Re: Windows uses 4 GB? Really?
- From: Stephen Harris <cyberguard-1048@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 01:11:18 -0700
I’ve done a lot of research regarding this issue and frankly I’m getting a migraine in the heat of the Southern Oregon 110 degree days! So I quit!!! I bought 4 GB of RAM because I thought it would speed up my system a bit. My motherboard happily stated in its manual that it supports 4 GB of RAM. This crazy issue regarding more than 2 GB of RAM wasn’t readily available I had no idea about it. So… I happily bought 4 GB of RAM and was proud of it! My system seemed to boot a bit faster. Microsoft Office seemed to load a bit faster. Games seemed to run even just a tad faster. I was happy though not ecstatic. But I was shocked when I noticed that My Computer/Properties showed only 3.00 GB! Where did my extra 1 GB of RAM go? I added 2 SLI eVGA 8600 GTS 512 DDR3 MB cards and the My Computer/Properties showed only 2.75 GB. Now I was concerned. My system still seems to run faster than it did with 1 GB. But I still wanted to know where my extra 1.25 GB of RAM went.
ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe with nForce 4 SLI chipset.
AMD Athlon 64-FX 60
750 watt Silverstone power.
4 GB RAM DDR Corsair XMS
WD 200GB 7200 RPM HD
Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS Platinum
Is my chipset a 64 bit chipset? Or 32 bit?
What I found was that I am now more confused than before. Some info that is posted here as reference seems to suggest that it is a Windows issue, but others seem to suggest that it is also a hardware issue. Some seem to suggest that in order to fully recognize 4 GB of RAM or more you need not only a 64 bit operating system but also a 64 bit computer hardware system. Not just a 64 bit CPU! I am confused!
I would like to know why when I added SLI video cards my usable RAM dropped by 250 MB! It seems that the information appears to state that the more ram a video card has the more “addressing” space it needs. Why! And why then does this whole “addressing” issue with the upper 4th GB of RAM not become an issue with 2 GB of RAM? This just doesn’t seem logical! Why would you actually end up losing usable RAM with more than 2 GB of RAM? I’m confused! So what if I did have 2 GB of RAM? Would my system slow down slightly? What is this “addressing” issue and why doesn’t it occur at below 2 GB RAM?
Some people seem to think that it is rare for anyone to need more than 512 MB or 1 GB of RAM! WHAT? Who could anyone think this at this time in the evolution of computers? Anyone who thinks the average computer user doesn’t need more than 1 GB RAM ought to have their head examined. Most average home computer users who have a 64 bit CPU are probably using a few if not many games that require at least 1 GB of RAM! Hell! I don’t even think most people could tolerate running Windows XP on 512 MB of RAM even though it will run! Already some games are requiring 2 GB of RAM to run minimum!
The most significant piece of information I have found that was posted in the 4 Gigs RAM thread by Tim Slattery: http://h20331.www2.hp.com/Hpsub/downloads/RAM_Allocation_w-WinXP_HP_MWP_x64.pdf Thanks!
Regardless… I have a migraine, It’s too hot, and I still have not got the answer that is really important to me:
Is my 1.25 GB of RAM that Windows does not report being used at all in any amount? Am I benefiting at all in any way from my extra 1.25 GB of RAM? Would my system be any less effective with only 3 GB as everyone seems to convey that 3 GB is all that is necessary?
That’s all I really want to know? Did I waste my money?
Thanks, stay cool! Buy from www.falcon-nw.com
"I have install total 4GB memory on my motherboard. However, it can only recognize around 3.1GB or less. My friend's SLI board even less than 3GB. What's up? How should I do to recognize 4GB totally?
If you installed total 4GB memory, the system will detect less than 4GB of total memory because of address space allocation for other critical functions, such as:
- System BIOS (including motherboard, add-on cards, etc..)
- Motherboards resources
- Memory mapped I/O
- configuration for AGP/PCI-Ex/PCI
- Other memory allocations for PCI devices
Different onboard devices and different add-on cards (devices) will result of different total memory size.
e.g. more PCI cards installed will require more memory resources, resulting of less memory free for other uses.
On a SLI system, since PCI-Ex graphic cards will occupy around 256MB, another 256MB will be occupied after you install a 2nd PCI-Ex graphic card. Hence, 2.75GB memory left only if two SLI cards installed on A8N-SLI Premium while 3.0GB memory left with one graphic card without other add-on devices.
This limitation applies to most chipsets & Windows XP 32-bit version operating system.
If you install Windows XP 32-bit version operating system, we recommend that you install less than 3GB of total memory. If more than 3GB memory is required for your system, then below two conditions must be met:
1. The memory controller which supports memory swap functionality is used. The latest chipsets like Intel 975X, 955X, Nvidia NF4 SLI Intel Edition, Nvidia NF4 SLI X16, and AMD K8 CPU architecture can support the memory swap function.
