Dude, where's my 4GB?

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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:28 pm

I am confused with all this stuff...
With Vista home premium 64 bit
and
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128344 (mobo)
and
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231122 (2GBx2 memory)

will I have a problem? Do I have anything to do in bios?

Too much to read especially if I dont understand all of it :S
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:34 pm

Back then, I compiled some information into this post.

Short version: for using more than 3-3.5GB of RAM, you need a 64-bit operating system. That means, for 99% of the cases, XP 64-bit, Vista 64, or a 64-bit Linux distro.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:58 pm

So enable memory remapping in bios? I think i heard somewhere in this post, that its in bios?
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:37 pm

You shouldn't have to make any changes in the BIOS with a current Gigabyte Intel chipset board. So just load up a 64-bit OS and you should be okay.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:38 pm

thanks :)
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:39 am

Yeah, just use Vista 64bit and you'll be fine.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:57 pm

I found something interesting while looking at ramdisks. These guys claim that they're able to get at the RAM from 3.2GB-4GB, plus the RAM beyond the 4GB limit of 32-bit operating systems. :o

RamDisk Plus 9 has a most unique feature. Our patent pending technology can access memory beyond the limitation imposed by a Windows 32-bit operating system! In other words, RamDisk Plus 9 can use "unmanaged" Windows' memory e.g. above 4GB. It can also use the stubbornly inaccessable memory between 3.2GB and 4GB.


So I decided to try it out. I made a 768MB ramdisk and according to the program it's living in the 3.2GB-4GB gap of my XP 32-bit system. This seems almost too good to be true, doesn't it? I wonder how it works.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:18 pm

My guess is they're using a kernel-mode driver and doing some of their own memory management to get at that bit.

If it works, I'd put a swapfile there. :P
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:35 pm

bhtooefr wrote:My guess is they're using a kernel-mode driver and doing some of their own memory management to get at that bit.
Yeah, I suspect they're using the (almost forgotten) PSE-36 mode to pull this off, as -- unlike PAE -- it doesn't require any messing with the paging mechanism that the OS is using (and would be unhappy to have messed with). I think they'd be forced to use large pages in that "high memory" (IIRC) but that would fit well with a RAM disk anyway. Doing something like that as an experiment has crossed my mind a couple of times but I've never bothered to follow up.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:52 pm

mako wrote:I found something interesting while looking at ramdisks. These guys claim that they're able to get at the RAM from 3.2GB-4GB, plus the RAM beyond the 4GB limit of 32-bit operating systems. :o

RamDisk Plus 9 has a most unique feature. Our patent pending technology can access memory beyond the limitation imposed by a Windows 32-bit operating system! In other words, RamDisk Plus 9 can use "unmanaged" Windows' memory e.g. above 4GB. It can also use the stubbornly inaccessable memory between 3.2GB and 4GB.


So I decided to try it out. I made a 768MB ramdisk and according to the program it's living in the 3.2GB-4GB gap of my XP 32-bit system. This seems almost too good to be true, doesn't it? I wonder how it works.

Back when I was using 32-bit XP I tried out Gavotte Ramdisk, which does the same thing and doesn't cost anything. I couldn't find too many uses for a ~512MB ramdisk though. A word of warning -- from the little bit of fooling around I did I think you might be able to create a scenario where the system runs out of free system page table entries if you had a lot of ram and tried to create a big ramdisk in conjunction with using the /3GB switch. I only have 4GiB of ram so I can't verify that.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:33 pm

bhtooefr wrote:If it works, I'd put a swapfile there. :P


Yeah, that's exactly what I did. I also directed the Firefox cache to it, which seems to have made a great improvement in creamy smoothness while browsing.

This memory management stuff is pretty interesting. I ought to dig into OS fundamentals at some point.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:50 pm

I have to say, the irony of using a RAM disk for swap is quite massive, though. :lol:
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:34 am

same thing happend to me ,i just updated my vista
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:33 pm

I know I may sound simple here, but I'll go ahead and ask anyway:

If I have Windows XP Professional (32-bit), and currently have 2GB of RAM, is there any benefit at all of going to 4GB, assuming that I do not make any BIOS changes?

From reading this thread, it seems XP will only recognize a little over 3GB, which to me, is still better than 2GB. I bought the extra 2GB already for a couple reasons, first it was dirt cheap ($15 after rebates), and secondly, I'll eventually be going to Windows 7 (or even Vista) 64-bit. Is this memory "overlap" going to actually hurt my system's performance rather than help it?

