How is Memory(RAM) used by Rhino

Not so Easy question. Just looking for a a more well defined response. I have noticed that Rhino is very Memory thirsty. Some people have told me that Memory is not that important for CAD, that a good video card is more important. I disagree, I think Memory is very important for CAD. So who is is right me or my friend?


What do you mean both? Both are important I guess is what you mean, or we are both right… could you be more specific about how Memory is used by rhino.

And none. A good CAD operator is important for CAD.

As with everything in life, having too little is limiting, and having too much is waste.

These might seem like stupid answers but blame the question. With no info about the complexity it is impossible to tell where the bottle neck can be.

RAM, CPU, GPU, OS, etc.

Stability is just as important as everything else, if your system crashes every second hour then you will waste much more time than having a fast GPU or CPU.

So what do you mean about how Rhino handles memory? A 64 bit app on a 64 bit system will in theory use as much as it needs.

Yes, you got me! I am relatively new to the subject, I took some classes in highschool. and have been studying CAD for almost a year now. I can make almost anything now I think but have noticed that I cannot build anything more complex than a nicely rendered string bean without suffering performance issues on my laptop computer. Thus inquiry into performance related stuff.

I intend to build complex models that may get as big as 6-7GB in size. Building greenhouses, smaller architecture. using the software for conceptualization development and the physics and analysis tools for testing.

So what would the answer be in that framework, using all 64bit software on 64bit system.

Speaking of 64bit, i will have to upgrade to Bongo 2 pretty soon.

The increased RAM will cause your computer to operate faster because it
will be able to temporarily store more information at any given time,
and this speed increase will cause your 3D CAD software to function much faster and with fewer “out of memory” errors.
Read more:

This is basically all I know about RAM. Specifically regarding Rhinocerous 5 or 6, building large files that may be 5-7GB in size at time, with points, lines, surfaces, materials, animation (probably not a huge amount of meshing, not totally sure yet). How will Rhino use the RAM? Is a video card a substitute for RAM? Is Virtual Memory a substitute for RAM?

I need to understand more about how the software works on the hardware.


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Both right. Depends on what you need to do… You need memory to handle large files, processor speed to do complex operations quicker, graphics card power to dynamically display and rotate large complex models/scenes. How much you really need of each is not quantifiable, the only way you’ll know is the day you hit the limit and your machine either runs out of memory or your processing/display slows down to a crawl…


Hi Justin - you can help yourself too by, for example, splitting vast models up so that you do not need to have everything in one file- use WorkSessions to selectively attach parts you care about, and use LimitReferenceModel (Applies to Worksessions) to further reduce the amount of data in memory.


Thanks for information.

Yeah, thanks. good information.

I would also like to add that running out of ram will slow any system down A LOT! as it would start to write to disk. (use the hard drive as an extended RAM and that is a really slow process compared to writing to memory)
Both CPU and GPU will just not run any faster when you hit the limit.
And running out of GPU RAM (VRAM) can crash the system, and that is also a very slow process :wink:

So there you go, both are right and wrong, depending on the scenario.

Hope that helps.

For your need Rhino 64bit on a 64bit OS is a must.

But also I think you need to learn to get smaller file sizes, to keep your models light - for example by using the block function of Rhino or/plus premeshing often used parts.

Yes that’s exactly what I intended to do, blocks and premeshing etc… . except for the small file size part. I expect my files to get big.

or in windows 8.1 roughly 512 GB…

Linked blocks will make a BIG difference in file size. Premeshing will make a BIG difference in speed.

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… and for premeshing of complex scenes a good mesher is needed …(Sorry, meshing is the next limit of Rhino.) … so I started to use MoI3D for meshing, because it can give me a very low polygon count in good quality. Also the MoI mesher supports multi core usage and is super fast.

Yeah, thanks for tip, I may look into that in the near future. For now I am working with Rhino. And it may all work out just fine. that 6-7GB (that’s about 1,000 objects/pieces slapped together into one big thingamajig) size is a projection based on current work multiplied out to future work. Adjusting Display options, using Meshes, using Blocks, using Worksession, Rebuilding curves, reducing UV as much as possible, breaking these pieces into smaller groups and testing them seperately, making a light(shell) model for rendering, and animation, and heavy models for testing/simulation. Thats about all I can think of.

Their are actually some very powerful CAD packages that can get today for FREE, that I might try out, that do more that Rhino does.