Am I Really Pushing My Current Machine?

Hi. I have Quad Core Windows XP machine reporting the max 3.25GB of RAM. I’ve been working on a tune with the beta versions of Renoise 2.8 (only just downloaded the final release version now) and I keep getting “Out of memory” errors and Renoise or my VSTs seem to be locking up - ie. they don’t repaint their GUI screens etc.

I currently have one instance of EZDrummer and 7 instances of Nexus 2 running. Would I be correct in saying that I’m pushing my machine to the limits or should my machine cope with this usage quite easily? My tune was behaving itself quite well until I attempted “Duplicate” on the instrument window to create a second instance of one Nexus instrument and then it all came to a halt.

My PF Usage on Task Manager was showing 2.15 GB before I killed the non-responsive Renoise at which time it returned back to 500Mb.

I’m just trying to decide if I’m going to be forced down the path of upgrading my desktop to a Windows 7 64bit machine so I can add more RAM? All my VSTs will be 32 bit though so I’m worried as to whether the spend will help or not? Ideally, I would prefer to stick with the machine I have as I don’t use it a great deal. Might sound like a dumb question, but is it possible to run a 64bit Windows version on some “32 bit” machines? My CPU is a Q6600. I have no idea whether my motherboard would have a 64bit bus or allow use of 64bit RAM or not.


Applications on 32-bit Windows get a max of 2GB per session. So that figure of 2.15 GB comes pretty close to that max.
You could try to expand it a little by adding the /3G option in the boot.ini so applications get above the 2GB of memory space. But you won’t get more than what the Windows kernel system isn’t using itself.

If you have a Q6600 (it supports 64-bit os, i have a Q6600 as well see my bottom specs), you could consider adding more RAM (if your mainboard supports it) and pickup Windows 7 64-bit, but check if your soundcard manufacturer has proper 64-bit drivers because there is a chance you might then also have to pick up a soundcard that has proper 64-bit driver support.

Renoise will at least get the full 4GB on Windows x64 if you have that much ram. (Expand to 6GB should do it)

Yeah I think I’ll give that a go. I only use that PC for music so it wouldn’t be too much of a problem to try an evaluation Win7 64bit version first (I’m sure we have these at work with our MSDN subscription). Would be nice to simply change the OS and increase the RAM… I have an M-Audio Delta 44. Will have to check out the story on the drivers.

Thanks for the info Vv.

I’ve had the same problems for a long time. But no more.
Running the plugins in sandboxes did the trick (go to Preferences->Plug/Misc).

Hi. Do you mean you had the same problem with 3Gb of Ram and this setting change fixed things for you so you didn’t have to go and buy more??

Technically if you would have more ram, you could circumvent the 2GB limit a bit by bridging the plugin with Renoise 2.8 because they would be running in their own process. but even on Windows 32-bit, 4gb remains the top limit of accessible memory.

Hmm. I’m not sure if I can put more RAM into my machine or not. Its a Dell Inspiron 530… Seems as though there are 2 models - a 530 and a 530a. The 530a apparently has a max of 8Gig and the 530 only 4Gig. I thought I’d check the Dell support site but the warranty has ran out and I can’t seem to create another ID to login as another user (nor retrieve my old login sigh…). I’ll have to do some digging to see if I can add more memory or not. The thing is, I won’t be able to tell if I can until such time that I install a 64bit version of Windows so its not like I can just borrow some RAM from work and try it out. I hate computers. :slight_smile:

According to the specs it indeed says the 530 has a maximum support of 4GB.

I used to have a Dell DCSE account, but the DCSE program has been exchanged for the DOSD and DTT program.
On the DCSE site, i could get technical documentation of how the motherboards are build up and how to expand. Sometimes upgrading a mainboard was simply a matter of yanking in a small extra pcb to allow more expansion of memory or upgrading a RAID controller (I used that in the past to earn a lot of money upgrading server mainboards for less. Dell charged big bucks to upgrade hardisk controllers to RAID 5 controllers while the PCB required to ‘enable’ the raid configuration was only 20 bucks so i charged a bit less for the upgrade :D).
But i don’t think your motherboard can have more memory if it only has two memory slots which i suspect it has. (physical adressing supports up to 2GB per slot usually, for DDR2)

I’ve “always” had 3 GB ram and haven’t upgraded.
When I first ran into this problem, I enabled the the /3G switch vV mentioned. This doubled the memory limit.
As my songs grew bigger, the memory limit became an issue again. I enabled the “sandbox” option. Now: no problem.

Before you upgrade your hardware or do anything fancy, I’d suggest you try out these simple solutions.

Good luck.

Too late! Hahaha. I installed Win7 x64 tonight… It does seem to be running better overall (the machine itself, that is). Managed to get my audio driver, Renoise, Nexus and EZDrummer working OK. I also borrowed some RAM sticks from work but they were DDR3 and won’t fit… so I’ll be patient on the RAM front. As Vv says, the Dell specs claim that the max RAM allowed is 4Gig… but I did upgrade the BIOS so it just may take up to 8Gig. I’ll either find 4x 2Gig DDR sticks at work to test or I’ll go ahead take the risk and buy some. My first test will be to see if my tune will play without problems when I add that duplicate instrument. I’ve checked the ‘sandbox’ option too - so once I finish reinstalling everything I’ll be able to give that a try perhaps tomorrow. Getting a bit late now as is usually the case when it comes to reinstalling machines. :slight_smile:

I’ll let you both know what happens - but thanks for your help so far guys!

OK, I am happily running 6Gig on my machine… Only problem now is that I can’t get Omnisphere to work in Renoise, yet it works in Cubase… I’ll go create a new posting about this.

Thanks for the help guys - so glad I didn’t have to buy a new PC!! So Inspiron 530 will happily take 6 Gig with the latest BIOS update. Phew! :slight_smile:

So they are still that simple at Dell :P Good to know for the future…

I’m just so pleased that I haven’t had to shell out heaps of cash. Renoise works fantastic with 6Gig! Plugins load in no time at all now… Its such a boost to productivity! Dell probably wrote the specs before the BIOS update came out. :)

For anyone else stuck on old machines please see this thread: Hard Disk Load :confused: