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two 32-bit win 7 pcs with ram greater than 3 GB


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#1 tainoy

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:33 AM

Hello,

I've posted about my laptop's problem being slow at http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic474792.html

and so I decided to upgrade the memory of my laptop with 2 GB ram and bought a new 4 GB DDR3 ram, so I now have a total of 6 GB. lo and behold, 32-bit win 7 computers can only use 3 GB! But it's ok, it's my fault for not doing proper research before buying stuff.

Anyway, after installing the ram, my laptop can only use up to 2.6 GB. At the same time, I got a new pc in our laboratory with 4 GB ram and I installed it with win7 32bit. However, it uses 3.2 GB currently. So my question is, why does my lab pc use more ram than my laptop when both are 32bit win7?

Also, I tried removing the 2 GB ram so that my laptop will only have the new 4 GB but it won't turn on using this set up! My laptop would need the two memories for it to turn on. why?

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#2 coxchris

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:45 AM

You would need to buy 64 bit OS to see all the memory

You seeing this because of your video ram that is static ram

For example for laptops and desktop that use intergrate video ram because they share the video card memory

How much ram -Video memory =Total System Memory so if you have 3GB in your laptop than it will be 3GB-video memory=around 2.6

Depending on your model both RAM slots need to be in use

Dual Channel needs a pair to work.

Edited by coxchris, 19 November 2012 - 11:48 AM.

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#3 tainoy

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:09 PM

Ok, my lab pc does have higher specs but I still don't understand why it would exceed the 3 GB "limit".

also, my laptop used to have only 1 memory, which is the original 2 GB

#4 coxchris

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

See this example
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx

copy and paste that link


It depends on the motherboard specs It the ultimate deciding factor when upgrading ram. Your PC has a different motherboard than what your laptop has.

\
How graphics cards and other devices affect memory limits
Devices have to map their memory below 4 GB for compatibility with non-PAE-aware Windows releases. Therefore, if the system has 4GB of RAM, some of it is either disabled or is remapped above 4GB by the BIOS. If the memory is remapped, X64 Windows can use this memory. X86 client versions of Windows don’t support physical memory above the 4GB mark, so they can’t access these remapped regions. Any X64 Windows or X86 Server release can.
X86 client versions with PAE enabled do have a usable 37-bit (128 GB) physical address space. The limit that these versions impose is the highest permitted physical RAM address, not the size of the IO space. That means PAE-aware drivers can actually use physical space above 4 GB if they want. For example, drivers could map the "lost" memory regions located above 4 GB and expose this memory as a RAM disk.

Edited by coxchris, 19 November 2012 - 12:30 PM.

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#5 hamluis

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:22 PM

<<Also, I tried removing the 2 GB ram so that my laptop will only have the new 4 GB but it won't turn on using this set up! My laptop would need the two memories for it to turn on. why?>>

A motherboard may only support up to a given size of RAM. Older systems often supported only 512MB modules. Perhaps your system/board supports a max of 4GB, with 2 2GB slots.

You haven't provded any detail on the system...so this is just my guess.

Louis

#6 tainoy

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:47 PM

ok, thanks a lot for the detailed explanation. But how about the dual channel pair you said? my laptop originally just had 1 ram. now i need to put the two rams for it to work as the new 4 gb ram alone won't work.

#7 tainoy

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:52 PM

A motherboard may only support up to a given size of RAM. Older systems often supported only 512MB modules. Perhaps your system/board supports a max of 4GB, with 2 2GB slots.

You haven't provded any detail on the system...so this is just my guess.

Louis

what details do you need? omg, i should have purchased 1 gb instead :(

#8 hamluis

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:31 PM

System manufacturer and model?

The specs will indicate RAM required.

