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Available RAM ?


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#1 mikey11

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:00 AM

i have an older dell vista computer, the motherboard has 4 slots, in each slot i have a 1GB stick,

 

when i go to start > computer > properties it says RAM is 3.43 GB

 

why is it like that?....is this normal?....why doesn't it say 4 GB ?



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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:14 AM

A 32-bit operating system or shared video RAM are normally the reasons you would see less RAM in a 4GB machine.



#3 britechguy

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:17 AM

Because 32-bit systems (and this is what you almost certainly have) can address a maximum of 4GB of RAM, but RAM is not limited to the memory you have installed.

 

This article from 2008 entitled, Clearing up the 32/64-bit memory limit confusion, does a good job of explaining why you don't see precisely the amount of RAM you may have installed.

 

My system, which is running Windows 10, now has Windows itself noting that there is 8GB of installed RAM of which 6.95GB is useable.  It has Radeon R5 Graphics as part of the A8-6410 APU, which allocates a part of system RAM strictly for itself and can snag more if demand warrants, which accounts for the fact that only 6.95 GB are available for use by the OS itself.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#4 britechguy

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:20 AM

Deleted duplicate post.  I don't know why I keep failing to get the usual screen refresh showing me that what I just posted actually posted, causing me to think it hasn't and hit the button again, causing these duplicates.


Edited by britechguy, 02 May 2017 - 10:21 AM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#5 mikey11

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:43 AM

A 32-bit operating system or shared video RAM are normally the reasons you would see less RAM in a 4GB machine.

 

 

thanks for the info,

 

it is 32 bit....when i go to start > computer > properties it says system type 32-bit

 

but when i boot into my BIOS settings, under processor info it says....

 

64 bit technology = yes

 

does this mean i should have the 64 bit version of vista installed instead????


Because 32-bit systems (and this is what you almost certainly have) can address a maximum of 4GB of RAM, but RAM is not limited to the memory you have installed.

 

This article from 2008 entitled, Clearing up the 32/64-bit memory limit confusion, does a good job of explaining why you don't see precisely the amount of RAM you may have installed.

 

My system, which is running Windows 10, now has Windows itself noting that there is 8GB of installed RAM of which 6.95GB is useable.  It has Radeon R5 Graphics as part of the A8-6410 APU, which allocates a part of system RAM strictly for itself and can snag more if demand warrants, which accounts for the fact that only 6.95 GB are available for use by the OS itself.

 

 

thanks i will take a look at that



#6 britechguy

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:50 AM

I say the following without a trace of snark:  You shouldn't have Vista, period, at this point in time if you want to have a system that's safe for general use (meaning connected to cyberspace).  Windows Vista is now officially unsupported by Microsoft:  http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet 

 

If your processor is 64-bit you could install a 64-bit OS.  During the era when Windows Vista was new 64-bit technology was in its infancy and it was not uncommon for makers to install 32-bit Windows on 64-bit hardware.  That's never done these days and hasn't been for a very long time now.

 

You could buy a brand new computer that's what's currently "low end" that would beat the performance of a Vista Era machine by light years for barely more than a license for Windows 10 would cost.  At this juncture there's no point in going to anything other than Windows 10 if your intent is to remain within the Windows ecosystem into the foreseeable future.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#7 mikey11

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 12:00 PM

 

 

If your processor is 64-bit you could install a 64-bit OS.

 

 

but would that have any benefit at all?

 

i rescued this computer and loaded vista myself from an ISO, i didn't know if it was 32 or 64 at the time so i just went 32, its been like that for years,


Edited by mikey11, 02 May 2017 - 12:01 PM.


#8 Kilroy

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:11 PM

The main benefit of running a 64-bit OS is the ability to address more than 4GB of RAM.  So, if you were planning on adding more RAM, yes.

 

If you were not planning on adding RAM you may gain a little, depending on if the video uses shared RAM.

 

Going from 32 bit to 64 bit requires a complete reload, there is no upgrade path.



