Ever since I created this post about the real memory maximum in Windows (including Windows XP and Windows Vista, and any 32-bit version of Windows), I get A LOT of questions about it. I thought I’d take a minute to answer some of them:
I just wanted to find out why my asus board p5w-dh-d picks up 4gigs of memory in the bios but only 2gig in windows vista business 32bit
Answer: Read this post. That’s just the way it works. Sorry.
and (more after the jump)
Does all this mean that on a Dell M1710 with a 512mb video card, Vista Ultimate (32b), and 2GB of Ram, one is likely to see only 1.4 GB of RAM or less, since Vista needs to match the video RAM allotment with RAM memory?
Answer: No, your maximum RAM is 4GB minus any RAM required by your video card. So, with 2GB and that video card, you’ll still have access to all 2GB. If you had 4GB and that video card, you’d probably only see 3.4GB.
Also, does having a 4GB or higher ReadyBoost enabled USB drive help in any of these metrics, be it on a system with 2GB of RAM or 4 GB?
Answer: It does help performance, but ReadyBoost acts as a disk cache. It won’t affect your maximum memory.Â and
Hello, I just read your response to the maximum amount of RAM you may actually be able to use in an XP Pro 32bit System. I know your busy but if you have a chance to address my question it would set my mind at ease.
I have an ASUS mother board PLN5SLI, lower end but it is capable of supporting 4gb of DDR2 Ram. My system is only utiliizing 2.75GB of it.Â What I gathered from your responses was that my BIOS and what not will take up a certain amount of ADDRESS Space and also my video cards. I have 2 BIOSTAR 256mb DDR2 PCI-E video cards running in SLI mode, so right there i’m down about a gig because of the needed ADDRESS SPACE for the actual BIOS, I/O, PCI slots…… and the cards.
So with my system as it is I will NOT be able to get anymore than about 2.75gb of RAM.
- p4 – 2.66 Ghz processor
- ASUS PLN5SLI mobo, 4gb ram, SATA headers(2)….
- BIo Star nvidia gforce 7300.. 256mb DDR2 SLI Ready Video Cards PCI-E
- 4gb DDR2 RAM
- Diamond 5.1 Audio Card
I hope this isn’t too much noob talk for you I’m enthusiastic about building PC’s but have a bit to learn as well.
Answer: Yep, you won’t be able to use more than about 2.75GB. You might as well take the rest of the 4GB out. Sucks, I know.
I read your article on Maximum Memory in 32-bit Windows (http://www.vistaclues.com/reader-question-maximum-memory-in-32-bit-windows-vista/)because I just purchased a new computer from Dell with 4GB of RAM and running Vista Home Premium (32-bit edition).Â My system seems to only have 3.0 GB of RAM available.Â The BIOS sees all 4GB of RAM, and upon discussing this issue with Dell Tech Support I only got the vague response “It’s used for a lot of I/O functions”.
My processor (Intel Core2 Duo) supports the 64-bit versions.Â Should I look into an upgrade?Â I’m no expert on these things, so I wonder whether I’ll see much benefit from the inevitable pains of many software incompatibilities.
Thanks, and I will look to your site in the future for many of my technical issues, as they’re explained very clearly.
Answer: Yeah, it sucks that Dell doesn’t warn you that you won’t be able to use all 4GB of RAM with 32-bit Windows. Should you upgrade to 64-bit? No, probably not. Read this article about choosing between 32-bit and 64-bit to be sure.Â