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Windows 7: Has anyone ever read this before...

22 Jun 2010   #31

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9

Geoff, that makes sense.

Course, it doesn't make sense as to why Windows bothers limiting it in the first place...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Thorsen View Post
Before reading this, I thought it was the actual architechure preventing 32x from using more than 4G of Ram, but now it seems (given having a CPU that can use PAE) Windows itself is what is limiting it.

-The key has to be changed and loaded unsigned to allow the 32x system to use 8G or ram.

-32x has no problem using 8G or Ram.

-Microsoft would like everyone to believe that the only way forward, to use 8G of ram, is to upgrade from 32x systems like XP to the new 64x system that is allowed to use more than 4G.

-It seems that Microsoft could easily allow hardware that can handle 8G to access all 8G, but it wont let their 32x systems load in that manner.
Thorsen, I feel the same way.

I have to make sure though, the actual architecture of a x32 system DOES limit RAM to under 4Gb, correct? Excluding PAE, a pure x32 system cannot use more than that?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #32

Windows 7 Ultimate Retail Box (64-bit installed) + Service Pack 1

Thanks for sharing, and now for spreading that evil 3.5 meg limitation LIE.

I skipped Vista entirely, the buzz on it was extremely negative and didn't see a need at the time.

I am pleased with 64-bit 7 though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #33

Win7 Home Premium 64x

I use the ~3.25 Ram limit lie as it has the affect of not getting peoples hopes up. when you say 3.5, someone with 3.3 will say "hey why don't I get 3.5" and so on.....

Excluding PAE, a pure x32 system cannot use more than that?
I think thats correct, but all the systems that Goeff was talking about have PAE and are coded as such, they just dont allow it unless the kernel is modified to allow it on the 32x system.

Edit: I Think
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jun 2010   #34

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Ugh, PAE is a total hack, and a performance pentaly at that. There were the same address extension hacks used on 16 bit systems to get beyong the one meg barrior. (There were TWO of them then) And they also dissapeared when Win32 came along and good riddance.

Such hacks were needed because the 32 to 64 change was going SO d*mn slow it was excrutiating. people NEEDED more than 4 gig and the 64 bit Windows support was just terrible (From Microsft and everyone else)

Butx 64 is here now, PAE should virtually never need to be used, it should be dropped and forgotten about just like the old 32 addressing aon 16 bit OS hacks were, there is no purpose for it any more except to support ancient legacy software on old almost end of lifed OSes.

If you need > 4 gig install x64. That's what it's for. Virtually every machine sold now comes with W7x64 standard.

At this point in time use of PAE for anything but the most extreme of legacy concerns is just stupid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #35
Geoff Chappell

Windows Vista

[QUOTE=Lordbob75;801358I know that x32 OS do not have enough addressing space to contain more than about 3.5Gbs (depending) of RAM, so how can that be an actual limitation by Microsoft?
Your 3.5GB is for a machine that runs a 32-bit operating system that knows only the most basic page-table algorithm. Such an operating system can form only 4GB of physical memory addresses, no matter how much RAM is fitted. Architectural decisions for the machine and peripherals mean that some of that 4GB is reserved for such things as a ROM BIOS, text-mode video memory, and a seemingly ever-increasing demand for memory-mapped devices, so that in practice only 3GB, give or take, of your potential 4GB is usable as general-purpose RAM.

However, a 32-bit operating system that knows the PAE page-table algorithm can form 64GB of physical memory addresses. On the same machine as above, the hardware architecture is unchanged. You still have that some of the first 4GB of physical memory is reserved, but memory above 4GB is usable by the PAE operating system as general-purpose RAM.

Microsoft's limit is that when you run 32-bit Windows with PAE, Windows may be made to ignore physical memory above 4GB. You get the same memory usage as if you did not have PAE.

After reading into the article, I see that you mention that 16bit Windows (limited by 64K) had 640K, so I do see that it has been (and still is) possible to go beyond the theoretical limitations of the OS archetecture.
The point there is that it's not a matter of going beyond the theoretical limitations but of realising that the theory was naive.

For DOS on the 8086, the mechanism by which 16-bit registers addressed a 20-bit physical memory space was primitive and ugly (as primitive things tend to be). Even programmers who didn't actually despise segmentation (though I suspect most did) had to code specially for it. Yet the mechanism can be seen as an early algorithm for translating linear addresses to physical addresses: instead of page tables maintained by the operating system, there were segment registers maintained by whatever was the currently executing code. Protected-mode segmentation was an improvement, but paging achieved elegance, especially because most programmers don't give it a moment's thought and many seem to be entirely ignorant of it. A down side to the way it was introduced is that many programmers got it stuck in their heads that linear and physical addresses must have the same width. A little history and reflection would have told them that the limitations they saw as derived from theory were actually signs of rigid assumption.

It really seems like it is many times easier to upgrade to x64 Windows.
It may or may not be. The article's concern is not with whether 32-bit Windows with PAE would be better or worse than 64-bit Windows, even on the narrow matter of using memory above 4GB. The concern is instead that you should know 32-bit Windows does have the capability coded into it as already sold to you, no matter how many people say that 64-bit Windows is the only way to use memory above 4GB.

Of course, some cases are obvious, e.g., if you were buying a new computer. Others I think are less so, or were. It is anyway all hypothetical since the license restriction means there is no alternative to 64-bit Windows, whether easier or harder. Without the restriction, I would have trouble advising someone to ditch a 32-bit installation that they're perfectly happy with except for not quite getting the use of all their RAM. A multi-GB download and upgrade or re-installation is not obviously easier than a license upgrade. If nothing else the latter involves a million times less data! Or would. It is, of course, not an option that Microsoft provides - or that anyone in the industry seems to have wanted that anyone in general should know is even possible.

I also have to add that the whole article really feels like an attack on Microsoft. While I agree with a lot of what you say about them being a monopoly and anti-competitive, etc, it seems like a little over the top for something that is fairly easily fixed.
If PAE support was not coded into the product, I would never have cared to ask for it. But since it is there, and Microsoft seems not to deal with it honestly, there seem to be some questions to raise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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