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Memory usage beyond 32Bit limitations of Windows OS


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EDIT: There can be many dudes spreading WRONG information in replying to this guide, If you are smart, try and test this solution yourself instead of reading bunch of negative responses. I know for myself it works on my system so Good Luck!

Modern hardware has 5GiB+ RAM these days... but Windows XP or Vista (x86 32Bit) only detects 3.xxGB approx. So how to make programs use more memory? For this, you have to understand what is "PageFile" and "RAMDisk" (summary at the end of this guide)

Normally, standard RamDisks use the memory within the range of 32Bit limitation (>3.xx GB) but some special RamDisks use PAE to address range beyond the limit (SuperSpeed's RamDisk Plus and Romex's RamDisk does that for NT OSes (XP and Vista) R. Loew's RamDisk does that for lagacy OSes (Win98,98SE,ME).

Once you install the ramdisk, you can set your PageFile path to that drive (set up Min and Max input according to the size of your RamDisk size). If you further need the pagefile on HDD, you can do it otherwise, its good to never see that kind of file in HDD. After next restart, you can test out any of your memory hogging program and get surprised :)

you can also optimize your system by transferring "TEMP" folder, "Temporary Internet Files" or "Cache" folder of Opera/Mozilla to RamDisk and enjoy the super speed installations and web surfing!

EDIT: If you're using LapTop, you can further save your battery by using SuperVolume/SuperCache (made by the same dude who made RamDisk Plus, SuperSpeed Inc)

FAQs from below replies posts:

Post 2. Speed: Its on RAM so obviously faster then HDDs :) (SEE the benchmark speed test)

Post 5. Cache: 32 Bit Vista's cache are within the 32Bit addressing range not beyond and even if it had something invisible going there, that particular ramdisk won't overwrite (see the manual)

Post X. Overhead: It is obviously low as its on RAM and lets not forget that even if your on 64BIT OS, when you use 32Bit softwares, WOW64 emulation poses such overheads as well!

Post Y. There was a post somewhere in those pages which gave me THIS LINK (a patch for Vista/Win7 x86) that enable up to 128GB (Its in Chinese so, you have to simply read the instructions or get translated by google)

Information:

PageFile: In computer operating systems there are various ways in which the operating system can store and retrieve data from secondary storage for use in main memory. One such memory management scheme is referred to as paging. In the paging memory-management scheme, the operating system retrieves data from secondary storage in same size blocks called pages.

RamDisk: A RAM disk is a software layer that enables applications to transparently use RAM, often a segment of main memory, as if it was a hard disk

Clearly, Some guys are trying to advertise Win7 and x64 in their replies to their gutts! This thread is mainly FOR 32Bit users NOT for X64 users, please read this line and stop spamming and changing this thread's topic! This is not an advertising thread for x64 or against x64 or for x64 discussions

post-239493-1246042110.png

Edited by JunkMail
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Yes but windows vista and windows 7 (both versions do this) cache programs in ram so using ram for a ram disk on vista and windows 7 might slow it down.

Also windows 64bit has extra security features that 32bit doesnt . So if you have over 4 gig of ram why not use 64bit?With vista and 7 you also just need the 64bit media to install 64bit since the license key stays the same.

So why go through all the driver setup and things like that when you can just use 64bit?

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I expect speed to be 98% due to the RamDisk driver (however, Since the target location is RAM, is obviously faster then any of those HDDs). Windows 32Bit OSes will not see beyond so their cache is stored within their range of memory (between 1 to 3.5GB)

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Makes sense, but won't it be really slow?

It's slightly slower, but the alternative is not using the memory at all and only paging to disk.

If you've ever used Photoshop on a Mac, you should be familiar with the general idea of this kind of thing. There, Photoshop is a 32-bit app and can only use 3GB of memory, so it's common to create a RAM disk and put Photoshop's private scratch/page file on it so you get some use out of the memory even though there's a slight reduction in performance compared to if Photoshop had been 64-bit and could use it directly.

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I expect speed to be 98% due to the RamDisk driver (however, Since the target location is RAM, is obviously faster then any of those HDDs). Windows 32Bit OSes will not see beyond so their cache is stored within their range of memory (between 1 to 3.5GB)

If the person has more then 4 gig and doesnt have 64bit the speed increase would be greater going to 64bit then using the wasted ram as a ram disk.

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Everyone should go 64-bit now unless they have a piece of critical hardware/software that isn't 64-bit compatible and can't. All of this was more interesting five years ago, really. It's a bit late to the party.

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If someone searches Google for this information, they should be landing here :) more neowinions... Its a guide based on discovery, old or new matters not :p In one of the Microsoft pages, I read almost 99 percent of Vista apps are compatible with Win7 so, As long as Microsoft gives out x86 (32Bit), this guide can proove useful to someone...

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I plan on doing this when I get my new system set up. My tv tuner only has 32-bit drivers so I can't go 64-bit until I get a new tuner. I'll only be losing a few hundred MB of ram so it's no big deal. I don't do anything that would remotely use 4GB of ram anyway.

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Another alternative is to allocate memory in your BIOS to use as secondary memory on your video card. Generally this memory draws from the areas of memory that are not accessible to older versions of windows first. This can be particularly useful if you have a system capable of hybrid crossfire or hybrid SLI. Of course, using standard system RAM for video purposes is always going to be slower, but if you're going to have that RAM sitting up there doing nothing, it's better to allocate it to video.

