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Upgrading Memory On Vista


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#1 vanlierdechad

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 02:13 PM

I bought a new mother board that is capable of 32 gb of ram max (model #: NF650iSLIT-A) I need to know if there is a way to get vista to recognize more then 3.5 gb? If not what can I do? How does someone fit 32 gb into only 4 slots?

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#2 usasma

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 05:47 PM

A 32 Bit (x86) operating system can only recognize 4 gB of RAM. Then, some devices take away from that, so the most you'll see is 3.0 to 3.6 gB.

8 gB RAM modules have been available since 2005 for the server market - I have no clue if they'll fit/work in your mobo, but they're durned expensive!
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 Platypus

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 05:57 PM

There is no way to have a 32bit OS fully utilise 4GB, addresses in the top 1GB are used for hardware devices and virtual memory addesses, so those addresses simply are not available to access system memory. The best way to avoid the wastage is to use a 64bit OS and set the BIOS option to relocate the fourth gigabyte above the 4GB barrier. Thus if you have 8GB, the OS has 5GB available above the 4GB barrier, instead of 4GB.

To have 32GB in four slots, 8GB DIMMs would have to be utilised.
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#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 07:49 PM

I entered your motherboard's model number (NF650iSLIT-A) into Google and discovered that it is only capable of 8GB of RAM. The only way to get an OS to recognize more than 3.5GB of RAM is to use a 64-bit operating system. In order to use 32GB of RAM, you would need to have a server-grade motherboard and use 8GB memory modules designed for servers along with a 64-bit operating system.

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#5 vanlierdechad

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 08:02 PM

Ok I was just wandering if there was a way to work around to this problem, since there is no fix for it; the next question is: even if the OS does not recognize all of the memory is all of the memory being used? My motherboard does suport 32 GB of RAM acording to the motherboard manual. I attached a page out of the manual that states it suports up to 32GB.
I did not know that there was a 8GB modual made. I looked it up and found that IBM has 8GB memory moduals but thay cost over $ 1000.00 do you know of anything cheaper.

#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 08:42 PM

I misread the product spec page at Newegg, my apologies. Apparently it does support up to 32GB. However, according to the ECS website, it's only been tested up to 8GB. This is the link where they say it. The number of sticks you'll need to use is 4 8GB modules. Those are expensive (at least it's not DDR3). I did see a Newegg 16GB RAM kit for about $1100, half of the full 32GB. Keep in mind that 32-bit programs operating in a 64-bit environment will not have access to all that RAM. Only 64-bit programs running in a 64-bit OS will. In a 32-bit OS, only 4GB is used and of that only 3-3.5 is available for programs.

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#7 Platypus

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 09:33 PM

even if the OS does not recognize all of the memory is all of the memory being used?

No, of the fourth gigabyte, only the portion included in Windows reported available memory is being used. So if Windows shows 3.2GB, then .2GB of the topmost 1G is accessible. The remaining addresses access other things, such as devices on the PCI/AGP bus, so physical memory that would otherwise occupy those addresses is unused.

If the BIOS allows relocation, the fourth gigabyte can be remapped to use 64bit addresses above the 4GB limit, where it can be accessed by a 64bit OS or some OS's that utilise PAE (limited practicality).
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#8 usasma

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:02 AM

In 32 bit versions of Windows it really doesn't matter how much physical memory that you have (performance issues aside for the moment). Windows assigns a 4 gB virtual memory "slice" to each running program. Of that, 2 gB is reserved for kernel process (drivers, hardware, etc), and 2 gB is reserved for user processes (programs, etc).

You can use the /PAE or /3gb switch (unsure of the syntax there) to allocate 3 gB to user processes - but it'll only work if the program is aware of that switch. If the programs aren't aware of this, the switch is ignored.

The Windows Memory manager takes care of swapping around the Virtual memory within the physical memory, swapping it between the RAM and the pagefile - and discarding those pages that aren't needed any more.

The performance issues (mentioned above) come into play when a program's virtual memory use exceeds the physical memory. If it exceeds the RAM, then the pagefile takes up the slack, if it exceeds the pagefile, then the pages are dumped and the program has to be re-read from the hard disk to acquire that information. And, if more programs are running, then it takes more of your physical memory to store all of the virtual memory - so resources are depleted even more rapidly.

You can't physically utilize more than the 3.2 to 3.6 gB of RAM in a 32 bit version of any operating system - it's a physical limit of the operating system and bears no relationship to what your motherboard can support.

Upgrading to a 64 bit version is an option - if your hardware supports the 64 bit OS (I have a TV Card that won't work in 64 bit Vista). Driver support for 64 bit operating systems is lacking when compared to driver support for 32 bit operating systems (it's harder to find 64 bit drivers). I've used both 4gB and 8gB on my 64 bit Vista and have found that the only appreciable difference is that I can keep more programs open without having resource issues (with the 8gB). I have seen no other performance benefits.

Also, I have very few programs that are 64 bit. You just can't find that many that were designed for 64 bit OS's. Finding a 64 bit antivirus was a bit of a chore when I first upgraded. I've also got the 64 bit version of the Windows Debugging Tools, the 64 bit version of Windows Explorer, and the 64 bit version of the Logitech tools for my trackball. Other than that, every other program that I've installed (about 25 - including Microsoft Office) are 32 bit.

8gB modules are expensive, there's no way around that. The most that I can afford at this point are 2gB modules (for a total of 8gB).
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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