How Can I Maximise Memory When Working with Large Block Models?
With a large block model loaded into memory, there are practical limits to the size you can work with. Here’s how to make sure you are using a configuration that maximises the size of the models you can manipulate.
Note: The configuration suggestions in this article will benefit all Gemcom products.
Operating System Type
The operating system type has the greatest impact on the amount of memory available:
- Standard 32-bit Windows XP/Vista/7 allows about 1.4GB.
- A tweaked 32-bit Windows XP/Vista/7 allows about 2.4 GB.
- Standard 64-bit Windows XP/Vista/7 allows the maximum possible of 3.4GB.
If you work with large data sets and are experiencing out of memory conditions, check your operating system version and type to determine if you are using Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. Gemcom recommends this for best results.
Without having to change your hardware, consider an operating system upgrade which may double the size of the models you can work with.
Upgrading your Operating System
Operating system upgrades are relatively simple but you must take care to avoid loss of data. Some important steps to take include:
- Check with your IT department. Corporate standards will influence your options.
- Purchase the Windows license or upgrade through appropriate channels.
- Backup all data BEFORE commencing an upgrade.
- If you are unfamiliar with the process, pay an expert.
Optimising Your Hardware for Maximum Performance
Many things influence the performance of your computer, including processor type and speed, bus speed, disk drive speed and installed RAM. There are two simple, low cost options that will have a positive impact on speed and be beneficial to your daily use of all programs on your computer.
- Make sure you have at least 4GB of RAM installed. If you have a 64-bit version of Windows you should install even more.
- Install a fast hard disk. Disk drives have great variation in speed and performance. The rotational speed (RPM) and disk cache memory have a great impact on speed. Higher RPM values and larger caches give better performance.
Disk drives are now available as Solid State Drives (SSDs). These give the fastest possible performance as there are no moving parts and so they operate at speeds nearly as fast as accessing main memory.
For the best results:
- Install an SSD.
- Make your system swap file runs on the SSD.
- Load your large files onto the SSD. These will open and save much faster than if you use a mechanical disk.
- Always backup your data.