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Use 3GB or 4GB RAM in 32 bit OS?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Daniel G., Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Daniel G.

    Daniel G. Guest

    Hi all,
    I own a Dell dimension 8400 with 1 GB of RAM running windows XP SP 2
    and also just bought a Gateway ML6720 laptop with 1 GB of RAM running
    Windows Vista home premium. I believe the Dell machine as for memory
    slots in the Gateway 82 memory slots. I'd like to bring both these
    machines up to 4 GB of RAM but read this isn't possible in a machine
    running a 32-bit OS, I read this at
    http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/index.aspx. It said, "How much
    memory your Windows OS will recognize depends on which version of
    Windows you are running. 32-bit versions of Windows will see (and
    utilize) only 3GB or 3.5GB. To utilize more memory, install a 64-bit
    version of your OS." My question is, can I install 2 GB in one slot
    and 1 GB in the other available slut to make up the 3 GB or would I
    have to install 2 GB of RAM in each available slot even though the OS
    would only recognize 3 GB? I ask because a friend of mine said that
    mixing RAM chip sizes really impedes the performance of a PC. Also,
    some chips are labeled PC2-3200 and PC2-6400 etc. I understand these
    denote RAM speeds? I'll be using Dragon Dictate heavily on both
    machines and am wondering how big a difference it would make in
    performance to get chips with a very high speed rating such as
    PC2-6400? Thanks in advance for any info you can provide!
     
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  2. The Kat

    The Kat Guest

    On Mon, 24 Mar 2008 14:17:33 -0400, Daniel G.
    <> wrote:

    >Hi all,
    >I own a Dell dimension 8400 with 1 GB of RAM running windows XP SP 2
    >and also just bought a Gateway ML6720 laptop with 1 GB of RAM running
    >Windows Vista home premium. I believe the Dell machine as for memory
    >slots in the Gateway 82 memory slots. I'd like to bring both these
    >machines up to 4 GB of RAM but read this isn't possible in a machine
    >running a 32-bit OS,


    IF your MB supports 4 gigs, you CAN have that much,
    but Windows 32 bit won't use all 4 gigs, only about 3 gigs.




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    Lumber Cartel (tinlc) #2063. Spam this account at your own risk.

    This sig censored by the Office of Home, Land & Planet Insecurity...

    Remove XYZ to email me
     
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  3. Ruy

    Ruy Guest

    Daniel G. escribió:
    > Hi all,
    > I own a Dell dimension 8400 with 1 GB of RAM running windows XP SP 2
    > and also just bought a Gateway ML6720 laptop with 1 GB of RAM running
    > Windows Vista home premium. I believe the Dell machine as for memory
    > slots in the Gateway 82 memory slots. I'd like to bring both these
    > machines up to 4 GB of RAM but read this isn't possible in a machine
    > running a 32-bit OS, I read this at
    > http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/index.aspx. It said, "How much
    > memory your Windows OS will recognize depends on which version of
    > Windows you are running. 32-bit versions of Windows will see (and
    > utilize) only 3GB or 3.5GB. To utilize more memory, install a 64-bit
    > version of your OS." My question is, can I install 2 GB in one slot
    > and 1 GB in the other available slut to make up the 3 GB or would I
    > have to install 2 GB of RAM in each available slot even though the OS
    > would only recognize 3 GB? I ask because a friend of mine said that
    > mixing RAM chip sizes really impedes the performance of a PC. Also,
    > some chips are labeled PC2-3200 and PC2-6400 etc. I understand these
    > denote RAM speeds? I'll be using Dragon Dictate heavily on both
    > machines and am wondering how big a difference it would make in
    > performance to get chips with a very high speed rating such as
    > PC2-6400? Thanks in advance for any info you can provide!











     
  4. Ruy

    Ruy Guest

    Daniel G. escribió:
    > Hi all,
    > I own a Dell dimension 8400 with 1 GB of RAM running windows XP SP 2
    > and also just bought a Gateway ML6720 laptop with 1 GB of RAM running
    > Windows Vista home premium. I believe the Dell machine as for memory
    > slots in the Gateway 82 memory slots. I'd like to bring both these
    > machines up to 4 GB of RAM but read this isn't possible in a machine
    > running a 32-bit OS, I read this at
    > http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/index.aspx. It said, "How much
    > memory your Windows OS will recognize depends on which version of
    > Windows you are running. 32-bit versions of Windows will see (and
    > utilize) only 3GB or 3.5GB. To utilize more memory, install a 64-bit
    > version of your OS." My question is, can I install 2 GB in one slot
    > and 1 GB in the other available slut to make up the 3 GB or would I
    > have to install 2 GB of RAM in each available slot even though the OS
    > would only recognize 3 GB? I ask because a friend of mine said that
    > mixing RAM chip sizes really impedes the performance of a PC. Also,
    > some chips are labeled PC2-3200 and PC2-6400 etc. I understand these
    > denote RAM speeds? I'll be using Dragon Dictate heavily on both
    > machines and am wondering how big a difference it would make in
    > performance to get chips with a very high speed rating such as
    > PC2-6400? Thanks in advance for any info you can provide!










