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Its important to realize that Illustrator is a 32-bit application. What this means is at most it can access just under 3.2GB of RAM and no more. Adding more RAM to a system won't help Illustrator directly. It does however help the system overall by improving launching, screen redraw and other items that aren't directly related to Illustrator operations.
What may have a bigger impact on your errors is Scratch Disk settings. If you've left everything set as it is upon installation, then you have the scratch disk set to your start up volume. This means Illustrator is writing an invisible temporary file to your hard drive while its active. For optimum performance it's recommended you have a separate hard drive (not partition) to assign scratch space to. How much free space is on your hard drive may be critical here. You haven't posted any of that information though.
Yes, I forget to mention the scratch disc details. As a matter of fact I have a separate 500Gb disc, which is in its entirety set as scratch disc; nevertheless I still have the error message coming up regularly. Someone suggested on the forum to reset certain presets. Do you know what is being referred to?
Scott knows that is a critical memory bug:
and this one from November 30, 2008:
In short, your computer is fine, but the real question is: Where is CS4 update?
Don't listen to Hans (Skullmaker he is off his medication again).
The Document raster effects settings under effects would be good to set it 72 ppi this might impact the problem you are having a great deal. But keep in mind to let the post production or printer know they have to change this which can be done in the print dialog or in the back in the Document Raster Effects Settings.
Also there may be an object within your file causing the problem and you might want to look for it and flatten the transparency for this rogue object.
If it turns out to be type object then it is more likely a font that is causing you font cache to bloat beyond control this unfortunately can inhibit the bus speed of your memory causing this error if your raster effects are plentiful or complex.
But to be fair to Hans one of the biggest remaining issues in Illustrator is how it handles very large complex projects, and that might be that it was never really designed for many of the users it is used for it was understandable, however, with the advent of multiple artboards this is clearly an issue that has to be address.
I wish I had a way of bringing this to the attention of the Team but they seldo if ever come around here.
The problem has been around a long time and manifest itself in
different ways in different version and for different users.
This is not the first tie you encountered it and CS 4 is abetter
performer than CS 3, if you haven't notice then I would say your
system might need to be updated or maintain have you tried repairing
I think that CS4 have a lot less bugs than CS3. However, the CS4 bugs are more serious. Like the this memory bug. You cannot work because the program slows down, crashes, or it tells you that you do not have enough memory (and everything in between)
So from one point of view you can say that CS4 is worse than CS3.
But something I can say for sure is that CS2 is more reliable than CS3 or CS4.
In response to Andre,
I would say that Adobe have not provide a single update for almost 3 years, and since the new version CS5 is due on April (I think), wont be an update for CS4. But I will be glad to be proven wrong.
So the questions that all users should be asking are:
Where are the updates?
Why I should buy CS5 when Adobe have not provide any updates for CS3 or CS4?
What assurance do I have, that all the bugs on CS5 will be address by Adobe?
P.S. There is nothing wrong with your computer, except for the version you purchased for $180.00
You have it all wrong i have done some test and even though the large
files are still a problem CS 4 handles them better the CS, CS2 and CS 3.