On 32-bit editions of Windows, applications have 4 gigabyte (GB) of virtual address space available. The virtual address space is divided so that 2 GB is available to the application and the other 2 GB is available only to the system.
The 4-gigabyte tuning (4GT) feature, formerly called 4GT RAM Tuning, increases the virtual address space that is available to the application up to 3 GB, and reduces the amount available to the system to between 1 and 2 GB.
For applications that are memory-intensive, such as database management systems (DBMS), the use of a larger virtual address space can provide considerable performance and scalability benefits. However, the file cache, paged pool, and nonpaged pool are smaller, which can adversely affect applications with heavy networking or I/O. Therefore, you might want to test your application under load, and examine the performance counters to determine whether your application benefits from the larger address space.
To enable 4GT, use the BCDEdit /set command to set the increaseuserva boot entry option to a value between 2048 (2 GB) and 3072 (3 GB).
Thanks to Brett for locating this information. It’s useful to know that the system can be tweaked in this fashion.