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Thread: Maximum Memory that could be referenced

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    8

    Question Maximum Memory that could be referenced

    Hello,

    On wikipedia.org I noticed this:
    "Very often, when referring to the word size of a modern computer, one is also describing the size of address space on that computer. For instance, a computer said to be "32-bit" also usually allows 32-bit memory addresses; a byte-addressable 32-bit computer can address 2 to the power of 32 = 4,294,967,296 bytes of memory, or 4 gibibytes (GiB). "
    "In modern byte-addressable computers, each address identifies a single byte of storage; data too large to be stored in a single byte may reside in multiple bytes occupying a sequence of consecutive addresses. "

    I know that a 32 bit integer is capable of storing 4,294,967,296 distinct values (256x256x256x256). That's pretty straight forward. Now, why is there a limitation of 4,294,967,296 bytes of memory for a 32 bit computer, I don't understand.

    Please assist. Thank you.

    -soft-e

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Fox Lake, IL
    Posts
    15,007

    Re: Maximum Memory that could be referenced

    How would you address a number that's +1 to the biggest that can be stored?

    That would cause an OVERFLOW on a 32-bit system.

    64 bit programs can USE high memory by addressing an OFFSET, which would OVERFLOW on a 32-bit system
    David

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