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What happens when you install > 4GB of RAM in a computer with a 32-Bit OS?

What happens when you install > 4GB of RAM in a computer with a 32-Bit OS?

So I'm a programmer and I'm not a complete idiot so I know exactly why you can't access memory where you can't have pointers. But I've never tried this and I don't think I ever will because it seems like a big waste of money/time.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 132
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

If you have a a processor with the Physical Address Extension (which you probably do) and the correct OS (e.g. not a consumer version of Windows, it uses PAE but is capped at 4GB) then the memory can be mapped and used normally. Otherwise the memory will simply not be addressed, the OS will tell that you that you have however many chips of however big they are but they just won't be added to the amount of memory you can access.
Guest [Entry]

I suppose technically if the operating-system were well-designed, you could use more than 4GB. There's no reason I can think of that an OS with virtual memory capabilities could not use 32-bit virtual addresses with 64-bit real addresses.