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Bits, Bytes and 32 Bit Operating Systems

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I'm a little confused.

I've been informed that a 32-bit O/S has max addressable memory register of roughly 4GB (Giga Bytes). I know I used to have 4GB of RAM and that's as far I could go.

Now in math 2^32 = 4,294,967,296 bits

To convert to Bytes we divide by 8 = 536, 870, 912 Bytes = 537MB (Mega Bytes)



Where am I going wrong???
Meh, good enough
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post #2 of 5
I don't think it works like that. Correct me if I'm wrong, but CPUs don't address bits of memory themself but sections of bytes (I'm not sure about x86 specifically, I only know ARM atm.) So it can fetch/store from 2^32 SECTIONS of memory, but it can only fetch whole bytes at once, not individual bits.
Edited by brucethemoose - 11/27/13 at 5:09pm
Bruce
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Bruce
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply Bruce and I agree with your knowledge.

However it is not an answer to the question.
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post #4 of 5
Each byte (not bit) has it's own address, and with 32 bits to store an address, that gives you 2^32 addressable memory locations, or 2^32 bytes. In other words, you shouldn't divide by 8 because the 32 bit addresses aren't for locations of individual bits, but bytes.
Bruce
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Bruce
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Great answer!

Thank you Bruce. +Rep smile.gif
Edited by JBG84 - 11/27/13 at 11:30pm
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