Dude, where's my 4GB?

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Re: Re:

Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:25 am

UberGerbil wrote:The solution is to go to 64bit, not to hack around trying to re-use some old 16bit technology to eke a little more life out of a 32bit design.

This is a point very much worth repeating. Any and all of these supposed interim solutions are nothing more than spit and polish. Proper 64-bit operating systems, drivers, and applications are where the future is. And anyway, we're just starting to get into the era of "4GB is the proper amount of memory". What will people do when it's 6 or 8GB? :)
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:48 am

morphine wrote:
UberGerbil wrote:The solution is to go to 64bit, not to hack around trying to re-use some old 16bit technology to eke a little more life out of a 32bit design.

This is a point very much worth repeating. Any and all of these supposed interim solutions are nothing more than spit and polish. Proper 64-bit operating systems, drivers, and applications are where the future is. And anyway, we're just starting to get into the era of "4GB is the proper amount of memory". What will people do when it's 6 or 8GB? :)

This. This. Oh God this.

Actually I am quite curious what Dell and the like will start doing when they want to put >4GB in their systems. From what I have seen they are more than happy to sell you a system with 4GB of ram and a 512MB GPU while bundling it with Vista x86. :roll:

dell.com fine print wrote:*Systems configured with 4GB memory or more: The total amount of available memory will be less than 4GB. The amount less depends on the actual system configuration.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:19 am

SuperSpy wrote:Actually I am quite curious what Dell and the like will start doing when they want to put >4GB in their systems. From what I have seen they are more than happy to sell you a system with 4GB of ram and a 512MB GPU while bundling it with Vista x86. :roll:

It would mean they have no choice but to put 64-bit OSes on?
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:37 am

Or they could just use the same disclaimer that they use for 4 GiB.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:00 pm

bhtooefr wrote:Or they could just use the same disclaimer that they use for 4 GiB.
Well, that's not really tenable once you go up to 6 or 8.

This whole problem just "goes away" once OEMs
1. Only use motherboards that support memory reclaiming, and turn it on by default
2. Ship with a 64bit OS.

At this point, driver compatibility for in-the-box hardware is no longer a concern. There may be the odd expansion card option that doesn't have a 64bit driver, but Dell can either flag that as requiring you to opt for 32bit (they already have OS-specific hardware options on their website) or just lean on their component suppliers to get with the program. (If you're supplying Dell, and they say they're going to drop one of your products unless you jump through a hoop, you darn well jump through the hoop).

Application compatibility isn't a big deal either, in most cases. There are some 16bit games and whatnot out there still, but they're pretty rare in the consumer world anymore (and Dell could always strike a deal with the DOSBox people or whatever). But 32bit apps for the most part run fine, so there's no reason to be waiting on 64bit applications.

The real issue for the OEMs are the installed base of outboard peripherals -- printers, scanners, cameras, phones, MP3 players, etc -- that users may have bought years ago and still happily use... and expect to work with their new machine. There may be no 64bit driver for those, and in many cases there may be no prospect of getting one for what is now an unsupported product. Which, frankly, tells me that there's no point in the OEMs waiting: the situation is not going to get appreciably better. At this point they should, at the very least, offer 64bit as an option. (Dell gives you all sorts of OS options -- business or home or ultimate, XP or Vista, even Windows or Linux -- but no option for 64bit pre-installed as far as I can tell). When you choose 4GB of memory (or more, soon) they should recommend it. And by next year it should be the default option.

I know the OEMs, and Microsoft, are dreading the flood of support calls they're going to get when Joe Consumer gets his new PC and his old printer doesn't work, but they're going to have to deal with it eventually.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:02 pm

bhtooefr wrote:Or they could just use the same disclaimer that they use for 4 GiB.

Yeah, I wouldn't be too suprised if they just did that.

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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:32 pm

That reminds me of a question I had: if I were to buy a system that came with a 32 bit OS, would I be able to get a 64 bit install disc from Microsoft?
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:35 pm

titan wrote:That reminds me of a question I had: if I were to buy a system that came with a 32 bit OS, would I be able to get a 64 bit install disc from Microsoft?

Nope. Sold separately.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:50 pm

titan wrote:That reminds me of a question I had: if I were to buy a system that came with a 32 bit OS, would I be able to get a 64 bit install disc from Microsoft?
For a retail version of Vista (other than Ultimate, which already includes both 32bit and 64bit in the box) you can order alternate media for a fairly nominal S&H. OEM editions don't have that option (unless the OEM itself offers it), though I have heard that some people have had success installing the retail 64bit version without activation ("trial usage") and then changing the version key to use their OEM key. Either way, though, it's a full reinstall not an "upgrade."

