View Full Version : 64-bit vs. 32-bit?

09-17-2010, 08:47 AM
Hey guys,

Don't mean to populate the boards with too many of my threads, but I have one more query.

Are there any differences that I should know about, when going from 32-bit (on my current machine), to 64-bit (going on the Alienware rig)? I know someone had told me that speed wasn't going to significantly increase, rather the size of my scenes and objects would be handled far better.

I read about some issues with certain plugins, etc; though I would expect there would be documentation on each plugin, as to what version it works with. Just trying to get everything in order, before making the switch over later next week.

Thanks again! :thumbsup:


09-17-2010, 08:52 AM
Well, one thing you shouldn't forget is that you can still easily run the 32-bit version in parallel. Which makes the switch a lot less painful, especially if you rely on plugins that haven't been recompiled yet.


09-17-2010, 10:28 AM
Yeah, like Light said. Keep both installed. Not every plug-in exists for 64 yet.

09-17-2010, 10:37 AM
For some reason I didn't know you could have them both on the same machine.

09-17-2010, 10:51 AM
For some reason I didn't know you could have them both on the same machine.
For some reason now you do... :D ;D


09-17-2010, 10:52 AM
Keith, I know what you're going through. Just made my switch to 64 bit about a year and a half ago and did not know at all what to expect. For all intents and purposes, it wont' be much different from your end. If you're running a PC, 64 bit supported programs will be installed in the programs folder of your drive as normal and 32 bit applications will be installed into a folder called Programs(x86). You can run either 32 bit or 64 bit Lightwave on a 64 machine, but if you need plug-ins that haven't been ported to the 64bit platform and you want to use them, you'll need to run them only in the 32 bit version of Lightwave. Most every other program I have tried to use has worked on my 64 bit machine/OS with a few exceptions but those cases are rare.
The main advantage is that you can use more RAM then the 4GB ceiling (actually a little less then that I think) that 32 bit computing has.

09-17-2010, 10:57 AM
Not sure how much of the 12GB of RAM LW will be able to use when rendering, etc. But it's there if it wants it! ;)

I'll have to look at all the plugs I grab/buy to see which ones that I really need, are supported only by 32-bit.I know I'll be running Photoshop in 64-bit.

Got a list of programs that will go on the new system (out of my current inventory); don't want to get too bloated, even though the HD could handle it fine. I want to stay simple, and only use what I need...for now.

Waves of light
09-17-2010, 11:26 AM
You'll also need a separate licence key for the 64 bit version. I seem to remember requesting this from Newtek. It then appeared in my product info page.

09-17-2010, 11:35 AM
Didn't know about that; thanks. I'll get in touch with them about it.

09-17-2010, 01:08 PM
I use 64bit LW most of the time now. I only use 32bit LW when exporting to FBX for Unity and shockwave for Director. And even then I use 64bit modeler in tandem with 32bit Layout. The hub tends to go screwy when switching between bit versions tho, I usually run 32bit hub, seems more stable.

On a related note I also have icons for versions of layout and modeler of both bit versions that bypass the hub, that way you can render while working on another scene.

09-17-2010, 01:21 PM
Good idea with the separate icons; we'll be using Unity sometime in the future (most likely), so it sounds like I'll need to keep a 32-bit install for sure. Perhaps I should just start with a 32-bit install for now, and add the 64-bit later? It's not like I'll be doing anything massive for awhile.

09-17-2010, 01:32 PM
I switched to 64 bit on a massive city scene I did that would refuse to render in 32 bit LW. I think I have only really needed the extra memory on 3 scenes since then.

09-17-2010, 01:47 PM
Like most of the other artists, I use 64-bit by default until I need to use a '32-bit only' plug-in.

In general, I find that x64 Layout's performance is better (faster and more stable because more RAM is available,) but mostly it means you can work with scenes that are more complicated. For simpler scenes, you probably won't notice much difference.

And, yeah, it's really helpful that you can run both x32 and x64 bit versions on a x64 system. :)

09-17-2010, 09:10 PM
Ah; good to go then. Thanks Mega!