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3 Gb 32bit OS

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  • 3 Gb 32bit OS

    I've been researching the memory address capacity of a 32 bit operating system and have not found out why it only recognizes 3 Gb when the theoretical max is 4 Gb. Theoretically a 32 bit system should recognize 4 gigabytes and a 64 bit system should recognize 16 exabytes (16,000,000 Gb). My question is "where is the extra Gb?"
    Sager NP5792
    Alienware M11x-R1
    WUXGA Glossy
    11.6" WXVGA Glossy
    2.4GHz Core 2 Duo
    1.3GHz CULV Core 2 Duo OCed to 1.76GHz
    GeForce 8800GTX
    GeForce GT 335m
    4,096 DDR2 667 Memory
    4,096 DDR3 800 Memory
    200 Gb 7200 RPM SATA 150
    128 Gb GSkill Falcon SSD
    64 bit Vista Home Premium
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium

  • #2
    One possibility is reserved address space for memory-mapped drivers file IO operations and such.

    Looking at this MSDN article it looks like it's an arbitrary software limitation, but perhaps it's imposed in order to achieve 1:1 mapping of virtual to physical address space (faster gaming possibly?).

    Just some semi-educated guesses.