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Thread: Microsoft OS Memory Question

  1. #1
    JordoR's Avatar Madden Champ!
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    Hey everyone, just a quick question about a new computer I'm looking at.

    I'm buying a new computer that has 4gb of memory. I've tried to do some research on the matter but have come up unsuccessful. Is 4gb memory going to be compatibile with an OS such as XP Pro SP2, or just plain Vista Pro.. or do I need to specificially get the 64 bit version of the OS. I have read somewhere that I will need to get the 64 bit version to properly run 4gb of ram.

    I've gotten a few answers on the matter and just wanted to know if they are true in what they say. I got an answer from someone saying that the 32 Bit will be fine with the 4gb ram, but it just wont show it under the Control Panel -> System. Does that mean then, that the computer can use all of the 4gb ram, but it just won't show it in my computer properties? Or will it only use up to 2gb as someone else has told me.

    I'm getting mixed answers on the issue so I was wondering if someone would be able to clarify it for me. I know there are a few experts on here so I figured it would be my best bet.

    Thanks in advance.
    Peter: Excuse me, is your refrigerator running?
    Because if it is, it probably runs like you - very homosexually.


  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    The 32 bit OS (be it Vista or XP) will run fine with 4GB of memory but it can only address 3.25GB, so you have .75GB sitting idle. IIRC, XP SP3 will show 4GB on the System Properties page but that's misleading since the 32bit OS can't actually use it.

    If you have the option, x64 Vista is the way to go as Vista needs all the RAM you can throw at it and it's overall performance scales well.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    JordoR's Avatar Madden Champ!
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker View Post
    The 32 bit OS (be it Vista or XP) will run fine with 4GB of memory but it can only address 3.25GB, so you have .75GB sitting idle. IIRC, XP SP3 will show 4GB on the System Properties page but that's misleading since the 32bit OS can't actually use it.

    If you have the option, x64 Vista is the way to go as Vista needs all the RAM you can throw at it and it's overall performance scales well.
    Thanks for the quick reply clocker.

    Well the thing is I didn't really want to go with Vista (I might be pursuaded to change my mind). In my experience it's just a nice visual OS that is a resource hog.. and I don't really care about visuals on my OS. I would be perfectly content with Microsoft XP.

    Having .75GB idle is not really an option since it is a total waste to even have 4GB in the first place then. So it looks like I have to go with a 64bit if I want to fully utilize all the memory. Now it's just up to deciding whether to get MS XP 64 Bit or Vista 64 bit.
    Peter: Excuse me, is your refrigerator running?
    Because if it is, it probably runs like you - very homosexually.


  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    IdolEyes787's Avatar Persona non grata
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    The amount is totally dependent upon how the MOBO interacts with the OS for PCI memory addresses and the amount of installed hardware.
    There is no hard and fast 3.25gb min or max.I've seen it both higher and much lower.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    I don't think so.

    Then again, I could be wrong.

    I've never personally seen any 32bit OS that used over 3-some GB of RAM, regardless of BIOS remapping or OS switches.

    At any rate, I think the point is moot.
    Just get a 64 bit OS and avoid the issue altogether.

    My experience is that driver support is better for Vista 64 than XP Pro 64.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    IdolEyes787's Avatar Persona non grata
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    Quote Originally Posted by clocker View Post
    I don't think so.

    Then again, I could be wrong.

    I've never personally seen any 32bit OS that used over 3-some GB of RAM, regardless of BIOS remapping or OS switches.

    At any rate, I think the point is moot.
    Just get a 64 bit OS and avoid the issue altogether.

    My experience is that driver support is better for Vista 64 than XP Pro 64.
    I guess I should have been more explicit .You don't seem to have followed my train of thought .
    I was referring only to how much RAM is recognizable.
    Apologize for the spam.Just wanted to make myself clear.

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    peat moss's Avatar Software Farmer BT Rep: +15BT Rep +15BT Rep +15
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    @Idol, spam ? No just curious , when you go and buy a computer and haggle on the hardware , like not that vid card , case or mobo give me more memory instead .


    I see it all the time with friends that buy a proprietory system like a Dell or HP and then complain that the computer only has two memory slots . They want to upgrade and I just smile .

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    Detale's Avatar Go Snatch a Judge
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  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    lynx's Avatar .
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    If you don't want Vista, you could always look at Server 2008. I haven't tried it yet, but it is supposed to be noticeably (10-20%) faster than Vista.
    .
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  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    JordoR's Avatar Madden Champ!
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    I'm pretty sure I've made up my mind on the matter. I'm going to go with Vista 64 bit and that will be the end of the dilemna.

    After talking to a few people and reading a lot of advice, I have decided that vista is a better suit for what I want/need than XP.

    Thanks for all the help everyone. I appreciate it.
    Peter: Excuse me, is your refrigerator running?
    Because if it is, it probably runs like you - very homosexually.


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