General discussion

Windows 7 RAM adress limit - John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson says in its posted information that Windows 7 Home Basic/Premium 64 bits has a maximum limitation of 8 GB adressing RAM. Have I read well? Is taht true?

Discussion is locked
Reply to: Windows 7 RAM adress limit - John Wilkinson
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Windows 7 RAM adress limit - John Wilkinson
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
It's actually 16GB in 7 Home Premium.
- Collapse -
Adressing capability of Windows 7 Home Premium

Thanks for the answer and for the link.
I don't understand why Windows 7 Home Premium is sold with I7 920 processors, with 24 GB adressing capability, installed on motherboards with 6 slots to 1 to 4 GB DIMMs, with no information at all. And now, if I want to upgrade to Ultimate version, I must pay almost as a new one. In resume. I have a castrated computer. If, someday, acording to the expected evolution of 64 bit aplications directed to the Quad core hipertreading I7 Processor, benefiting of the Nehalem Arquitecture and of Quick Pass Interconection, I will, need to explore all capabilities of my computer, I will have to buy another OS.
Anyway, tahanks for your quick answer.

- Collapse -
Two competing interets

There are two competing interests, and that is why you have this disconnect. Hardware vendors want to be seen as selling you the maximum potential for your money, while software companies may want to restrict certain things to maximize their profits.

Still, what exactly is it that you're doing that has required the need for more than 16GB of RAM? It seems like you're complaining about something that won't likely be an issue until you've decided to get a new computer anyway.

And also, we don't need the sales pitch for the Core i7 series CPUs. To most people, that means next to nothing. And besides, the 800 series will beat the 900 series i7s in pretty much every benchmark. The only thing the 900s have is tri-channel memory, which is presently a solution in search of a problem. A few years from now, who knows, but right now it's just pointless potential.

- Collapse -
Windows 7 adressing capabilities

Look Jimmy.
If we are allways looking for the last solution in informatic we wil never buy one.
When I bought I7 920 I just knew what I was doing. Off course briefly we will have the 6 Quad Core with the 32 nm technology, and better yet.
But I am sure that I was buying the first of a new era of processors.
The huge problem of the FSB is finished. Now we have the Quick Path Interconnect, with it's 20 lines of serial transmission for 16 data bits, and with about 26 GB/s bandwidth.
And for the first time we have, in Intel, a direct comunication with memory, in 3 chanels, what means that for each access in a burst of 8, you can read from main memory about 192 Bytes of data, I mean, you can improve a lot the cache performance augmenting it's block decreasing the time of access.
And as in I7, Intel placed for the firs time significant amounts of cache (32 x 2 B of first level cache - Data and Instructions - for each core, 256 B of Level 2 cache for each core and 8 MB of Level 3 cache comon to all cores) in the CPU chip, I really think that the 3 chanell option is correct.
If you are thinking of the NAND discs (Flip Flop Discs), there I don't yet know what we shall expect, but, as cache type memory that they are, if ever they will get where that kind of memory goes, everything is questionable (Cache, main memory and Hard discs). Remember that the obstacle now in those discs is the time flash memory needs to change the state of the stored charge in transistor. A bigger problem that the one we have know with the capacitors of RAM memory.
So, I really don't see why I must not expect that the software evolution will not take proffit of all these performances, with a 64 bit OS, during the expected reasonable life of I7 920, which is not an end of line processor but a really inovative one.
And, if you buy a Ferrari, you will shurelly not put Diesel on it.
Excuse me for the long explanation. Intel doesn't pay me for it.

- Collapse -
So what?

So what? How much of this do you, or any random person out there, actually use in a day to day basis?

I get the whole sales pitch for the Core iX line. Intel is finally catching up to where AMD was 3-4 years ago with the first Opteron. Intel's a bit late to the game, but they're making a big push. Great. Doesn't change the fact that probably 85-90% of that potential is completely wasted on me, you, Joe down the street, Sally down the block, that random guy on the bus, the clerk who sells you your morning coffee, pretty much anyone and everyone.

