Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth
The 4 GB limit for 32 bit is a technical limitation. There is just not enough addressing space in 32 bit integer lengths. To get around this issue you must increase the bit length, either by using 64 bit or with PAE. Now PAE must be supported not only by the hardware but also the OS and its core services (aka drivers). So why does Microsoft limit the 32 bit OS to 4 GBs of RAM? Well simple really, most of the hardware and drivers out there bulk with more then 4 GBs of RAM.
Wild and silly speculation...meh.
Completely agree. That article is entirely misguided. I think the conspiratorial tone was meant to raise his profile, as opposed to actually explaining the issue properly. A few other points...
The PAE requirement for 36-bit addressing was/is not met by all consumer-level processors. You need the motherboard and processor to provide a 36-bit address bus before anything else can happen.
"Client" Windows versions used to have this functionality. It was deactivated in XP SP2 and all subsequent versions because it was inducing BSODs in buggy drivers which did not deal well with the remapping. The dilemma faced by MS came down to two choices:
1) Work with every driver provider in the desktop space to teach them how to properly deal with PAE-remapped memory and hence not BSOD machines and corrupt data.
2) Deactivate the remapping for non-server versions of Windows since most 32-bit home/small-office users don't tend to sport in excess of 4GB RAM anyway.
The first one is obviously somewhat utopian, so they chose the latter - no remapping on "client" Windows as of XPSP2 and later. If you want to run more than 4GB, go with 64-bit.
There's no conspiracy. The guy's a ranter.