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Low Resource Warning - SOLIDWORKS Resource monitor

Mike Miura

Working in large or complex models can be straining on your system. This may sometimes cause a resource error to appear similar to the one shown here:

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When this message appears, there are a few possible system resources you can check:

  • Physical Memory: Random Access Memory (RAM) available on your system is running low. Warnings start around 80%
  • Virtual Memory/Page File: Amount of physical RAM plus the size of your paging file is running low. Warnings start around 80%
  • GDI Objects: Resources reserved for supporting graphics

We'll outline the steps to check and resolve each of these possible causes. Please note that serious problems may occur if you make incorrect changes to the registry. If performing any steps that require editing the registry, we advise you to make a backup of your registry using the information here. We also recommend you to work with your IT administrators when following the procedures below. If you feel uncomfortable making these changes, contact our Technical Support team for further assistance.

 

Physical Memory

Physical Memory (RAM) is storing data and code that is currently being used by your system. If you have a lot of models open, or many different applications open, your machine is storing information in RAM even if it is an idle program or the models themselves are not active.

To monitor RAM usage: 

1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and start the Windows Task Manager.

2. Click on the Performance Tab to view the total and free memory.

a) If memory usage is high, you can select the Open Resource Monitor link, then Memory tab to see a more detailed break down and percentage in use.

3. On the Task Manager, click the Details Tab (Processes tab in Windows 7)

4. Click the Memory column heading to sort in descending order. Processes consuming the most memory will appear at the top.

a) If this tab does not exist, right click on a column header and click Select Columns. You can add columns to this view here. For RAM, select Memory - Private Working Set. (View > Select Columns Windows 7)

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This will show you resources available and in use. If the usage exceeds ~80%, it is recommended to close other programs that are not in use or not required at the moment.  Other CAD or rendering programs along with internet browsers can be a source of high memory usage.

If SOLIDWORKS is the only program open and you are receiving this message, exit out of any files you may have open but are not using. If this does not reduce your memory usage, you may need to upgrade your hardware and increase your RAM to meet the system needs for your specific models.  The minimum required for SOLIDWORKS 2019 is 16 GB, but if you work with complex assemblies or add-ins that require more resources like Simulation, you may need 32 or 64 GB.

 

Virtual Memory and Page File Size

Windows establishes a Commit Charge limit, which is the amount of physical Random Access Memory (RAM) plus the size of your Paging File. If your computer has 32 GB of RAM and your paging file size is 8 GB, your Commit Charge limit is 40 GB.
  
The OS does not commit available memory to running processes that it cannot fulfill.  Once the OS nears the commit limit, any process can become unstable. SOLIDWORKS detects this condition and displays a series of warnings starting at 78% of your OS Commit Charge limit.
 
To monitor Commit Size:

1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and start the Windows Task Manager.

2. Click the Details Tab (Processes tab in Windows 7)

3. Click the Commit (KB) column heading to sort in descending order. Processes consuming the most committed memory will appear at the top.

a) If this tab does not exist, Right click on a column header and click Select Columns.  You can add columns to this view here.  For RAM, select Memory - Commit Size. (View > Select Columns Windows 7)

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Use this information to understand and investigate the steps necessary to manage processes that consume the most committed memory. You may try to end the processes if you do not need them.  
 
The recommendation is to use System Managed Size though you may need to manually input a value if that is the current setting. To verify and update the settings on your paging file size, follow these steps:

1. Go to Control Panel > System.

2. Click Advanced system settings.

3. In the Performance group, click Settings.

4. Click on the Advanced tab.

5. In the Virtual Memory group, click Change.

6. Select the System managed size option. If that is already selected, you may want to use Custom Size instead. For a minimum value, select an amount 1-2 times the amount of physical RAM you have and the Maximum Value should be 2 GB more. See the image for a custom size on a machine with 16 GB of RAM:

 
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GDI Objects

Graphical Device Interfaces (GDI) are what Microsoft Windows uses to represent graphical objects to external devices most commonly the monitor. Every element within any CAD system uses GDI objects.

To monitor GDI Objects:

1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and start the Windows Task Manager.

2. Click the Details Tab (Processes tab in Windows 7)

3. Click the GDI Objects column heading to sort in descending order. Processes consuming the most committed memory will appear at the top.

a) If this tab does not exist, right click on a column header and click Select Columns. You can add columns to this view here. For RAM, you want Memory - Commit Size. (View > Select Columns Windows 7)

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By default Windows assigns only 10,000 GDI objects per process however the maximum amount allowable is 65,536. To change the max value you have to edit the Windows registry. Go to start and type 'regedit' to start the registry editor. Navigate to these locations:

HKEY_Local_Machine\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Windows
HKEY_Local_Machine\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Windows

Find GDIProcessHandleQuota and modify the value. We have found that setting a maximum of 20,000 for this key works best for most users. The maximum allowed is 65,536.

Registry.png

 

HawkWare Free Resource Monitor:

Our HawkWare team has a free add-in for SOLIDWORKS that will monitor system resources along with other things. The download can be found by clicking on this link to their website.

 

If you have any further questions regarding this topic, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems technical support at 877.266.4469 (US) or 866.587.6803 (Canada) or email us at support@hawkridgesys.com.

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    Brian Ebert

    seems to have resolved the issue