Are 4 GB patches safe, and are there alternatives?

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Casualfan
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Are 4 GB patches safe, and are there alternatives?

Post by Casualfan »

In honor of Spooky Season, I wanted to give F.E.A.R a shot. Pcgamingwiki recommends a 4 gb patch to allow the game to use all 4 gigs of my pc's ram. I've gotten a little too comfortable with downloading random files from the internet, so I was just wondering if any of you have dealt with these kinds of patches, and if it would even be necessary for me.

For reference, I have a 64 bit system running windows 11 with AMD integrated graphics. I can run doom eternal at 60fps but only on bare minimum settings. My system isn't a beast but it shouldn't have a problem with games from the early 2000's.
Drake Raider
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Re: Are 4 GB patches safe, and are there alternatives?

Post by Drake Raider »

4gb patches are quite widely used, especially for games such as New Vegas and Oblivion. If you're downloading from the PCGW, you're likely safe.

If you're not sure you trust that source, an alternative is looking on one of those games on the mod nexus, and looking up a mirror of the patch there. That way you can use user reviews/endorsements to validate the file, but I don't think you should have any issues with PCGW.
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wildweasel
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Re: Are 4 GB patches safe, and are there alternatives?

Post by wildweasel »

If you want to be extra sure about whether a file is safe, upload the file in question to virustotal.com and it will scan it with basically every virus scanner known to man.
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sinisterseed
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Re: Are 4 GB patches safe, and are there alternatives?

Post by sinisterseed »

They should be fine, and tend to be necessary in old games used in conjunction with graphics mods, which can easily go past the game's limits. I'd only be concerned about the source of the patcher, but the patching itself should be perfectly fine.
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Kinsie
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Re: Are 4 GB patches safe, and are there alternatives?

Post by Kinsie »

I believe most "4gb patches" are just setting the Large Address Aware flag on the exe?
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KynikossDragonn
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Re: Are 4 GB patches safe, and are there alternatives?

Post by KynikossDragonn »

Doesn't that "Large Address Aware" PE metadata actually... you know... depend on the actual compiled code realizing it's being given a much larger than usual virtual address space?

I have no idea how things work on Windows anymore, so correct me if I'm horribly wrong.
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Chris
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Re: Are 4 GB patches safe, and are there alternatives?

Post by Chris »

KynikossDragonn wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 7:36 am Doesn't that "Large Address Aware" PE metadata actually... you know... depend on the actual compiled code realizing it's being given a much larger than usual virtual address space?
At least, it depends on the compiled code behaving properly with larger addresses, whether or not it realizes it's getting them. The most notable issue is that some programs may use a signed integer to store addresses, and/or do signed comparisons on pointer values, so if gets a memory address beyond the 2GB border, it would be interpreted as a negative value and checks like if(2.5GB > 2GB) would erroneously fail, potentially causing misbehavior in the program.
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KynikossDragonn
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Re: Are 4 GB patches safe, and are there alternatives?

Post by KynikossDragonn »

I know for a fact the virtual address space problem can cause a lot of 32-bit compiled stuff to erroneously think it ran out of memory, case in point the Battlezone 2 "remaster" if you even TRY to run that with everything maxed out, you'll get a bogus "out of video memory" error. I don't think the "Large Address Aware" flag on Windows would even work around that issue either if it's actually becoming a issue, if all the graphics and stuff total beyond 2 GB you're just pretty much screwed and need a actual 64-bit binary at that point.

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