4 gigs of RAM/32 bit OS question

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4 gigs of RAM/32 bit OS question

Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:08 pm

i heard that 32-bit Operating Systems "dont support 4 gigs of DDR2 RAM, therefore you need 64-bit"

so is that true? you can only use 2 gig RAM??

also..what brand and speed will go well with a QX6800 overclocked to 3.20ghz?

thanks alot to everyone ahead of time.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:28 pm

32 bit Windows 2000, XP, and Vista operating systems will support 3GB of RAM.

You need a 64 bit OS to use more than 3GB or RAM.

DDR2-800 is the sweet spot for RAM right now. Faster RAM may improve benchmark scores but you'll never notice any improvement during real use. The cheapest reputable brand is best IMO (Gskill, ADATA, Corsair Value, etc.).
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:32 pm

I've heard folks mention they've managed some tweaking to get it to read the full 4 gigs, but I've yet to see proof. From my understanding it is impossible without 64bit OS.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:39 pm

MaxTheLimit wrote:I've heard folks mention they've managed some tweaking to get it to read the full 4 gigs, but I've yet to see proof. From my understanding it is impossible without 64bit OS.
Only Enterprise and Datacenter versions of Windows Server 2003 can.

@Murso24: you need to wait for that Dell of yours to arrive first before you can see what sticks you should get. Or if you just want to dump the sticks that come with the XPS and put 4 gigs of your own RAM that's fine too. Although I am not sure how much tweaking you can do with Dell's BIOS. If you want to tweak your hardware so much why not build it yourself?
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:56 pm

@FFox - Do you have a link to some reading describing a little bit more about this? All I've been able to find thus far is a site saying that it does support 4 gigs of ram. Do you put much credence into people saying they've been able to go into their BIOS and managed to read 4Gigs of ram in Windows XP 32?
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:00 pm

MaxTheLimit wrote:@FFox - Do you have a link to some reading describing a little bit more about this? All I've been able to find thus far is a site saying that it does support 4 gigs of ram. Do you put much credence into people saying they've been able to go into their BIOS and managed to read 4Gigs of ram in Windows XP 32?

This is the definitive discussion in our own forums.

Be careful with the word "supports". 32-bit Windows will run when you put that many gigs of RAM in, whether it can make use of all of it is a different story. If you read the links in our discussion, it is basically decided that XP32 won't be able to "see" all 4 gigs, even if the "remapping" option is turned on.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:03 pm

<a href="http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=50333&highlight=">Talk about kicking...</a>
<a href="http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=51058&highlight=">... a dead horse.</a>

EDIT: Oops! :oops: Wasn't done writing yet.

Anyway, Flying Fox beat me to that last link.

To kind of echo him, the short answer is yes, the long answer is no. 32-bit OS's are only able to provide about 3.5GB for use by the, er, uhm, user. 64-bit OS's can provide way more than 4GB. Up to 16TB I think. (Yes, that's TB, not GB.)

And again, to echo others, you'll need to see if your hardware will even be able to support 4GB of RAM.
Last edited by titan on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:15 pm

titan wrote:<a href="http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=50333&highlight=">Talk about kicking...</a>
<a href="http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=51058&highlight=">... a dead horse.</a>
Search is a lost art apparently. :lol:
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:17 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
titan wrote:<a href="http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=50333&highlight=">Talk about kicking...</a>
<a href="http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=51058&highlight=">... a dead horse.</a>
Search is a lost art apparently. :lol:


Yeah, I'm beginning to think so. My edit came after your post, but you beat me to the Dude, Where's my 4GB? thread.

Dan's Data also has an article about the limitation of 32-bit Os's as well. I'll see if I can find it again.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:19 pm

<a href="http://www.dansdata.com/askdan00015.htm">Here we go.</a>
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:27 pm

Yes I've been looking at these threads a lot lately. Though I was thinking more along the lines of an official tech sheet explaining those whole thing in a slightly more official term. I generally can pick apart the correct and incorrect posts, but to be sure I like to get right to the gritty details. I will be looking to upgrade to upgrade to 4gigs soon and I want to make sure I cover all my bases AND understand why I'm doing what I'm doing by having almost ALL correct information about the subject. As I understand with my 64 bit OS I will still need to enter the BIOS and enable the option. Not too much else will be an issue as I'm not running a 32bit OS. But I'm looking for a little more tech info, and sifting though the posts of people going back and forth can be a little frustrating. Thank you very much for helping BTW.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:39 pm

MaxTheLimit wrote:Yes I've been looking at these threads a lot lately. Though I was thinking more along the lines of an official tech sheet explaining those whole thing in a slightly more official term. I generally can pick apart the correct and incorrect posts, but to be sure I like to get right to the gritty details. I will be looking to upgrade to upgrade to 4gigs soon and I want to make sure I cover all my bases AND understand why I'm doing what I'm doing by having almost ALL correct information about the subject. As I understand with my 64 bit OS I will still need to enter the BIOS and enable the option. Not too much else will be an issue as I'm not running a 32bit OS. But I'm looking for a little more tech info, and sifting though the posts of people going back and forth can be a little frustrating. Thank you very much for helping BTW.
Give Dan's article another read. It talks about the remapping feature in a somewhat easier to understand manner. Basically, to maintain compatibility, that hole in the 3GB-4GB range will create a hole in your 4 gigs of physical address space. So to get that back you need to remap the hardware MMIO to even higher up beyond your 4 gigs. That, combined with a 64-OS, will let you see all 4 gigs.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:46 pm

