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I don't understand how 32-bit OS's use RAM on a per process basis. I've read the max RAM my x86 processor running a 32-bit OS can use is 2^32 = 4GB; but that's just for one process, right?

3DS Max keeps crashing, but it typically can never use more than 2GB of RAM before it crashes, if I increase my RAM from 4-8GB, would that double how much RAM I can use for each individual process or actually cause no change in my performance?

Additionally, would increasing my VRAM and getting a better graphics card increase the extent to which individual programs can preform? Lastly, is there any way to upgrade a 86-bit processor to be able to run a 64-bit OS? I feel like it would be ridiculous to sell modern processors that are capped at 4GB of RAM.


Quad-Core Intel i7 Q 720 @ 1.6GHz

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closed as not a real question by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Synetech, terdon, 8088, TFM Dec 3 '12 at 7:29

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32-bit Windows can use at most 4GB tops. Sometimes less. –  Lee Taylor Dec 2 '12 at 22:36
You have a 64bit processor. You are just running a 32bit OS. Since your CPU has a 64bit instruction set, you can install a 64bit system on the same hardware. –  terdon Dec 3 '12 at 2:08

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

First of all, you already have a 64bit, x86-64 processor. Therefore you can install 64bit OS and overcome problem with max. 2GB RAM per process. You also need 64bit version of 3DS Max.

Limit for 32bit processor is 4GB RAM, it's absolute maximum, not just for process. 3DS Max can't use more than 2GB, because it's a maximum amount of memory per process in 32bit Winodws OS.

With better graphics and more graphic memory, you'll have better graphics processing, but it would help you only in case that you have a shared graphic memory (e.g. cheap notebook graphics without own memory).

There is no way you can run 64bit OS on 32bit x86 processor, but again that's not your case.

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A 64-bit process on a 64-bit Windows operating system can be allocated more then 2GB of memory. This answer does not have accurate information. –  Ramhound Dec 2 '12 at 23:12
You're right, I'm a fool. I saw 86 somewhere and was confused. Thank you for your time. @Ramhound I think he's referring to the 2GB maximum on 32-bit OS –  Derek Reitz Dec 2 '12 at 23:17

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