The whole parallel processing problem is a very tricky one for developers, because it requires the use of threads. Any developer will tell you that threads can be very tricky to do right. My favorite example is a simple video player. A seemingly obvious use of threads is to have one thread decoding the video while the other decodes the audio. Which would work, except you need a third thread that manages those two threads so that the audio, which requires far less processing power to decode, doesn't end up getting ahead of the video. So now you have three things going on at once you have to keep track of. And this is a very simple scenario. What happens when you're trying to split these tasks up between different cores? What happens if a thread gets sent to a core that has a big backup of data to process, while another thread goes to a core sitting idle?

There's a lot of work going into research on how to solve this problem, but it's probably going to be 5-10 years before there's a good one. By that time you'll be one to three or four computers past your current one.

I don't mean to sound overly rude, but reading a couple articles on Wikipedia does not make you an expert on a subject. You lack any meaningful understanding of what you're talking about, let alone how it fits into the greater scheme of things. Your desire to learn is admirable, and something I wish more people would aspire to, but right now you may as well be arguing the finer points of theoretical physics because you took a class in high school.

- Collapse -
Adressing memory of Windows 7

Well Jimmy, I think it's better if we stay here.
By the reasons you invoque, to the comon people out there, at this moment a good 486 should be enough.
By the way. Did you understand what I meant? Do you know how memory works? Do you know how CPU deals with memory? Do you know the interaction between CPU and Cache? Do you know the interactiom between cache and memory interface? Do you know the relation between memory interface and the Main Memory? Do you know how you get access to Hard Disc? Do you know what is virtual memory and how much you need to avoid using it? Do you know how OS deals with the CPU and interacts with software, hardware and end users? Don't you understand that the question is not of Benchmarks but of compromised and balanced solutions integrating all components of the computer, hardware and software comprised?
If you don't I recomend you Wikipedia, but I am not shure that you will be clarified. And I think it's important that you were. And for that purpos I recomend you to read what the others write with some more respect. And if you think you must criticise, do it in a polite and constructive way.
Excuse me but I didn't see anything of polite and constructive in your answer. For that reason I think we must close this question.

- Collapse -

Yes to all of your questions. But none of the things you mention are related to the topic at hand. In fact, your attempt to prove how much you know has really only served to prove how much you don't UNDERSTAND.

In another 3-5 years, if you keep at it, then you might be able to at least understand how much you don't understand like me.

- Collapse -

Let's try to find the questions in your new post.

"I don't understand why Windows 7 Home Premium is sold with I7 920 processors, with 24 GB adressing capability, installed on motherboards with 6 slots to 1 to 4 GB DIMMs, with no information at all."

Seems simple to understand. Today, even with 2GB RAM I see great performance from Windows 7. CONSUMERS are price sensitive so will not pay more for the higher OS costs.

ANSWER! "It's the money."

"And now, if I want to upgrade to Ultimate version, I must pay almost as a new one. In resume. I have a castrated computer. If, someday, acording to the expected evolution of 64 bit aplications directed to the Quad core hipertreading I7 Processor, benefiting of the Nehalem Arquitecture and of Quick Pass Interconection, I will, need to explore all capabilities of my computer, I will have to buy another OS."

I looked up the COST of the anytime upgrade from Premium to Ultimate and it was all of $139 at

That's far less than a full version so I'm a little lost why you feel this is not a good value.

Do tell!
Anyway, tahanks for your quick answer.

- Collapse -
Memory capabilities in Windows 7 Premium

I agree with you. But I live in Portugal (Europe) and the conditions that were given to me for such an upgrade were of about 220

- Collapse -
So you are buying 24GB RAM?

Can you share with everybody what needs that much? I'm sure we all want the next machine with all RAM so we can dump the slow hard drives.

- Collapse -
So you are buying 24GB RAM?

No BOB, for the moment doesn't make sense. But I hope it will soon.
For the rest of your answer I didn't understand what you wanted to transmit, but I ask you again if you can tell me how can go to a Windows store where I can get the windows anytime upgrade option, in my present location. If you can not, don't mind. I will continue my search. And thanks for your assistance.

- Collapse -
Try this. in your country. All the Amazon's in the world so far has the anytime updgrade but WHY DO THAT?

I read your posts again and can't find a good reason to do this upgrade. But hey, it's your money.

- Collapse -
Win 7 Memory Limit

Home version is 8GB, Premium is 16GB.

