I want to put a quick post in here because I released yesterday that I had been being a dense idiot with this. I’ve been around IT long enough to know how it works but I still fell into the trap so please pay attention to this.

32 Bit Office means it can only access the first 2GB of RAM on the system NOT up to 2GB per 32 Bit process. I spent over a week tuning my powerpivot sheet for Excel 32 Bit thinking “keep the RAM requirements under 1GB for launch and you’ll be fine”. Launch day came and tuning had kept requirements to 950MB (engaging smug mode) HOWEVER I started getting reports of max RAM errors. I looked into it and went back to my older school days of doing technical support and realised that it was things like Outlook (300 MB of RAM), Lync 2013 (250MB), other applications (500 MB). Suddenly it dawned on me, I had been suckered into thinking of that 2GB limit as almost portal.

The lesson is clear, if you have a hankering to use big spreadsheets and that then move to 64 Bit office. The old issues of incompatible plug-ins and macros may well still exist, but the difference of being able to use the 4+GB of RAM your system has make it worth it.

I’m actually amazed that we default to 64Bit OS these days and most systems have 4+GB of RAM yet we (and Microsoft) still default to 32 Bit Office… makes you wonder