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Thread: Windows XP and maxium memory

  1. Default Windows XP and maxium memory

    I have a Dell Insprion 9100 laptop. Currently I'm running MSTS with 2 gigs of ram installed. Would anyone in MSTS land run MSTS with 4 gigs total ram or would 6 gigs work? Just need your thoughts. thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Doreen, Victoria, Australia.


    4 or 6 would work fine if you have a 64 bit operating system.
    4 would be fine for a 32 bit operating system.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    A 32 bit operating system won't recognize the full 4 GB. You'll probably only get to utilize about 3.2 GB.
    6 GB in a 32 bit operating system is a waste of time. You'll still only get 3.2 GB out of it.

  4. #4


    To add on to that, I believe I have read somewhere that msts itself does not benefit from more than 1gb of ram allocated to it, through the "vm:1024" command added to the shortcut. So unless the rest of your PC is taking up more ram than you have, msts won't benefit either way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hanover Park, Il., USA.


    On the other hand, if adding memory benefits you for other reasons, make sure of your laptops memory capability/limits.

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  6. Default

    Thank you guys for your input, I'll not seek for more RAM will be content with 2 gigs where I'm at.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Pacific Time


    For all the gory details, here's the official statement regarding memory limits under recent versions of Windows:

    As a practical matter, if you're running 32-bit Windows (which most people with XP did and are - 64-bit XP was an oddity) no more than 4 GB of physical RAM will be recognized by the operating system (out of which perhaps 3 and change might be available after deducting various system and hardware working areas), and unless you do certain things that have side effects, no more than 2 GB of virtual address space can be allocated to any given process. Most 32-bit applications (like MSTS) in the olde dayze were designed with the 2GB limit in mind, and some can fail if offered more than that (the Large Address Aware or LAA issue). I've used a hack to enable LAA for MSTS and run it in 64-bit Windows 7 (64-bit Windows gives 32-bit applications the full 4 GB of address space) using a "mem:4096" setting, and have had no problems, but then according to Task Manager even with detailed routes I haven't really pushed the 2GB limit in terms of actual memory use.

    If you're running MSTS in a computer with actual physical RAM of 2 GB (like my old Pentium D), you probably wouldn't want to push MSTS memory past 1024. Some of that 2nd GB is needed for the system and necessary services, and pushing into it with MSTS would most likely trigger extensive use of the swap file, which slows things down enormously. The 2GB limit for programs is VIRTUAL memory, not real, and the system uses the swap file to make everything work. If you add up the committed memory of all of the processes that the Task Manager shows as open when you're running MSTS, it would probably come to more than 2 GB - the system is swapping things to disk when they're inactive.

    4GB is probably worth installing even for 32-bit XP. It gives the system a place for all those buffers and services outside the normal user process space in the lower 2 GB, reducing the amount of swapping needed. 3GB would probably be the "sweet spot" but it's an inconvenient number because most computers don't like having RAM modules of different sizes on the same channel, and most affordable laptops only have a single memory channel with 2 sockets. Reduced swapping due to more RAM might also slightly improve your battery life, though it's a balancing act (more power for the RAM vs. less disk activity).
    Last edited by mikeebb; 12-03-2015 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Thoughts on installing more memory

  8. Default

    Thank you

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