Sorry to disappoint you, Steve, but the aforementioned problems are alive and well in Windows ME.
One of my machines has 768MB, and I have had COUNTLESS problems getting it to work. Besides having to force the max vcache to 500MB (failing to do this will cause WinME to DIE a horrifying death, generally corrupting my boot drive in the process), I cannot possibly set ANY value for the \"min\" vcache, or Giga will take an eternity to load any gig file.
Also, the slowdown someone else reported also happens to me; at about 50% memory usage Giga becomes unbearably slow to load instruments, a problem connected with the vcache settings as well. Reducing the \"max\" from 500MB results in even worse slowdowns.
Overall, I still manage to make it work fine, and once the instruments are loaded everything (well, almost everything ) is OK, but I am dreaming of the day when these issues are finally solved.
By the way, a quick search for vcache in the Microsoft \"Knowledge Base\" will get you to a description of the problem, and Windows ME is listed as having the problem with its parents 95, 98 nad 98SE.
Andrea G. Pessino (not female, just Italian)
I have a couple machines working well at 512mb of ram. I was wondering if going any further adds any real benefit (like up to 768 or even 1gb). I do run into limitations with polyphony on my system, but also, strangely enough with loading a lot of instruments. It seems I can\'t load more than about 1.5 - 2 gb of giga files at once. Is it a PCI bus throughput limitation? Perhaps it is probably a hard drive limitation (ibm-15gb platter-newest drives), or perhaps a 100mhz vs. 133mhz ram option (I run 100mhz fsb), or intel vs. amd (I run 800mhz), or chipset issue (I still run BX). I swear loading 16 xsample libraries that have all those variations is tough on your system. Also anyone have any trouble with windows 98se addressing 512+ mb of ram. It seems to actually run a tad bit slower with all this ram sometimes. Confused, so am I. Still getting work done, but perhaps someone knows that answers to these questions.
More than 512mb ram necessary or possible
When using winME, win98se, win98 or win95 I think you need to keep in mind the following from the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
\"Out of Memory\" Error Messages with Large Amounts of RAM Installed
The information in this article applies to:
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 95
If a computer that is running any of the versions of Windows listed above contains more than 512 megabytes (for example, 768 megabytes) of physical memory (RAM) installed, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
You may be unable to open an MS-DOS session (or command prompt) while Windows is running. Attempts to do so may generate the following error message:
There is not enough memory available to run this program.
Quit one or more programs, and then try again.
The computer may stop responding (hang) while Windows is starting, or halt and display the following error message:
Insufficient memory to initialize windows. Quit one or more memory-resident programs or remove unnecessary utilities from your Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files, and restart your computer.
The Windows 32-bit protected-mode cache driver (Vcache) determines the maximum cache size based on the amount of RAM that is present when Windows starts. Vcache then reserves enough memory addresses to permit it to access a cache of the maximum size so that it can increase the cache to that size if needed. These addresses are allocated in a range of virtual addresses from 0xC0000000 through 0xFFFFFFFF (3 to 4 gigabytes) known as the system arena.
On computers with large amounts of RAM, the maximum cache size can be large enough that Vcache consumes all of the addresses in the system arena, leaving no virtual memory addresses available for other functions such as opening an MS-DOS prompt (creating a new virtual machine).
To work around this problem, use one of the following methods:
Use the MaxFileCache setting in the System.ini file to reduce the maximum amount of memory that Vcache uses to 512 megabytes (524,288 KB) or less.
For additional information about how to use the MaxFileCache setting, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q108079 32-Bit File Access Maximum Cache Size
Use the System Configuration utility to limit the amount of memory that Windows uses to 512 megabytes (MB) or less.
For additional information about how to use the System Configuration utility, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q181966 System Configuration Utility Advanced Troubleshooting Settings
Reduce the amount of memory that is installed in your computer to 512 MB or less.
Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.
Vcache is limited internally to a maximum cache size of 800 MB.
This problem may occur more readily with Advanced Graphics Port (AGP) video adapters because the AGP aperture is also mapped to addresses in the system arena. For example, if Vcache is using a maximum cache size of 800 MB and an AGP video adapter has a 128-MB aperture mapped, there is very little address space remaining for the other system code and data that must occupy this range of virtual addresses.
Also, to clarify the whole memory usage by GigaStudio issue, from my experience it works as follows:
GigaStudio checks the amount of physical memory installed in the machine, then reserves about 100Kb _per sample_ to gain quick access to the attack portion of the sounds. Stereo samples take up twice that amount. No matter how big the samples actually are on disk, each one takes up one \"unit\" of Giga-space. As the sound is played and the attack portion of it is exhausted, Giga begins to stream from storage, so that samples of arbitrary length can be played back.
In other words, a machine with 256Mb will load about 2500 mono or 1250 stereo samples, regardless of their actual size on disk.
This means that my 512Mb machine can load 2500 stereo samples and my 768Mb machine 3750. A \"dream machine\" with 2Gb of RAM would be able to load 10000 stereo samples.
This is, by far, the biggest limitation of the Giga system, in my opinion. With multi-layer, chromatically sampled libraries I run out of memory WAY before I run out of polyphony.
Additionally, as usage of memory by Giga gets more intensive (read: large portions of physical memory \"locked\" by Giga to keep its attack samples) conflicts with other processes needing memory (such as the horrible vcache module) affect performance, cause pops and clicks, and produce serious stability problems.
I think the system above could be improved, for example: if I have a REALLY fast drive, like a dedicated UltraSCSI 160 or a striped RAID, then why not give me the option to reduce the size of the sample-unit used by Giga? If I could specify 50Kb instead of 100Kb for the attack portion, and my machine is fast enough to handle it, I could instantly double the amount of samples I can have ready to trigger!
And there you have it..
Andrea G. Pessino (not female, just Italian)
Having read the above and being aware of Window problems with more than 512 memory, bottom line, is it worth it to get as much memory as the motherboard will hold along with limiting VCache min/max to 512? Seems the above comments conflict saying Giga runs slower/takes longer to load if you go over 512 on the motherboard. With memory so cheap, who can give us the bottom line whether to stop at 512 or go for broke loading up the motherboard?