelRunner.exe, and svchost.exe run, they often max out the CPU and cause my audio to stutter. No priority lowering has made any difference in performance.
Process Lasso is designed to be minimally obtrusive, lowering priorities only when appropriate, and making sure that the background processes still perform just fine.
As I said earlier, no wonder it hasn't been effective. Sometimes, when these pesky background processes are hijacking the CPU, to effectively maintain responsiveness and allow foreground programs to run smoothly, programs like Process Lasso need to do more than be just "minimally obtrusive." They need to do whatever it takes to keep the foreground processes running smoothly - and to prevent eating up resources unnecessarily.
So how does ProBalance make a difference? Well, it turns out that by *marginally*, dynamically, and temporarily decreasing the priority class of problematic background processes, that 1% or less of CPU cycles necessary to let you have fluid mouse and keyboard movement, or in worst case scenarios, control of your PC at all, is available.
As stated before, Process Lasso doesn't do anything. It still lets background processes run wild.
Just try it if you have a CPU load issue causing responsiveness issues. If it’s I/O or something else, you are out of luck.
Oddly enough, quite the opposite has been true for me. Process Lasso has been much more effective at controlling I/O Delta than CPU usage. It seems completely useless at controlling CPU usage.
Anyway, now come the "big" quotes - the ones that really tell it all and caught my attention. The underlined statements are the most important. The first quote is from the same page as the ones that I posted above.
Does ProBalance slow down processes? Why is it called 'restraint'?I hate to use the term ‘restraint’, but haven’t found a better one. ProBalance doesn’t restrain anything. It’s default action is to simply temporarily lower offending process’s priority class to Below Normal, a marginal change. In real-world and synthetic tests, as shown in the CPUEater demo, this is all it takes to restore responsiveness to the rest of the PC. Makes sense, it doesn’t take many CPU cycles to be responsive. Why Windows lets a normal priority thread monopolize the CPU so badly is something nobody has a clear answer to, but it’s a problem that has always existed.
Bitsum's own website actually admits it - Process Lasso doesn't restrain anything after all! No wonder it has proven largely ineffective for me! No wonder I never saw the CPU usage go down - even after Process Lasso lowered the priorities of high-CPU using processes.
Finally, the second quote is from an FAQ page for Process Lasso (http://bitsum.com/docs/pl/faq.htm).
Does Process Lasso's ProBalance out-of-control restraint slow down processes?No. Process Lasso 'restrains' processes by temporarily lowering their priority. This simply allows other processes more of a chance to use the CPU, IF there are any processes needing the CPU. If there aren't, and until there aren't, the restrained process is still able to consume as many CPU cycles as are available to it. Therefore, a restrained process doesn't really slow down, though it can now yield to another process like a nice citizen of your computer. That little yield will make a big difference in responsiveness, but not a big difference in the speed of the background process ;).
Again, no wonder Process Lasso didn't seem to make a difference for me - no wonder it didn't seem to be actually restraining resource usage...because it wasn't! It never did the whole time! If it wants to bill itself as a utility designed to maintain responsiveness and control resource usage, then it should do primarily that - not just be an automated prioritizer, which is really all it effectively does.
I know that Bitsum swear up and down, left and right, that Process Lasso isn't just another task manager, and it's true that, technically, it isn't. However, despite its functionality, effectively, all it does is just automatically change the process priorities. Even by its own admission, it doesn't actually restrain process usage, which it should! Without capping resource usage, changing priorities is useless. As I've observed personally, it doesn't matter how low I manually set the priorities for some of these high-CPU using processes - the CPU usage will still be as high as before. If Process Lasso doesn't do anything to actually restrain resource usage, then it's not much better than programs like Process Explorer - except that it sometimes changes priorities automatically.
Anyway, I don't want to be so cynical on Process Lasso, but these are my honest observations - even reflected in statements on Bitsum's own website. However, it does seem that Process Lasso has helped a lot of people, which is good. For me, though, I think that Process Lasso or any other program should put an emphasis on actually controlling resource usage - since merely changing priorities often doesn't make any difference in taming resources. Android devices have a limit on CPU usage, so PCs should have similar controls to ensure that foreground processes run smoothly.