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Using a ramdisk is not some magical way to subvert the 4GB address limit of a 32 bit OS.

Amen my brother !

I'm sorry, but if you have more than 4GB then you MUST go 64 bits and don't try to use this kind of half assed solution like the OP's one.

EPIC FAIL imho.

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Using a ramdisk is not some magical way to subvert the 4GB address limit of a 32 bit OS.

http://www.romexsoftware.com/main/support/...use-4g-ram.html

They have a freeware Ramdisk which supports this feature.

Yes, going 64-bit is the better option. But if you're forced to use 32-bit for whatever reason, this is a good solution to utilize the extra RAM in your system.

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Yes, going 64-bit is the better option. But if you're forced to use 32-bit for whatever reason, this is a good solution to utilize the extra RAM in your system.

Exactly my point. 64Bit, better! But if you can't, here'z a solution.

Thanks for that link, I'll edit and add it to first post :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Pardon me, but a lot of us have no interest or need to use 64 bit. But no need to insult us for that...

i would go 64bit if i could... currently using a non-64bit capable CPU ...

but if you could , like you have the CPU and RAM for it, and all your drivers and software have no problem with 64bit, but you still dont... well i dunno what to say

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atm my needs do not include 64bit at least not yet but perhaps in a few years that may change, we are so used to 32bit land and moving to 64bit land will take time but that happened with 32bit and 16bit and soforth. all my apps are 32bit(i even have a couple 16 bit apps around though i rarely if ever use them.

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I wonder what good 64Bit is for a normal home user... (besides that hyped security)? One thing you read in all MS OS releases is "More secure, reliable, etv blah blah" but as time passes, it automatically becomes insecure regardless of its BIT status...

There are so many softwares for 32Bit atm so, I'm happy with 32Bit. Besides there are so many tweaking software that can make ramdisk drivers disappear from "my computer" so, RAM is good and invisibly available :) what more is expected?

In XP 64Bit, Win uses WOW64 (which is emulation for 32BIT apps to run properly) likewise, RamDisk is emulation of HDD drive on RAM. Think about it, which is faster now? When you run 32Bit apps on 64BIT OS, its rather slow :p and HDD space consuming (64Bit files and WOW Files)

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This is a completely pointless waste of time, especially when 32-bit license keys for Vista and 7 can be used for 64bit versions of the same edition. It's not like it even costs anything to use 64bit, and this doesn't really solve anything at all.

JunkMail, 64bit has security advantages, but furthermore, has no real disadvantages for a normal home user. It's completely transparent, doesn't require 64bit programs to operate, and runs just fine with your existing 32bit software. WOW64 also doesn't emulate on x86-64, it only runs emulation on IA-64 Itanium 2 processors. On x86-64, WOW64 switches the procesor back over to 'compatibility' mode, and 32bit threads are executed on the CPU in 32bit mode. It is NOT emulation in consumer copies of Vista and 7.

Stop using 'tweaks' and just do it properly.

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Pardon me, but a lot of us have no interest or need to use 64 bit. But no need to insult us for that...

I am not trying to insult anyone, it is a fact that it is better to switch to an X64 OS if you have 4GB + of memory, it simply isn't as fast to try and use artificial means like PAE and Ramdisks to try and subvert the 4GB limit of an X64 OS.

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I am not trying to insult anyone, it is a fact that it is better to switch to an X64 OS if you have 4GB + of memory, it simply isn't as fast to try and use artificial means like PAE and Ramdisks to try and subvert the 4GB limit of an X64 32bit OS.

:p

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This is a completely pointless waste of time, especially when 32-bit license keys for Vista and 7 can be used for 64bit versions of the same edition. It's not like it even costs anything to use 64bit, and this doesn't really solve anything at all.

JunkMail, 64bit has security advantages, but furthermore, has no real disadvantages for a normal home user. It's completely transparent, doesn't require 64bit programs to operate, and runs just fine with your existing 32bit software. WOW64 also doesn't emulate on x86-64, it only runs emulation on IA-64 Itanium 2 processors. On x86-64, WOW64 switches the procesor back over to 'compatibility' mode, and 32bit threads are executed on the CPU in 32bit mode. It is NOT emulation in consumer copies of Vista and 7.

Stop using 'tweaks' and just do it properly.

The biggest disadvantage is availability of Softwares (which is big) and some hardware drivers ( sad for that dude without TV tuner drivers). Windows XP x64 uses a compatability layer called WOW64, to emulate a 32bit Operating System. (Source here). Without WOW, you can't operate 32Bit apps :p not sure about Win7 though. Again selection of 32/64Bit is a user preference and cannot be forced. As long as there are users willing to use x86, MS will continue to release x86 of Win7 and Win8 and Win9.

I am not trying to insult anyone, it is a fact that it is better to switch to an X64 OS if you have 4GB + of memory, it simply isn't as fast to try and use artificial means like PAE and Ramdisks to try and subvert the 4GB limit of an X64 OS.

Big deal, MS uses professional term for it's artificial means "WOW" (also GBs for wow files) and I don't :p I'm addressing main problem, "RAM usage" if I choose 64BIT of XP, I'll have to address "slow buggy 32Bit usage".

Edited by JunkMail
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Yes, the emulated 32-bit environment does introduce some slight overhead, but it's so insignificant on today's systems that it shouldn't be a reason not to switch. The only reason not to switch is if you don't want to spend the money, or if you have some software/hardware that just can't run under emulation.

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