I know that this is a common problem concerning my RAM, but I have a slightly different problem. I started up Blender, proceed to render the image of my slightly complex scene. I also ran a PC monitoring utility alongside Blender. So Blender worked for a minute saying “synchronizing object”. Then it crashed.
But my monitoring utility said that my RAM wasn’t being used 100%. I had no other programs on.
Hm. The file renders fine here (well, disregarding the missing textures, of course) on both CPU and GPU (Blender 2.70 x64). Memory consumption is about 1.2 GB - that will certainly be quite a bit more with the textures in place.
You say you have a problem with your RAM. What does that mean, exactly? That you’re low on RAM?
This is all guesswork, of course, because you did not post your system specs. But in the 32 bit versions of Windows a maximum of 2 GB RAM can be allocated to any process. In other words: Even if you had 4 GB of system memory (with about 3.25 GB of that usable), Blender would still max out at 2 GB and possibly crash…
I have a 2GB DDR3 RAM stick, so what you’re saying makes sense. But it still doesn’t clear the issue why Blender should crash without using all the 2GB (or whatever max allocateable space there is) allocated.
But in the 32 bit versions of Windows a maximum of 2 GB RAM can be allocated to any process. In other words: Even if you had 4 GB of system memory (with about 3.25 GB of that usable), Blender would still max out at 2 GB and possibly crash…
Ah ok. So I need a 64bit OS if I want to add more RAM and use all of it (say a 4GB stick)? Thanks.
Indeed. The 32-bit architecture in Windows has a memory access limit of 4GB (in Windows 7 Starter Edition it’s even lower) - this permits you to use about 2.75-3.5GB of RAM after IO reservations are factored in.
If you don’t mind me saying that: Your 2 GB are awfully sparse. If you subtract from that what Windows 7 needs for itself (at least 500 to 700 MB, I would guess…), there’s hardly any memory left for applications, let alone demanding operations like 3D and rendering. Your scene needs 1.2 GB for the geometry alone and don’t underestimate the textures:
A texture image might only use a few hundred KB on the hard disk, but that’s because of the image compression. In order to work with that file data, any graphic application has to have access to the uncompressed pixel information. Therefore an image texture of 4.096 x 4.096 pixels in RGB suddenly consumes 48 MB of RAM (and that has to be unfragmented continuous memory space). And ten textures of that size will add up to 480 MB RAM…
In a nutshell: With that scene you’re operating on the edge of your PC’s capacity and sudden crashes are pretty much expected.
Well, IMHO there’s not much of a reason to still stick to a 32 bit OS, is there?
32 bit is more or less obsolete and there already are 3D applications that are not released in 32 bit versions any more… I wonder when Blender will skip 32 bit support.
My laptop OS is 64 bit and it won’t load the scene and I have 3GB ram. So just upgrading to 64 bit (which you should do anyway) may not solve this problem on your same hardware. You may need more RAM or a new machine.
You should be able to do a side-by-side install and just leave your 32 bit Windows in place. Then to use Blender you could boot to the Linux side which would be running 64 bit. I have a side-by-side setup on my laptop and it works fine. When you turn on the computer you will have to select which OS to boot to from a menu. Also Linux can read a Windows Partition, but not the other way around so you could copy over to the Linux side any BLEND file you might want to test out.