     
  5. Arno Wagner

    Arno Wagner Guest

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc The Kat <> wrote:
    > On Mon, 24 Mar 2008 14:17:33 -0400, Daniel G.
    > <> wrote:


    >>Hi all,
    >>I own a Dell dimension 8400 with 1 GB of RAM running windows XP SP 2
    >>and also just bought a Gateway ML6720 laptop with 1 GB of RAM running
    >>Windows Vista home premium. I believe the Dell machine as for memory
    >>slots in the Gateway 82 memory slots. I'd like to bring both these
    >>machines up to 4 GB of RAM but read this isn't possible in a machine
    >>running a 32-bit OS,


    > IF your MB supports 4 gigs, you CAN have that much,
    > but Windows 32 bit won't use all 4 gigs, only about 3 gigs.


    It is not that bad. You get around 3.7GB of 4GB with 32 bit
    Windows XP (or Linux, or any other 32 bit OS). The missing
    space is 1MB for the legacy space and 256MB for the
    PCI graphics I/O window, and so you loose about 25% of the
    last GB.

    Arno
     
  6. The Kat

    The Kat Guest

    On 24 Mar 2008 20:17:49 GMT, Arno Wagner <> wrote:

    >It is not that bad. You get around 3.7GB of 4GB with 32 bit
    >Windows XP (or Linux, or any other 32 bit OS). The missing
    >space is 1MB for the legacy space and 256MB for the
    >PCI graphics I/O window, and so you loose about 25% of the
    >last GB.


    Actually, you lose about 500 megs (half the last gig).




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    Lumber Cartel (tinlc) #2063. Spam this account at your own risk.

    This sig censored by the Office of Home, Land & Planet Insecurity...

    Remove XYZ to email me
     
  7. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Arno Wagner wrote:
    >> IF your MB supports 4 gigs, you CAN have that much,
    >> but Windows 32 bit won't use all 4 gigs, only about 3 gigs.

    >
    > It is not that bad. You get around 3.7GB of 4GB with 32 bit
    > Windows XP (or Linux, or any other 32 bit OS). The missing
    > space is 1MB for the legacy space and 256MB for the
    > PCI graphics I/O window, and so you loose about 25% of the
    > last GB.


    XP sees 3.12GB out of my 4GB on my system.

    Yousuf Khan
     
  8. Arno Wagner

    Arno Wagner Guest

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Yousuf Khan <> wrote:
    > Arno Wagner wrote:
    >>> IF your MB supports 4 gigs, you CAN have that much,
    >>> but Windows 32 bit won't use all 4 gigs, only about 3 gigs.

    >>
    >> It is not that bad. You get around 3.7GB of 4GB with 32 bit
    >> Windows XP (or Linux, or any other 32 bit OS). The missing
    >> space is 1MB for the legacy space and 256MB for the
    >> PCI graphics I/O window, and so you loose about 25% of the
    >> last GB.


    > XP sees 3.12GB out of my 4GB on my system.


    Hmm. There seem to be differences.

    Arno
     
  9. Arno Wagner wrote:

    > Hmm. There seem to be differences.
    >
    > Arno


    Because it depends on your hardware configuration. My video card is
    512mb so it needs 512mb of address space, a 256mb card would need 256mb
    of address space. I only have 3.0GB out of 4GB available to programs.
    When I did have a 256mb vid card it showed 3.25GB of ram available.
     
  10. Arno Wagner

    Arno Wagner Guest

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Rat River Cemetary <> wrote:
    > Arno Wagner wrote:


    >> Hmm. There seem to be differences.
    >>
    >> Arno


    > Because it depends on your hardware configuration. My video card is
    > 512mb so it needs 512mb of address space, a 256mb card would need 256mb
    > of address space. I only have 3.0GB out of 4GB available to programs.
    > When I did have a 256mb vid card it showed 3.25GB of ram available.


    Interessting. I seem to have 3.46GB with a 640MB video card under
    Linux. No idea what I have under Windows.

