OK, so how should I do my RAM on a 32-bit system?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by alex, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. alex

    alex My neighbor got the gas chamber awhile back for do Moderator

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    Haven't built my new computer yet, going to use Vista Business 32 bit. It's the only version I could get from the Academic Alliance. I know I only get a max of 4gb, or is it it 3.1gb? Or what is it really?

    The video card memory counts against the 4gb, right? So if I have a 512mb video card, I should install 3.5 gb of ram? Or how about getting a 1gb 8800gt, with 3gb ram installed? Would that be better? If I was to do that, would the 32 bit OS see all 3gb?

    And if I do 3gb of ram installed, should i do 2 x 1gb, 2 x 512mb or 3 x 1gb?


    ibnogymforhome :hs:
     
  2. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    window's 32-bit memory limit is 3GB.

    If you plan to get a mobo with an onboard video card, it will take or share some of that ram. it's recommended to just get a video card along with a good mobo.

    depending on the ram, it's more cost-effective to just get 4gb of ram, 4x1gb dimms.

    i got 2 sets of Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C4, which came out to about $70 for 4GB of ram. It was going to be more if i were to get 2x1GB + 2x512MB at the time...
     
  3. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

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    Ideally, you would run 2 x 2 gigs of RAM in Dual Channel mode. Yes you won't see the full 4 gigs, but you'll probably see somewhere around 3-3.5 gigs. It's totally dependant on your hardware, since it's all about addressing space - the more toys onboard, and the larger the RAM on your video card, the less RAM your computer can see.
     
  4. alex

    alex My neighbor got the gas chamber awhile back for do Moderator

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    ok, so should i do 4 x 1gb or 2 x 2gb...

    2 replies, 2 different opinions :o price isn't that much of an option.

    also, should i go with a 1gb video card, or will that cut into my precious usable ram? side question: is 1gb 8800gt better than the 512 mb?
     
  5. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    The maximum 32bit value is 2^32 = 4,294,967,296... or 4gb...

    This is addressing space your OS has to work with, but other hardware shares this besides just your system memory. If you have a 512mb video card it will need to use 512mb of that 4gb address space, I am not talking about just onboard video... even if you have an external card the memory on the card needs to be assigned addresses by the system, so your memory card will reduce your maximum effective system memory. Not only that but most add in cards and also some onboard hardware will use addressing space.

    If you want to see just how much go to device manager from the system control panel and open the properties page for any random piece of hardware and open the resources tab and look at the entries labeled memory range. Add up all the memory ranges, do a quick hex to decimal conversion in calc, and you can determine how much address space each piece of hardware is consuming. Take the total of all of your hardwares address space and subtract from the physical limit of 4gb and that is the remainder of your address space, or the amount of effective physical memory your computer will be able to utilize

    Or if your lazy take 4gb, subtract your video cards memory, and that is how much ram you should buy... usually around 3.5gb... so 4gb
     
  6. alex

    alex My neighbor got the gas chamber awhile back for do Moderator

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    oh shit, :eek3: well... ok.

    should i get a 1gb video card then, if it means i'll only have (up to) 3.0 gb left? or should i stick with 512mb and install 4gb. (even though it means i won't get it all)

    if i should do 3, should i go 2 x 1gb, 2 x 512, or 3 x 1?
    if i should do 4, should i do 2 x 2gb or 4 x 1gb?
     
  7. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    what ever fits your budget.

    note, larger dimms are more prone to errors than smaller dimms, but this is what i've seen with 4gb and 8gb dimms on my boxes at work. i've read a few stories on large bad dimms on other home pc forums.

    read the reviews of the 1gb 8800gt. it's not worth it over the 512mb 8800gt. might as well get a 512 8800gts.
     
  8. alex

    alex My neighbor got the gas chamber awhile back for do Moderator

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    ok, i'll read up on it. the prices are low, so i was like what the hell, why not shell out the extra $40-$50 for the 1gb? but if it's not going to give much extra performance and eat an extra 512mb ram from me, i should probably look for a good 512mb.
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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  10. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

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    get two of the same type of chip, for each slot pairing.

    You get a performance increase if you have identical ram chips in paired slots (doubles the bus width).

    Honestly, go with 2x2 GB, or 4x1 GB.

    And a 1GB video card is better than a 512 if you do high-end gaming, far worth the decrease you'll see in available RAM.
     
  11. Frequency

    Frequency New Member

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    wrong wrong wrong
    windows can address approx 4GB of memory. This is ALL memory, video card & system
     
  12. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    you are partially correct.

    windows will only use 3gb of memory for the system max, 4gb max for system and all other devices. if the vid card is 1gb great. if the vid card is 1mb, the os is still limited to 3gb of ram for itself. the rest is addressed for all other devices and/or unused.

    read up.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605
     
  13. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The memory issue is irrelevant if he just gets a copy of Vista x64. As previously noted, they're not that expensive.
     
  14. alex

    alex My neighbor got the gas chamber awhile back for do Moderator

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    well, i've heard nothing but terror stories about compatibility :mb:

    ...also i'm sitting on a free copy of windows vista 32 bit business. (legit from academic alliance.) well, technically it's an upgrade disc, but there's a workaround i read about. it still works right? :noes:
     
  15. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

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    Not to correct you again, but it's wrong. I have seen 3.5 gigs of ram on a 32 bit XP installation with no funky settings. This was a fresh install. I don't know why MS has that info posted - it's simply incorrect. Then again, maybe it is something they added to Vista.
     
  16. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    ram "reported" by vista doesn't mean it's the memory used. vista 32-bit initial install will report 3.5gb of ram, xp pro sp2+ will report 3.5 gb of ram. xp home will report 3GB of ram. vista sp1 will report 4gb. read that kb. vista/xp can report whatever it wants.

    the 32-bit kernel will only address 3.12 gb of ram for the OS. This is from Microsoft's mouth.
     
  17. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

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    Read it yourself, it uses words like "typically", and repeats what I said - it all depends on what other onboard devices are present. Throw in a 32 meg matrox video adaptor and your ram will go up. It's all about addressing space - 4 gigs max.
     
  18. skinjob

    skinjob Active Member

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    The way I read it, there is a 3.12GB hard limit in 32-bit Vista to avoid driver compatibility issues. The number of devices can reduce the max addressable memory to below 3GB, but the typical system will be able to address up to the hard limit.
     
  19. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    Go with 2 x 2GB.
     
  20. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    That's because the people who don't have compatibility problems don't say anything. You know the rule: if something goes well, you tell your best friend; if something goes badly, you tell everyone.

    I have not had any luck installing Vista upgrades from scratch. I specifically tried doing that, and it just kept saying either "you already have windows installed, you need to run this setup from within windows" or "you don't have windows installed, you can't install this because it's an upgrade". I think they wised up after the rampant piracy and ripping-off of XP.
     
  21. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

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    +1
     
  22. alex

    alex My neighbor got the gas chamber awhile back for do Moderator

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    oh fuck.
     
  23. vudoodoodoo

    vudoodoodoo New Member

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    Vista x64. Commence installation of a gazillion GB of RAM.
     
  24. alex

    alex My neighbor got the gas chamber awhile back for do Moderator

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    but i've got this free 32-bit copy :wtc:
     
  25. Danno

    Danno Bronx Poodle OT Supporter

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    Just go with 32-bit. So, you'll waste a half gig...3.5>2
     

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