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WIN XP & VISTA 32bit ..How much RAM can I get ?

Discussion in 'Overclocking' started by Trimble Bracegirdle, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. I know that in both Windows XP & VISTA (any version) 32bit versions
    We can't install & use more than about 3 Gigs of RAM .
    The O/S uses some addresses above 3 Gig for addressing the hardware..
    particularly the Graphic card ..
    My question is how can I tell how much is available to use in a particular
    system ??
    Some people get 3.3 gig some nearly all of the 4 Gig space.

    I've seen a spec. for a Dell system that has 2 SLI Geforce 8800GTX &
    4 gigs RAM fitted that gives the available RAM amount as only 2.7 Gig.
    An extreme example. That's because the 8800's both have 768MB memory
    that has to be mapped in the upper memory.

    I want to know how much I will get if I install more RAM or some
    piece of hardware's effect in this respect.
    Mouse
    @@@
     
    Trimble Bracegirdle, Mar 7, 2007
    #1
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  2. Trimble Bracegirdle

    johns Guest

    So do I. I called Gigabyte about this, and the tech said
    that Windows will only report unmapped ram .. therefore
    the 3 gig .. 3.3gig .. etc ... BUT .. he said that the system
    will still use your 4 gigs of ram. I can only assume that
    the video card ram is not on the memory bus, but is treated
    like I/O .. and maybe even like a serial device. Otherwise,
    the video ram addressing would conflict with the system
    memory addressing. Main reason I think this, is the term
    "ram" doesn't make any sense for a video card. There is
    no need to "randomly" access the ram on a video card.
    That clearly makes it some kind of serial device .. like
    a UART ... that can be tri-stated and share its bus. If
    there is some kind of random logic on a video card,
    it has its own internal bus for that, and so there is no
    system "memory addressing" going on. It would be
    nice to find out the facts one way or the other. I'm
    using 4 gigs of ram, and it makes a big difference in
    Vista and G3.

    johns
     
    johns, Mar 7, 2007
    #2
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  3. You know about Physical Address Extension (PAE), a method of accessing
    up to 64GB of memory on a 32-bit processor?

    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PAE/PAEdrv.mspx
     
    ajmoss_throwaway_account_001, Mar 7, 2007
    #3
  4. (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")
    Hi Johns ;)
    Much nicer type of person here than on those "ibm. com. games" groups, yes ?

    I'm putting new sys together & as will be using 32 bit O/S because of
    the computability & driver issues Re: 64 bit.
    I just decided & ordered an extra 1 Gig of RAM for 3 Gig total.
    Fills up all the slots of cause in dual channel.
    I would have gone to 4 Gig if not for this uncertainty..
    I don't understand the info. you've been given that Windows
    use all of 4 Gigs but may show less ???
    Mouse
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(") Bunnies must rule.
     
    Trimble Bracegirdle, Mar 7, 2007
    #4
  5. (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(") Thanks for the PAE link...But its mostly over my head..
    Seeems to come down to "maybe , maybe not" ..after a lot of work
    It would be usefull just to have some utility to run & tell what adding
    more RAM would do.
    Mouse
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")
     
    Trimble Bracegirdle, Mar 7, 2007
    #5
  6. Trimble Bracegirdle

    Dave Guest

    Vista has a performance and reliability program built in. Part of that is a
    Windows Experience Index, which is a numerical rating that is like a GPA for
    how well your system is prepared to run Vista. Your number is based on the
    WEAKEST component. That is, if your CPU scores a 2 (that's bad), then your
    baseline score is 2, even if all your other components are 5 or better. My
    wife's computer got a 5.8 base number out of a possible 5.9. It has exactly
    2GB of RAM.