My motherboard is fairly new (Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L) so it probably has the option discussed in this thread, is that something I should even bother with before changing the OS?

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

Postposted on Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:18 pm

Yes, there is benefit, and I believe it'll have full-performance dual channel that just going to 3 GiB will not have.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:13 pm

bhtooefr wrote:Yes, there is benefit, and I believe it'll have full-performance dual channel that just going to 3 GiB will not have.

Strictly speaking going to 3GiB and dual channel are orthogonal. You can do 2x1+2x.5 to get a dual channel 3GiB config.

But yes, there is a benefit, provided that you can use that 1GiB extra of RAM. Say if you have Photoshop pretty much hogging the 2GiB it can use in a regular 32-bit app (let's leave /3GB alone for now), and if you want other apps to run smoothly, it makes sense to give the OS more RAM to play with.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:43 pm

If your commit change (as reported by Process Explorer or TaskMan) regularly edges up towards 2GB, you'll probably see a benefit. If you've noticed serious paging (eg you've got an app minimized and it seems to take a long time, with lots of disk activity, to become responsive when you restore it), you'll probably see a benefit. Absent those kinds of scenarios, you probably won't notice much of a boost. Windows will cache stuff in that memory (and Vista and Win7 are more aggressive about that than XP is) but unless your system is starved for memory it's rarely going to make a perceptible difference.

Then again, memory is cheap and apparently you've already bought it, so you might as well go ahead and install it. There's something to be said for making the experience in the worst case better, even if it is infrequent. It certainly won't hurt performance.

And the memory hoist/remap option isn't something you should be worrying about with 32bit XP. You'll want it turned on when you install a 64bit OS (or a server OS or Linux).
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Re:

Postposted on Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:39 am

heruur wrote::o


from a tech report article

32-bit OS's do have enough address space for 4GB of RAM, but that figure is an upper limit for all memory in a system, including video RAM . In practice, that means 32-bit versions of Windows will only let you use 3 to 3.5GB of actual system memory—and they'll normally restrict each application's RAM budget to 2GB.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/17102/2

which means a 1 gig video card is a real system resource hog!

re 64 bit: if you read newegg comments most guys with driver issues are using a 64bit os
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:40 am

aff_tim wrote:
TR system guide wrote:...including video RAM. In practice, that means 32-bit versions of Windows will only let you use 3 to 3.5GB of actual system memory...
which means a 1 gig video card is a real system resource hog!
It's only a problem if you're still using some obsolete 32-bit operating system from eight years ago. If you switched to a modern 64-bit OS three years ago, or if you buy the latest 64-bit operating system when it is released just two months from now, you won't have to worry about that silly old "4 GiB barrier" problem from way back in 2001.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:54 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
aff_tim wrote:
TR system guide wrote:...including video RAM. In practice, that means 32-bit versions of Windows will only let you use 3 to 3.5GB of actual system memory...
which means a 1 gig video card is a real system resource hog!
It's only a problem if you're still using some obsolete 32-bit operating system from eight years ago. If you switched to a modern 64-bit OS three years ago, or if you buy the latest 64-bit operating system when it is released just two months from now, you won't have to worry about that silly old "4 GiB barrier" problem from way back in 2001.


on almost any add on card / add on device comment on newegg .. the 2 eggs poster are almost all using a 64 bit OS
(if you discount the old motherboards & such :oops: )
just reporting observed facts .. I cannot even count to 64 bits.. not enough digits.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:41 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:It's only a problem if you're still using some obsolete 32-bit operating system from eight years ago. If you switched to a modern 64-bit OS three years ago, or if you buy the latest 64-bit operating system when it is released just two months from now, you won't have to worry about that silly old "4 GiB barrier" problem from way back in 2001.