With XP, XP-x64 is considered an entirely separate product and you have to order it as such (which is pretty hard to do now that they're trying to phase XP out).
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:28 pm

So I just upgraded my system from 2GB to '4GB' by adding another two 1GB DIMMs identical to the first ones I installed. When I booted up, I found that I didn't have an expected 3.3-3.5GB available, but a mere 2.7GB? I have 1282 MB of RAM unaccounted for, so I tried to look into it, and upon opening dxdiag I think I found the problem. Under 'display' my single (not SLI, just a lonely single card) 8800 GT (512 MB) shows an 'Approx. Total Memory' of 1630 MB!

Now I know that video cards use memory, but in this case my video card is using 1.1 GB of my RAM outside of its own. I don't have many other devices hooked up, so I don't find it surprising that they are using 164 MB worth of address space. But my 8800 GT?

I should try performance in games and see if I'm happy with it, but I'd really like to keep that under control. How do I keep my video card from using an entire DIMM for itself?

On an extra note, I tried enabling PAE just for giggles, and it doesn't look like it did anything. Then again, the only option my motherboard has for anything close to address remapping is an option for reserving IRQs. Does that help? I may try a BIOS update, because I think my board is six revisions behind or something. Maybe they threw in an option.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:49 pm

Your video card isn't using 1.1GB -- all of your PCI devices combined are using that, and that includes everything integrated on the motherboard.

PAE isn't going to do anything on XP (it's already in use with SP2, but won't give you any more memory unless you're running a Server version of Windows).

Even if a BIOS update gives you a memory remapping option, it won't make any difference unless you switch to a 64bit OS.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:23 pm

UberGerbil wrote:Your video card isn't using 1.1GB -- all of your PCI devices combined are using that, and that includes everything integrated on the motherboard.


Are you sure about that?

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UberGerbil wrote:PAE isn't going to do anything on XP (it's already in use with SP2, but won't give you any more memory unless you're running a Server version of Windows).

Even if a BIOS update gives you a memory remapping option, it won't make any difference unless you switch to a 64bit OS.


Yeah, I read through this thread about that. I assume Vista Ultimate 32-bit is the same way? I'm not going to be anal about getting every bit of my 4GB, I wasn't expecting to get it; but I don't like that so much is being 'shared' with my video card. I'm only running 1680x1050, and mostly on DX9 games; I don't need that much video memory.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:58 pm

If you really want to know which devices are taking up all your address space you can easily find out by doing the following (this is on XP but i'm pretty sure Vista is the same):

Open up Device Manager. From the View menu click "Resources by type". Expand the Memory section. This shows which devices are mapped to which address range. If you can't decipher the hexadecimal address ranges just dump it in Google i.e. (0xefffffff - 0xe0000000) / (2^20) = 255.999999 MB (That's the primary address range for my 8600GTS).
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:24 pm

Well, I did that (on 32-bit Vista) and I got 304mb when combining four different address spaces for my 8800 GT. That does very little to explain it... I will look at all of my other address spaces and see if anything else is using a whole lot.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:57 pm

Majiir Paktu wrote:Well, I did that (on 32-bit Vista) and I got 304mb when combining four different address spaces for my 8800 GT. That does very little to explain it... I will look at all of my other address spaces and see if anything else is using a whole lot.

Pretty much every device takes up at least some address space. It adds up. Unless you're willing to switch to a 64-bit OS on a motherboard which supports >4GB of physical addressing, you just have to live with it.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:10 am

I have read through all of this thread and other threads, I understand how it all works... I'm just doubtful that all of my devices are 'supposed to' be using 1.2gb worth. It also seems strange to me that my 8800 GT, which prior to the upgrade was using approx. 600mb RAM, is now using almost twice as much. So what, does it always seek to 'steal' one-quarter of my memory? Surely it can run without using 1.6gb of memory, since it worked fine before.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:19 am

I'm quite sure your video card isn't "stealing" any memory at all. I believe in Vista from the perspective of the OS the gpu memory plus whatever system memory is allocated to the video card is seen as contiguous. I think it's up to the display driver to manage the efficient use of memory (I haven't read up on this in a while so I could be a little off). Nevertheless, any memory that the video card is allowed to use is also shared with the OS, so you don't end up losing access to any memory (that you can address anyway). Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:20 am

Majiir Paktu wrote:I have read through all of this thread and other threads, I understand how it all works... I'm just doubtful that all of my devices are 'supposed to' be using 1.2gb worth.

