4.4 Operating systems: 32-bit or 64-bit

When we suggest that you should just buy more RAM, this assumes that you are using a \(64\)-bit operating system. A \(32\)-bit machine can access at most only \(4\)GB of RAM. Although some CPUs offer solutions to this limitation, if you are running a \(32\)-bit operating system, then R is limited to around \(3\)GB RAM. If you are running a \(64\)-bit operating system, but only a \(32\)-bit version of R, then you have access to slightly more memory (but not much). Modern systems should run a \(64\)-bit operating system, with a \(64\)-bit version of R. Your memory limit is now measured as \(8\) terabytes for Windows machines and \(128\)TB for Unix-based OSs.

To find precise details consult the R help pages help("Memory-limits") and help("Memory").

4.4.1 Exercises

These exercises aim to condense the previous section into the key points.

  1. Are you using a \(32\)-bit or \(64\)-bit operating system?
  2. Are you using \(32\)-bit or \(64\)-bit version of R?
  3. What are the results of running the command memory.limit()?