I just got finished building myself a new system…to bad for me that I didn’t think to look and see if Vista had a memory maximux. I purchased the full retail version of Vista Ultimate. My new system has 4GB of physical ram…Vista varys betwee bootups between 3.34 or 3.25 GB of ram. I, like many others see all the ram in bios but not in the OS. I have an Intel 975xbx2 MB, Core2 DUO@2.93Ghz /w 4MB L2, PCI-E Radeon x1950 Pro 256 MB and 2 other addin cards.
Here is my question…does it have any effect on the OS or at the hardware layer to run in this configuration?
Observation/Frustration…Why,in 2007…with the tecnology level that is available today…are we still forced to deal withe the same basic issues that we had since the 8088 processor. I’ve read alot of the other post and also HPs’ responce and it almost sounds as though its…physical ram(4 GB) minus address space of all addin cards equals Vista ram…am I wrong?
Sucks, eh? As you probably read in this post, the “4GB” maximum memory limit of 32-bit Windows is purely theoretical. In practice, the max memory is something significantly less, equal to 4GB minus your video card memory and the address space allocated to a couple other hardware resourcse. Typically, the realistic maximum memory is somewhere betwee 2.5GB and 3.5GB.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are discovering this AFTER they pay for 4GB of RAM. For the record, this limitation has always been there, including in Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows. However, nowadays, more computer hardware is designed to support 4GB or more of RAM, and memory is getting cheap enough that more people can afford the full 4GB.
To answer your question, “does it have any effect on the OS or at the hardware layer to run in this configuration?”: It has no effect whatsoever. It’ll behave just like the unused memory wasn’t physically present.
To address your “Observation/Frustration”, we’re still forced to deal with the same basic issues that we had since the 8088 processor because we still need backwards compatibility. People want to be able to run the same 32-bit programs they’ve used for a decade, and that’s very possible with 32-bit Windows Vista (ok, well, there are some compatibility problems, but most things do still work). If you’re willing to give up that backwards compatibility to shake yourself free of the limits of 32-bit, just install 64-bit Windows Vista. The technology is certainly there, and nobody is forcing you to use 32-bit. However, 64-bit has it’s own problems because it lacks the full backwards compatibility provided by 32-bit. You do have a choice, but most people are still better off dealing with the limits of 32-bit than using 64-bit–which is still “bleeding edge”, despite the fact that it has been around for years now.
Re, “it almost sounds as though its…physical ram(4 GB) minus address space of all addin cards equals Vista ram…am I wrong?”… You’re exactly right. Well, 4GB minus the address space required by addin cards and other hardware equals the MAXIMUM addressable Vista RAM.
Hey, on the upside, the 750MB of RAM you’re missing really wouldn’t have made that much difference anyway. :)