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The MAX specs for Windows XP

What are the maximum specifications that Windows XP Professional 32bit Edition run?

Back in the day when hardware was slow and expensive and Windows XP was new and people needed to know if their computers had the processing power to run this new windows experience. Not everyone had the hardware that could run Windows XP. Some machines could be upgraded with more RAM or a better processor, or most likely, both.

The minimum specifications are well established as many people discovered back in the day.

But, moving on quickly to the future and hardware is abundant, RAM and Ghz are cheap, Windows XP Pro is old. The question has changed and what we need to know now is: What are the MAX specs for Windows XP?

Virtual Machines

Windows XP runs happily in a virtual machine bringing the windows desktop to places that it had never been possible to before. But if you are running a VM there is no point devoting host RAM, Processor Cores and Storage to a Win XP VM instance that can't use it. The answer would be just to throw the absolute maximum at Windows XP VM, but no more. This leaves the maximum resources for the host while giving Win XP VM the most it can use, with nothing wasted.


XP Professional x86 (32 bit)

Windows XP Professional supports a maximum of two physical processors.

Windows XP Professional supports a maximum of 4GB RAM

Windows XP Professional largest boot drive is 2Tb (MBR)

XP Home x86 (32 bit)

Windows XP Home Edition supports only one physical processor.

Windows XP Home Edition supports a maximum of 4GB RAM

Windows XP Home Edition largest boot drive is 2Tb (MBR)

XP Professional x64 (64 bit) edition

Windows XP x64 supports a maximum of two physical CPUs and up to 64 logical processors.

Windows XP x64 supports up to 128 GB of RAM

Windows XP x64 largest hard drive is 2Tb for MBR and may have GPT support from a service pack. This can allow Windows XP x64 edition access to the maximum raw partition of 18 exabytes.

A physical processor is one that has it's own socket.
Early Windows XP x64 Edition can use GPT disks for data only.
Windows file systems currently are limited to 256 terabytes each.

While XP could use 4Gb RAM it can't give it all to the user. There is the 3Gb workaround switch that can be used to make XP give you more of the 4Gb RAM.

See the /3GB in the boot.ini example below.

[boot loader]



[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows XP Professional" /3GB






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