Why would you still think that after reading this thread?

It also seems strange to me that my 8800 GT, which prior to the upgrade was using approx. 600mb RAM, is now using almost twice as much. So what, does it always seek to 'steal' one-quarter of my memory? Surely it can run without using 1.6gb of memory, since it worked fine before.

The 1.6GB number is inaccurate. If the video card was really taking 1.6GB of address space, you'd only have around 2GB available, after taking into account all your other devices.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:41 am

So my devices are somehow using 1.2gb of address space. That just seems a bit wasteful to me.

In Device Manager I see 256mb used once by 'System Board', and then another 256mb by 'Motherboard Resources'. Those addresses are not used again by anything else. Is that normal?
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:50 am

Majiir Paktu wrote:In Device Manager I see 256mb used once by 'System Board', and then another 256mb by 'Motherboard Resources'. Those addresses are not used again by anything else. Is that normal?

Yes.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:35 pm

Those of you who have motherboards that claim memory expansion beyond 4GB, but are unable to find a remapping option in your BIOS, all is not lost.

The remapping/hoisting functionality does not have to be exposed. It can be enabled by default and then hidden from user manipulation.

My Dell 1720 has memory remapping enabled by default with no visible setting to manipulate.

So just because you can't find the setting does not necessarily mean your board is incapable. You're left to either find someone else who has already made the leap and learn from their experience or to buy a copy of a 64bit OS and test for yourself.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:11 pm

Same with my Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L board. There's no BIOS option for memory remapping but the board does support up to 8GB of addressable memory space. On 32-bit XP I see 3.5GB, while on 64-bit Vista/LInuxI see the full 4GB.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:40 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:So just because you can't find the setting does not necessarily mean your board is incapable. You're left to either find someone else who has already made the leap and learn from their experience or to buy a copy of a 64bit OS and test for yourself.

You could also test it for free using a 64-bit Linux "live CD".
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:01 pm

Good point. Also, although 64bit Linux isn't always the best to test out Windows programs in a 64bit environment, I have it installed (along with 32bit), and use it for this purpose from time to time.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:11 am

i don't have this problems
Last edited by Kevin on Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:35 pm

CobrA4cS wrote:i don't have this problems


Thanks for your input. It really cleared things up.

What's with the hidden image from bitefight.ro?
Code: Select all
[quote="CobrA4cS"]i don't have this problems

[size=1][img]http://s10.bitefight.ro/c.php?uid=15648[/img][/size][/quote]
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:23 am

It's called "a ticket to get banned", along with the useless comments on every thread.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:44 pm

lol at the title of this thread and the comments
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:07 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:Those of you who have motherboards that claim memory expansion beyond 4GB, but are unable to find a remapping option in your BIOS, all is not lost.

The remapping/hoisting functionality does not have to be exposed. It can be enabled by default and then hidden from user manipulation.

My Dell 1720 has memory remapping enabled by default with no visible setting to manipulate.

So just because you can't find the setting does not necessarily mean your board is incapable. You're left to either find someone else who has already made the leap and learn from their experience or to buy a copy of a 64bit OS and test for yourself.


Yeah, I had to mess with some BIOS options on my old Asus A8N32-SLI in order for it to let the OS even see 4GB RAM. It kept limiting even Vista x64 to see 3.2GB installed. Won't be buying Asus or an nVIDIA chipset anytime ever again.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:45 pm

JonMCC33 wrote:Yeah, I had to mess with some BIOS options on my old Asus A8N32-SLI in order for it to let the OS even see 4GB RAM. It kept limiting even Vista x64 to see 3.2GB installed. Won't be buying Asus or an nVIDIA chipset anytime ever again.
Considering that other chipsets (eg Intel) and the BIOS found in many mobos from competitors to ASUS also require manually setting the remap/hoist option for the OS to see 4GB of RAM, what are you planning to buy? (More recent boards/BIOSes seem to be enabling it by default, and that probably includes newer ASUS boards and nVidia-based ones too). There are good reasons to not buy certain nVidia chipsets, and there may be reasons not to "ever again" buy from a particular mobo maker, but this one seems to be a stretch. It's an older board; it's not surprising it would have the defaults set for the OSes of the past, not the future.
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