Category Archives: Windows Vista SP1

Windows Vista SP1 and the 3GB Limit With The 32-bit Version

Recently when I was shopping for a new laptop, I noticed that there were several 3GB Notebooks and initially I didn’t understand why there are 3GB laptops and not just 2GB or 4GB notebooks.

So, as I was shopping for the laptop and tried learning a few things, came to know that Windows Vista 32-bit edition could only support up to 3GB. That prompted me to go for a 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium edition. But then, today I was reading the Redmond magazine that talked about Windows Vista SP1 and seems, SP1 now allows a 32-bit Vista OS to support up to 4GB as well. Here is the excerpt from the magazine

“Apparently, this is a limitation in the way the 32-bit version of Vista handles memory (the 64-bit version doesn’t have this issue). It’s no longer an issue, as SP1 fixes the problem and shows you the full amount of memory in your system.” So, no longer frustrations about the missing RAM.

Now, if you are wondering why there is a 4GB limit for a 32-bit machine, the reason is, 2^32 = 2^2 * 2^30 = 4 * (2^10*2^10*2^10) = 4GB. Yup. I already ordered a 64-bit OS since the CPU is Intel Core 2 Duo, which is a 64-bit CPU.

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