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XP Pro 32bit and maximum RAM

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#1 Tigon


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Posted 04 November 2008 - 10:38 AM


I am using XP Pro SP2 32 bit OS. I already have 3 GB (1GBx3) RAM modules installed, each of 667MHz DDR2 type. I know that 32bit windows can at most use/support 3GB of RAM; but does it mean if I install one more 2GB RAM module, application which are memory intensive, like Adobe Photoshop will not be able to use the total of 5GB memory? My motherboard supports maximum of 8GB memory.

Please clarify.

Thank you.

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#2 dc3


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Posted 04 November 2008 - 10:49 AM

A 32-bit Windows operating system will recognize up to 4GB of RAM, but will not show the total amount because of the draw from critical functions such as the system BIOS, motherboard resources, memory mapped I/O, AGP, PCI, PCI-E, and other memory allocations for PCI devices.

Different onboard devices and different add-on cards (devices) will result in different total memory size. This means that the more PCI cards installed will require more memory resources, resulting of less memory free for other uses.

Your motherboard may be able to support 8GB of RAM, but the operating system is what determines how much will be recognized. You would need a 64-bit operating system to recognize the whole 8GB of RAM.

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#3 Tigon

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 08:34 AM

Thanks for the reply.

There is a reason for asking this question. I already have 3GB of RAM and there is one more slot free. I was wondering whether it will be judicious to install a 2GB stick in it instead of a 1GB as the price difference makes it worthy to try for the 2GB module.

#4 usasma


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Posted 13 November 2008 - 09:12 AM

It depends on the ability of your motherboard to recognize this amount of RAM.
Windows will recognize it, but will only use between 3 and 3.26 gB depending on your system's hardware configuration.
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