#9 mikey11

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:43 PM


 

Going from 32 bit to 64 bit requires a complete reload, there is no upgrade path.

 

 

thanks, i realize that, i would wipe it and reload with an ISO just like i did previous,

 

i was just trying to decide if its worth the hassle or not, looks like the answer is not really



#10 mikey11

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:53 AM

so since i posted this yesterday something strange happened,

 

i went to start>computer>properties again and the RAM value has now changed to 3.00 GB

 

this is the first time it has ever done this, i check this value maybe once a week or so,

 

why would it do this?...i have restarted the computer many times and its still at 3.00 GB now

 

when i boot into my bios info and settings and look at the ram value it says 4.00 GB and it displays 1GB stick in each of the 4 slots, which is what it should be


Edited by mikey11, 03 May 2017 - 06:54 AM.


#11 Just_One_Question

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:55 AM

why would it do this?

Again,

My system, which is running Windows 10, now has Windows itself noting that there is 8GB of installed RAM of which 6.95GB is useable.  It has Radeon R5 Graphics as part of the A8-6410 APU, which allocates a part of system RAM strictly for itself and can snag more if demand warrants, which accounts for the fact that only 6.95 GB are available for use by the OS itself.



#12 britechguy

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 09:45 AM

You can lead a horse to water. . .

 

What BIOS recognizes will always be the amount that is installed (provided you haven't gone over the maximum that can be addressed) and what the OS recognizes of the RAM is what it can access after all other memory that must be addressed that's built into things like graphics cards and others have been taken into account first.

 

This is not unusual.  This is normal.  Please read the references you've been given as they answered the question you persist in asking even though it's been answered.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#13 mikey11

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 09:52 AM


What BIOS recognizes will always be the amount that is installed (provided you haven't gone over the maximum that can be addressed) and what the OS recognizes of the RAM is what it can access after all other memory that must be addressed that's built into things like graphics cards and others have been taken into account first.

 

 

 

 

i understand that,

 

my question is why did the value change from 3.43 GB to 3.00 GB ?

 

it has been at 3.43 GB for THREE YEARS.....so why the change now?...that is my question



 

This is not unusual.  This is normal.  Please read the references you've been given as they answered the question you persist in asking even though it's been answered.

 

 

my question now is quite different from the original question.....


Edited by mikey11, 03 May 2017 - 09:54 AM.


#14 britechguy

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 10:11 AM

I would presume that someone who has read, " It has Radeon R5 Graphics as part of the A8-6410 APU, which allocates a part of system RAM strictly for itself and can snag more if demand warrants,"  would be capable of seeing that it's very likely that some hardware on their own system, probably a graphics card but potentially others, can also "snag more if demand warrants" and, if it can snag it, it can release it.

 

You seem to believe that taking the occasional look at a snapshot of the moment reflects what's happening in realtime.  It does not.  Just like the programs you run allocate and release RAM, but that's not monitored in the same way, certain types of hardware can, too, and the OS has to know if it does or does not have access to all of the RAM or if part of it is allocated by other hardware.

 

RAM is in a constant state of flux when it comes to what's available to the OS itself and to various programs.  The only true constant is at the BIOS level based on what you have installed.

 

As the old saying goes, "There's nothing to see here."  This is a perfectly normal state of affairs.  At boot time, and even more often, depending on the system and the demands, your snapshot value will likely be the same each time you take it.   As you run various things that change demand, sometimes significantly, and take snapshots then the values will change.  Memory isn't evaporating into the air, it's just changing the state of "accessible to the OS for use by programs."


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#15 dna9

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:56 PM

i have an older dell vista computer, the motherboard has 4 slots, in each slot i have a 1GB stick,

 

when i go to start > computer > properties it says RAM is 3.43 GB

 

why is it like that?....is this normal?....why doesn't it say 4 GB ?

you have an onboard video card and it is using some of it.  very common to see.






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