That is a good question. I just ordered a 2x2gb set of 1066 mushkins to get ready for win7 while it's still cheap, and to maybe help with my oc on my rig with winxp 32bit home edition. If it does use the extra 1.5gb's, would it also run the 3.5gb's it does "see" in dual channel?
Cuz I'm also hoping to get a little more headroom to reach 4ghz. I gotta zap the crap out of my chip and loosen the ram timing so much, like as loose as they will go, and i still can't get 4ghz w/o bsod's or crashing or failing stability tests almost instantly. I'm coming from ram in my sig.
32 bit sees up to 4GB, but it uses the video card and other system memory before looking at your RAM sticks. 3.5 GB is an approximate, it depends upon how much memory is present in those other devices.
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