Odd request--- have Blender use less of my computers resources while rendering

Hey Guys,
I’m wondering if there is a way to tell Blender not to use all of my CPU or GPU power while rendering. The issue I’m running into is that I often need to be editing or working in AE while scenes and shots are rendering out of Blender and Blender utilizes all of my CPU (and sometimes GPU power). Then, when I try and run other programs my computer completely crashes. I know in most Adobe products there is an option to tell the software to only use a certain percentage of your RAM… is there something similar in Blender?
I’m aware that most people have the opposite problem or wonder why I would need such a thing, but it has become very often the case that I’ll be working with a client who’ll need to me make changes to both the 3D GFX in their commercial along with the edit and right now, and they don’t want to hear that they need to wait for a render before I can work on something else.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks guys.

24GB Ram
2x3.06 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
Nvidia GeForce K-5000 (for Mac)
Blender 2.69

I am on CPU with 8 GB of RAM, and the big issue for me is not RAM, but processing power. Now if you are on GPU I don’t know if this is solution. And this is for Windows. But you can set process priority, and set blender to low. Adobe will start getting snappy again.

You may also want to check out render farms. I recently tried render.st http://render.st/ and it is extremely simple and fast and they give you $25 in credits to try it (Without putting in any cc info) I also loaded another $20 after that and have been using it here and there. It’s really great. Good luck.

The simplest way is to manually set the number of threads to a number that’s lower than the total you have available for your machine, the control for that should be in the render context.

You can set the number of CPU threads to be used in the render panel under Performance. Not possible for GPU. As far as RAM goes, well, it’s going to use as much RAM as it needs. Especially with path tracing, it can’t just decide not to store certain things in memory, it needs them all.

Thanks guys, I appreciate the quick feedback - I’ll be sure to try the thread adjustment in the Performance tab and hopefully that will allow me to multitask more efficiently. Thanks again