The designer in particular is very unstable and crashes all the time, even on my machine, which is pretty high end.
If you want to learn how to use particular, search for tutorials online and just use the regular controls inside the effect. honestly I'm not a huge fan of the designer, though it gets better with every update. You won't miss out on much though.
I'd recommend you make free at least 16gb of ram for ae to use. Otherwise youre going to run into issues very quickly when using effects like particular.