Some of the early motherboards which supported 64-bit CPUs still did not support more than 32 bits of physical address. I've seen a number of Socket 754 boards which were limited to 4 GB of physical RAM, even though most of the CPUs designed for that socket had 64-bit capability. So depending on exactly when you bought your 64-bit-capable system, you may still need to upgrade the motherboard/CPU/RAM to use more than 4 GB.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:12 pm

just brew it! wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:It's only a problem if you're still using some obsolete 32-bit operating system from eight years ago. If you switched to a modern 64-bit OS three years ago, or if you buy the latest 64-bit operating system when it is released just two months from now, you won't have to worry about that silly old "4 GiB barrier" problem from way back in 2001.
Some of the early motherboards which supported 64-bit CPUs still did not support more than 32 bits of physical address. I've seen a number of Socket 754 boards which were limited to 4 GB of physical RAM, even though most of the CPUs designed for that socket had 64-bit capability. So depending on exactly when you bought your 64-bit-capable system, you may still need to upgrade the motherboard/CPU/RAM to use more than 4 GB.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:26 pm

And there are those of us with laptops that support 64-bit processors, but their chipsets have the same hard 32-bit limit. And have special needs that can't be met in a given price range, or in some cases at all, with Santa Rosa or newer.

(Yes, in my specific case, there is a Santa Rosa board for my machine, but my choices are either integrated graphics or a nVidia GPU that either (pre-fix) comes unbonded from the packaging internally with thermal cycling and isn't repairable without a mobo swap, or (post-fix) rips itself in half internally with thermal cycling and isn't repairable without a mobo swap. I'll stick with 3 GiB max RAM and a fairly fast ATI GPU that doesn't do either of those things, and maybe use the second Mini-PCIe slot for a small SSD dedicated to either swap or ReadyBoost.)

Anyway, if you need 32-bit drivers, Windows, and lots of RAM, there is another option that I think has been mentioned many times in this thread. Windows Server 2003 for the XP fans, Windows Server 2008 for the Vista fans. (Unfortunately, Server 2008 R2 is 64-bit only. But, there may be tools to help with making Windows 7 x32 behave as if it were a server edition...)
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:30 pm

aff_tim wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:
aff_tim wrote:which means a 1 gig video card is a real system resource hog!
It's only a problem if you're still using some obsolete 32-bit operating system from eight years ago. If you switched to a modern 64-bit OS three years ago, or if you buy the latest 64-bit operating system when it is released just two months from now, you won't have to worry about that silly old "4 GiB barrier" problem from way back in 2001.


on almost any add on card / add on device comment on newegg .. the 2 eggs poster are almost all using a 64 bit OS
(if you discount the old motherboards & such :oops: )
just reporting observed facts .. I cannot even count to 64 bits.. not enough digits.

Newegg comments are "facts"? :o
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:50 am

Newegg comments are "facts"? :o

I think newegg user comments on usability / drivers accurately depict what that user experienced.
a HUGE % of driver issues are by users with 64 bit OS.
I skip the 5 egg (be true to your school, US #1 types) & 1 egg (POed types) & focus on 2, 3 & 4 egg
I definitely review user comments before I purchase.

The 2 egg comments are dominated by 64 bit os. that is a fact. if those users are not truthful then that is a separate issue.

In an earlier post in this thread I cited a tech report article:
32-bit OS's do have enough address space for 4GB of RAM, but that figure is an upper limit for all memory in a system, including video RAM . In practice, that means 32-bit versions of Windows will only let you use 3 to 3.5GB of actual system memory—and they'll normally restrict each application's RAM budget to 2GB.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/17102/2

I find that article to be extremely relevant to this thread.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:01 am

Those statistics don't mean much without some kind of baseline of how many of the people posting on newegg reviews are using an x64 OS. Newegg has quite an enthusiast following, so I'd guess that number is quite high.
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Re: Re:

Postposted on Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:08 am

aff_tim wrote:Newegg comments are "facts"? :o

I think newegg user comments on usability / drivers accurately depict what that user experienced.
a HUGE % of driver issues are by users with 64 bit OS.
I skip the 5 egg (be true to your school, US #1 types) & 1 egg (POed types) & focus on 2, 3 & 4 egg
I definitely review user comments before I purchase.

The 2 egg comments are dominated by 64 bit os. that is a fact. if those users are not truthful then that is a separate issue.

Driver bugs (you just brought up usability so I'm not going to address that yet, if you like please include some links) have little to do with basic architecture of x64 systems. Bugs are bugs. The memory-mapped I/O limitation is technically not a bug. People who had issues with drivers are usually XP64 where drivers don't even exist, or early Vista adopters where Nvidia was slow to get their act together on driver bugs. For newer hardware and the latest drivers, things have improved a lot such that recommending against Vista/Win7 64-bit does not make sense anymore. When they mentioned "64-bit OS", did they qualify with what?

