Windows 7 has got a little bump in terms of the maximum limit of random access memory supported by the operating system in comparison to its precursor. If Windows Vista could deal with only 128 GB of RAM, customers will be able to add an additional 64 GB of system memory on computers running Windows 7. That’s right, Windows 7 is capable of playing nice with no less than 192 GB of RAM. But of course that there is a catch. Users will need to run certain editions of the latest Windows client platform from Microsoft in order to be able to feed as much as 192 GB of system memory to the operating system.
Do not expect to pass the 4 GB limit with the 32-bit flavors of Windows 7. In this regard, x86 Windows 7 doesn’t differentiate between SKUs. It really doesn’t matter if users run the Home Basic or the Ultimate edition of 32-bit Windows 7, as the maximum supported RAM limit is 4GB. Still, Windows 7 won’t be able to use the entire 4 GB. Fact is that, just as previous 32-bit Windows releases, including Vista and Windows XP, Windows 7’s address space is limited to 4 GB. In 4 GB the operating system will need to accommodate all the hardware components available, thus making it impossible to address 4 GB of RAM. Instead, 32-bit Windows 7 will only go as high as 3.2 to 3.5 GB of RAM out of a total of 4 GB.
The situation is a tad different when it comes down to 64-bit Windows 7. In this case there is a discrepancy in terms of SKUs. X64 Windows 7 Home Basic can only deal with a maximum of 8 GB of RAM. I don’t know if any of you remember this, but the same was the case with Windows Vista Home Basic.
However, Microsoft has increased the maximum RAM supported by x64 Windows 7 Home Premium. For Vista, Home Premium was stuck at 16 GB of RAM, an this is also valid for Windows 7 Home Premium.
But the high-end edition of Windows 7, as well as its counterpart for Volume Licensing customers, support a total of 192 GB of RAM without any issues. This is in fact the biggest advantage by far of 64-bit Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate SKUs, namely that users will be able to leverage system resources, and particular system memory, beyond what the 32-bit editions are capable of supporting.