I have…Win32 XP Home, with 3 Gigs DDR RAM and a spare slot for another 1Gig stick. Would it be worth my while to install the extra Gig and do large address aware thing?
Ram access gets really tricky, Roy. It has a fascinating history beginning in the old days when CPUs could only directly address a few megs of ram. Then a few industry leaders rolled up their sleeves and figured out a way of opening up sections of extended memory to the operating system using hardware trickery. These leaders were (L)otus, (I)ntel and (M)icrosoft, and the scheme was introduced as the “LIM standard”. The LIM standard referred to extended memory accessed in such a way as “expanded memory”, and the blocks of memory made accessible were called…wait for it…“windows”! And the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the years though, CPU/chipset technology has grown far more complex and are now capable of addressing terabytes (and even petabytes) of ram, while operating systems tended to lag behind. So the DATA structure in OSs increased from 8-bit to 16 to 32-bit systems, but MEMORY ADDRESSING INSIDE THE OS were limited. XP 32-bit OS was designed with 32-bit addressing (32-bit data and 32-bit addressing are 2 entirely different things; it’s mere coincidence that they’re the same number). Mathematically, 2^32 = 4GB, so 4GB is all the ram that XP x86 can address even though 32/64-bit hardware is capable of addressing larger amounts.
Now beyond that, all operating systems reserve blocks of ram for its own use, so it’s impossible to access all the ram you have installed. In the case of XP x86, the OS reserves roughly half a gig for itself. So with your 3GB of ram, you have about 2 1/2 GB of ram available to you for running programs. With a full complement of 4GB installed, you would have about 3 1/2 GB of ram available.
On top of all that, we now have to look at memory ALLOCATION given by the OS to any given program which may be anywhere from a few megabytes to a few gigabytes depending on many variables.
I’m guessing that “large address aware” is usurping the OSs allocation and forcing its own allocation. Now by the program’s own description, it can allocate up to 3GB to a program on a 32-bit OS, and I’m assuming that would be with 4GB installed.
And without knowing what the OS’s allocation is for whatever program it is that you’re running, it’s hard to say whether adding another GB will help, although if you currently don’t have any problems running the program, I doubt that increasing ram available to it would add much if anything for you.
I notice that the list he shows are primarily games. Games are a kind of “special class” of program that can tax the living hell out of ram and system resources far beyond anything that a program such as hexagon will demand. My system has a paltry 2GB of ram and it’s never caused me any problems running anything - EXCEPT A GAME ONCE.
I can’t remember what the game was, but it was one of those well-known “benchmark games” for testing your system for gaming. It may well have been “matrix”, but I’m really not sure. Whatever it was, my system had a hard time keeping up with it, and it was very “jerky” to play. (As you might guess, I’m not a game player. I only have a single game I enjoy, and that’s “quake II”. I can hear the groans from here… )
The funny thing is, I built my own system and got the fastest 2 gigs I could afford at the time, planning on adding more later. But as it turned out, everything I did on my system seemed to work fine with the 2 gigs and I just never got around to adding any more.
So now as I leave another verbose tome in my wake, I hope I’ve made some sense of memory for you, but even more I hope I haven’t confused you.