Get Processes To Work Your Way

excellent
key review info
application features
  • User friendly interface
  • (4 more, see all...)

We all know how little control over running processes Windows permits the user. There isn't much you can do besides turning the priority of a process via Task Manager up or down a notch or two. Definitely, you can also terminate the process in case of malfunctioning of the application, but that's as much as the actual control over how processes use CPU cycles goes.

Many users do not need more than Windows' Task Manager for taking care of the way the processes run on the computer, but sometimes the wrong item may take too big of a bite out of the CPU, leaving little to no resource to really important ones. These situations end up most of the times in a very unpleasant full computer freeze.

Process Lasso is an application specially designed to let you harness all the process running in the system and avoid ridiculously unpleasant situations. Its purpose is to allow the user the creation of specific rules for all the processes running on the computer to automatically comply with, all this leading to a much better governing of CPU allocation which actually translates into better system responsiveness. I warn you from the beginning, Process Lasso is not for everybody and it is designed for more experienced users.

The interface is nothing much and gets straight to the point by displaying all currently running processes as well as a graph with CPU usage and responsiveness. For all items in the list you will benefit from specific information that can help to a better identification or show details on its activity (working set memory, commit size, priority, or CPU usage).

Process Lasso does not attempt to replace Task Manager, but only turns itself into an additional tool to harness your processes with. The action log in the lower part of the interface shows all the actions Process Lasso imposed to processes and its reason. Modules tab next to the log makes available all modules required by a selected process in order to run properly.

With all windows in place and a bit of experience, you can proceed to playing with your processes so that they do not obstruct one another and remain responsive for you. Editing out-of-control restraint settings permits establishing the values for the restriction actions to be triggered. Controlling this translates into setting up a maximum value for total system-wide CPU usage that should trigger the restraint, per-process CPU usage, time to wait before restraint enters into force and the value to be reached for the restraint to stop. For more control over this operation the application permits setting up a list of processes to be excluded from the restraint action.

Further control over the processes is obtained by selecting the processes that should not execute on the computer. In fact you get to create a blacklist and a whitelist, and wildcards are accepted. This is a very important aspect as it allows covering a wider pool of potentially dangerous processes.

If you have preferences on the different priorities various processes should have, Process Lasso is the tool for you. You get to name each process and assign it a certain CPU priority, running from Idle to Realtime with the regular intermediate levels (Below normal, Normal, Above normal and High). Wildcards are also accepted for more convenience and, the moment a process in the list is launched, its priority is automatically adjusted to the preset value.

There is little to configure in Process Lasso but once you get to set your processes right, chances for one of them to function wrong drastically diminish and the responsiveness of your computer will increase. You have full control on how the CPU is allocated and to which process.

Although the application works on both Vista and XP and the differences do not seem to be apparent, there is one variation when running the application on the aforementioned OSs. Forcing the page out of all processes ends in an error on Vista, while on XP the action is completed with no fuss at all.

Process Lasso does a great job with giving you the power over how CPU is allotted to running process and how the resources should be allocated in case a certain threshold is exceeded. However, care should be taken when tweaking everything up as there may appear problems on the way. For Tweak Scheduler for instance, there is absolutely no guarantee from the developer that it'll work properly and any settings are made at your own risk.

As good as the application is for a skilled user, it has some downsides that could make working with it a bit tougher. Working with lists of processes would come in extremely handy and allowing the user the export and import of settings would greatly add to the application's value.

The Good

Process Lasso does a great job with refraining the processes from sucking enough CPU so that the computer freezes over.

Although it is not for any user, it is quite easy to use and the support for wildcards does nothing but increase its value.

The Bad

Online documentation page is still under construction and this prevents regular users from learning the benefits harnessing running processes by themselves.

Implementing import/export function for the settings would greatly improve working with the software.

The Truth

Process Lasso is absolutely free of charge and does a wonderful job taking care of the processes not to become too CPU voracious. It allows the user plenty of flexibility in configuring the values and it is scattered with brief description of different settings.

But it is clearly a project in progress and there are steps to be taken in order to reach the full fledged state any experienced user desires.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 4
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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