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Windows 7 and RAM Compatibility

By magicman17 ยท 7 replies
Dec 27, 2009
  1. Hello,
    I am currently working on my first PC build but have heard a rumor about some compatibility issues with RAM and Windows 7.
    I have been told that Windows 7 can only recognize up to 2GB RAM depending on the MHz. I am planning to use 4GB 2000 MHz RAM in conjunction with Windows 7 Professional 32 bit, will this work? I have my entered PC specification on my profile if you need more info.
    Many tanks.
  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,230   +1,664

    If it doesn't work you can always exchange it with other set with different MHz or brands. But there shouldn't be any problem when it come to recognizing RAM, but i'm not sure about the 32bit Win 7.
    The only problem i see is that you're using a 32bit version of Windows 7 when your build will benefit more from a 64bit OS. Some people did have problems with the 32 bit win7 when installing >=4gb of ram (rare cases), but nobody said anything about the MHZ's (the MB supports it so the OS shouldn't have any compatibility problem).

    I recommend using win7 64bit.
  3. Xecutor

    Xecutor TS Enthusiast Posts: 117

    32 Bit Win7 will only recognize upto about 3.5 GB of RAM, regardless of RAM frequency which is due to a limitation of the 32 Bit OS. If you're planning to use 4GB of RAM and want the OS to take full advantage of the 4GB, then get a 64-Bit ver of Windows 7.

    Puiu the only time I can think of that the OS will only see 2GB out of 4GB because of RAM frequency is if the BIOS is incompatible with a higher freq and requires a BIOS flash. Otherwise the 32Bit OS will recognize upto ~3.5GB of RAM out x amt of RAM, while a 64Bit OS will recognize all RAM installed.
  4. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,230   +1,664

    In conclusion, go for 4gb and if you have any problems post here again (99.999% sure there won't be).

    You can use the 32bit win7 but everybody here at techspot will recommend the 64bit one.

    PS: i think it's better to go for 8gb of 1600 MHz ram than to pay extra for the speed of the 2000MHz RAM. The more ram the better (speed comes second). In games the difference is really small at 1280 (~1-2 fps max) and above resolutions. Even between 1333mhz and 2000mhz there isn't a big difference. Just read some 2000mhz ram benchmarks to see for yourself (benchmarks with games and programs, not synthetics tests).
  5. magicman17

    magicman17 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cheers guys. Really good advice. I think I'm now tempted to go for the 64 bit as well.
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 5,746   +14

    32bit OS can see up to 3.2gb up ram.

    64bit can see WAY beyond that. 8gb plus
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +429

    The OS shouldn't have much if any effect on what RAM will work, it is mostly the motherboard. So if your RAM was working in XP in that board, and you put 7 on (any version) it should also work fine.
  8. Windows7Guy

    Windows7Guy TS Rookie

    Hello magicman17,

    Have you checked compatibility?
    Just an FYI for you.

    It is always best to check with the software manufacturer FIRST. They will tell you if they have tested the product and the version, as well as whether or not it will work with Windows 7.
    Check out the Windows 7 Compatibility site: (There you will find out about hardware and software compatibility.)
    There is a pulldown from which you can choose "hardware" and "software".

    There are also some great articles, instructional videos and such to help with your Windows 7 at our Springboard site:

    In any event a lot of the times, Vista drivers will work in lieu of Windows 7 drivers, however, it's not 100%!

    As stated previously, it's best to have the Windows 7 certified drivers installed.
    Thanks again,
    John M.
    Microsoft Windows Client Support
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