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Windows 7: 64bit 4GB (3.25 Usable). Waste of an update?

16 Dec 2010   #11

Win 7 SP1

I had a similar situation with an older Gigabyte motherboard.

I was able to install 4gb on the board, but I was only able to see 3gb on it due to other hardware limitations - older chipsets and ports. It was a transition board that had both SATA and IDE interfaces on the board, IIRC.

Because of the limitations, the board was unable to access the upper portion of the memory - it needed to keep that part reserved for the hardware.

I'd check your motherboard manual and/or website to see if you have a similar situation.


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16 Dec 2010   #12

Windows 7/10 64 bit

Good point. If all you have is 4 GB of RAM there is no reason to install a 64 bit OS, unless you plan on adding more RAM.
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16 Dec 2010   #13

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

You can try:
Msconfig>Boot>Advanced options...>
Check the Maximum memory box.
Make sure it's show 4096.
If it doesn't, use the up arrow to increase it.
OK out and restart your PC.
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16 Dec 2010   #14
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit

Most of us run 4GB with Win7 64bit just fine with plenty left over.

2GB I would agree.
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16 Dec 2010   #15

Windows 10 Education 64 bit

I'm running 4 gigs with windows 7x64. My video card has another gig of dedicated RAM on it. If I was running 7x32 that gig would subtract from my 4 gigs and I'd only be able to use 3 gig of it. Running 7x64 lets me use it all. Seemed like a no-brainer to me.
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17 Dec 2010   #16

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
Running in 64 bit mode offers other advantages - especially for things like Photoshop -- Instruction time is shorter etc etc.

The RAM advantage really needs more than 4GB when using a 64 bit OS before you will see anything large in available address space.- but using all the RAM doesn't necessarily mean that your system is running badly.

There's a lot more to measuring OS performance than just looking at the available RAM.


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17 Dec 2010   #17

Windows 7 Professional

No but seriously, can 32-bit even see and use all of 4GB. I thought there was a limitation of only 3.25-3.5GB with 32-bit OS kernel or something?

I remember trying to choose between 32 and 64-bit for installation and I ultimately chose 64-bit cause it can use all 4GB instead of just 3.5GB (512mb wasted) at max in 32-bit. If I'm wrong and they somehow fixed up 32-bit (not likely, they would have done it Vista before 7 was released) then I'd love to go back to 32-bit. More easy on programs and games compatibility (especially older games) for me.

Let me know,
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17 Dec 2010   #18

Windows 10 Education 64 bit

32 bit windows can only address up to 4 gigs max. Included in that 4 gig is any address space used by other components such as your video card. If you have a dedicated video card with 512 megs of ram that subtracts from the 4 gig of address space. You would end up with 3.5 gigs of usable RAM, thats all windows can map into the remaining address space. Thats shall we a Cliff's notes explanation of it. I think if you follow some of the links posted in this thread you'll get a better explanation of why it is the way it is.
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17 Dec 2010   #19

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
Running in 64 bit mode offers other advantages - especially for things like Photoshop -- Instruction time is shorter etc etc.
With the caveat that you have to be running 64-bit versions of the software in question. I know you are aware of this, but just throwing it out there for those that might read into that statement that 64-bit is just magically faster across the board.
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17 Dec 2010   #20
Prof Kerfuffle

Windows 7 Professional (x64/SP1) /Linux Mint 16

I have 2GB of ram and changed to 64-bit about a year ago and got 2.0GB usable instead of 1.75GB usable.
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 64bit 4GB (3.25 Usable). Waste of an update?

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