    The question is not how much RAM can you get, it's how much extra RAM can I
    add before I start wasting money? It seems Vista is happy with 2GB. Stop
    there. :) -Dave
     
    Dave, Mar 7, 2007
    #6
  7. Trimble Bracegirdle

    johns Guest

    Seeems to come down to "maybe , maybe not" ..after a lot of work
    That would be Gothic 3. I swear I'm not kidding
    when I call myself a "benchmark gamer". These
    games are telling me a whole lot more than all
    the Microsoft FAQ sheets in the world added
    together. Something like Aquamark is pretty
    good. It just hangs a number on game efficiency.
    I can spend weeks calling AutoDesk, or Gigabyte,
    or Microsoft .. and learn nothing. I can load a
    couple of games and right away, I can see for
    myself where the problem areas are ... and
    see if anything fixes those problems. The game
    writers have no reason to lie about their products,
    and I go to the Engineering vendors armed with
    the truth ... and catch them in lie after lie after
    lie ... mostly that I am too stupid to run their
    products. So I ask which "shader" they are
    using ... and it will be so out-of-date, it is not
    funny. I drop back in their app, and all is
    well. Nice to know these things.

    johns
     
    johns, Mar 7, 2007
    #7
  8. Trimble Bracegirdle

    johns Guest

    You see anywhere in that baseline that Vista does
    not support OpenGL, and its XP dll library is 2 years
    out of date. And then there's the weasel-wording at
    the bottom of the page, that many pieces of hardware
    may not work as expected ??? Microsoft jargon style
    says one thing, and means the exact opposite ...
    reminds me of my Physics professors.

    johns
     
    johns, Mar 7, 2007
    #8
  9. Trimble Bracegirdle

    johns Guest

    You see anywhere in that baseline that Vista does
    not support OpenGL, and its XP dll library is 2 years
    out of date. And then there's the weasel-wording at
    the bottom of the page, that many pieces of hardware
    may not work as expected ??? Microsoft jargon style
    says one thing, and means the exact opposite ...
    reminds me of my Physics professors.

    johns
     
    johns, Mar 7, 2007
    #9
  10. Trimble Bracegirdle

    Paul Guest

    Try PDF page 51 here and Figure 3-1 "System Address Ranges". This
    is for the P965 chipset.

    ftp://download.intel.com/design/chipsets/datashts/31305302.pdf

    Chipsets that support more than 4GB of memory, such as the P965,
    have a remapping function. It allows the memory whose addressing
    was used by the I/O devices, like PCI/AGP/PCI-Express cards, to be
    recovered by remapping to above 4GB. But that only helps, if you
    have a 64 bit OS that can access up there. Remapping for a 32 bit OS
    won't help, because while the wasted memory is lifted up, it cannot
    be accessed. So expect to install 4GB and get to see and use 3.3GB
    or whatever the number turns out to be. If you use an SLI or Crossfire
    setup, expect the "address space tax" to be higher, than if you just
    put an old PCI video card in the computer.

    The address map efficiency is all a function of the BIOS, and also
    of the "rules of rounding". Space allocation for some of the I/O,
    is sometimes rounded to the nearest 256MB and the like. Which means,
    if you just stepped over one of those boundaries, you lose a chunk more
    of RAM from addressability.

    This doc is originally from Intel, and is available for download from
    Asus. It provides a bit more background info.

    http://dlsvr01.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/4GB_Rev1.pdf

    There are also limitations at the OS level. The kernel application
    split can be 2GB/2GB or 1GB/3GB. To be able to use 3GB for a single
    application, may require specifically compiling the application for it.
    If more than one application is running, then the sum total of their
    memory usages, comes from the application space.

    And discussions of this topic always end in a "food fight", so I'll
    put on my rubber raincoat and cover my head now :)

    Paul
     
    Paul, Mar 8, 2007
    #10
  11. Trimble Bracegirdle

    Phil Weldon Guest

    'johns' wrote, in part:
    | I can only assume that
    | the video card ram is not on the memory bus, but is treated
    | like I/O .. and maybe even like a serial device. Otherwise,
    | the video ram addressing would conflict with the system
    | memory addressing. Main reason I think this, is the term
    | "ram" doesn't make any sense for a video card. There is
    | no need to "randomly" access the ram on a video card.
    | That clearly makes it some kind of serial device .. like
    | a UART ... that can be tri-stated and share its bus.
    _____

    I think you are confusing video ram, video display adapters, frame buffers,
    and main memory.

