This post is mainly for the blender users, using windows. Blender is an open-source 3d editor which can be downloaded from www.blender3d.org. Even for windows, there are 2 versions of Blender3D. The 32bit version, which comes as an installer and the 64 bit version, which comes as a zipped package. The 64bit is adapted to serve 64bit computers more, and most new systems now are 64bit. But does the 64bit version really have differences in rendering and baking performance?

Please note that this test has been done with an older version of Blender. Meanwhile, performance might be drastically changed or improved.

The test setup:

The test scene used was very simple. The basic scene with the cube was used, with a plane mesh added and scaled up to 50 times. First the rendering was done with only one thread, and hereafter with 2, 4 and finally 8 threads, and render times were compared. There were 2 sorts of rendering, one with the basic lighting, and one with ambient occlusion with 16 samples. OSA was set on 8, and the resolution was 800×600 standard resolution. Those renderings where done both with the  32bit and 64bit verison. The data of this little experiment can tell us whether the 64bit version renders faster or not. All rendering was done with the internal rendering engine.

The second test was be done by baking a subdivided mesh plane, acting as a cloth (cotton), over a cube. The timespan for baking 50 frames was recorded. The second bake test was with fluids, where a smaller subdived cube acted as a fluid in a big cube fluid domain, and it was baked for 250 frames.

The system used:
For the testing, the following system was used:

Mainboard:Asus P6T SE
Processor:lntel Core i-7 920
Ram:6GB DDR3
VideocardAsus Geforce ENGTX285 1GB DDR3
OS:Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit

Rendering speed results:

Rendertest with Blender 32bit and Blender 64bit

Simple Scene:
We see that the 64bit version sometimes renders 30% faster, and the biggest difference is, obvious, at 2 threads.

Ambient Occlusion applied:
With longer rendertimes comparing the difference is more secure. Again there is a big difference when 2 threads are applied instead of 1, almost 50% increase in speed for the 64bit version, but there is also almost a  speed difference of 30% between the 32bit and 64bit version. The 64bit is again much faster here.

Fluid and Cloth Baking results:

Baking speeds with Blender 32bit and 64bit

The plane acting as a cloth was subdivided 5 times, and subsurf level was 4.We see that there is actually no difference in baking cloth. The cube acting as fluid was subdivided 5 times, and subsurf level was 4.However, there is when baking fluids! The 64bit version is again almost 40% faster here!

Test Conclusion:

There were only a few features of blender tested, but the increase in rendering and baking fluids performance for the 64bit version is really significant. So if you’re up to faster rendering and baking fluids the 64bit version of Blender is worth a try! When baking clothes, there is however no significant difference between the two versions. However, please not that not all functions are available in the 64bit version.

We also see that multi-threaded rendering really makes up a difference. Having a duo or quad core (or in other words, using multiple cores) can improve rendering times also significantly. Upgrading your system to a duo or quad core is in this case a good investment, which is obviously common sense.

Note: This was tested on a Windows 64bit os. I’m eager to know the difference in performance for Linux and Apple users.