2. Windows XP Pro X64 Ed. (64-bit) or other OS which can address more than 4GB memory."
"The reduction in available system memory depends on the devices that
are installed in the computer. However, to avoid potential driver compatibility issues, the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista limit the total available memory to 3.12 GB. See the "More information" section for information about potential driver compatibility issues.
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.
For Windows Vista to use all 4 GB of memory on a computer that has 4 GB of memory installed, the computer must meet the following requirements:
• The chipset must support at least 8 GB of address space. Chipsets that have this capability include the following:
• Intel 975X
• Intel P965
• Intel 955X on Socket 775
• Chipsets that support AMD processors that use socket F, socket 940, socket 939, or socket AM2. These chipsets include any AMD socket and CPU combination in which the memory controller resides in the CPU.
• The CPU must support the x64 instruction set. The AMD64 CPU and the Intel EM64T CPU support this instruction set.
• The BIOS must support the memory remapping feature. The memory remapping feature allows for the segment of system memory that was previously overwritten by the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) configuration space to be remapped above the 4 GB address line. This feature must be enabled in the BIOS configuration utility on the computer. View your computer product documentation for instructions that explain how to enable this feature. Many consumer-oriented computers may not support the memory remapping feature. No standard terminology is used in documentation or in BIOS configuration utilities for this feature. Therefore, you may have to read the descriptions of the various BIOS configuration settings that are available to determine whether any of the settings enable the memory remapping feature.
• An x64 (64-bit) version of Windows Vista must be used."
1. 4 x 1.8V DDR2 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory (Note 1)
2. Dual channel memory architecture
3. Support for DDR2 1066 (Note 2)/800/667 MHz memory modules
Note 1) Due to Windows XP 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB."
SH: I felt the memory video was the most exciting of the six videos.
"Sysinternals Video Library
The Sysinternals Video Library is a set of six DVDs that cover essential Windows troubleshooting topics. Each video is personally presented by Mark Russinovich and David Solomon. The complete set is available for order at a discounted price and the first video, Tour of the Sysinternals Tools, is _free for download_.
The episode on tracking down memory leaks is especially thrilling!
"Troubleshooting Memory Problems
Discover the real meaning behind the key memory performance counters to understand process and system memory usage, solve user and kernel memory leaks, and properly size your paging file.
Click _here_ to view a free four minute sample.
This 120 minute (2 hour) video is divided into the following modules:
1. Overview of Memory Management
2. Process Memory Usage
3. Paging Lists
4. Paging Files
5. Memory Leaks "
SH: Nonetheless, there is hope if you have Windows XP Pro 32-bit.
"Operating systems based on Microsoft Windows NT technologies have always provided applications with a flat 32-bit virtual address space that describes 4 gigabytes (GB) of virtual memory. The address space is usually split so that 2 GB of address space is directly accessible to the application and the other 2 GB is only accessible to the Windows executive software.
The 32-bit versions of the Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Windows NT Server 4.0, Enterprise Edition, operating systems were the first versions of Windows to provide applications with a 3-GB flat virtual address space, with the kernel and executive components using only 1 GB. In response to customer requests, Microsoft has expanded the availability of this support to the 32-bit version of Windows XP Professional and all 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2003. ...
The virtual address space of processes and applications is still limited to 2 GB unless the /3GB switch is used in the Boot.ini file. When the physical RAM in the system exceeds 16 GB and the /3GB switch is used, the operating system will ignore the additional RAM until the /3GB switch is removed. This is because of the increased size of the kernel required to support more Page Table Entries. The assumption is made that the administrator would rather not lose the /3GB functionality silently and automatically; therefore, this requires the administrator to explicitly change this setting.
The /3GB switch allocates 3 GB of virtual address space to an application that uses IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE in the process header. This switch allows applications to address 1 GB of additional virtual address space above 2 GB.
The virtual address space of processes and applications is still limited to 2 GB, unless the /3GB switch is used in the Boot.ini file. The following example shows how to add the /3GB parameter in the Boot.ini file to enable application memory tuning:
SH: I think shifting the extra 1GB of memory to applications
will in some situations result in fewer disk writes and
retrieval from data stored on the disk which is more efficient.
So there is a software 64-bit OS and a x64 hardware requirement.
More drivers, the problem, are becoming available for 64-bit.
There is an issue about optimizing their performance.
4 gigs of memory should show up in the Bios, check it.
Also the Bios will often have an option which shows how much
Ram memory is diverted to the video card and so possibly changed.
You didn't mention your version Operating System, so since you
have a nice system, I took a chance and provided the boot.ini
switch information in case you have Windows XP Pro.
With Windows, Home is not where the heart is,
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