    #1. There IS a need for random access for memory on video display adapters,
    this ram is used for several purposes, among which are
    a. frame buffer (this seems to be the purpose you are thinking
    of), the area that stores the image to be displayed; more than one exists
    b. texture storage
    c. program storage for programmable GPUs

    #2. A frame buffer, even for very high resolution and large color depth
    is not very large compared to the memory installed on video display adapters
    or as main memory in a system; 8 MBytes for each buffer at a resolution of
    1600 X 1200 X 32 bits. One buffer is used to refresh the display while
    others are used to construct images.

    #3. Video memory is a TYPE of ram; it is dual ported so that reads and
    writes can be set up at the same time for any location

    #4. Main memory space used by memory display adapters is mapped; it does
    not need to be contiguous, nor does it need to be physical. This space is
    used to transfer data back and forth on the AGP or PCI Express bus; it need
    not be anything like the size of memory space on the video display adapter.

    You can find out more by reading the AGP Bus and PCI Express Bus standards.
    A good place to start for PCI Express Bus is at
    http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/3767 (the standards committee
    charges for the complete specifications, and you might not want to pay the
    $1500 the official specifications that PCI-SIG charges.)
    For the AGP bus a good place to start is at
    http://members.datafast.net.au/dft0802/specs.htm (also has information on
    PCI Express.

    Phil Weldon

    |
    | > I want to know how much I will get if I install more RAM or some
    | > piece of hardware's effect in this respect.
    |
    | So do I. I called Gigabyte about this, and the tech said
    | that Windows will only report unmapped ram .. therefore
    | the 3 gig .. 3.3gig .. etc ... BUT .. he said that the system
    | will still use your 4 gigs of ram. I can only assume that
    | the video card ram is not on the memory bus, but is treated
    | like I/O .. and maybe even like a serial device. Otherwise,
    | the video ram addressing would conflict with the system
    | memory addressing. Main reason I think this, is the term
    | "ram" doesn't make any sense for a video card. There is
    | no need to "randomly" access the ram on a video card.
    | That clearly makes it some kind of serial device .. like
    | a UART ... that can be tri-stated and share its bus. If
    | there is some kind of random logic on a video card,
    | it has its own internal bus for that, and so there is no
    | system "memory addressing" going on. It would be
    | nice to find out the facts one way or the other. I'm
    | using 4 gigs of ram, and it makes a big difference in
    | Vista and G3.
    |
    | johns
    |
     
    Phil Weldon, Mar 8, 2007
    #11
  12. Trimble Bracegirdle

    John Jordan Guest

    [snip]

    A few extra points:

    1. The remapping should also work for PAE, theoretically allowing a
    32-bit PAE system to access the whole 4GB on a 4GB machine.

    2. XP has a 4GB limit regardless of technical limitations. I'm not sure
    whether this is a 4GB physical address limit or a 4GB DRAM limit, or
    what the limit is in any Vista version.

    3. Even when the chipset supports remapping, the BIOS doesn't
    necessarily bother, so even with a 64-bit OS you don't always get the
    full 4GB.
     
    John Jordan, Mar 8, 2007
    #12
  13. Trimble Bracegirdle

    John Jordan Guest

    This hasn't been true for a long time. Modern video cards use the same
    DRAM types as everything else (SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3 etc.), although
    takeup of newer DRAM technologies is faster in video cards because
    compatibility isn't an issue.
     
    John Jordan, Mar 8, 2007
    #13
  14. Trimble Bracegirdle

    Frank McCoy Guest

    The obvious thing is *NEVER* buy the first round of an operating system;
    especially from Micr$haft.

