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Windows 7: Question with RAM usage; 8gb installed, 3.21 Total Physical

02 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7
Question with RAM usage; 8gb installed, 3.21 Total Physical

Hello, this is probably an age-old question, but is it natural for a computer to only use only a portion of its installed RAM? I'm aware that a 32 bit system has limitations on how much RAM can be used, but it seems ridiculous to have 8GB of RAM installed and only 3.21 GB total.

On my last reboot I enabled Memory Remapping in the BIOS, but it didn't affect the values below.

Here's my system information:

OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601)
Processor AMD FX(tm)-6100 Six-Core Processor, 3300 Mhz, 3 Core(s), 6 Logical Processor(s)
Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB

Here's my RAM info:

Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 3.21 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.12 GB
Total Virtual Memory 6.42 GB
Available Virtual Memory 5.27 GB
Page File Space 3.21 GB

Are these values natural? Is there anything I can do to optimize RAM usage a bit more? Was there any point in getting 8GB of RAM when the values are this low?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2013   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

You're running a 32bit OS with 8GB of RAM? Its not ridiculous, its physically impossible. It doesn't have the room.

It's a address space issue which is essentially the amount of room the system has to "address" everything it needs to.

In short in works something like this:
In a 32 bit system, it has 4GB total space to work with.
Within this 4GB envelope it needs to address or map the hardware. For the most part, we're talking about physical RAM installed and the GPU.

So if you have a 1GB GPU, that takes up 1GB of space. So 4GB address space minus 1GB for the GPU leaves you 3GB left to work with.
You have 8GB RAM installed, but after addressing the GPU theres only room for 3GB left. Therefore, thats all the system can address or use, regardless whats physically there.

Now, if this is a 64bit OS the addressing space is much higher and can allocate everything with ease.

There are ways around it and get the system to see it, but its not the best way to go. Especially since you Windows Key works for both types 32 and 64bit.
I would re-install the 64bit version and activate with your key. this will solve your issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2013   #3

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601

32 bit and 64 bit are a size of a physical memory inside the processor, used to store the address for a particular cell of RAM, an "address" is basically a progressive number, 1, 2, 3, and so on it uses to know where stuff it is working on is located. It fills that memory when it is the address of the 4th GB, and you cannot fit a bigger address.

Nowadays all processors have a 64 bit address memory, but an operative system designed to run in 32 bits will keep using that memory as if it was only 32 bits, not 64.

Check if your OS is 64 bits, and if not you need to reinstall it with the same key making sure you are installing the 64 bits. That's the only way to use all those 8 GB of RAM
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Jan 2013   #4

Windows 7

Update: I have reinstalled windows in 64-bit this time. Here's my RAM stats now:

Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 3.95 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.50 GB
Total Virtual Memory 7.89 GB
Available Virtual Memory 6.32 GB
Page File Space 3.95 GB

Looks like they went up a bit, but I don't know how to gauge this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Your CPU listed should support 64bit. If your positive your running 64bit Windows then there is likely a setting in your motherbaord bios limiting the memory.
Exactlly what you need to change will depend on the Motherboard and bios.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Question with RAM usage; 8gb installed, 3.21 Total Physical

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