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 Review, WinTasks 4 Pro
By: Steffen Scheibler, April 4, 2002  Print this article


WinTasks 4 Pro is a pretty decent task manager with some great features, good ideas and has been well implemented. The application is extremely stable and didn’t crash once in almost a month, despite almost continuous use on one machine.
The memory foot-print is small (2.5MB RAM, 2MB VM) and seems to run even on systems that don’t meet its hardware requirements.

WinTasks is especially suitable for Windows98 users, as it offers a great deal of functionality that the 9x based operating systems doesn’t provide. But even for users of NT-based operating systems, WinTasks offers a viable alternative to the built-in task-manager -- the graphs offer a nice historical view of each individual task up to a period of 24 hours and also overlays the process’ CPU usage with the total CPU usage, which makes the charting-tool of WinTasks of exceptional value. The presets are well-implemented and a genuinely excellent idea which I have never seen before.

The scripting is a great idea, however, in my opinion more variables and options should be available in order to program more effectively as in its current implementation it can only prevent run-away processes from crashing your PC and perform a limited number of other things. After contacting Liutilities I found out that they are indeed planning massive improvements of the scripting-feature in the near future.

One other concern I have is the number of page-faults this program generates -- some 400 per second. As a result, I do not recommend leaving this program running in the background if you are concerned about maximising your frame-rate in a 3D-FPS, as I have noticed minor performance losses while WinTasks is running.

For those of you using more than one CPU, WinTasks display all "overall" CPU usage in one statistic (for all CPUs). The graphs do not display the CPUs seperately.

- Easy and intuitive configuration and saving of process priorities
- Scripting can be genuinely useful in preventing certain bad things from happening
- Small memory foot-print
- Easy configuration of "autostart" items
- Ability to see which DLLs are associated with which tasks (useful with those GPF errors)
- Logging of system events (load, unload of DLLs, thread creation, etc)

- The scripting still needs a lot of development
- Sometimes lacking the detailed information available in the NT-versions, such as VM size and so on
- The high number of page-faults
- The manual could be more comprehensive, offering more examples and/or better explanations (what manual couldn't?)

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