I remeber reading a Redhat white paper (heh..
) that put the performance penalty between 0 - 10% (depending on the task) between 32bit PAE and 64bit.
But I wonder how much of an improvement the extra RAM would give you over 3.2GB (ish) on a 32bit system?
So I guess 32bit PAE might still have a performance benefit over non-PAE at 4GB, at certain tasks... but make the jump to say 8GB, and a PAE enabled system is definitely going to perform better.
I think they mean - a performance hit over 64bit if you see what I mean, so I guess PAE has its place... can't say I've ever used it though.
Couldn't agree more about the M$ starter memory con