9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2012 11:45 AM by Chris Fernald

    Low Memory error in Simulation 2012 with 24GB Physical RAM

    Willy Duffle

      Hello All,


      I am trying to run a structural simulation of an oilfield derrick in Solidworks 2012 Simualtion Pro and I get a Windows 7 error box that basically says I am low on memory and I need to shut down Solidworks. When I look to my little desktop gadget it shows I'm using 4.08 GB of physical RAM, same with windows performance monitor. Some of the fixes I've seen to these types of issues online are adding more RAM, switching to 64-bit Windows 7, increasing paging file size, etc. The problem is NOTHING I have found is applicable to my system, here are the specs:


      HP Z800


           - Windows 7 x64 Pro

           - Xeon E5645 Six-core Processor

           - 24 GB Mushkin Silverline Triple Channel RAM

           - AMD 2GB V5900 Video Card

           - Intel 520 Series Cherryville 128GB SSD (OS & Programs)

           - Seagate ST1000 1TB Sata Drive (Storage)

           - Solidworks 2012 Premium SP3 w/ Simulation Pro


      From the documentation I've found, Solidworks should be able to access up to 8 TB of memory on a 64-bit OS. I have my paging file OFF completely since there is no point using slower Virtual Memory when I have so much physical RAM available. Also, I tried moving the files I was using form my storage drive to the SSD and this made no difference. As long as I ignore the windows warning, Simulation will continue running, EXTREMELY slow and will never finish (I let it run for 12 hours one night and it stayed in the exact same spot). I have my mesh set to default and had less than 700k elements (I should think my hardware can handle much more detail). Oddly, while solidworks seems to grind to a halt, windows continues running perfectly showing no signs of memory shortage, even performance monitor never shows more than 4.08 GB of RAM being used.


      This is extremely frustrating and any light someone could shed would be greatly appreciated. I have a machine that should be more than adequate to handle these simulations and it seems at this point that my expensive software is the weak point and is causing lots of wasted time I could be getting something accomplished. And if any VAR reps are reading this, YES I did try the official fix when Solidworks fails to perform correctly, repair install...didn't work. Then I did a COMPLETE uninstall and reinstall...didn't work.


      Thanks in advance,



        • Re: Low Memory error in Simulation 2012 with 24GB Physical RAM
          Anthony Botting

          Willy that is commendable set-up and very frustrating issue you are having. Sorry you are having that issue but I would like to see the resolution. Anyway, if you paid for support the VAR is supposed to get this addressed for you - their maintenance fee is of such significance that I certainly would turn-in this issue. The biggest problem they have (usually), is the fact they are required to reproduce the issue, so you may have to package your assembly and send it to them. I have done this many times over many years and in every case they got it fixed by SW programmers. So, it's definitely worth the effort you may have to go through. Good luck on this. -Tony

          • Re: Low Memory error in Simulation 2012 with 24GB Physical RAM
            Stuart Moore

            I went through the same logical process as you did - loads of RAM so no need for a swap file.  I found that simulations were problematic and putting the swap file back solved the problem. 

              • Re: Low Memory error in Simulation 2012 with 24GB Physical RAM
                Kevin Corr

                One possibility is that the temporary files simulation has to create are being prevented from being created. I read where you moved the model docs to the ssd. The study properties dialog has a path field you can confirm where the files are being created. I'd love to hear it was a surprise to you and modifying that path got you going.


                It may not end up being swap file related but I wouldn't be surprised of the sad irony of not needing to page to disk but needing to page to disk after all.  Turning it back on seems like a rather quick comparison to make.

                  • Re: Low Memory error in Simulation 2012 with 24GB Physical RAM
                    Willy Duffle

                    Thanks for everybody's comments, I'm still working on the issue and gathering more data.


                    Kevin, I thought of that problem so when I moved the cad files I moved the simulation files as well, tested it, and when it didn't help I deleted the study and rebuilt it with no effect. I did turn the paging file back on and set it up on the storage hard drive (not the SSD) it seems to be working in the sense that it doesn't pop up the windows memory error anymore and it has been running for 3 hours without crashing.


                    The issue that is still occuring is that it is only using 1 processing core of 12. In FlowSimulation I hear you can set the memory allocation and core usage, is that something can be set in Simulation as well, or is it automatic?


                    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks its a bit silly that simulation would perform better using a paging file instead of high performance RAM. That is why the recent trend in cheap (but quality) memory is so exciting to us tech nerds, right? Especially since I can't put my paging file on the SSD (unless I'm mistaken about the detrimental effect that would have on drive life).


                    I'll post back when I see if the sim runs to completion...Ideas and comments are still appreciated.