- Collapse -
Information corrected...

Thank you for pointing out the error; it was actually an oversight I made when Vista was released and was propagated to the Windows 7 sticky when it was in development stages. I have submitted the correction, which should be live shortly.

-> Yes, including my name in the subject line is a good way to get my attention. Happy


- Collapse -
- Collapse -
Information corrected...

I excuse me to include your name in the subject, but the purpos was just the one you mentioned. Not with the objectiv of forcing a correction. No. Just because I ignored that limitation between Windows 7 versions. And in real, if you go to Windows 7 site and look for the table where the diferent versions are compared, nothing calls your attention to the fact. By the contrary, in many places the main difference of a 64 bit OS is centered in the adressing capability which defeats the 4GB limit of 32 bits systems. It's your post which for the first time called my attention. Thanks for that.
I accept that it doesn't matter to the most of people (?)
I accept that every business is rulled by the objectiv of proffit.
I don't accept that everibody is treated by the approach of the majority.The question is not to discuss why do I need 24 GB of RAM. The question is why can't I have access to it if I bought the capability to have it.
Thanks for your attention.

- Collapse -
It seems to me...

No offence intended but it was your choice to purchase this setup, and so I assume you did all the research you could beforehand. Are you saying that what was sold to you was misrepresented in some way? If so, then you need to take that issue up with the seller.

When I purchased my own Vista Ultimate I purchased a 64 bit quad-core system with 12 GB of RAM installed. I figured that, at some stage in the future I might need it. I don't pretend to understand all the technical configurations but I knew what I was buying.

You said, "And, if you buy a Ferrari, you will shurelly not put Diesel on it." If I wanted a Ferrari with a diesel engine in it, I would have done. It is up to me to do that research and make the decision.

I've had my Vista for some 10 months now. So far 10 GB out of the 12 have not been used as far as I can tell. That's today's hardware and software for you. I think we have a while to go before I need all that 12 GB, and by then my machine is going to be 'quite old' and ready for retirement. I will be even older!


- Collapse -
No problem...

Microsoft did call greater attention to the RAM limitations with Vista, including it in the edition comparison tables of the Vista Product Guide, but made the information less prominent with Windows 7. I'm just glad you pointed out the typo in the forum sticky, as I don't want to propagate misinformation.

And to answer your question, it's simply a business decision by Microsoft to further differentiate the editions, just like the 2GB limitation on Windows 7 Starter. They determined that most users have no need for 24GB+ of RAM and that those that do could be better persuaded to pay for the more luxurious editions, such as Windows 7 Ultimate, which they would likely want anyway for the added features.


- Collapse -
Finally someone who understands

Thanks John Wilkinson for your answer.
Effectively, anywhere in the Windows 7 site, Microsoft evidenciates that essencial diference between versions.
The 16 GB capability is a strange number. It's not a multiple of 3. But it's a multiple of 2 or 4. So, I think this version is directed to the dual chanel systems with capability of 2x2 DIMMs of 4 GB. That includes many Intel processors and AMD too. Even I7, but not series 9.
I understand perfectly that Microsoft has it's comercial policy and wants to get to several levels of demand.
I don't understand why that diference is not evidenciated. By the contrary, the performances of Windows 7 solutions are enhanced in the 64 bits adressing (theoretically several PetaBytes) and multicore / multiprocessing dealing with capabilities.
The diference between a Home Premium and a Ultimate solution in a OEM license it's about 70

- Collapse -

No, it's real simple. Computers are binary, base 2. That's why pretty much everything is a multiple of 2 with computers. Triple channel memory just means that you're using matched triplicate DIMMs. It has no other meaning. And while I'm at it, you're confusing the amount of RAM your motherboard chipset can address with the amount of RAM the CPU can address. The CPU has a 48-bit memory address (the rest is reserved to maintain 32-bit compatibility) which works out to be something into the petabyte range I do believe. Maybe exabyte, my binary math is a bit fuzzy, no pun intended to any AI researchers that might be reading. Your motherboard's chipset however, can only address 24GB. The fact that 24 is a multiple of 3 is really only because you need to install matched triplicate DIMMs, so obviously everything would be a multiple of 3. This is all completely separate from the rest of the computer however, which is binary. Some claim that Alan Turing's base 3 computer would be considerably more efficient, but at this point, binary is too entrenched. It's like how we still have these ancient BIOS programs that stopped serving any real purpose over a decade ago, and have been holding back progress for probably even longer. We even have perfectly good replacements like Intel's EFI that Apple uses. It's going to take something rather momentous to dislodge the BIOS, even though pretty much everyone agrees its time has long since past, and it's holding back progress.

