What is 64-bit Java?
Java, as you may already know, is a programming language and a platform designed by the Oracle Corporation released in 1995. The program has grown in scale and function to the point where billions of computers and websites around the world rely on it; it even forms the core for Android operating systems on mobile phones!
In the past most computers came with the 32-bit of Java, but 64-bit Java is the new version released by Oracle to enhance the performance of Java for 64-bit Operating Systems. Essentially 64-bit Java is a sleeker and newer version of the program that has been coded specifically to make the most of the added power that 64-bit computers have at their disposal.
How Does 64-bit Java Relate to Minecraft?
Java is the “runtime environment” that Minecraft uses to run on your computer. Essentially this means that Java is the framework that Minecraft uses to run on a computer.
By default some players will have installed the 32-bit version of Java, however as we’ve already went over 64-bit Java is much better version of the program; a version that will allow Minecraft to utilise as much of your computing power as possible.
You may notice that if you are currently running 32-bit Java and you switch your Render Distance to Far you will be given a warning that “A 64-bit Java installation is recommended for ‘Far’ render distance (you have 32-bit). This is a great way to quickly diagnose whether or not you already have 64-bit Java installed. Go into the Video Settings in-game and changing the Render Distance to “Far”. If the pictured message (below) doesn’t appear then it is highly likely you already have the latest update installed.
This is Mojang suggesting that if you are planning on running Minecraft on the highest settings you would be better of changing to 64-bit Java to optimise your machine’s performance. For instance, 32-bit Java can only ever use 4GB of RAM, whereas 64-bit Java (and other 64-bit programs) are virtually unlimited; this will allow you to allocate more of your computer’s RAM to running Minecraft than you would be able to otherwise.
How To Install 64-bit Java
If you’ve discovered that you are currently running the 32-bit version of Java, but you have a 64-bit OS then I highly recommend that you install the 64-bit version of Java. Installation is relatively easy, and is mostly automated through the Java website. To download the 64-bit version of Java go to this link and follow through the instructions.
Some users have issues with the installation as it leaves both versions on your computer simultaneously. To remedy this you will need to go into your Add/Remove programs menu through the Control Panel and uninstall the older version of Java. This will give Minecraft no option but to run through the newer version.