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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

64 Bit Revit and Stability - The Revit Clinic



For a long time, the main reason for moving to 64 bit Revit was that it gave you added flexibility to work on larger projects.  If you haven't heard about the 20x rule for Revit, let me explain. 
Revit needs about 20 times the size of your Revit file in RAM in order to be able to expand the file fully in memory.  64 bit operating systems and 64 bit Revit give you additional access to RAM (32 bit OS is limited to 3GB, with the 3GB switch) thus, you can work on larger projects on a 64 bit operating system. 
We see another reason to switch to 64 bit, stability.

The Basic Rule of Stability and Memory

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In general, 64 bit operating systems running 64 bit Revit are about twice as stable as 32 bit operating systems running 32 bit Revit.
Our Customer Error Reports (CER) and Customer Involvement Program (CIP) help confirm this. 

The Reason for 64 bit Stability

Fundamentally the only difference in the software is that 64 bit software, in general (all 64 bit software), allows more access to memory.  Based on the data and what we see, this seems to be the underlining cause why 64 bit is more stable.  Access to more memory means that your system isn't as taxed when running Revit and the software isn't crammed for memory space. 
You may ask, "Well, can I just use the 3GB switch to get access more memory on my 32 bit system and it will be more stable?".  It actually turns out that it is possible that the 3GB switch may be contributing to the problem, not helping to solve it.  The 3GB switch actually impacts the amount of memory that is available to the operating system, reducing its available memory by one GB (and allowing that memory to be used by the application instead).  This in turn can impact other items on the machine, a big one being graphics.  Turning on the 3GB switch can impact the graphic cards ability to use the memory that it is normally given by the operating system (that is now given to the application).  This can not only cause problems with Revit, but with graphics in general on the system.  While turning on the 3GB switch will give Revit access to more memory and allow you to work on larger Revit files, it may impact the stability of Revit itself. 

Wrap Up

If you are looking to take full advantage of everything Revit has to offer for Building Information Modeling and you work with large projects, the benefits of 64 bit get more compelling all the time.

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