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maximum limit of array size

Posted on 2006-11-23
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what is the maximum limit of array size ?
e.g. array[n] ... wats the size of n?

i guess it should also depend on the type of array?
kindly clearify the concept

regards
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Question by:fatimao
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by:Infinity08
ID: 18006377
Essentially it's limited by the stack size.
The C++ language itself does not impose a limit afaik.
Apart from the machine limit of course : the size of an unsigned int - ie. the theoretical limit on a 32-bit machine would be 2^32 - 1. But you'd probably never get there anyway, because you'll hit memory constraints long before that :)

In any case, it's not good practice to create large static arrays (on the stack) - use dynamically allocated memory instead (on the heap).
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Infinity08 earned 200 total points
ID: 18006386
>> ie. the theoretical limit on a 32-bit machine would be 2^32 - 1
Let me clarify that. The theoretical limit for this array :

    T arr[N];

would be :

    N*sizeof(T) <= 2^32 - 1

or :

    N <= (2^32 - 1)/sizeof(T)

Again for a 32-bit machine with 32-bit unsigned ints.
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by:fatimao
ID: 18012128
please can you tell what will be the limit of the stack size assigned to the process?
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by:Infinity08
ID: 18012180
The stack is a part of the process memory used for statically allocated memory (for function calls, local variables, etc.). Its size is entirely implementation/platform dependent and is not prescribed by the C++ standard.

In any case, you shouldn't depend on any value for that size - that's not a safe way to code. If you get to the limit of the stack, your program will generate a stack overflow.

As I said : if you have a lot of memory to allocate, DON'T do it on the stack, but on the heap (ie. dynamically allocated).

Do you know what a stack and heap are, and how process memory is organised ?
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