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4 gig ram not showing up on Windows XP

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have Windows XP SP3, I have installed two 2gig sticks of Kingston DDR3 into my new Asus motherboard, but System Properties is showing it as 3.50 gigs of ram.

Is this actually affecting how much of my Ram is usable? If it is, can it be fixed without upgrading my OS?
post #2 of 8
The problem is you are probably using a 32bit OS, which can only utilize 3.5GB of RAM. Any RAM you have over that amount is unusable excess.
Quote:
32 Bit has limitations. The first and largest Limitation is the 4GB limit. Meaning that 32 Bit can not and will not recognize or utilize 4GB of RAM. The Max you will get is 3.5GB of RAM recognized and utilized on a 32 Bit system. No before anyone goes off on me for the fact that Vista SP1 will show that you have 4GB installed you still do not get to utilize that 4GB as it will not use that other 512MB.

To better explain the limitation i turn to Computer Guru of NeoSmart Technologies. Who gave me this bit of information.

Memory is a block of registers (storage devices) in a very long row:
Code:
ADDRESS 1
ADDRESS 2
ADDRESS 3
ADDRESS 4
etc..
In order to access Address X, the CPU needs to store the value of X in a register in the CPU and tell the memory to read the contents of the address stored in that register.

Registers in x86 PCs are limited to 32 bits, which means the biggest number that can be stored in that register is 2^32, or 4,294,967,296; which means that the CPU can access up to "ADDRESS 4,294,967,296" which is the 4th GB of data.

The problem is that the CPU also access I/O devices (printer, USB, keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) by assigning them an address as well. So it reserves half a GB or so of the memory addresses to talk to the I/O devices... So you have 4GB - ~0.5GB -> 3.5 GB (on Windows it is 3.2GB).

This is the only reason x64 was invented.

Edited by MobAttack - 1/11/11 at 11:47am
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post #3 of 8
Are you running 32bit or 64bit Windows?
    
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post #4 of 8
I think its very clear he's on a 32bit OS.

The RAM limitation is 4.0GB TOTAL system memory. This includes what your BIOS and add on cards take up, and how much memory your GPU has on it. Can vary from 3.5GB down to 0GB RAM on a 32bit OS (assuming you have a 4GB GPU setup such as 2x 2GB 6950's).

You need to upgrade to a 64bit OS to use more than what you can now.
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post #5 of 8
if your using the 32 bit version off xp it will only show 3 or 3.5 gig off ramm cause some off it is used by the hardware atached to the motherboard ie graphics card
    
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneerisloud;11972592 
(assuming you have a 4GB GPU setup such as 2x 2GB 6950's).

I forgot about GPU RAM also eating into those numbers. Guess its been awhile since I really thought about 32bit systems.
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MobAttack;11972561 
The problem is you are probably using a 32bit OS, which can only utilize 3.5GB of RAM. Any RAM you have over that amount is unusable excess.

The extra RAM is accessible via RAMDisk.

Also, this quote is incorrect: "This is the only reason x64 was invented." x64 benefits also include 64-bit processing.
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
RAMDisk? I'll have to look that up, yes I'm using 32bit Windows XP. Well, if I miss out on that excess 500mb I guess it's not too bad, good job I thought 4gig was enough.
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