    Arno
     
  11. Nate Edel

    Nate Edel Guest

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips Arno Wagner <> wrote:
    > In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Yousuf Khan <> wrote:
    > >>> IF your MB supports 4 gigs, you CAN have that much,
    > >>> but Windows 32 bit won't use all 4 gigs, only about 3 gigs.
    > >>
    > >> It is not that bad. You get around 3.7GB of 4GB with 32 bit
    > >> Windows XP (or Linux, or any other 32 bit OS). The missing
    > >> space is 1MB for the legacy space and 256MB for the
    > >> PCI graphics I/O window, and so you loose about 25% of the
    > >> last GB.

    > >
    > > XP sees 3.12GB out of my 4GB on my system.

    >
    > Hmm. There seem to be differences.


    It varies by motherboard and in some cases, by what video card you've got.

    --
    Nate Edel http://www.cubiclehermit.com/
    preferred email |
    is "nate" at the | "I do have a cause, though. It is obscenity.
    posting domain | I'm for it." - prologue to "Smut" by Tom Lehrer
     
  12. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Rat River Cemetary wrote:
    > Arno Wagner wrote:
    >
    >> Hmm. There seem to be differences.
    >>
    >> Arno

    >
    > Because it depends on your hardware configuration. My video card is
    > 512mb so it needs 512mb of address space, a 256mb card would need 256mb
    > of address space. I only have 3.0GB out of 4GB available to programs.
    > When I did have a 256mb vid card it showed 3.25GB of ram available.


    According to Microsoft, the maximum that it should see is only 3.12GB,
    as I reported. It's the same for 32-bit Vista or XP.

    "If a computer has many installed devices, the available memory may be
    reduced to 3 GB or less. However, the maximum memory available in 32-bit
    versions of Windows Vista is typically 3.12 GB."
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605/en-us

    Yousuf Khan
     
  13. Arno Wagner wrote:

    > Interessting. I seem to have 3.46GB with a 640MB video card under
    > Linux. No idea what I have under Windows.
    >
    > Arno


    What other hardware do you have though? I think drivers take up address
    space too. I'm not positive how it works but everything loaded into
    memory needs address space?
     
  14. Yousuf Khan wrote:

    > "If a computer has many installed devices, the available memory may be
    > reduced to 3 GB or less. However, the maximum memory available in 32-bit
    > versions of Windows Vista is typically 3.12 GB."
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605/en-us
    >
    > Yousuf Khan


    Maybe I got the exact figure wrong then but I thought I used to have
    3.25GB when using a 256mb video card. Doesn't matter, 3GB of usable ram
    is still better than 2GB and I do have some games that use up a lot of
    ram. I should switch to Vista 64bit but I still prefer XP for gameing
    with so only use Vista on another PC for internet stuff and digital
    imaging etc. That computer only has 2GB of ram anyway.
     
  15. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Rat River Cemetary wrote:
    > Maybe I got the exact figure wrong then but I thought I used to have
    > 3.25GB when using a 256mb video card. Doesn't matter, 3GB of usable ram
    > is still better than 2GB and I do have some games that use up a lot of
    > ram. I should switch to Vista 64bit but I still prefer XP for gameing
    > with so only use Vista on another PC for internet stuff and digital
    > imaging etc. That computer only has 2GB of ram anyway.


    I doubt the whole 640MB of video memory is fully mapped to the system
    memory. My guess is that they probably just map perhaps 128M at a time,
    and slide through the video memory 128MB at a time.

    As for my system, I use a 64-bit Ubuntu Linux on another partition.
    Ubuntu sees only 3.9GB of my 4.0GB, but that's because I got an
    integrated graphics, and 128MB of it is shared with the video. If I had
    a discrete graphics, then I could turn off my integrated graphics, and
    the whole 4.0GB would be used by the system.

    Yousuf Khan
     
  16. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    On Fri, 28 Mar 2008 22:21:05 -0400, Yousuf Khan <> put
    finger to keyboard and composed:

    >Rat River Cemetary wrote:
    >> Maybe I got the exact figure wrong then but I thought I used to have
    >> 3.25GB when using a 256mb video card. Doesn't matter, 3GB of usable ram
    >> is still better than 2GB and I do have some games that use up a lot of
    >> ram. I should switch to Vista 64bit but I still prefer XP for gameing
    >> with so only use Vista on another PC for internet stuff and digital
    >> imaging etc. That computer only has 2GB of ram anyway.