    Windows 3.0 was crap; and didn't become what was promised until 3.1.
    The best release of that OS was version 3.11

    Windows 95 didn't really work worth shit until ....

    Windows 98 wasn't worth a damn until Second Edition.

    Windows XP was crap even when Service-Pack-1 was installed.
    It wasn't until SP-2 that it started to look stable and possibly as good
    as Win-98SE Now they're getting up to release-three of the .NET
    addition; along with more fixes than you can shake a stick at.

    So ... They come out with "Vista" which, of course, is buggier than a
    windshield in Minnesota in May.

    Wait until they at least come out with "Service Pack 1" or whatever
    they'll call it for Vista. Preferably SP-2, or whatever they decide to
    call the second big release.

    Maybe by *then* it will work as well as XP does now.
    Maybe.
     
    Frank McCoy, Mar 8, 2007
    #14
  15. Trimble Bracegirdle

    Phil Weldon Guest

    'John Jordan' wrote:
    | This hasn't been true for a long time. Modern video cards use the same
    | DRAM types as everything else (SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3 etc.), although
    | takeup of newer DRAM technologies is faster in video cards because
    | compatibility isn't an issue.
    _____

    Yes, VRAM is no longer used in video display adapters. I was suggesting
    that there was confusion about video display adapter memory usage in the
    post from 'johns'

    "Main reason I think this, is the term "ram" doesn't make any sense for a
    video card. There is no need to "randomly" access the ram on a video card.
    That clearly makes it some kind of serial device ..."


    and that it might partly be from conflating several concepts and terms. I
    should have used the term video ram (VRAM).

    Phil Weldon

    | Phil Weldon wrote:
    | >
    | > #3. Video memory is a TYPE of ram; it is dual ported so that reads
    and
    | > writes can be set up at the same time for any location
    |
    |
    |
    | --
    | John Jordan
     
    Phil Weldon, Mar 8, 2007
    #15
  16. Trimble Bracegirdle

    Conor Guest


    You need to enable "Hardware Memory Hole" in BIOS.
     
    Conor, Mar 8, 2007
    #16
  17. This thread has improved my understanding Re: XP & VISTA 32bit
    RAM limitations .
    But I'm really quite depressed to find I'm struggling with a situation I
    thought
    I'd left with Windows 98 ..when I tried to find out what it did with more
    than 1Gig RAM.
    (No Bunny actuarially knows for sure).
    And that new n shiny VISTA still hasn't sorted this seems ridiculous.
    Bring back Expanded Memory I say (sigh !) You knew where you were
    with EMM386.EXE (or was it *.SYS ?). (Big sigh !).

    I still can not understand who there is no utility that can be run & report
    what the state of upper memory is & what extra can be installed ??
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(") Mouse.
     
    Trimble Bracegirdle, Mar 8, 2007
    #17
  18. Trimble Bracegirdle

    Conor Guest

    All the information is there on MS website.
     
    Conor, Mar 8, 2007
    #18
  19. Trimble Bracegirdle

    John Jordan Guest

    Well, if you *really* want to know, go to control panel, administrative
    tools, computer management, system tools, system information, hardware
    resources, memory. Then see what's mapped where. 0xC8000000 is 3.5GB.

    Note that many ranges will be mapped multiple times. Windows seems to
    map "PCI bus" to the full range above RAM, and AGP and video card
    mappings also overlap. The lowest non-PCI-bus, non-first-MB value should
    tell you your RAM limit though.
     
    John Jordan, Mar 9, 2007
    #19
  20. Trimble Bracegirdle

    John Jordan Guest

    Uh. Oops. 0xE0000000 is 3.5GB.

    By the way, changing your AGP aperture size is likely to make a
    significant difference to these address mappings.
     
    John Jordan, Mar 9, 2007
    #20
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