Dan, please clarify. You say my memory is fine, but you say you also have 8GB of ram and ONLY play smaller maps? Should I stop playing Insane maps?
Well, there is physical ram and then virtual memory which uses space from your harddrive (solid state drive, or whatever mass storage you have). The standard amount of virtual memory that windows allocates should be fine for huge maps and smaller. As well, windows default is that it will dynamically increase your VM as needed.....but honestly, I dont trust dynamic allocation, never have. But if you want to change your VM:
Control Panel -> system -> Advanced system settings -> Advanced tab -> Performance Settings button -> Advanced Tab -> Virtual Memory change button
From my soak with 50 races and all minors, on an insane map, 16GB of VM should be fine, giving you approximate 24GB of memory (certain amounts of physical memory are reserved for caching the VM). Further, I recommend to put 16GB for initial and maximum, to avoid dynamic allocation. In my soak game, by turn 500, I was using about 16GB of memory, and each turn took about 5x the amount of time it did compared to the first few turns. Its expected that turns will take longer, further into the game (all planets inhabited, thousands of ships to keep track of, etc)....I'm just worried for myself and others, that future content and/or improved AI will slow the game down even further.
Interesting about the CCleaner. I wouldnt expect that to help at all. The game reload/restart I'm sure is what may be helping you, as this game has serious memory leak issues.
Yeah, you need to meet more races to get the UP going. I'm not sure if UP meetings get held before you meet/join/qualify. If they coded it well, then it would happen. However, me personally, I've always seen the first UP vote being to elect the chairperson (and of course, I ALWAYS lose that vote).