Don't think so. Either it's the Matrox stuff or you are using a leaky plug-in that doesn't flush it's buffer and the initial 0.5 GB being "lost" would seem to confirm this - it's outside AE's memory address space and cannot be purged or overwritten. While there are leaks in AE even in CS5.5, this scenario really is nothing I have ever seen with just vanilla AE, but I have seen it with Beta plug-ins I had the pleasure of testing...
We were just testing on other projects and things seemed far more normal.
This project is huge, about 50MB saves, I think I'm going to start a cut down version and lose a lot of the old stuff.
In the problematic project I was using Sapphire plugins and Zaxwerks Invigorator 1.0.2, although just 3 objects on one layer. The Sapphires are MatteOps, Gradient... I think that's it.
I guess Zaxwerks is likely suspect although I thought it was reputable.
There are also 750 plugins in total on the machine. These are Sapphire, Zaxwerks, Magic Bullet, some DigiEffects and Trapcode Suite. All of with I thought were supposed to be stable.
If it is Zaxwerks is there anything I can do to get around the issue? Except either to not use it or to reset After Effects every 10mins.
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Hard to pin down. In fact you could only nail this by monitoring your task manager all the time and using each plug-in separately most likely. I wouldn't preclude Sapphire being the culprit here - it's perfectly possible it acts up as the GenArts stuff uses its own method of connecting to external processing libraries via local ports which could conflict with the similar method used for MP/ DynmamicLink. if it's Zax, then it would be best to contact them asap. Since they only updated their products for CS5/ CS5.5 rather late in the game, you may have encountered a problem they are not even aware of yet. if they already are, they may have a fix...
Well I've made a smaller version of the project and things have vastly improved - Only need to reset every few hours now. When I get a chance I'll try to do some tests on Sapphire and Zaxerks.
Incidently, our engineer posted up out RAM and core distribution settings in my original post. How do they look? We're not entirely sure on the optimum setting.