I am exporting 36"x48" label intensive maps as PDF. For urban areas, ArcMap 10 hangs or kicks back an error saying it could not complete the operation. I have a quad processor with 4 GB ram. I also increased cache size to 100GB and have a large pagefile size, etc.

Will increasing physical RAM to 6GB help, or is this a software limit to how much labeling it can handle?


http://support.esri.com/en/knowledgebase/techarticles/detail/38343 seems to cover it. Basically, it's still a 32 bit application, so it depends on the process whether you can squeeze more than 2 gb of usage out. However, more RAM in the system means less competition for that 4 GB by all the other processes.

  • 4
    If his operating system is only 32-bit then having any more than 4GB of RAM will do him no good.
    – blah238
    Dec 20 '11 at 21:19
  • @blah238 but since geoprocessing can be forked off to a different process, couldn't the desktop memory footprint (arcmap.exe plus arcsocp.exe) exceed 4GB? Granted, it wouldn't solve this labeling issue, but more memory would benefit other situations. Dec 20 '11 at 22:17
  • 1
    Not if his OS is only 32-bit: msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/…
    – blah238
    Dec 20 '11 at 22:58
  • 2
    Some interesting discussion: superuser.com/questions/52275/…
    – blah238
    Dec 20 '11 at 23:04

Failure to print or export likely has nothing to do with the amount of RAM. Although I've crashed ArcMap many, many times, there is only a single instance I can recall where it was clearly due to lack of memory. More likely is something to do with contiguous free disk space on C:, see Why does PDF fail to print in ArcGIS10?. One thing to try is printing to a virtual pdf printer instead of exporting, or export but turn off exporting of layers and attributes.

  • True - if you want to print ArcGIS Large format prints fast and have the budget of an extra server/ RIP (Raster Image Processing) software then PosterJet will do the work for you claims print in 7 seconds - would say 10 sec - 2min on the large 60" x 15' plots - posterjet.de
    – Mapperz
    Dec 20 '11 at 22:31
  • @Mapperz We tried posterjet and gave up on it, after many thousands of dollars in licensing, in favour of the open source pdfcreator. True we lost some features (speed, arranging layouts), but we also got rid of sysadmin management headaches. That was six or seven years ago, maybe they've fixed the issues we ran into. Our largest pdfcreator print to date I think is 42"x96". Some of that story here yukongis.ca/oldsite/DoItYourselfPostscriptPrinter Dec 21 '11 at 9:20
  • It work for us, not saying it is a perfect solution, but the IT guy was the GIS guy (aka me) so was not subject to restrictions. After version 8 was some big improvements in processing.
    – Mapperz
    Dec 21 '11 at 14:46

I have ArcGIS 10.1, Windows 7 64bit, an i7 processor, 32gb of ram and two solid state drives and have struggled to get my system to use this amount of RAM and i have found that the solid state drives where the best investment with ArcGIS happly maxing good use of a 32gb page file on my SSD whilst at the same time my system would only be maxing 5gb of RAM. I run windows and the pagefile on one drive and arcgis and the cache directory for arcgis on the second SSD, with very good results. Still wish i could make use of all that RAM though


You could try turning off virtual memory.

That would make it use RAM only and not the SSD as virtual RAM memory/page file.

  • Welcome to GIS SE! As a new user be sure to take the Tour. Here you are asking a question or trying to make a comment in the area reserved for direct answers to the question. Often such posts are deleted but in this case I will edit to turn it into a statement instead.
    – PolyGeo
    Sep 4 '15 at 23:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.