I'm looking for recommendations/best practices for configuring SQL Server 2005 to take advantage of a recent memory upgrade to 32GB of RAM. The OS version is Windows 2003 64-bit Enterprise Edition. I've read that enabling "Address Windowing Extensions (AWE) is not required and cannot be configured on 64-bit operating systems."

Does this mean I don't have to do anything and SQL Server will take advantage of this memory by default? Please advise. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


As long as you're using SQL 2005 Standard or Enterprise, it will automatically grab the RAM that it needs (up to the operating system maximum.) You do not need to enable AWE in 64-bit.


  • It's still necessary to configure the max server memory through SQL Server though, correct? Mar 15, 2011 at 19:45
  • The default setting for max server memory is 2147483647 MB (2 petabytes), so unless you've changed that, you're fine. Keep in mind that you may not want to allocate every last GB of RAM to the SQL Server instance since you may have other applications running on the box that will need a little bit to function. In this case, set the max server memory appropriately.
    – pk.
    Mar 15, 2011 at 19:53
  • The default that I see in Server Properties is 4096MB. This memory was installed after SQL Server was. Would that have an affect? Mar 16, 2011 at 14:32
  • Yes, that means it was changed from the default at some point. You will need to raise that to the maximum amount that you would ever want the SQL Server instance to use.
    – pk.
    Mar 16, 2011 at 14:40

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