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General discussion


by brockyneo / October 29, 2007 2:31 PM PDT

Hi i have just installed

OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800Mhz/PC2-6400 Memory CL4 Unbuffered ATI Certfified Dual Channel Kit

And works fine but im thinking of putting another 2 gb in but ive heard that a 32bit operating system will only reconise a max of 3 gb im running vista 32bit home edition will they work or will i have to get 2x 512mb dual channel kits insted

thanks chris

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Most likely
by PKsteven / October 29, 2007 5:22 PM PDT

it will, to an extent. You won't get 4 gigs though. The system resources are why. PCI memory addressing will take up a portion of what the 4 gigs will use leaving much ram with only around 3.4 or less, depending in actual use. So in theory, yah, in actuality, no.

Vista starter is only like, 1 gig I believe but don't quote me, the rest on 32 bit should support it.


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Remember that XP and Vista limit apps to 2GB.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 29, 2007 11:35 PM PDT

So payoff is minimal past that point (Vista). You can look up the /3GB BOOT.INI switch but this only works if the application was compiled using a very special compile switch.

Try it with 2GB and only go more if you can stand no payback.


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Vista RAM limit
by indy2001 / November 2, 2007 9:04 AM PDT

I've got 4 MB of RAM on my Vista 32-bit Home Premium setup (a friend had 2 MB left over after a rebuild of his machine, so I figured there's nothing to lose by adding them to the 2 MB that came with the HP Pavilion m8100y). The system recognizes 3.25 MB of that 4 MB, so that means 0.75 MB is not being used for anything that I can tell. If it weren't free, I wouldn't have added the last MB. Does the extra 1.25 MB make a difference? YES!! I run MS Flight Simulator X on this machine, which is well-documented memory hog. The extra RAM allows me to turn up many of the reality settings, which make the simulation much more realistic. I don't know what else the extra RAM can do, but it helps this game a great deal.

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by Michael00360 / November 2, 2007 9:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Vista RAM limit

I'm sure you meant GB. It's a common mistake as well as an easy typo. As far as the memory goes, I would recommend 3GB of RAM for any Vista machine. This way, you have plenty of breathing room for the operating system and the software. Remember, you can always turn off some stuff in Vista and reclaim some of that memory.

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Dumb mistake
by indy2001 / November 2, 2007 12:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Vista RAM limit

Yeah, sorry. I meant to use GB instead of MB. And I forgot to add that I wouldn't recommend that last GB unless you can get it free, or at least REALLY cheap! Getting only 1/4 of what you pay for isn't much of a deal. I haven't removed the 4th RAM memory unit, but I'd bet there wouldn't be a noticeable difference between 3 GB and 4 GB.

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Where to add muscle on the machine
by SaltyLady / November 3, 2007 10:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Vista RAM limit

I have a Dell XPS laptop with 1 GBRam. Being an XPS, I am surprised at how slow it is. Is this because it needs more RAM or does the system nened more capacity?

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Slow computer and RAM size
by Den is / February 13, 2008 5:36 AM PST

There were some useful tips at CNET on how to make your machine run faster (try the 'search forums' search feature for detailed info). In a nutshell, your computer 'slowliness' is not necessarily connected with its physical RAM size. The first thing I check (or recommend to check) when I receive a distress call about 'slow machine' is the system's contamination with unnecessary data and the size of Windows' swap-file (aka 'virtual memory size'). The former is done, for example, in Windows Explorer via clicking on your system logical disk (the one where OS is installed) with the right-button of your mouse, selecting the 'Properties' item in the list then 'Disk Cleanup' then 'More Options'. It's up to you to decide what options you'd like to use cleaning your drive but personally I don't go beyond the deletion of 'System Restore' old files and those selectable at the 'Disk Cleanup' tab. As for the swap-file size, you might want to attend to other CNET members' advice but I have it set to 1.5GB. The result? Well, it's always there! The only thing my 'ol'-good-PIII-1.4GHz/0.5GB' gives me a hard time is processing FullHD streaming video files. All other tasks like inet, DVD playback, office apps, DVD burning, TV etc. run smoothly. Of course, you can always spend some premium 'to add muscle on the machine' but why don't you try to use in full the muscle it already has? Efficiency is not necessarily attained with additional money spendings. Try 'system-fine-tuning' first - only if that doesn't help - go for 'muscle build-up'.

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by rabbblerouser / November 4, 2007 9:20 PM PST
In reply to: Vista RAM limit

The 4GB limit on 32bit machines includes your RAM, video RAM and your virtual memory. The .75 missing is prob 256 for your video and 512 virtual memory.

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by brockyneo / November 11, 2007 7:09 AM PST
In reply to: Re:

Vista will work with 4gb installed cause i dont think they do my memory in dual channel mode on the 512mb version or will i not notice much difference form 2gb.

Cheers chris

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I write about this once in awhile.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 11, 2007 10:47 AM PST
In reply to: So

Since "out of the box" XP, Vista will only hand any application 2GB there has been little to no payoff past 2GB. On top of that, even if you discover the /3GB switch it still required the application be compiled with a SPECIAL switch.

Your money, your choice here.


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That's what it all is about!
by Den is / February 13, 2008 4:37 AM PST

Exactly! 32-bit OSes like WinXP and Vista 32 are capable of allocating maximum of 2GB of RAM to an application. If you need more than 2GB of RAM per app, the best solution would probably be 64-bit OS like Vista 64. BTW, this thread's posts confirm previous observations of 32-bit-OS-'in-practice'-total-RAM-limit of somewhat 3.5GB.

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And even then... That compile switch is needed.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2008 4:40 AM PST

It's enough to drive a programmer mad.

The switch is called when you link your program with the linker flag /LARGEADDRESSAWARE.

You betcha you better use some Microsoft tools to get that to work.


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you seem to be forgetting a key factor
by froasier / March 20, 2008 5:55 AM PDT

Obviously one app can't use all of your memory. 3 GB would definitely be beneficial because Windows and background processes can use a gigabyte while letting your big app use its full 2 GB.

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