If it's any consolation, "Dude, where's my 4GB?" is a very, very inaccurate title that doesn't really mean anything to the average reader trying to find out information about the memory barrier.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:08 pm

Ya I'd prefer not start another thing up here. There is enough all over the place for discussion about this. I'm pretty sure this:
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Is what I'm looking for.
I've read the Tom's hardware thing and it's a lot of what I'm looking for. I was looking for something a little more along the lines of raw data on the subject. Memory black diagrams etc. I guess.

It's briefly shown but I guess I just want as much as possible....to be sure and confident about what I'm doing.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:13 pm

@Max: you are on the right track. That's the option you need to enable when you get your 4 gig kit. Since you already have a 64-bit OS you should be good to go. Let us know how it goes. ;)
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Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:02 am

Nitrodist wrote:If it's any consolation, "Dude, where's my 4GB?" is a very, very inaccurate title that doesn't really mean anything to the average reader trying to find out information about the memory barrier.
Agreed. One time I was looking for that thread but didn't know the title, and so it took me a few searches to find it.
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Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:47 am

I will for sure post my results. either on new years or a couple weeks after. There is topics like this all over the place. However I see mention for people using standard Windows XP Pro 32bit. Saying simply by enabling memory remapping. They say it shows up as a full 4 gigs. I know this cannot be true. It doesn't work that way for the reasons stated many times over (so I won't go into it). The misinformation is really what gets me. Lying and causing many people to be confused out there just to make it seem like you have accomplished something seems wrong to me. Immoral even. Poor Johnny newb is going to go out with his windows XP and 4 gig kit and be so upset it didn't work. He'll go to the guy that told him it would work. He'll throw his hands up and say "you must have don something wrong".
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Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:53 am

MaxTheLimit wrote:However I see mention for people using standard Windows XP Pro 32bit. Saying simply by enabling memory remapping. They say it shows up as a full 4 gigs. I know this cannot be true. It doesn't work that way for the reasons stated many times over (so I won't go into it). The misinformation is really what gets me. Lying and causing many people to be confused out there just to make it seem like you have accomplished something seems wrong to me. Immoral even.
I would say incompetence is an easier explanation. Most people don't really know what they are doing. ;)

MaxTheLimit wrote:Poor Johnny newb is going to go out with his windows XP and 4 gig kit and be so upset it didn't work. He'll go to the guy that told him it would work. He'll throw his hands up and say "you must have don something wrong".
Hey, at least he will see ~3.2 gigs and will be better than a 2 gig system. Not going to help if he only has one memory hogging application running though.
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Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:14 am

I am always disappointed by the PC industry by these easily-foreseen limitation issues.

If say, Microsoft, in 2004, had said "Our next-gen OS is going to be 64-bit only, you have 3 [lol Longhorn delay] years to comply." We would never be having these conversations. Dell/HP/etc. would have all their machines configured with Vista x64 and, by extension, all the hardware manufacturers (at least those that wanted the juicy contracts with big vendors) would have finally gotten around to actually writing x64 drivers. Then, we wouldn't have to deal with all of this insanity stemming from running 64-bit hardware on a 32-bit OS.

I mean correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the WOW system in Vista x64 totally compatible with existing applications? If so, why not switch?
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Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:28 am

SuperSpy wrote:If say, Microsoft, in 2004, had said "Our next-gen OS is going to be 64-bit only, you have 3 [lol Longhorn delay] years to comply." We would never be having these conversations. Dell/HP/etc. would have all their machines configured with Vista x64 and, by extension, all the hardware manufacturers (at least those that wanted the juicy contracts with big vendors) would have finally gotten around to actually writing x64 drivers. Then, we wouldn't have to deal with all of this insanity stemming from running 64-bit hardware on a 32-bit OS.
Intel tried that with the Pentium Pro (slow running 16-bit instructions) and got bitch slapped. Users of x86/Microsoft computing seem to value backward compatibility more than anything else, compared to say the PPC/Apple (at the time it was PPC) crowd. If Microsoft did that they will be called strongarming and all sorts of bad stuff.

SuperSpy wrote:I mean correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the WOW system in Vista x64 totally compatible with existing applications? If so, why not switch?
[/rant]
It works for most applications, but there will be that odd one that uses some undocumented functions and/or installs a driver breaking it. :-?
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Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:36 am

You gotta think this will probably be the last OS that will be split into a 64 bit version and a 32bit version. I see no reason to continue it on after Vista. By then a working variation of WOW, or an almost complete list of 64bit programs and 64bit drivers around.
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