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Will more RAM increase Render performance?


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Memory will improve performance, but not nearly as much as a faster CPU. Get a copy of MenuMeters from VersionTracer.com and turn on the memory monitor. If memory usage goes up while you are rendering or the system does pageouts while you are rendering, then memory will help.

Your present system is pretty (OK, very) good. Rendering should be pretty fast. There is a thread here somewhere that discusses improving rendering speed. You might want to look for it.

In talks about lights, curved surfaces and a few other things that can really slow down a render.

Good Luck,


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello Downtown:

More memory would only help if the application is using more than your installed RAM to complete the rendering. MacOS limits 32-bit applications to about 2.5GB maximum before it starts running out of memory. Therefore it won't help to have more than 4GB of real RAM on your machine, for VW purposes.


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  • 2 months later...

2008 is considerably faster than 12.5.3 in every respect but especially on the "basic" renders (hidden line, dashed hidden line etc.). VW is 32 bit (wish it was 64) and RW uses all cores but VW doesn't. More memory wouldn't help unless you're running several simultaneous applications that are memory heavy.

Ram allocations are supposed to be dynamic in OS X - apps take what they need. There is a noticeable slowdown over time however. As the day does on and you use different programs (VW, Safari, Mail, Photoshop, etc. etc. etc.) they book memory and release it and so the day goes on. Is seems though that the memory allocations get more fragmented and apps hold on to memory they've finished with and this effect continues until things get glacial.

Simple cure is to log out and back in again (means quitting everything) which will reset everything memory wise. VW & RW run much quicker so I do this before a major rendering session (animation etc), otherwise use ifreemem http://www.activata.co.uk/ifreemem/ which will do the same thing "live" but best to save stuff first...


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Using Filevault security encoding also creates a virtual 'drag" on the entire system until the point at which every resource is consumed including all of the virtual memory space. As Charlie P notes ... a simple Log-out or restart resolves the problem when Filevault notifies the user to dump the tmp files.

Standard procedure is to quit all unnecessary applications & processes prior to performing any maintenance or memory intensive procedures like Rendering.

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