January 26, 2009
Boost Performance with 64-Bit Revit 2009
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on AECcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Welcome to AECWeekly!

AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances, Announcements, New Products, Letter to the Editor and Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think.

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Boost Performance with 64-Bit Revit 2009

By Susan Smith

It’s all very well to introduce a great product, but what happens when users really push the limits of the technology to the nth degree?

That’s the story behind Autodesk Revit, a building information modeling (BIM) product Autodesk that now has an installed base of 350,000 seats. Users have embraced BIM and consequently have begun running up against its limitations. Before they knew it, they were running out of room on a 32-bit operating system. In response to overwhelming customer demand, Autodesk debuted 64-bit Revit in September 2008. Yet at Autodesk University, it was learned that many customers were not aware of the new release, and continued to think that Revit was not substantial enough to manage the huge data files their organizations managed on a daily basis.

64-bit Revit swoops in like a superhero with computing power that provides performance, stability and large model size. The superhero comes with a price tag though: although the upgrade from 32-bit Revit is not that expensive, downloadable from the subscription site, users will have to go and buy a 64-bit CPU and a 64-bit operating system in order to run it.

According to Emile Kfouri, senior platform line manager for the AEC Solutions Division at Autodesk, once users experience what Revit can do on a larger operating system, they’ll see the investment well worth the expense. In one case study, an architectural firm was able to integrate several models into a single model linking all of them, then cut a single section of different views in less than an hour. With the 32-bit version, this procedure would have taken them at least a full day.

“64-bit Revit is one of the major solutions to complexity in BIM models,” said Kfouri. “There is a huge amount of information in BIM. The real power of BIM is the ability to enrich your model to add more data to it from a number of different sources and be able to leverage that data for visualization and analysis, cost estimation and procurement all the way through to facility management. As the teams and projects get bigger and the richness of data increases, you start running out of space with a 32 bit program.”

Kfouri gave a good description of the differences between 32 and 64 bit computing. Basically with 32-bit computing, he said you’re dealing with memory address. “If you’re in a city and the city only uses two digits to define city blocks or the address on a block then the best you can do is get a 100 buildings, or addresses, on that block. If a city starts using 3 digits, then you can get 999 addresses on that block. In effect, that’s exactly what 32-bit vs. 64-bit computing is, with 32 bit computing the total amount space you can address in memory is #2 to the power of 32 which comes out to roughly 4 GB memory. With 64-bit computing you’re able to access #2 to the power of
64 which brings you to 17 exabytes which is around 17 million GB memory. That’s the theoretical number.”

32-bit computing is also like a box, said Kfouri, where you run out of space quickly. The operating system has to figure out whether it will save itself or make the whole thing fall apart. When you get close to the edges of the box with 32-bit computing, your application can become unstable, and the OS can also become unstable. This is where many users have experienced crashes with 32-bit Revit. Because 64-bit is so much bigger, there is a lot more room to fill before you would run out of space.

The ability to work with much larger models and much richer data on more complex projects is an enticement that many committed Revit users may not be able to resist. BIM’s inherent ability to manage complexity, whether through geographic dispersion or model complexity, is why organizations want to use it for their high visibility projects. The opportunities BIM can offer can truly be realized with 64-bit Revit rather than relying on the limitations of a 32-bit environment.

Kfouri pointed out that 64-bit Revit is forward compatible but not backwardly compatible so you can take a 32-bit native application and run it on a 64-bit operating system but you can’t take a 64 bit native application and run it on a 32-bit operating system. 64-bit Revit can only run on a 64 bit OS, but it can’t run on the 32-bit versions of those OS. However, 32-bit Revit can run on both 32-bit and 64-bit OS.

Any CPU purchased within the past two years will support 64-bit, according to Kfouri, and then they will need a 64-bit OS. Most companies’ licensing agreements allow them to install either a 32 or 64-bit operating system, and all the verticals are 64-bit.

Choosing to go with 64-bit tackled a bigger issue than performance, said Kfouri. Model size and stability were also issues that are addressed with 64-bit. The model size dilemma “speaks to the relevance of BIM and the problem it’s trying to solve in industry, a problem people have had for ages,” said Kfouri. “Now they have a tool that enables them to create more complicated projects, to be able have more visibility into the design, embracing it fully.”

Does a 64-bit system allow you to then add different things or attempt different types of models? “The whole goal of 64-bit computing is to make it as similar to 32-bit as possible,” said Kfouri. “However, there are always opportunities to optimize from one OS vs. another, we explore any opportunities to take advantage of the different OS, to see how we can improve the experience of Revit.” The OS allows the user room to grow, as there are certain tasks users would not have pursued with Revit knowing the model could never be larger than two or three GB. “Now the ability to have much larger models allows us to look at the product in a way we wouldn’t have before.”

When Autodesk put out the 64-bit beta of Revit 2008, Kfouri said some companies immediately changed their computer specifications to prepare themselves for 64-bit computing.

Even though 64-bit computing provides a lot of advantages, Kfouri cautions users that 64-bit Revit is no substitute for best practices in design firms. The advantages of 64-bit Revit are better coordination, accuracy, less waste and ability to make better decisions in one model.

Top News of the Week

Enhance your architectural design and visualization skills with the new
Autodesk 3ds Max course from
Escape Studios. Taught and created by award-winning architectural and design visualization artist Mike Merron, "Visualization with 3ds Max" is delivered through Escape's proprietary online learning system and contains more than 10 hours of HD video tutorial content. Developed for burgeoning artists and architects, including AutoCAD, Revit and MicroStation users, "Visualization with 3ds Max" provides an introduction to 3ds Max and will help students develop the necessary skills to move into the realm of design visualization. For more information on Escape's "Visualization with 3ds Max" course, please visit

1 | 2 | 3  Next Page »

You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.

Review Article Be the first to review this article

ClarkDietrich Digital tools

Featured Video
Mechanical Engineer for Allen & Shariff Corporation at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Product Manager for CHA Consulting, Inc. at Boston, Massachusetts
Software Developer for CHA Consulting, Inc. at Norwell, Massachusetts
Mid-Level Mechanical Engineer for Kiewit at lenexa, Kansas
GIS Data Analyst for CostQuest Associates, Inc. at Cincinnati, Ohio
Geospatial Analyst/Programmer for LANDIQ at Sacramento, California
Upcoming Events
AEC Next Technology Expo + Conference & SPAR 3D Expo + Conference at Anaheim Convention Center Anaheim CA - Jun 5 - 7, 2018
HxGN LIVE 2018 at The Venetian Las Vegas NV - Jun 12 - 15, 2018
2018 AGC Joint Contractors Conference at WASHINGTON DC - Sep 30 - 3, 2018
2018 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO at Philadelphia - Oct 19 - 22, 2018
Bentley: -YII 2018 Awards
AIA 2018
CADalog.com - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

Internet Business Systems © 2018 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
25 North 14th Steet, Suite 710, San Jose, CA 95112
+1 (408) 882-6554 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy PolicyAdvertise