Louis

#9 tainoy

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

hi, here are the specs:

Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 32-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Acer
System Model: TravelMate P243
BIOS: InsydeH2O Version 03.72.02V1.05
Processor: Intel® Pentium® CPU B970 @ 2.30GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.3GHz
Memory: 2048MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 1878MB RAM
Page File: 3348MB used, 1230MB available
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)

is there any way i can utilize more ram for my system without having to use the 64-bit os?

by the way, the flagship model for the travelmate p243 series is a really fast laptop (i.e. core i5 and higher memory) but i chose the cheaper, less powerful model because, well, it's cheap. :(

Edited by tainoy, 03 December 2012 - 02:13 PM.


#10 hamluis

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

http://support.acer.com/acerpanam/notebook/2012/Acer/TravelMate/P243-M/P243-Msp2.shtml

"Memory1, 3, 4, Dual-channel DDR3 SDRAM support:
Up to 4 GB of DDR3 system memory, upgradable to 8 GB using two soDIMM modules5(for 64-bit OS) "

The notes at the bottom explain memory usage.

No matter how much RAM is installed...a 32-bit O/S will only recognize 4GB.

Louis

#11 tainoy

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:26 PM

ok, so any idea how to utilize up to 4 GB (right now only 2.6 GB is usable from the total of 6GB installed)? Could this have something to do with the problem of my laptop not booting when only the 4GB module is installed?

#12 hamluis

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:07 PM

You ARE using 4GB.

If you read the notes at the bottom of the webpage...which explain RAM utilization...you will see that 4GB minus what is used for onboard video...and minus what is used for other background processes in Windows...equals what you see expressed as 2.6 or whatever.

That number is is always misleading and I hate the fact that Windows even expresses it...because it's really meaningless. I don't know of a single useful function that it serves and it is frequently misinterpreted by users/owners.

What really matters...is how much RAM is installed. This can easily be seen by going Start/Run...type msinfo32 and hit Enter...then look at the Total Physical Memory line near the bottom of the data displayed in the right screen.

There are any number of stats generated by Windows and developers of software...not all of them are meaningful to the average user. The simple rule is that...installing more than 4GB of physical RAM in a 32-bit system...equates to installing 4GB. To get any satisfaction from having more RAM installed...users must use a 64-bit version of Windows.

On this system, I find that 4GB is more than enough for me to do everything from video-capture/editing to other more mundane things...using the 32-bit version of XP or Win 7. I have 8GB installed which I "utilize" fully on my Win 7 64-bit dual-boot.

To be honest, I don't feel a difference that is not related to XP versus Win 7. Win 7 is faster than XP, whether it's 32-bit or 64-bit that I use.

Louis

#13 tainoy

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:56 AM

thanks for the explanation. But I checked the Total Physical Memory and it's really just 2.6 GB.

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Edited by tainoy, 05 December 2012 - 04:56 AM.


#14 hamluis

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:47 PM

Something is wrong with that reading...and I cannot explain how it can be what it reflects. What you reflect for Installed Physical RAM should be the same as Total Physical Memory.

OK, I sse what's heppened :). I quoted incorrectly.

In XP (which is what I'm in now on this desktop), there is no Installed Physical RAM line...Total Physical Memory reflects RAM installed.

In Win 7 (I just checked this on my Win 7 notebook), Installed Physical RAM reflects RAM installed. That's the important line.

Total Physical Memory line in Win 7...is incorrectly named...that line represents total RAM installed minus the 2GB which a 32-bit O/S cannot use, along with RAM allocated for onboard video and background Windows processes.

Sorry for the incorrect statement...I didn't realize that the basic display of information was different between the two oerating systems.

So...you have 6GB of RAM installed. Windows 32-bit can only use a maximum of 4GB, which then is further reduced by RAM used for onboard video and other Windows processes. That takes your misnamed "total physical memory" down to 2.6GB, as reflected.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 05 December 2012 - 01:48 PM.


#15 btcomm

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:12 PM

You can go into your laptops BIOS and see how much ram is being specified to be shared with the video card. Unless you play video games you can probably lower it to the lowest or second lowest option available.




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