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Old 08-05-2008, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

I was told that 32 bit operating systems are limited to 4gb of RAM.

However, somebody else told me that is absolutely not true and exceeding 4gb of RAM is relatively easy, depending on the processor you have. However, I was not able to get anymore information on this.

I figured I'd ask here to see what kind of responses I could get from people. What's the story? What are the limitations? What are the capabilities? Is there really a need for 64 bit operating systems outside of accommodating more memory?
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

Hello,

There is a 4GB RAM Limit. For the person that said it isnt true have them read my topic in the Windows Sticky about this.

Difference Between 32 Bit (x86) and 64 Bit (x64)

It shows in there how the limit is applied. Being 32 Bit it can not address more than 4GB of RAM. It also shows in there how around 512MB is reserved for Windows. Plus this also doesnt take into consideration that Video Card Memory which is also added into the resources.

So the limit is absolutely true.

Cheers,
Mak
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

Interesting. Thanks for the good read, Mak.

So I guess in essence, it seems like part manufacturers as a whole have neglected to recognize the future of computers from earlier on in the game. It sounds all too similar... (our government and the gas situation... but let's avoid a political debate and let it at that).

Hm, that's interesting. The reason I was interested in looking this stuff up is I bought a soundcard for Ubuntu Linux that supposedly worked 100%. I ran into some issues, and I just realized I'm running 64 bit Ubuntu. Why? I don't know. To be honest, the logon splash logo looked a little prettier. That's about it, besides using it for curiosity reasons. But I'm going to try 32 bit and see where it ends up, as far as whether or not it clears out my problems.

But yeah, I don't really have a need to run 64 bit. After all, my motherboard maxes out at 4gb RAM and I'm currently only running 2gb RAM. I love how the way I run everything just makes perfect sense. Duuur.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

Jayce,

Yes this was a short sighted thing when PC's were being developed in the early days that led to this limitation.

But also back then you have to remember that PC's were not making the leaps and bounds they have in just hte past 10 years. Back when PC's first started in homes they were only 16 Bit if that. DOS wasnt even 16 Bit.

So for them to be able to see the future of PC's and know in just 10 years that the RAM and CPU's would make such leaps would have been impossible. I mean who would have thought that back when Windows 95 was out and the big OS of the time that something more than 4GB of RAM would be easily used. This is back when 32MB was considered very high end.

So while it was a short sighted adventure at least they took this into account and created 64 Bit. Who knows in another 10 years wo could be reaching the limits of 64 Bit and have to move onto 128 or 256 Bit. We cant prodict the future of PC's and what they could hold.

I would have never guessed back when i first started on PC;s that i would have a TB of storage and 3GB of RAM. Back then i thought a GB was well beyond reach.

Cheers,
Mak
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

Mak -

You're absolutely right... but my point I was saying was it seems like their focus ('their' meaning anybody involved with PC parts manufacturing) as a whole hasn't appeared to be a "gung ho" as I would have expected. Even though they may have addressed the initializing process of it "early" on in the game of technology, it just doesn't make complete sense to me. I've heard of some manufacturers as little as a year ago say "Oh, we don't expect to be making 64 bit drivers for quite some time."

Things like that just paint the overall picture of doubt in my mind.

But I'm sure when people are barking "OMGOSH I NEED 16GB OF RAM!" then things will change at a much quicker pace.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

Jayce,

You are right to a point. The major problem is that 64 Bit hasnt been welcomed or accepted by the general consumer greatly yet. Just look at almost any PC manufacturer. How many PC's do they offer with 64 Bit OS's? Now look again and see how many they offer with 32 Bit OS's. You will notice that ti is at least a 5 or 10 to 1 ratio of 32 Bit PC's to 64 Bit PC's.

Even the general public here and many other forums. Not many people see a major reason to run 64 Bit yet as there is a small percentage of applications that work fully on there. This is due to the fact that the developers have yet to make their products 64 Bit compatible. Which goes in hand with 64 Bit not being hte major selling point yet.

It will take a move like microsoft was saying back before Vista's release that they would stop the 32 Bit production all together for people to finally stand up and realize that 64 Bit is here to stay and that 32 Bit is the dying breed.

When people start getting on teh developers to make the software 64 Bit and the developers start to get on teh manufacturers to support 64 Bit more will we see this trend shift from 32 Bit to 64 Bit.

But till then it seems to me that 32 Bit will be a hard beast to slay.

cheers,
Mak
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

Yeah... after all, if things work in 32 bit environments, I can see why people would stick with them. Look at where I work... a lot of the machines are still 2000 pro with 512 RAM. Why? Because they just work. They do what's needed.

Granted, all of the new computers we order are dual core AMD 5000+'s or something of that nature, but nonetheless, despite the higher processing power, when it comes to the daily applications that the P4 512mb 2000 Pro's run, there's not a noticeable difference at all.

But, ahh... I'd stick with 64 bit if things worked. But every time I try it out, I think "aw man this is cool I'm part of the whole future click blah blah" and something gets messed up... Ahh, back to 32 bit, the land of the functional.

Guess we'll just have to see how parts manufacturers react in the upcoming years!
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

This is by far one of the best tech talks I have read in months, I hope the day comes soon when companies like dell an HP offer more 64bit compliant PC's out of the box. Other wise we run the risk of stagnating mores law can only take us so far there is another part of the equalization an that is software. We need to start pestering software vendors to start making more of there software available to people running x64 an we need to do it soon.

The laptop i am on now has 4gb of ram an my desktop has 3.5gb an is going to be taken to 8gb on my windows box as soon as i can but when i can afford it i am getting a macpro with 32gb of ram.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

Ah, yeah... I was starting to wonder that myself (about Mac). Granted, I see the Linux world cause I'm a big Ubuntu user. I see the Windows world because of the nature of my job... but Mac I haven't dealt directly with for a while now. I assume they're all running 64bit platforms?

Mac would have an advantage, being that there's no middle man/third party... it's all an internal setup. I suppose their switch would have been considerably different.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 32 bit OS RAM limitation.

Saxon,

I have to agree with you. It is getting to the point where developers are just content with making things 32 Bit. Which is in line with the PC manufacturer's being content in making 32 Bit machines.

There is oging to be something that has to be done soon for both the manufacturer's and developer's to see that 64 Bit is the way to go. Vista 64 Bit is the start of this. Above and beyond anything this OS is the best stepping stone for many.

I know what will be said. "But it's Vista!" Well i will say this. Many people have heard of my praise of Server 2008. Guess what? Vista 64Bit with SP1 is almost on par with Server 2008. So we have the first major OS that can help make the transition. It is just if the manufacturers and developers will follows suit.

Cheers,
Mak
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