A common question regarding 3D in GameMaker is "how many triangles can it render?" As most people have probably guessed, the answer is "it depends on what's in your computer."

GameMaker currently doesn't feature some modern rendering features like indexed vertex buffers or GPU instancing which would make this sort of thing a lot easier, but hopefully this puts the question to rest all the same. I'll probably update this when New Runtime comes out to push the numbers even higher.

Three downloads are available here:

  • A "small" (two million triangles) terrain at 36 bytes per vertex
  • The same terrain with 12 bytes per vertex and without a lighting shader
  • A large (58 million triangle) terrain with 12 bytes per vertex and without a lighting shader.
  • The Large Terrain full scene exceeds Itch's one gigabyte file size limit so if you want to run that demo you'll have to grab it from the Github repository - maybe later I'll ask Itch nicely to remove the limit

See the YouTube video for a full explanation of what's going on.

System requirements

The tests will run even if your computer doesn't meet the requirements, but poorly. (That's kind of the whole point of this thing.)

  • CPU: yes
  • Graphics: that's the question, isn't it?
  • RAM and VRAM: about 100 MB for Small Terrain Simple, about 250 MB for Small Terrain Regular, about 2.5 GB for Large Terrain Simple, about 6.5 GB for Large Terrain Regular
  • 64-bit Windows 7 or later (but you can take the source code and run it on anything you want)


was generated with this thing.


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

How Many Triangles - Large Terrain Simple.zip 339 MB
How Many Triangles - Small Terrain Simple.zip 16 MB
How Many Triangles - Small Terrain.zip 47 MB

Development log


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wow great experiment!