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Maximum memory on Windows 2003 Server?

Posted on 2006-11-30
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Hi,

I've been looking at this on and off for the last few months but keep seeing different answers.  So can anybody give me some firm answers on this, with references if possible.

If I am building a new server with an Intel based 32bit processor running Windows 2003 R2 Standard Server what is the maximum amount of memory I can put in it that will be used?  I have this idea in my head that 4Gb is pretty much the maximum limit.  Now I know there are a lot of ifs and buts, so here are the scenarios I have in mind -


1. A server running lots of different applications that in total could use 10Gb RAM. Will 10Gb of physical memory be used if I put it in or is anything over 4gb a waste?
2. Probably the same answer as above; if I havea  server to act as a terminal server I want lots of memory for people to use, can I put 10Gb in there and it will be used?
3. A dedicated Exchange server - more then 4Gb is pointless I assume because the maximum that can be used by one process is 2Gb (or 3Gb with the /3gb boot.ini switch)?  On the subject of that, is the /3Gb a good or bad idea with SQL or Exchange on 2003 Server Std.?
4. An SBS server doing a bit of everything that coule use 6Gb if it was there?

Is PAE a good or bad idea in the abvoe scenarios?  I think I remember reading it can be a bit hit and miss as to which apps it works with?

Thanks very much,
Philip Harrison
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Question by:Zenith63
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jasonskaggs earned 50 total points
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Maximum for standard is 4Gb
Enterprise is 8Gb
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by:Pber
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2003 Enterprise R2 is actually 64GB.

See this:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/sysreqs/default.mspx

To use more than 4GB, you would require Enterprise edition.

SQL memory turning:  http://www.sql-server-performance.com/awe_memory.asp


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by:mikeleebrla
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>>with references if possible.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/features/comparefeatures.mspx

>>Enterprise is 8Gb
according my Microsoft it is 64GB

also note it is GB, not Gb  (GigaBYTE, not GigaBIT)
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by:jasonskaggs
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Yes i was wrong on both
Standard = 34359738368 Gb
Enterpise = 549755813888 Gb

Also you cannot upgrade standard to Enterprise
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by:Netman66
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by:Netman66
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..and here's the specs on all current releases of 2003.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/sysreqs/default.mspx
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by:Netman66
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by:Zenith63
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PAE can extend these figures though right?  Is it something to consider or not?  On an Exchange server is may not make much difference, but on a say a Terminal Server there would be definite benefits to having more then 4GB of memory available.  Or is this the point where you go for Enterprise Edition?
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by:Netman66
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No.  Not exactly.  It allows more memory (above the 4GB level) to be used, but doesn't increase the maximum.

More than 4GB would require Enterprise to utilize it, yes.

It's all about process and system memory space - that's what PAE is meant for - in order for 32-bit systems to address more than 4GB, this switch needs to be used.

Here's some articles:


http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PAE/pae_os.mspx

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PAE/PAEdrv.mspx
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