Moral of the story here is to not read too much into things. Keep up with your studies, and eventually it'll all start making sense.

- Collapse -

Excuse me Jim but you must read carefully all the useless stuff I have sent to you, because you will not surelly find it in Wikipedia. I said clearly that 3 chanel memory has only to do whith the amount of bytes you can get in one main memory access, allowing greater cache blocks in less time, so, improoving cache performence and in consequence CPU performance.
I don't really know what motherboard chip (North or South) have to do whith this. In I7 CPUs the memory controller is in the CPU chip. Just as for some years ago in AMD CPU chips. The diference between these, the not I7 9 series and the i7 9 series is the number of chanels to memory
And, as you must know, the actual Operating Systems are responsible for the placement in memory of programs and data,creating virtual adresses that afterwards translate in phisical adresses to CPU. Only in that way you can run a multiprocessing environement. CPU only can run one program at each time. It's the OS who makes the necessary interruptions to put them all runing in a transparent way to you, one at each time. So, it's extremelly important that OS can adress all the hardware memory.
The same way, for a long time that BIOS has nothing to do with Hard Disc accesses(Whith memory I think it never did. It's the memory module which informs the memory controller about it's specifications) It is only informed in a wrong way about the disc specifications, to recognise it and stay quiet. It's the operating system which makes all the work, adressing the HD in LBO (logical Bloch Adress) which the HD controller (nout the southbridge HD controller)convert in a phisical CHS adress. One more time, the adressing capacity of OS is important to allow bigger virtual memory in HD.

- Collapse -
Not even close

Not even close.

All you're doing is proving how little you actually understand. I'm sure there are people out there who are impressed by all the big technical jargon words you can throw out... Most of them even used more or less correctly. However, your conclusions are pretty much all way off the mark, when what you're talking about is in any way relevant to the topic.

If we were having this conversation about 10 years ago, you would be one of those people swearing up and down that people should never have more than 512MB of RAM, because the 256K of L2 cache RAM won't be able to cache addresses beyond that, and it will slow people's systems down. And you'd be half right. So here's a chance to shine for ya... Why would you only be half right? And for bonus points, why is that bad advice?

Personally, I'd just stop now before you hit the other side of the world with that hole you're digging for yourself. It's good to be curious, admirable even. However, you haven't yet gotten to the point where you've processed the information sufficiently that you understand all the different connections between them. With time, and a little humility, that will come, you just need to be patient and stop trying to prove how you know more than everyone else. The fact that you're so easy to goad into an argument just proves my point. It's a sign of insecurity. If you really knew as much as you think you do, you wouldn't be jumping at every chance to prove yourself. It's one of those amusing life ironies. In an effort to hide something, we tend to only draw more attention to it.

Keep up with the studies, and don't be in such a hurry. Any idiot can memorize a bunch of technical terms, but just knowing a bunch of facts doesn't make you an expert. An expert has spent a lot of time to really digest the information, and learn the how and why, not just the what. I honestly do wish more people in this world had your same level of curiosity, though hopefully they'd have a little more humility and spend more time trying to learn from others rather than assuming they know everything already.

You can ask around here about me... You might get some interesting opinions on my personality, but I think everyone will agree that I am quite good at the technical end of things. I have a very deep understanding of a broad set of topics. Doesn't mean I can't sometimes learn something new from someone who has barely mastered turning their computer on. And there's ALWAYS things I can be learning from some of the others here who are pretty good at the technical side of things. I know enough to know I have a lot more I could learn.

Your curiosity is a good thing, keep that. Just get over yourself, and take advantage of this opportunity to sit at the feet (metaphorically) of a couple of true experts. You'll get there yourself soon enough.

- Collapse -

I agree with you on the business aspects I mentioned above, as well as the annoyance caused by having to invest 220

CNET Forums

Forum Info