So this one is really infuriating me as I cannot figure it out. I've created a terrain with textures and a skybox in layer 1 just fine and all looks well. It's also very responsive and works great, not slow and laggy at all. I have plenty of memory free and blender reports using a total of 65MB of memory - system reports an overall 6GB of free RAM.
I wanted to add in some grass so I flipped to layer 2 which is empty at the moment and added in a plane then a very small 512 pixel transparent png and wired it up in cycles.
Well shortly after blender immediately starts eating up all of the memory up and eventually crashes. I simply cannot fathom why it's doing this. I've edited the images many times making them increasingly smaller with gimp but nothing works.
If I'm not on layer 2 it works just fine, switch to layer 2 and after a few seconds it stutters a bit, locks up the entire computer (mouse won't even move) followed by a full program crash and the release of many many gigabytes of memory.
Opening it up with a terminal doesn't reveal any information except a small printout from the Linux kernel saying it force closed it.
My specs are:
Kernel: x86_64 Linux 4.15.3-2-ARCH Resolution: 1680x1050 DE: KDE 5.43.0 / Plasma 5.12.2 WM: KWin CPU: Intel Core i7-3720QM @ 8x 3.6GHz [35.9°C] GPU: GeForce GT 650M RAM: 2167MiB / 7918MiB
I render in cycles but use my cpu, I only use my gpu for GUI rendering if that also helps any.
I've never had any problems up until now out of Blender in this regard and I've done lots of other stuff more intensive than this simple trivial task.