    >
    >I doubt the whole 640MB of video memory is fully mapped to the system
    >memory. My guess is that they probably just map perhaps 128M at a time,
    >and slide through the video memory 128MB at a time.
    >
    >As for my system, I use a 64-bit Ubuntu Linux on another partition.
    >Ubuntu sees only 3.9GB of my 4.0GB, but that's because I got an
    >integrated graphics, and 128MB of it is shared with the video. If I had
    >a discrete graphics, then I could turn off my integrated graphics, and
    >the whole 4.0GB would be used by the system.
    >
    > Yousuf Khan


    My Internet PC is an old socket 7 box with a Diamond Stealth III S540
    PCI card. Win98's Device Manager shows that it is using the following
    memory resources:

    FFA80000 - FFAFFFFF --- 512KB
    F0000000 - F7FFFFFF --- 128MB (video RAM ???)
    08020000 - 0802FFFF --- 64KB
    000C0000 - 000CAFFF --- 44KB (video ROM BIOS extension)
    000B0000 - 000BFFFF --- 64KB (video RAM below 1MB)
    000A0000 - 000AFFFF --- 64KB (video RAM below 1MB)

    Lavalys Everest tells me that the video adapter has 32MB of RAM which
    leads me to wonder why the card's memory address space (128MB) is so
    large.

    - Franc Zabkar
    --
    Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.
     
  17. Yousuf Khan wrote:

    > I doubt the whole 640MB of video memory is fully mapped to the system
    > memory. My guess is that they probably just map perhaps 128M at a time,
    > and slide through the video memory 128MB at a time.


    512mb video memory and not 640mb. My Asus P5K mb has some option for
    mapping memory when you have 4GB installed on 32bit OS but not sure what
    it does exactly. I have it enabled though.
     
  18. Yousuf Khan

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Franc Zabkar wrote:
    > My Internet PC is an old socket 7 box with a Diamond Stealth III S540
    > PCI card. Win98's Device Manager shows that it is using the following
    > memory resources:
    >
    > FFA80000 - FFAFFFFF --- 512KB
    > F0000000 - F7FFFFFF --- 128MB (video RAM ???)
    > 08020000 - 0802FFFF --- 64KB
    > 000C0000 - 000CAFFF --- 44KB (video ROM BIOS extension)
    > 000B0000 - 000BFFFF --- 64KB (video RAM below 1MB)
    > 000A0000 - 000AFFFF --- 64KB (video RAM below 1MB)
    >
    > Lavalys Everest tells me that the video adapter has 32MB of RAM which
    > leads me to wonder why the card's memory address space (128MB) is so
    > large.



    I think the old DOS-based Windows OSes used a different memory
    management scheme. Back then they used to map the memory mapped i/o
    devices to the range between 640KB and 1MB. I think with the newer
    Windows, that's all remapped in the range between 3GB and 4GB.

    The whole missing 4th Gigabyte issue is reminding me of the days of the
    transition from 16-bit to 32-bit os, when people were running into the
    same issues, except at lower address ranges. History doesn't repeat
    itself, it just rhymes.

    Yousuf Khan
     
  19. Guest

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Rat River Cemetary <> wrote:

    | Arno Wagner wrote:
    |
    |> Interessting. I seem to have 3.46GB with a 640MB video card under
    |> Linux. No idea what I have under Windows.
    |>
    |> Arno
    |
    | What other hardware do you have though? I think drivers take up address
    | space too. I'm not positive how it works but everything loaded into
    | memory needs address space?

    The displaced RAM gets mapped above the 4GB line. A kernel with PAE mode
    can access all of up to 64GB (and possibly 128GB with a hack). So if you
    have a baord that can do 64GB and you put 64GB in it, you will then be
    back to the problem of losing a sub-GB chunk of memory. People will be
    whining about this problem a lot in a few years :)

    See also:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension

    --
    |---------------------------------------/----------------------------------|
    | Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
    | first name lower case at ipal.net / |
    |------------------------------------/-------------------------------------|
     
  20. Arno Wagner

    Arno Wagner Guest

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc wrote:
    > In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Rat River Cemetary <> wrote:


    > | Arno Wagner wrote:
    > |
    > |> Interessting. I seem to have 3.46GB with a 640MB video card under
    > |> Linux. No idea what I have under Windows.
    > |>
    > |> Arno
    > |
    > | What other hardware do you have though? I think drivers take up address
    > | space too. I'm not positive how it works but everything loaded into
    > | memory needs address space?


    > The displaced RAM gets mapped above the 4GB line. A kernel with PAE mode
    > can access all of up to 64GB (and possibly 128GB with a hack).


    Take care though, that this does potentially slows down your system.
    I turned it off again, because Opera became quite slow under
    certain conditions (high memory load).

    > So if you
    > have a baord that can do 64GB and you put 64GB in it, you will then be
    > back to the problem of losing a sub-GB chunk of memory. People will be
    > whining about this problem a lot in a few years :)


    Yes, very likely ;-)

    > See also:
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension


    > --
    > |---------------------------------------/----------------------------------|
    > | Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
    > | first name lower case at ipal.net / |
    > |------------------------------------/-------------------------------------|
     
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