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Physical Address Extension. A method of allowing Intel 32bit x86 processors to exceed the normal 4GB limit of addressable memory space, allowing access to memory beyond 4GB. Whilst PAE allows the total available memory to extend beyond 4GB it should be appreciated that the maximum amount of memory that any one individual process can address remains unchanged

It is reported that on 32bit versions of Windows Vista that PAE can be enabled by opening a command window in administrative mode and entering:

bcdedit /set PAE forceenable

Other Windows operating systems have different ways of enabling PAE. It should be appreciated that prior to Vista only some Windows server operating systems supported PAE.

PAE may come with a slight performance hit. It is also reported that it may cause problems for some device drivers. An alternative to PAE is migrating to a true 64 bit architecture - 64 bit CPU and 64 bit operating system.

cf AWE.

For more information see: