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Windows 7: 3 Gigs Ram or 4?

28 Oct 2010   #21
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
I swear I've had Dell OEM systems with 945 chipsets running with 4 GB of usable memory.
If you're talking about Vista SP1 or Win7, the number the OS reports in all the obvious places was changed to show "installed", not "available" because this was confusing people (obviously it still does) and probably generated support calls to the OEMs (resmon still shows you the actual numbers, and at least on Win7, shows you the hardware reserved bits as well).

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946003


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Oct 2010   #22
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I'm well aware of the change in what's displayed in system properties. I still have scars from all the battles on other forums where users argued tooth and nail that Microsoft "fixed" their x86 versions to support 4 GB because their computers suddenly showed 4 GB, rather than 3.25 GB. My therapist says I'll soon be able to repress those memories.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #23
stormy13
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
I'm well aware of the change in what's displayed in system properties. I still have scars from all the battles on other forums where users argued tooth and nail that Microsoft "fixed" their x86 versions to support 4 GB because their computers suddenly showed 4 GB, rather than 3.25 GB. My therapist says I'll soon be able to repress those memories.


That's about as good as a guy I saw on another forum that didn't want to use Vista or 7 due to the increased memory use, which for some odd reason he claimed would also cause an increase in power use.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Oct 2010   #24
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Heh - scars indeed.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #25
zzz2496

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Hmm... This is very weird... If what GeneO wrote is true, then I should only have less than 3GB available to my OS (which is NOT the case). I know that the chipset (or the memory controller in particular) needs to have the ability to access all of those memory banks that it's connected to, but Wow... This topic is very interesting indeed.

If you read my system specs, I have 2 display adapters, a GTX285 1GB and 8800 512MB... Those two alone should reduce my 4GB installed RAM to 2.5GB available to the system... But currently, all 4GB RAM is usable, even back in WinXP 32bit, I have around 3GB RAM available (with 4x1GB sticks installed). This is still not counting all other devices that are installed on my PCI(e) bus. As for display adapter's local RAM, it's a whole different device, and it uses different access method, and is addressed differently. In case you're wondering by this fact, the simple question would be: can you access the graphic adapter's local cache as a "real" RAM and have CPU a complete control over it? As if it's an extension of main memory...? Hint: display adapters have firmware that governs it self, we can say that it's more like a BIOS for display adapters, thus you can't really access it's RAM directly, not with that firmware in the way.

But enough... What to remember is, before you put in more RAM to your computer, you should ALWAYS read what's the maximum RAM size supported by your motherboard's memory controller. This is the main requirement of how many memory banks the memory controller can access/control. Regarding memory mapping feature, this is perquisite with the chipset's ability to address it's RAM. If it supports more than 4GB, it will have memory mapping feature.
The next factor is the OS. To be able to use all of those RAM, we need an OS that have enough address space to use all of those RAM. https://www.sevenforums.com/general-d...omparison.html have all the info.

As for the OP, as stated by rich64, Darician, Zeplash, stormy13, and many others (and my self): Stick with 3GB if you're planning on using 32bit OS, upgrade to 4GB if you wish to use 64bit OS... As simple as that.

zzz2496

Edit: I'm not sure if I read the thread starter correctly... The OP have a physical display adapter card, which is the same as me. After that, I re-read GeneO's post once more. If I read it correctly, maybe GeneO means display adapter that's embedded on the motherboard's chipset (an onboard display adapter). If this is the case, then we are not talking about the same thing. Onboard display adapter's local cache uses main RAM, this is true, but the OP's are using a dedicated display adapter card, which doesn't share it's local cache with main RAM...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #26
LiquidSnak

W7 Professional x64
 
 

Aftermarket GPU's have their own memory. The onboard graphics draw from installed RAM, usually.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #27
sygnus21

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Some good stuff here, learned a few things.

Thread bookmarked.

Thanks guys
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #28
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LiquidSnak View Post
Aftermarket GPU's have their own memory. The onboard graphics draw from installed RAM, usually.
They still use system address space. Their memory is mapped to a range of system system addresses. When OS reads or writes to that range, it translates to moving the data to/from the video memory over PCI-e or whatever bus.

The range of addresses that the video card memory is mapped are not accessible for other use. Hence if you have only 4GB of address space supported by your chipset and a video card with 1GB of on-board memory, you will have only have 3GB or less of useable memory.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #29
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zzz2496 View Post
Hmm... This is very weird... If what GeneO wrote is true, then I should only have less than 3GB available to my OS (which is NOT the case). I know that the chipset (or the memory controller in particular) needs to have the ability to access all of those memory banks that it's connected to, but Wow... This topic is very interesting indeed.

If you read my system specs, I have 2 display adapters, a GTX285 1GB and 8800 512MB... Those two alone should reduce my 4GB installed RAM to 2.5GB available to the system... But currently, all 4GB RAM is usable, even back in WinXP 32bit, I have around 3GB RAM available (with 4x1GB sticks installed). This is still not counting all other devices that are installed on my PCI(e) bus. As for display adapter's local RAM, it's a whole different device, and it uses different access method, and is addressed differently. In case you're wondering by this fact, the simple question would be: can you access the graphic adapter's local cache as a "real" RAM and have CPU a complete control over it? As if it's an extension of main memory...? Hint: display adapters have firmware that governs it self, we can say that it's more like a BIOS for display adapters, thus you can't really access it's RAM directly, not with that firmware in the way.

But enough... What to remember is, before you put in more RAM to your computer, you should ALWAYS read what's the maximum RAM size supported by your motherboard's memory controller. This is the main requirement of how many memory banks the memory controller can access/control. Regarding memory mapping feature, this is perquisite with the chipset's ability to address it's RAM. If it supports more than 4GB, it will have memory mapping feature.
The next factor is the OS. To be able to use all of those RAM, we need an OS that have enough address space to use all of those RAM. https://www.sevenforums.com/general-d...omparison.html have all the info.

As for the OP, as stated by rich64, Darician, Zeplash, stormy13, and many others (and my self): Stick with 3GB if you're planning on using 32bit OS, upgrade to 4GB if you wish to use 64bit OS... As simple as that.

zzz2496

Edit: I'm not sure if I read the thread starter correctly... The OP have a physical display adapter card, which is the same as me. After that, I re-read GeneO's post once more. If I read it correctly, maybe GeneO means display adapter that's embedded on the motherboard's chipset (an onboard display adapter). If this is the case, then we are not talking about the same thing. Onboard display adapter's local cache uses main RAM, this is true, but the OP's are using a dedicated display adapter card, which doesn't share it's local cache with main RAM...
Your motherboard supports up to 32 GB of RAM hence it supports up to 32 GB of address space and you are running x64 and I expect that you have memory remapping (or hole remapping) set in your BIOS, or your BIOS does this automatically. So you should see all of your memory. Your video graphics cards are probably mapped to the unused upper addresses of the 32GB of address space.

You will only see less usable than the amount of RAM you have installed if your installed RAM > MAX RAM supported by board minus your video RAM. In your case if the installed RAM is greater than 32-1.5 = 30.5GB. Approximately. Also you may need to have the remapping feature set on some BIOS.

- Gene
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #30
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

GeneO, your description of the issue in post #28 makes perfect sense, but I have never heard that in relation to the amount of memory a motherboard supports. That just seems strange to be discussing accessing memory beyong what is physically installed...such as the case above with 4 GB installed, and a 1 GB video board being present in the system. Again, I'm not saying you are wrong, but I worked for a major system builder for quite some time, and never heard of the physical limitations of the board having anything to do with how much of the physically installed memory can be accessed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 3 Gigs Ram or 4?




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