Imagine you are working on your computer with programs loaded to the brim – writing code in Dreamweaver or Notepad++, surfing the net on a browser, editing an image on Paint.NET, and you are also listening to music on your favorite media player and maybe even chatting with a friend on IM. The memory usage is high. Now suppose you had a desire to game, a game with cutting edge graphics that uses a lot of system resources. But it wouldn’t be possible to run the game with all the applications running in the background because it will seriously affect the game performance. The game might not even load.
GameMode is a small application, 30KB in size, that helps you in such a situation. GameMode will look at your computer’s running processes and save them in a list, ignoring the essential windows processes, and then kill all the non-essential processes. When you finish your game, click on “Return to Normal Mode” and load your session back.
However, GameMode does not work the same way like Windows hibernate – it does not save the contents of the memory space used by the applications, it only saves the list of running processes. So GameMode can’t recover your unsaved work or half finished codes – it only helps you automate the task of closing these applications before you launch the game and bringing them back after you have finished gaming.
Because of this, GameMode won’t load your session exactly the way you saved it. For example, if you were working on an Excel sheet before you switched to the ‘game mode’, when you return back to ‘normal mode’ you will get a blank new Excel sheet and not the one you were working on. So you have to always save your work before you click that button.
Further, GameMode is unpredictable. Sometimes some applications won’t load when you return back. I was unsuccessful trying to recover Photoshop. Also in order to function properly, you should launch GameMode only when you are ready to go into game mode. If you launch GameMode and then start some new programs, the newer programs that were launched after GameMode might not load when you return back.
GameMode isn’t perfect by a long shot and can cause you grief if you are careless. But if the developers can iron out some of those bugs, it can be a fantastic tool.