Core Duo hardware-enforced DEP enabling PAE in XP SP2?

I noticed my paltry 256 MB Windows XP SP 2 VM was operating with Physical Address Extensions (PAE), so I thought this implied I may have /PAE in boot.ini. I don't have the /PAE option but I do have /noexecute=optin option. This must mean the Core Duo has hardware-enforced Data Execution Prevention (DEP).

I looked over the benchmarks for software-enforced DEP and the impact of DEP are in the noise. I assume hardware enforced DEP is no big deal? I found I could disable PAE with /noexecute=alwaysoff, but I'll assume for now Windows knows "what's best." Does anyone have any comments?

Side note: Parallels doesn't enable PAE with the /noexecute=optin option. Neither does Parallels enable PAE with /noexecute=alwayson nor /PAE. They must be masking this CPU option for some reason...

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