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RAM upgrade or boost Advice

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I am coming across a RAM limitation in my current hardware setup. I do a lot of exterior renderings using max and mental ray. If the scene is a little too complex and the indirect illumination settings a little too high, mental ray will error out citing a lack of memory error. Nothing new, been dealing with this error for a while.


Last june i built a computer for rendering...nothing fancy....asus rampage, intel Q9450, windows xp, 4 GB ram


the machine performs better than i expected, except of course i am still coming across the problem with not having enough memory. In the future i will probably move away from mental ray and towards v-ray or maxwell...something as powerful but less troublesome.


here i are some options i have working.


1) maximize system memory and upgrade to vista (or wait for windows 7) and use readyboost...that gives me 8GB system plus say 16 GB readyboost (assuming of course that readyboost works well with max)


2) maximize system memory and use a third party software for XP that is similar to readyboost


3) upgrade MB....could very easily jump to 16GB without having to replace other components.


any opinions. This has to be a fairly common problem, especially with complex scenes and complex lighting. How does everyone else over come to problem.


right now leaning towards upgrading the MB ($250), but i love my rampage and its only 9 months old.

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yes, i will be upgrading to a 64-bit version of windows, more than likely xp 64 bit here in the next couple months. That will allow me to maximize my system at 8GB.


for the current scene i have running, which is not too heavy on geomtry, but it has a ton of RPC and indirect illumination at a medium settings, i can't do a very high resolution render. So its give or take right now. I can do high res if i low my lighting settings, or i can do killer light with a medium res image.


I don't think it would take too much for me to have my cake and eat it too... just looking for the easiest avenue.

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The sooner you move to 64bit the better. I work on a 64 bit machine and a 32 bit machine. Have for a few years now. When the 32bit machine chokes I use the 64 bit one to render and this has eradicated memory issues at render time. Also make sure you increase the memory setting in Metal Ray from the default of 650MB under the 'Processing' tab of the Mental Ray dialogue window. I usually set this to 1280MB. It helped my 32bit machine to render larger images with higher lighting settings and with higher resolution texture maps.

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Our renderfarm is 50% new machines that are 64bit with 8g's of ram, and the rest are a year old with only 4g's of ram, but we upgraded the OS to 64bit. We were crashing out in 32bit on really heavy scenes which is why we went with the 8g's for the new machines. But to be honest since the upgrade when I send jobs out on the farm, the machines with 4gig's have no problem with even the biggest scenes that we've worked on.


I would start with just the OS upgrade then see if you need more, you might be surprised to find that you don't.

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