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Posts Tagged ‘Memory’

Why you should forget about 4GiB of RAM on 32-bit systems and move on

April 23, 2011 by mokubai. 1 comments

In my previous post on 64-bit systems I was somewhat dismissive of applications being able to use PAE and other technologies to allow a 32-bit operating system to use more than 4GiB of memory.  We’ve since asked:

If my operating system is 64 bit can my 32 bit applications use 64 bit memory (> 3.5GB)?

And the answer is, in truth, yes.  Yes, you can.  But it’ll cost you and, probably, make your life difficult.  It’ll also make people wonder why you wanted to try it in the first place too, what with all these new-fangled 64-bit processors and operating systems flying about using whatever memory they need to do whatever they like.

There are many technologies for achieving this, these include PAE, PSE, PSE-36, AWE (Windows), mmap (Unix/Linux) and they all have one thing in common: they require special support to use properly. In some cases forcing the issue means things can and will break, horribly.

TL;DR Version: All these technologies are there for developers. They provide no immediate solution for end users.

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