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Re: st: setting memory on network stata on Windows XP

From (Alan Riley)
Subject   Re: st: setting memory on network stata on Windows XP
Date   Tue, 13 Sep 2005 16:53:16 -0500

Ada Ma ( asked about increasing the amount of memory
available to Stata under Windows:

> I know this is a v often asked question but I have looked 
> around a bit and already installed the patch (Microsoft hotfix 8944472), 
> I wonder if there are other things I can do.
> I'm on a Windows XP with 3GB of memory using STATA 9, calling up the 
> STATA program from a network drive.  Before I install the patch I 
> could only increase my memory up to 800m, after I have installed the 
> patch I can increase to 1400m but still fall v far short from the 3GB 
> that's on my computer.  I have tried the fix that should only apply to 
> users of Windows95/98/NT and alter the system.ini file and still it 
> wouldn't allow me to set mem more than 1400m.  Any thoughts?

A suggestion was made by Michael Blasnik (
to use a Microsoft switch to try to allow more memory to be allocated
to Stata:

> I'm not sure how much this will help, but have you tried using the /3GB 
> switch in boot.ini?  According to MS, this switch will give applications up 
> to 3GB of memory instead of the usual 2GB limit, but the application must be 
> set up to take advatage of this (using a flag in the file header) and I'm 
> not sure if Stata has this setting.

On a 32-bit system, Stata can access at most 2 GB of memory.  However,
on 32-bit Windows systems, the limiting factor is the amount of memory
that Windows is really willing to give to Stata in a single contiguous
chunk.  Theoretically this should be close to 2 GB.  However, we have
found in practice that 32-bit Windows is rarely willing to give more than
about 1.5 GB in a single piece to any application, including Stata.

Thankfully 64-bit Windows is now available, and the old 2 GB memory
barrier (really about 1.5 GB for 32-bit Windows systems) can be broken.
Users who wish to allocate more than 1.5 GB to Stata (or to other
applications) will find themselves very happy with the performance
of the current crop of 64-bit machines built around AMD's Opteron chip,
AMD's Athlon-64 chip, and Intel's Xeon chip with 64-bit extensions (note
that not all Xeon chips are 64-bit capable!).  Such machines running
64-bit Windows or 64-bit Linux can have more than 2 GB of memory installed
on them, and that memory is available for allocation to Stata for very
large datasets.

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