Cycles crashes with complex space vehicle scene

So I’m trying to render a very complex scene. It’s a vehicle with 719 objects and 1,500,000+ faces. Everytime I try to render it on Blender 2.73a, blender would just crash. I have tried rendering it with and without subsurf modifiers turned on (the only modifier I have for any of my object). I have messed around with BVH settings, and had also put the objects in separate render layers. None of the stuff I did worked, Blender would still crash and windows would just automatically close Blender. I tried both cpu and gpu rendering options. I used an older optimized build to render the same scene and it rendered fine without subsurf modifiers turned on for the objects, it does crash however if I turned the subsurf on. I don’t have any textures nor materials for the scene.

What else can I do to troubleshoot this scene?

Here are my pc specs in case;
Intel Core 2 duo 2.66 ghz (yes I know it’s a dinosaur)
8 gig ram (though only 3.37 is usable in my 32 bit windows)
Nvidia geforce GT610 (not sure how much mem it has, windows says 3.5 gig, I say video acts like it only has 250 mb since I could hardly play video games with it)

any suggestions on what could make cycle go insane and check into the mental hospital?

Good news: cycles didn’t check in the mental hospital this afternoon! I was able to render the scene by putting the objects’ instances in different scenes and composite them using the compositor. Bad news: I haven’t found a tutorial on how the different objects can mask each other from different scenes. I tried using masking layers but it doesn’t seem to have an effect. Anyone have hints?

It’s even worse. The system might be able to adress 3.4 GB of RAM, but in a 32bit OS any process is limited to 2 GB… Is there a reason why you don’t use a 64bit OS with 8 GB of RAM? The CPU should be able to handle it, too?

Not sure what there is to troubleshoot:
You already now that it’s the memory consumption that kills the render. Any identical parts on that mesh of yours? Could try to replace identical objects with DupliGroups.

Thanks Ikari for the reply. I don’t have a 64 bit OS :(… although you just made me think that maybe I could dual boot my system to linux and render it from linux instead… it would probably be faster.

I can do dupligroups on the few duplicated objects, but it would probably knock down only a few hundred/thousand polys from the millions I have. I’m afraid cycle might still go insane trying to handle my scene, not to mention I still have to read up on dupligroups.

I figured out the answer. It was so obvious I felt stupid. Use masking with render layers and different scenes… duh.