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64 or 32 bits? That is the question...


64 bit version of BlenderMany of the x64 equipped BlenderHeads running on Linux (let's face the truth, Windows XP 64 exists only on MS's products list, it isn't real, it's a state of mind) wondered at least one time which are the advantages in using a 64 bit version of Blender over a 32 bit one; time has come to unfold the truth.

Recently a real usability issue for 64 bit version of Blender was pointed out on the Bf-committers list: actually a file created on such a version cannot be opened at all on 32 bit machines; this goes ways ahead from the old library-append incompatibility meaning that some real work is needed to have 64 bit versions ready for some real production works.

"For now just be extremely cautious with the 64 bits version" - Ton commented - "there's actually no real reason to use a 64 bits build, unless you use projects that demand a lot of memory (>2 GB).
Blender also stores a lot of pointers in its data structures, which means that memory consumption for editing and rendering will increase in 64 bits with like 25-30%. So if your system has less than 2 GB of memory you'll be better off using 32 bits.
For tests it is interesting to check on speed benefits though

So, ladies and gentlemen, you're aware of the problem now, simply think about pros and cons before going the 64 bit way.


  1. Blender has been compiled for and runs on win64 see the patch tracker for details.

    Using 32bit on a 64 bit system allows you to make use of extra registers if you compile for the particular compiler, and thus it can be faster to use 32bit blender on a 64 bit machine.


  2. I have Windows x64, and have been using both the 32 and 64 bit windows build of Blender. I've found myself sticking with the 32-bit only because I have had issues with exporting to render engines like Yafray and POVray (using Blend2POV - so the Yafray issue applies). I'm not really into the Blender renderer, but I think once Ton does the annouced re-code a 64-bit Blender might be worth it using Blender to render. I've had Windows x64 since July 2005, and I've still haven't reaped any real benefit. Sure it sounds neat to laypersons, but I still can't use my webcam (no 64-bit driver) to record movements as guides for animation.

  3. Just out of curiousity, was there ever an ascii version of .blend? Being able to save out to ascii is HUGE, one of the reasons why Maya still rules the roost in many commercial facilities I think. Would it be difficult to create such a functionality?

  4. There is a program called Blend2XML which will translate a .blend file to an XML file, but I'm not sure if that's being actively pursued or not.

    What would you foresee being able to DO with an ASCII version of a .blend file anyway?

  5. An ascii blend file would allow you the chance to fix corrupted files by editing the file in a notepad. It also gives you the ability to open the file in the programs that you make. Another 3d program called Anim8or enjoys this as one of its very few benefits.

  6. I found radiosity calculation and the following render so much faster in my Amd64bit. On Suse Linux.
    But I tryed the 32bit in windows...
    As conclusion, or is Linux or is 64bit.

    "would allow you the chance to fix corrupted files by editing the file in a notepad"
    Nobody will understand nothing of what is inside... :))

  7. I think Rickyx is bringing up a good point (if I am understanding what he is saying). I suppose a good study would be to see some render times on a machine running all combinations: Blender64 on Linux64, Blender32 on Linux64, Blender64 on Windows64, Blender32 on Windows64, Blender32 on Linux32, Blender32 on Windows32.

    Of course, this is only for rendering times. I don't know if there is a way to quantitfy the handling large poly scenes in Blender32 vs Blender64.

  8. This is not exactly on-topic, but this issue mentioned with exporting to ASCII files has been addressed in Blender for a long time. There are two Python scripts in the script repository ( which can export ASCII; one is the PLY exporter, and another, called TextPort, just outputs a plain txt version of a .blend. I'm not sure how complete they are, having never used them.

  9. etr9j you understood perfectly...
    Anyway I'm happy that I set up a file in normal win32 blender and I switch on linux64 to render it much faster.
    I thing in 2/3 of the time.

  10. I experienced dramatic improvements in Rendering-Time using the 64bit gentoo eBuild. Although this probably has to do more with the full usage of all my AMD registers I still struck me.

    On the same machine the individually compiled Linux version almost cut rendering-times in half compared to the win32 binary.

    Apart from that I didn't notice much of a difference yet, everything just seems to work fine with 64bit under Linux.

  11. I'll be releasing a AMD64 SSE3 optimized version of Blender and Yaffray for Windows x64. This release will cut render times in half for both yaffray and blender internal.

    The release will be posted in the blender forums and graphicall soon. If you guys don't mind ZIP file releases. I could post the releases immediately.


  12. Not quite blender, but I mucked around with 64 bit POVray some while ago, rendering their benchmark scene with 32bit POV on 32 bit Windows and 64bit POV on 64 bit Windows. 32bit render took 28 minutes, and the 64bit a mere 21 (on an Athlon64 3000 ), a fairly hefty speed increase. I`ve not yet tried 64bit Blender, but if it can manage similar speed increases, I think it`ll be well worth it.

  13. Hi,

    My warning not to use a 64 bits Blender for artwork is very serious. This is only for developers or testing now... we need to fix crucial parts in Blender first.
    Expect big problems, random crashes and especially unreadable blender files if you use it... mostly issues we won't be able to fix for you.

    I've scheduled to work in april on it.. so just a bit patience! :)


  14. Well sangwoo you pointed out something I wasn't aware of.
    Blend files aren't xml !!! whaaaaaahahahahahhhaaa! an opensource software with binary files. (ali rolling on the floor )
    That's perfectly stupid.
    When a file is corrupted or if you need to tweak, duplicate or simply make a converter or a third party tool
    you are stuck because it is bbbbinnary. Amazing my friend. Hey I was about to stop working with some of my softs for blender but that's particularly bad news.
    Especially when you know that python is a language of choice regarding xml management.


  15. Actually, as far as I know Blender files are a straight dump from memory to disc, which makes them extremely fast to read and write. Pulling a 50MB Blender file through an XML parser would take a *long* time to read. In this case the choice was clearly made for speed. As long as the pros/heavy users such as the Orange and Plumiferos teams aren't complaining, I guess this isn't a real issue. Adding an optional XML exporter would be very nice though yes, exactly for the reason that you point out. Maybe there's already such a thing out there?

  16. Ivan Paulos Tomé on

    I´m using 64 bit version of Blender and modelling a city to serve as a cenary for animations. Started with 32 bit, when the system surpasses 3 GB of Ram with 2 million vértices in 20 layers, the images cannot render anymore because of calloc/malloc errors.
    Thanks to 64 bit I still continue the project without any issues.

  17. 32? ... 64?
    No matter if u r on a mac pro 64 who runs nativ 32 AND 64 apps without translating or emul!!!
    LOL ... I have to buy it quickly!

  18. Michael Lester on

    I am using Windows 7 64-bit OS, and Blender 2.49a can still only use 1.5gb of the 12gb of available memory. My theory is that the Blender I have doesn't know it's a 64-bit program. How can I fix this?

  19. Hello. My desktop is 32bit cpu i3 4130 Intel graphics hd 4000 4gb RAM but it can't render. What could be the problem. Blender closes without even warning or bringing any error message? Sometimes it renders but not beyond 11% # image in png format.
    I have installed 2.78...2.79b but still same issue. Some solutions please

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