SQL Server 32 bit, AWE/3GB/PAE

60 pts.
Tags:
3GB
SQL Server
I have read quite a few articles that recommend turning on /3GB on a server with 32bit SQL server and 32bit Windows 2003 standard where you have between 4GB and 16GB or RAM. Why is /3GB needed? Just so SQL Server can have more VAS, and because VAS is better than AWE mapped memory? This switch effectively limits your kernel to 1GB right? Why put the limit on if you have 6 extra GB for SQL Server?

Software/Hardware used:
Windows 2003 Standard 32bit, SQL 2005 Standard 32bit

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The /3GB switch increases the virtual address space from 2 Gigs to 3 Gigs. This increases the potential size of the procedure cache and application memory.

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  • Jagoodie
    Thank you! I think you are right, but do you have any documentation about this?
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  • Denny Cherry
    Here you go. 6th paragraph.
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  • Jagoodie
    Thanks again. Exactly what I was looking for. I just read here: http://www.modhul.com/2007/11/10/optimising-system-memory-for-sql-server-part-i/ that Windows 2003 Standard will only see 4gb. Does that mean it is not worthwhile to add an additional 4gb to the system to allow SQL server with AWE to utilize all 8?
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  • Denny Cherry
    This is true, Windows 2003 x86 will max out at 4 Gigs. This is a licensing limitation, not a physical limitation. You'd need to upgrade to Windows Enterprise x86 to use more RAM.
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