Windows 7 32 bit actually 'supports' 64GB of RAM.

Discussion in 'Computer Software and Operating Systems' started by gifi4, Jul 22, 2012.

Jul 22, 2012
  1. gifi4
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    Member gifi4 How am I a 'New Member'?

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    As most of you "know", Windows 7 only supports 4GB of RAM, well it appears this is incorrect, there is a 'patch' of sorts that removes this lock and allows full usage of your RAM on a 32-bit based system. You're probably thinking "A patch, well that means it doesn't naturally support 64GB of RAM" Which, in a way, is true, however, it's removing a lock that Microsoft has placed on the RAM usage, which means it naturally supported the ram usage but then Microsoft blocked it, so to say.

    Source

    Wasn't sure if this belonged in USN or not. Either way, sound off in the thread and let me know what you think!
     
  2. Sicklyboy

    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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  3. The Real Jdbye

    Member The Real Jdbye D:

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    This is not news. It's called PAE and is a feature that has been included in windows for a long time. You can enable it by modifying the Windows boot parameters, but there is still a hardcoded 4GB limit even with PAE enabled, and drivers most likely will not all support it and you will get BSODs and things won't work properly. That's why 64-bit Windows needs x64 specific drivers.

    As for what the link says about 32-bit Windows not letting you use the whole 4GB of ram, the address space is not only used by the graphics card, it's also used for address registers and other PCI(e) cards, if I remember correctly. The patch disables the hardcoded limit, which might seem like it works at first, but will almost guaranteed cause driver related issues. As the address space for RAM is normally only 4 bytes, addressing memory will not work correctly for drivers that are not coded so they know how to react to longer addresses (either on purpose or by luck). It works correctly for most applications, because they use process-specific address space, and so they don't refer to memory by absolute locations, but rather relative to the start of the process memory.

    Of course, someone may be lucky and their drivers might all be PAE-compatible, however, PCs use a lot of drivers, and the more PCI(e)-cards or USB devices you have, the higher the chance some of your drivers don't support PAE. For this reason, I haven't tried to mess around with it and have rather just used x64 Windows and x64 drivers to ensure my system doesn't become unstable (at least not if it's avoidable). I'm assuming that Windows' built in drivers all support PAE, so if you don't use any USB devices that need to install drivers (either from windows update or disc), and you haven't installed any PCI(e) cards, the graphics card drivers should be the only thing that could fail, making it worth a shot to try if you have 4+ GB ram and 32-bit Windows.
     
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  4. Bladexdsl

    Member Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    i'd like to see windows 7 32bit try and use 64gb ram without tearing itself apart with over 9000 BSOD! just get the 64bit version you'll thank yourself later :P
     
  5. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Yeah the problem with PAE is that it requires all the windows drivers to support it properly.

    Fun fact; a majority of BSoDs on windows are either faulty hardware or drivers.
     
  6. Necron

    Member Necron Lurking~

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    A question guys. Since the article says you can only use 3.25 gb out of your 4gb, would this patch benefit people with only 4gb, or that will cause the same problems with drivers?
     
  7. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    I wouldn't touch it.
     
  8. Selim873

    Member Selim873 Nunnayobeesnes

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    Um, why would somebody want that much ram? I think 8GB is more than enough, personally.
     
  9. Jamstruth

    Member Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

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    Nope. That .75 GB of RAM is being booked out by Windows to my knowledge.
     
  10. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    As a rule of thumb Selim873 those in computing tend to avoid making statements like that as they have a habit of returning to haunt you a couple of years later although most of the really good ones seem to be falsifications.

    As for why if you start building proper database servers, using ramdrives (although you can get sata drives that use ram for storage in the consumer(ish) market these days), using terminal/zero client docking station setups or doing seriously high end 3d rendering/video/number crunching work it gets useful. I would agree that most people probably do not need much more than 2 for day to day stuff, 4 will see those same people sitting pretty and 8 is good for those that take computational things seriously or are otherwise not inclined to tidy things up before thrashing their machine and other than ramdrive more than that is not worth the hassle for most people.

    Anyway PAE on a system/OS that has largely denounced it for years... no thanks. I certainly like the idea of PAE and if an OS was properly virtualised to cater for the things not geared to handle it (I can not really ignore legacy stuff) I might even welcome it but this is too far towards hackjob even for me.
     
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  11. Bladexdsl

    Member Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    prob but i have 16gb just in case :P
     

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