Max memory limits for 64-bit Windows 7

Max memory limits for 64-bit Windows 7

Summary: While the maximum RAM limit for 32-bit Windows 7 editions is 4GB, when it comes to 64-bit editions, the amount of memory that the OS can address depends on which edition you are running.

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Special Report: Windows 7

While the maximum RAM limit for 32-bit Windows 7 editions is 4GB, when it comes to the 64-bit editions, the amount of memory that the OS can address depends on which edition you are running.

Here are the upper RAM limits for the different editions of Windows 7:

  • Starter: 8GB
  • Home Basic: 8GB
  • Home Premium: 16GB
  • Professional: 192GB
  • Enterprise: 192GB
  • Ultimate: 192GB

These limits are similar to those for Vista editions, expect that Vista Enterprise and Vista Ultimate have had their upper limits raised from 128GB to 192GB.

The one to look out for there is the 16GB limit on Home Premium. If you're building a Core i7 system then it's quite easy (if you have the cash!) to exceed this limit. As long as you're aware of the limit and plan your OS accordingly you'll be OK.

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Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Processors, Software, Windows

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77 comments
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  • I think a better question might be

    when we might start seeing memory densities that could make those limits 'limiting' in any way. I have not actually set eyes on any server board that will allow 128GB to be exceeded.

    I'm sure they exist, if only on a drawing board, but in the wild, not yet.
    chrome_slinky
    • Here you go...

      None of that Dell CRAP here:
      http://www-
      03.ibm.com/systems/x/hardware/enterprise/

      Mainly great for VMWare, Linux, etc.
      itguy08
      • I see the picture

        and read the PDF, but at the current density of memory, there would need to be 64 memory slots - there are not. So, as I was pointing out, the memory density makes using that much impossible.
        chrome_slinky
    • Here's one with 2TB of RAM.

      http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/07/21/3092070.aspx
      ye
      • I didn't see it anywhere

        in words or pictures
        chrome_slinky
        • It was in the Task Manager screen shot.

          First graphic. Spefically the 2046965 is highlighted.
          ye
          • It's 2Gb, not 2 TB... [nt]

            nt
            Coogol
          • Sorry, it is 2 TB.

            The numbers are in MB not KB.
            Joeman57
          • thats a nice number, but

            they don't indicate whether that is in, K, M,G or T
            richvball44
          • Look just above the number, it says MB in brackets n/t

            :)
            DevJonny
  • RE: Max memory limits for 64-bit Windows 7

    http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/server-poweredge-r900?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

    Uhhh Chrome... In Servers? That kind of density has been around for quite some time... And here is a new Dell R900 with 32 DIMM slots for a total of 256GB w/ 8GB DIMMs
    Ishkaboo
  • Why even do it?

    Frankly, I'd like to know: Why even have an artificially low limitation on the amount of RAM in an OS? Have it set to something near or at the theoretical maximum.

    Geez, it's the same mistake we've been making from day one: "we'll never use that much RAM." A couple years later that amount of RAM looks trivially small.

    Why do we have such a hard time learning from the lessons of the past?
    CobraA1
    • I recall reading that Microsoft only supports...

      ...configurations they're able to test. Thus the 192GB RAM "limit" is a result of their inability to find a workstation class system that can accomodate more than 192GB. This doesn't mean Windows can't address more than 192GB. It just means that Microsoft isn't willing to support such configuration since they haven't been able to test them.

      As for the other versions...I don't like the artifical limits. But I guess they have to differentiate them some way.
      ye
      • And yet

        in a previous post you gave an example of a 2TB server that can run
        Windows.

        So the original questions stands. Why the artificial limit? It can't be a
        testing issue.
        frgough
        • And anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension can clearly see...

          ...where I wrote:

          "Thus the 192GB RAM "limit" is a result of their inability to find a [b]workstation class[/b] system that can accomodate more than 192GB."
          ye
        • Isn't it obvious?

          It would seem obvious that is is a product differentiation issue. You pay for the premium product, you get the premium performance.

          What is the big mystery? Every software maker in the world does this.
          jmoleary
          • You Mean..

            I can't buy programs Adobe Creative Suite Standard and expect to have all the features of Adobe Creative Suite Premium. Or I buy Quickbooks and cry because I do not have all the features of Quickbooks Pro?

            That's just ludicrous.

            Of course that's just a couple examples but I am sure there are many many more.
            bobiroc
      • Nothing special happens . . .

        Okay, so they only do what they can "test."

        But these days nothing special happens when you change the theoretical maximum. It's not like in the DOS days when you have to worry about conventional memory vs high memory and EMS vs XMS etc etc.

        These days, it's all the same. Memory is memory. A memory location at the 6 GB position is no different from a memory location at the 200 GB position. If everything is working fine in a 196 GB system, I see no reason why larger systems in the future would be different.

        The biggest worry I have, frankly, is the 8/16 GB limits in the Home editions. Surely at least those can be increased? I can create a system with more than 8 GB easily today.

        Gamers especially may be annoyed that they may have to buy Professional because of memory limits.
        CobraA1
        • "Surely at least those can be increased?"

          Of course they can! Just purchase a "Pro" or "Premium License".

          That's how Microsoft bleeds their "customers". By imposing artificial limitations until more licenses are purchased.
          Ole Man
          • One more part of their crippleware upgrade strategy

            The artificial RAM limits of the crippled versions of w7 are just one more element of Microsoft's retarded marketing plan. You don't see this crap in other OSes. MS sux.
            BillDem