From: El Paso, TX
The Visual Studio "dumpbin.exe" tool says WITPAE is not large address aware (LAA) - tested beta v18.104.22.168, but I doubt it is different for any other version.
For an executable to be LAA two requirements need to be met:
1. A certain bit in the executable needs to be set to tell Windows that the executable is LAA. This can easily be set during compiling (by Michael) or actually edited by anyone afterwards (see e.g. https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/large-address-aware.112556/). This is the easy part.
2. The program and all third party libraries it accesses need to use full 32 bit pointers and not only 31 bit with assuming the first bit is 0 when accessing the memory (some programs temporarily use this bit to store other information). This is tough to ensure since it basically requires a full code review, but most late 32-bit era codes seem to adhere to this.
If you want, you can use the tool in the above link to set the LAA bit in the executable. This will get the same result Michael can get without putting in a crazy amount of work. According to forums, people have made good experiences with it (it definitely worked for me the two times I tried it). In the best case you have working LAA version of AE afterwards, in the worst case (if 2. is not ensured) you get game crashes and then even Michael won't be able to do it within a reasonable amount of work.
In any case making a program LAA has only advantages if the game used to crash after hitting 2GB of used memory (I've never seen this in AE) or if it used to slow down due to memory restrictions, but this would require a self-imposed sophisticated memory management - I highly doubt AE has. So you can set the LAA bit yourself, but I wouldn't expect much from it. You might try if the linked tool helps with your other game of course.
Hi Rafid, thanks for the great reply! Interesting to know that AE is not LAA. I definitely do not get the random crashes in AE that are typical of RAM overload, so I suspected either LAA was enabled or the game didn't require the extra RAM - at least in most cases. The one area where it might make a difference is when extra graphics appear on the map. Try scrolling the map when search zone visibility is enabled compared to when it's not, and you'll see a huge difference in speed. Not sure if LAA would help with that, although as you note, it's easy enough to test. The other area where LAA helps is if the code has memory leaks - opening and closing windows can be an issue in that regard (at least when poorly coded), so perhaps in really long sessions it might factor in.
Primarily I was just curious to see if it was present in AE as LAA has solved almost all the CTD's my other mod team used to experience. Incredibly frustrating for us that we cannot recommend LAA utilities because of the publisher's unwillingness to even discuss it (and the game forums we use take a scorched earth approach to anything that might remotely be considered advocacy of a EULA violation)