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Only 3.25 Gb RAM?

By radicalgel ยท 5 replies
May 7, 2008
  1. Hi,

    I just upgraded my comp with a gigabyte GA-EP35C-DS3R mobo, Intel core 2 quad 2.5 GHz 45nm and two Transcend 2 Gb DDR2 800 sticks of RAM. I am using my old GeForce 6600GT. My BIOS reads 4 Gb of RAM but Win Xp Pro 32-bit SP3 only reads 3.25 Gb (System Properties). I have a friend who has 4Gb RAM with an amd X2, asus mobo, an ATI Radeon X800 and the same win xp pro 32-bit bit OS and his system properties displays 4 Gb.

    I saw this problem posted on other forums and I still didn't get a clear explanation for this behaviour. This one forum said that the 32-bit version of win xp can only use 3.25 Gb but when you play games and use applications then the entire 4 Gb can be utilized if required. Is this true?
  2. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    You'll need to get a 64 bit version of Windows XP or Vista to get use of all of your memory. Thirty two bit versions of Windows will automatically allocate up to 2GB of memory for windows use and can be coaxed to use up to 3 GB of memory, but only if you set the OS to use that extra memory.
  3. radicalgel

    radicalgel TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    So will games use all 4Gb if required or will only be allowed to use the 3.25Gb available due to win xp 32bit? Also why is my friend not facing the same problem? He has win xp 32bit and his sys properties displays 4Gb...
  4. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    Your games are restricted only to the memory that Windows can allocate to it. Windows will not be able to see beyond the 3250MB of memory, so if your game somehow reaches out beyond that chances are you'll get system errors and the game or computer will crash.

    Your friend may have turned off Windows virtual memory. Windows reserves a good size chunk of your hard drive for its' use and considers that reserve as memory.

    The computer I'm on right now has 1GB of DDR (PC3200) in two 512MB DIMMs, 256MB in video memory and 768MB in virtual memory on its' hard drive, so I have 2048MB (2GB) of memory in all on my computer.

    Since 32 bit versions of Windows normally allocates 2GB of memory for its' use I don't have a problem with virtual memory because it's "extra, but slower" memory, but in your case I might feel different. In your case virtual memory is being used instead of real, fast physical memory. 32 bit versions of Windows can actually count out to (allocate) 4.096 billion bytes (4096 mega bytes) of memory. You probably have 128MB of video memory, 718MB of virtual memory and 3250MB allocated ram. That 718MB of virtual memory is being used and counted towards your total allocated memory count of 4096MB.

    Now before you ask "How do I turn off virtual memory" just let me say that Windows expects you to have virtual memory and most of the programs you have installed will too, and turning off virtual memory MAY have dire consequences, so don't turn off virtual memory get a 64 bit operating system instead.

    I have Windows XP Pro x64 and it looks and feels just like Windows XP Pro. The only problem I've had with it was when I installed iTunes I got a couple of error messages, and after starting iTunes a get an error message that tells me that the program isn't properly installed, and I should reinstall if I want to burn CDs. Instead I downloaded/installed the optical drive drivers for iTunes and now everything works fine, but I still get the error message when I start the program.

    You could also try Windows Vista 64 bit if you are so inclined.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    I find that difficult to believe. That shouldn't happen out of the box. Unless maybe XPSP3 is pulling the same trick that Vista SP1 is.
  6. AshXX

    AshXX TS Rookie

    Yeh i knoticed that with my friends pc , but a sleek upgrade to 64bit will fix all your problems
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