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RAM settings other than 3GB switch


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#1 gib65

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 05:50 PM

I've got my computer booting with the 3GB switch. I've got 4GB total and I'm wondering if there's any way to use just a little bit more than the 3GB that the switch gives me. For example, I editted the boot.ini file and set it to 4GB. I also tried 3.5GB. I couldn't tell for sure whether they were working or not, but some of the more intensive files I've been working with crashed. They don't crash under the 3GB switch setting.

So I'm wondering if, with 4GB RAM total, I have any options other than 3GB for the switch, and if so, how can I tell if they've come into effect after booting?

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#2 Broni

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 05:58 PM

This is all, Windows will utilize on 32-bit system.
If you want to use more RAM, you'll have to switch to 64-bit

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#3 keyboardNinja

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 06:02 PM

See here: http://chris.pirillo.com/32-bit-windows-and-4gb-of-ram/

Edited by keyboardNinja, 21 April 2010 - 06:03 PM.

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#4 Platypus

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 04:47 AM

The /3GB switch doesn't have any effect on the amount of memory available to Windows. It increases the address space served to applications to 3GB, rather than the 2GB normally supplied. An application must be Large Address Aware to use this extra memory. Photoshop is a good example of an application that is.

Windows suffers in this situation by having the 1GB difference taken away from its kernel allocation, which can severely cramp its style.

A 64-bit OS solves this dilemma by being able to serve up 4GB of address space to 32-bit Large Address Aware applications. Such applications are automatically identified by the OS, and because the 64-bit kernel is in a completely different address space, it suffers no restrictions. If you're using software that really benefits from the extra address space, you would benefit from having a 64-bit OS.

To be fully effective, you'd need at least 6GB of RAM, so the 32-bit application can be given access to 4GB of physical RAM. That's not possible if a 64-bit OS is running on just 4GB.

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#5 gib65

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 10:26 AM

Thanks everyone,

Getting a 64bit OS might be the way to go.

Anything I should know before I spend money doing this? For example, I *believe* I remember my hardware saying it was 64bit compatible. I would hate to buy a 64bit OS just to find the hardware can't even use the 4GB switch.

I'm also only assuming the applications I'm using are LAA. Photoshop is one of them, as are Softimage XSI and AutoCAD 2008. I'm sure Softimage must be because the performance improves noticeably when I have the 3GB switch set.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 10:56 AM

May answer some questions:

Welcome to Windows 7 - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/

Windows 7 Upgrade Guide All Your Questions Answered Maximum PC - http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/...stions_answered

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#7 Broni

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 11:12 AM

I *believe* I remember my hardware saying it was 64bit compatible


Download and install CPU-Z: http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
If it reads x86-64 as indicated below, it is 64-bit compatible.

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#8 gib65

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 12:38 PM

In that case, it doesn't look like my hardware is compatible:

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#9 Broni

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 12:46 PM

It looks like the reading is incorrect.
http://www.intel.com/products/processor/co...cifications.htm

Intel® 64 architecture◊


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#10 hamluis

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 02:02 PM

FWIW: It's my understanding that any CPU of P4 or later vintage...is 64-bit compatible.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/105

Any multicore processor qualifies.

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#11 Broni

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 02:06 PM

Yeah, I'm little bit disappointed with CPU-Z readings.
Time to complain to them :thumbsup:

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#12 hamluis

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 02:35 PM

It's not just them...I find that many 3-party utilities stumble when attempting to reflect individual characteristics of a system.

Of course, they should stumble...since they rely on the database of systems which they've acquired...to finetune the programs. No database includes every system, every processor, etc.

That's why they have those disclaimers (which no one reads) about the accuracy of the data presented :thumbsup:.

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#13 Broni

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 02:38 PM

No database includes every system, every processor, etc.

.
True, but it's not like E6300 was developed just last night. It's been a while since it came out.

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#14 hamluis

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 02:49 PM

:thumbsup: , you got me on that one. OK, I won't make excuses for them ;).

I trust SIW and I trust XP's native tools...everything else, I consider possibly wrong on something...particularly so when you realize all the different configurations that OEMs come up with using the same board, same processor, etc.

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#15 Broni

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 02:54 PM

I trust SIW

One of the best tools ever :thumbsup:

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