Today's PCs are getting faster and faster. PC processors are now getting closer to 4GHz, but more importantly, we are moving into the world of symmetric multi-processing and multi-threading. Applications are now starting to come out that take full advantage of dual- and quad-core processors. For example Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 that we use in our benchmarks is fully multi-threaded and multi-core compliant, it has been since version 1.0 when dual-CPU, rather than dual-core, was the only way to boost power.
Windows Vista has also been on retail shelves for a couple of months, and with its performance prospects needing at least 1GHz of CPU power and 1GB of RAM, the need to increase memory beyond the 2GB barrier is now starting to make sense, however there are a few snags in doing this, namely registrable memory in the 32-bit era.
Back when 32-bit CPUs were first released, the first being the 386-series for the x86 architecture, registrable and accessible memory size increased up to 4GB. While you can plug 4GB into any 32-bit CPU system it will not all be addressable. Why this is, we will elaborate on later.
Today we are going to give you the low-down on the whys of 4GB memory setups and how you can get beyond the 4GB limit, which is not hard with today's technology.