Step 3: Know your memory support limitations
Different versions of SQL Server and your operating system support a range of memory configurations. For example SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition will use 2 GB RAM, whereas SQL 2005 Enterprise Edition will take advantage of the operating system's maximum limit.
Furthermore, you should purchase the greatest amount of RAM that your version of SQL server and the OS will support. Invest in RAM that offers the fastest response as well. On a limited budget, the greatest performance improvement is generally obtained by investing in RAM.
Here is a grid illustrating the maximum available memory for the various editions of SQL Server.
| Maximum available memory for SQL Server editions
|System||Memory (GB / TB)||Processors
|SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition||2||4
|SQL Server 2000 Enterprise (32 bit)||3 / 32 when running on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise||4 / 8 when running on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise
|SQL Server 2000 Enterprise (64 bit)||64 when running on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise||8 when running on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise|
|SQL Server 2005 Standard & Enterprise (32 bit)||Operating system maximum currently 4 GB Standard, 64 GB Enterprise Edition on Windows Server 2003||Operating system maximum currently|