Home > Operating Systems, Processors, RAM, Windows, Workstations > Speed Up Civil 3D with a 64-bit Operating System, Part 1: The Benefits

Speed Up Civil 3D with a 64-bit Operating System, Part 1: The Benefits

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Windows 7 64-bit Operating System for Civil 3DI am going to make this THE shortest and easiest tech blog post you’ve ever read: Go install Windows 7 64-bit on your Civil 3D workstation. Now!

The end.

Like the idea, but need a bit more information? Good. No one likes a sheep unless you need a sweater or are making kabobs. Let’s look at some reasons why Win7 64-bit is the way to go if you are doing some serious Civil 3D work.


We can separate the big boys from the posers with one question: Do you want to get as much value as possible from your workstation investment? If the answer is yes, then you have to take a serious look at Win7 64-bit. Civil 3D workstations are capable of some amazing things with new releases of software becoming more and more powerful. But if you want those point clouds and massive topo surfaces to render as quickly as possible, you need to give your workstation room to work. That means bringing as much RAM to the table as possible.

Old-fashioned 32-bit systems (even Win7 32-bit) have a measly 4GB maximum of possible RAM and only a little of 3GB of that will be available to Civil 3D! This creates a processing bottleneck that will slow down your system and make you wonder why you even upgraded your Civil 3D. Modern 64-bit systems operate with a MINIMUM 4GB requirement and go upwards of 128GB and more, depending on your OS choice! The processing difference between 4GB on 32-bit and, say, 16GB on 64-bit is like night and day. This will give you more value from the same hardware investment.

Heavy Lifting

Each new release of Civil 3D and most CAD applications bring new and improved capabilities. From grater surface detail to larger and larger point clouds, all of these features are welcome with open arms by users. But these great new features also bring more processing overhead to CAD workstations that may already struggling. Older systems running 32-bit operating systems will show their age as these new features require greater amounts of memory, faster processing and longer rendering times.

By contrast, CAD workstations sporting modern 64-bit operating systems are ready for these challenges. As mentioned before, a 64-bit operating systems is nearly limitless in the amount of RAM it can apply to complicated tasks. But in addition to raw RAM, a 64-bit operating system using RAM more efficiently in its memory allocation and computational processing. This means that meg for meg, a 64-bit workstation manages its processor and RAM more efficiently than its older 32-bit counterpart!

Wait, there’s more. Upgrading to a 64-bit operating system affects your non-CAD tasks as well. We’ll talk about that topic next time!

Author: Curt Moreno

  1. Michael Searles
    December 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Would like to udate to from a 32 bit OS to a 64 bit OS but still have projects that are using
    land desktop 2008. I heard that there is a hack to edit the install for land desktop so that it
    will install on a 64 bit OS. cant seem to find the hack.

    • December 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      Installing Civil 3D 2008 on a 64bit Operating System
      Applies to:
      AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008
      You are unable to install Civil 3D 2008 on a 64bit Operating System.
      Currently, 64-bit operating systems are not a supported platform for Civil 3D 2008. However, you can implement a
      workaround that will allow you to run Civil 3D 2008 on a 64-bit operating system.
      Note: The Civil 3D team has only performed preliminary testing with Civil 3D 2008 in 64-bit environments. If you
      choose to implement this workaround and then experience system crashes, drawing corruption or other abnormal
      behavior, Autodesk Support may not be able to provide aid in the troubleshooting process.
      1. On a workstation with a 32 bit operating system create either a standalone or network deployment based
      on your licensing requirements. For instructions on how to create a deployment see the network
      administrator’s guide located on the product DVD under \DOCS\ACAD_NAG.PDF.
      2. When prompted to add a Service Pack to the deployment it is recommended that you apply the latest
      Service Pack. The Service Pack must be applied to the deployment because it will not install when applied
      directly to the application while running on a 64bit OS. For instructions on how to add a Service Pack to a
      deployment see the Service Pack’s Readme file. The latest service pack can be downloaded from the
      following location:
      Civil 3D Updates & Service Packs:
      3. Download and install Orca from Microsoft. For download and installation instructions see the following
      How to use the Orca database editor to edit Windows Installer files
      4. Browse to the AdminImage folder of the Civil 3D deployment and backup the C3D.msi and Setup.ini files.
      5. Using Orca, open the C3D.msi and delete the action found in the table “InstallExecuteSequence” that is
      called “CheckFor64BitOS” Delete the same line under table “CustomAction” then save and close C3D.msi.
      6. Using Windows Notepad open the Setup.ini and delete the line under #====================
      Platform Requirement” that is labeled “PLATFORM=NO_WOW_64_PROCESS”
      7. On the 64 bit workstation, install the deployment by double-clicking on the shortcut in the deployment
      Some support paths under the “Files” tab of the configuration dialog box have incorrect paths. The installer adds
      and extra “\AppData\AppData” to some support paths located in the user profile.
      To apply future service packs you will need to uninstall Civil 3D 2008 per TS1070214 and recreate a deployment
      using the steps in this document.

  2. December 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Michael,

    If you could provide more information about your current OS (and any potential upgrades), your hardware specs, etc., we’ll have our bloggers point you in the right direction.

    CADspeed editors

  1. September 7, 2011 at 3:14 am
  2. September 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm
  3. September 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm

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