Case in point: i'm on Win7 64-bit RC. My drivers for the 3450 kept bugging out, but once I switched to 4550 with the same Catalyst it is fine. As the RTM approaches I'm pretty sure they would have eventually fixed support for slightly older hardware (ancient ones I don't care about). So I am pretty happy with up-to-date hardware and drivers on a "64-bit OS".

SuperSpy wrote:Those statistics don't mean much without some kind of baseline of how many of the people posting on newegg reviews are using an x64 OS. Newegg has quite an enthusiast following, so I'd guess that number is quite high.
Everyone who commented on newegg claims they are an expert but I don't think most of them really are. Also enthusiast != people who know what they are doing. So I learn to take those comments with a huge bucket of salt.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:00 pm

>The memory-mapped I/O limitation is technically not a bug. People who had issues with drivers are usually XP64 where drivers don't even exist, or early Vista adopters where Nvidia was slow to get their act together on driver bugs. For newer hardware and the latest drivers, things have improved a lot such that recommending against Vista/Win7 64-bit does not make sense anymore. When they mentioned "64-bit OS", did they qualify with what?<

No doubt some of the 64bit OS issues are related to 'novice users' (such as myself :oops: ) not obvious pros.
My goal is to optimize my computer experience .. & not need to constantly fool with win updates & driver updates.
my thought is that the newegg guys that had issues do not work in a computer related biz either.
I wish I had not brought up the 64 bit issue driver (obviously erroneous) compatibility issue..

For me the long established 32 bit OS is more than satisfactory. I seldom multi-task.
The slow part of my computer is usually ME & the KEYBOARD! ! :D

What about the Tech Report article that states "video memory" counts in the 4 gig limit?
as I read that article, the 3.x gig that 32 bit windows can use includes the video card memory?

does a 1 gig video card mean that 32 bit windows can use only 2.x gig system ram? .. >meant as a question not statement<

3.x 32 bit usable system ram - 1 gig video = 2.x gig usable system ram in a 32 bit OS ? >meant as a question not statement<

32 bit system usable RAM ( DDR-2 in the RAM slots ) with a 1 gig video card = 2.x ? >meant as a question not statement<
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:19 pm

aff_tim wrote:What about the Tech Report article that states "video memory" counts in the 4 gig limit?
as I read that article, the 3.x gig that 32 bit windows can use includes the video card memory?
Windows can use all the memory that isn't being shadowed by memory-mapped devices. Video cards are (usually) memory-mapped devices, and thus are part of the unavailable memory, not in addition to it. In other words, a big chunk of the difference between the 4GB of theoretically available memory and the 3.xGB that is actually available is the memory consumed by the video card. There's no requirement that all the memory on the video card be memory-mapped, either, so you could have (say) a 1GB card that shadows less than 1GB of system memory.
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Re: Dude, where's my 4GB?

Postposted on Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:25 pm

UberGerbil wrote:
aff_tim wrote:What about the Tech Report article that states "video memory" counts in the 4 gig limit?
as I read that article, the 3.x gig that 32 bit windows can use includes the video card memory?


Windows can use all the memory that isn't being shadowed by memory-mapped devices. Video cards are (usually) memory-mapped devices, and thus are part of the unavailable memory, not in addition to it. In other words, a big chunk of the difference between the 4GB of theoretically available memory and the 3.xGB that is actually available is the memory consumed by the video card. There's no requirement that all the memory on the video card be memory-mapped, either, so you could have (say) a 1GB card that shadows less than 1GB of system memory.


:o :lol: :o
sounds like the available memory is actually a moving target with the % of on board video ram being utilized at any given instant to be a factor involved in the available system memory issue.

sounds like an investment priority of faster GPU instead of more video card ram would be prudent for system ram optimization.
I guess some games like more video ram than others. ??

I require a video card .. but thought the 'new' on board side port video memory to be a great innovation (for my mom's new sempron / celeron box)

but as I now understand it, on-board video chips using system ram is not the resource hog I perceived the on-board chip to be.
& the new side port video memory is actually of less benefit than would appear at 1st (well marketed) glance.

I'll put 2 x 2 gig PC 8500 memory paired with a 512meg video card & let windows sort it out.

I understand more this afternoon than I did this morning .. thanks!
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