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Is VectorWorks 2012 Architect 64 bit or 32 bit???

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Vectorworks is 32 bit

Renderworks is 64 bit (on 64 bit OS)

Renderworks is the product more likely to benefit from being 64 bit addressing due to the potentially huge memory requirements of rendering so for most, VW being 32 bit is less likely to be an issue.

VW (as of VW2009?) is compiled to take advantage of more than 2GB (typically 3GB) virtual memory on Windows based machines. But you need to configure Windows to take advantage of this. Google "3GB switch" for more details.

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I thought VW 2012 was going to be 64bit compatable but I am not 100% sure.

On the Nemetscheck web site it does state that they 'recommend using 64bit systems' I know, as Ian H said, that this is true with Renderworks but does the same apply to Landmark?

We do alot of site modelling and I am having increasing problems with the site model updates crashing, taking forever or getting 'out of memory' errors. Does anyone know, or have experience, to indicate that VW will perform better under 64bit and utilise more RAM i.e. >4GB?

I am becoming incresingly frustrated with these issues and I don't know if it is my own ineptness (I am self taught) or a limitation of the software/OS combination.

We have Designer/Architect/Landmark/Renderworks

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VW2012 is 64 bit compatible, but thats not the same as being 64 bit.

The memory is a limitation of the 32 bit addressing operating systems. In fact, the real limit is, by default (as the 4GB allowed by 32bits is shared equally between application and OS), 2GB on Windows and I believe similar on OS X 32bit, although handled slightly differently.

The limit however is per application, so you could have 5 applications all consuming 2GB memory. The system will run dead slow, but you won't run out of memory unless you exceed 2GB in a single application or the total memory in use exceeds your virtual address limit dictated by your page file size. Note, amount of RAM does not come into it, as memory is all virtual. More RAM will simply allow more virtual memory to be held in relatively fast storage before it is paged out to slower hard disc.

Without the expense and more importantly, hassle of upgrading to a 64 bit OS, you can do something about this by adjusting the split between application and OS. If you give more memory to the application (3GB is typically a happy medium) and less to the OS, you can take advantage of an extra 50% memory being allocated to Vectorworks. Its simple to make the change and needs a couple of reboots. Best of all, its free. Simply Google "3GB switch" to find the instructions specific to your version of Windows and don't worry if you get a BSOD on first reboot, its simply Windows getting confused that things are a little different from the last time it booted.

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  • 3 months later...

I think there is a misunderstanding about 64 bit computing. 64 bit only means that there are more memory addresses available to the running programs(64 columns/bits of 0 or 1s).

If you have 24GB and your running applications can function efficiently with 12GB, then you would not see any speed improvements. On the other hand, if you have only 4GB, which is the limit for a 32 bit system as Ian stated before, and the running applications need the same 12GB, you will notice a sharp slowdown because the system now needs to swap the memory between RAM and the hard disk (virtual memory).

The only way a program will benefit from a 64 bit system with plenty of RAM is by multithreading, which is sending several computations at about the same time. For instance, I have a video conversion program in my laptop where I can assign the number of cores to use and with the maximum 8 cores it does the conversion in half the time as my desktop that only has 4 cores.

I also have an app that monitors the core activity and it does show all 8 cores working concurrently when I run the video program.

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Fact of the matter is that VW is running really badly on fairly high end Mac Pros. We're just getting into BIM, and some very small models are starting to slow the machines right down. Activity Monitor, if that's any real indication of RAM use, never shows VW using more than 4GB of system memory, even when it's struggling. I only came here looking for a straight answer - is VW2012 on a Mac capable of running in 64 bit or not (apart from cinerender)...and if it is, how do I make it run in 64 bit mode?

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Based on my own experiences I would say Vectorworks isn't really optimized for anything yet. There have been some small steps forward in recent versions but probably not as fast as many users would like.

It doesn't take much detail in a 3D model to start to bog things down on any machine (try a full stadium and scenery and it chokes). Take a Vectorworks model into Cinema 4D and see how much better it is at dealing with it. No slowdowns or hiccups. Faster rendering. Cinema 4D is built for use in production pipelines where seconds add up. That industry expects it.

I'm sure that Vectorworks has a lot of legacy code. Apple is probably the company most likely to push things forward. It has no problem jettisoning old processing models in favour of the future and does so with each new release of its operating system. At some point Nemetzchek will likely have to choose either the power of the future or backwards compatibility of all the old PIO etc. I'm sure that Autocad for Mac has a great advantage in the area of optimization since it was build clean from the ground up.


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