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Fedora, and other distros install a PAE kernel if the hardware supports it.

Are there any negative effect on running a PAE kernel on a machine with less than 3-4Gb ram ?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Ubuntu 9.10 benchmarks including 32-bit and 32-bit PAE kernels:

http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14477

"...we did not find using Ubuntu's 32-bit PAE kernel to have a dramatic performance impact whether it be positive or negative"

The conclusion is probably the same for Fedora.

Stability doesn't seem to be a real issue.

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