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1 + 2 = 2.5? [RAM]

An-DAn-D EnthusiastAshevilleRegistered User regular
edited September 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
No, not some crazy calculus thing.

I had two 1gb sticks of RAM in my computer. As such, my computer would happily report that it had 2gb of RAM available.

Today, I replaced one with a 2gb stick of RAM, expecting the reported number to rise to 3gb. Instead, I was somewhat disappointed to find that the reported number was 2.5gb. Which, of course, is confusing.

What is going on? Is this normal?

An-D on

Posts

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    If you have a large amount of GPU memory and only a 32-bit OS, then your RAM will cap out.

    So it sounds like you have at least 1 gig of video RAM going on... that would explain it.

    If you don't have that much video RAM then it could be something else.

    Jasconius on
  • ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    You need a 64-bit OS.

    Zek on
  • An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    That....makes me sad. But I'm going to be honest and say I'm not 100% sure what that means. The main thing I remember from high school computer classes is how to fix networks and hardware stuff.

    graphics2.jpg

    graphics.jpg


    Does this help figure out if there is something faulty with the RAM stick itself or just the limitations on my computer?

    An-D on
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    You can't fix it, it's a 32bit OS limitation. It only recognizes up to 2.5GB of RAM.

    Zombiemambo on
    JKKaAGp.png
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    More than you ever wanted to know:
    http://www.dansdata.com/askdan00015.htm

    Hardware method: Put each stick of ram in by itself, and make sure that everything reports correctly.

    Software method: Go into device manager, View ->"Resources By Connection" and check out the memory. Either post it, or just see what's using that space.

    EDIT: Note that video cards start at the *4gb* point, and work backwards. One 1/2gb video card won't cause any effect.

    evilmrhenry on
  • Last SonLast Son Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    You can't fix it, it's a 32bit OS limitation. It only recognizes up to 2.5GB of RAM.

    Um, no? My 32-bit windows XP copy recognizes my 3.07 gigs of system RAM in addition to my 512MB video card RAM. IIRC 32-bit OSs top out at 4gigs of ram, system and video card combined.

    It should be reading all 3 gigs of system RAM just fine for him.

    Last Son on
  • An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    So, it would require me update my OS to something new? D:


    Here is the device manager dealie:
    graphics3.jpg

    An-D on
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Well, based on that, you've got about 1.5gb (A0000000-FFFFFFFF) reserved for system resources (including your video card), so you would only be able to have 2.5gb of additional RAM.

    Daenris on
  • KrikeeKrikee Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Not every motherboard will have all the traces necessary to address 32-bits worth of memory (how many pennies could they have possibly saved?) which could account for some of the missing RAM. Why your motherboard is saving 1.5GB for itself though is a mystery...

    Krikee on
  • An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    My computer is old, has been used by many people and has a lot of weird crap that I didn't install running in the background. I'm gonna fiddle with stuff and try to make all that go away. Maybe that will free up RAM?

    An-D on
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    It's unlikely that removing stuff is going to free up memory that's being reserved for hardware/os purposes. Like 1gb of it is on the PCI bus. Now half that is just your video card, but the other half is reserved for other PCI cards. The rest is just unhelpfully called "motherboard resources."

    There is likely not a whole lot you can do to free up this reserved memory. If you really want to, the best bet would be reinstalling to a clean windows install, but even that is not guaranteed to free up anything. Without upgrading to a 64bit OS, you're likely stuck where it is now.

    Daenris on
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    "Weird crap running in the background" isn't at the right level to cause this. Doing the math, you've got 2.5gb for ram, .5gb for your video card, .5gb for the rest of your PCI bus, and .5gb for generic stuff. That's odd, but adds up right. Any problems are either going to be at the OS level, BIOS level, or motherboard level.

    evilmrhenry on
  • An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Ah, got it. Well, I'm not having much issue with games and whatnot at the moment. I mostly got the 2gb stick because it was on sale and my computer was seeming a smidge slow in these fast-paced times...so there is no real rush on my part to get that extra 0.5gb.

    But 64bit OSes. I'm guessing I'm not going to be able to find the 64-Bit Windows XP anymore, right?

    An-D on
  • TzyrTzyr Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Because you did not hit the 4 gig limit like others have said, my best guess is that the ram you just bought is double sided ram and your motherboard does not support that? I had that happened, granted though that was a long time ago...but at least that is something else you can look into.

    Tzyr on
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Tzyr wrote: »
    Because you did not hit the 4 gig limit like others have said, my best guess is that the ram you just bought is double sided ram and your motherboard does not support that? I had that happened, granted though that was a long time ago...but at least that is something else you can look into.

    Easy enough to test, too. Just pull everything except the new stick.

    evilmrhenry on
  • An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    An-D on
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Tzyr wrote: »
    Because you did not hit the 4 gig limit like others have said, my best guess is that the ram you just bought is double sided ram and your motherboard does not support that? I had that happened, granted though that was a long time ago...but at least that is something else you can look into.

    No, all his memory is accounted for as evilmrhenry posted. The motherboard is reserving about 1.5gb (.5 for graphics card, .5 for other PCI, .5 for random motherboard stuff). That seems high in my experience, but it's what his OS is reporting as the reserved memory space, which explains why he can only see 2.5 of his installed RAM.

    He IS hitting the 4gb limit, because the 4gb limit is on total addressable memory. The graphics card counts against this, as does other memory space reserved by the OS (another 1gb in this case as shown in his image).

    Daenris on
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Yeah unfortunately, the only way to solve this is switching to a 64bit OS. And going from 32bit Windows to 64bit always requires a clean install. Since the difference between 2gb and 2.5gb is not so large, I'm not sure i'd recommend investing in Win7 just for that. (Though if the computer has switched hands a few times, and you don't really know what's running, a fresh install may speed you up quite a bit).

    SanderJK on
    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    He would also need a 64 bit system or a 64 bit OS won't do him any good.

    MKR on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Ani, does your motherboard have an onboard video port? You might be running both video devices at the same time which would explain why your RAM is so low.

    You could disabled the onboard video in the BIOS.

    Jasconius on
  • An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    There is an onboard video card, I'm pretty sure. I put in the GeForce card shortly after I got the computer and have been running straight off that ever since.

    How would I go about disabling it?

    An-D on
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    An-D wrote: »
    There is an onboard video card, I'm pretty sure. I put in the GeForce card shortly after I got the computer and have been running straight off that ever since.

    How would I go about disabling it?

    When you start your computer you should see something like

    Press [] to enter setup, where [] is a key name.

    Just poke around those menus.

    Jasconius on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    MKR wrote: »
    He would also need a 64 bit system or a 64 bit OS won't do him any good.

    This is important. Would his mobo support the 64-bit OS?

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Uhh, unless his motherboard was made 8 years ago, yes.

    Jasconius on
  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Him getting a 64 Bit OS won't do him one ounce of good in this situation.

    It's most likely due to onBoard video and windows reserving it's own little pocket of memory. Yeah it's high (check the BIOS settings like mentioned) but it's not a problem.

    Aumni on
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/aumni/ Battlenet: Aumni#1978 GW2: Aumni.1425 PSN: Aumnius
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Jasconius wrote: »
    Uhh, unless his motherboard was made 8 years ago, yes.

    64 bit hasn't been standard for anywhere near 8 years.

    I don't think there even was a 64 bit consumer CPU in 2001.

    MKR on
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