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32 bit Vista, 4 gigs of RAM

WavechaserWavechaser Registered User regular
So I recently upgraded my system from 2 gigs, to 4 of 3200 DDR RAM (two dual-sticks). After hastling to find two different manufacturers of RAM to play nice together, I finally got my system to see all 4 gigs.

After doing this, I decided to do a system check, where it rates your systems components and gives it a score.

Almost every category was sitting at 5.9. Graphics Card, Processor, etc etc.

My Memory (RAM) shows 4.3

What the hell is that about? How is it possible with 4 gigs of RAM and the bare necessities running in the background, that my memory is still hurting?

PierceNeck wrote: »
People still do the anal thing?
Wavechaser on

Posts

  • bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    More ram != better ram. You didnt cheap on the ram and buy some value ram did you?

    bigwah on
    LoL Tribunal:
    "Was cursing, in broken english at his team, and at our team. made fun of dead family members and mentioned he had sex with a dog."
    "Hope he dies tbh but a ban would do."
  • ShortassShortass Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    bigwah wrote: »
    More ram != better ram. You didnt cheap on the ram and buy some value ram did you?

    Massively incorrect. Any value brand of ddr800 or higher ram is fine for the topest of top end computing. More is always better, especially with Vista.

    That said, don't just the Vista index of lies as any indication of system performance. Real benchmarking programs like Sandra and just regular tasks should be an indication of whether or not you're satisfied. As long as the actual sticks of ram are okay and there's enough power in the system I wouldn't worry about it.

    Shortass on
    I'm probably lying.
  • WavechaserWavechaser Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Power may be an issue. I've upgraded almost everything in the computer, from the processor (to a dual core), the graphics card (Nvidia 7950GX2), and now the RAM, i'm wondering if maybe lack of power is something I should start worrying about. I haven't upgraded my supply in years, and actually forgot what I put in there. Is there a way to test if I'm getting enough power to everything?

    Also, i'll have to check out Sandra, I'm assuming that's a downloadable application I can use for benchmarking?

    Wavechaser on
    PierceNeck wrote: »
    People still do the anal thing?
  • ShortassShortass Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Google Sandra, yeah it's free.

    You should definitely check out your PSU and make sure the rails and overall wattage is enough for your rig. Find out what it is!

    Shortass on
    I'm probably lying.
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Shortass wrote: »
    bigwah wrote: »
    More ram != better ram. You didnt cheap on the ram and buy some value ram did you?

    Massively incorrect. Any value brand of ddr800 or higher ram is fine for the topest of top end computing. More is always better, especially with Vista.

    That said, don't just the Vista index of lies as any indication of system performance. Real benchmarking programs like Sandra and just regular tasks should be an indication of whether or not you're satisfied. As long as the actual sticks of ram are okay and there's enough power in the system I wouldn't worry about it.

    Of course, you'll see in the first line of the OP that the poster has upgraded to four sticks of DDR PC3200, or DDR 400. Your problem is not that you don't have enough RAM, the problem is that it about half as fast as what is recommended for Vista. (DDR2 800)

    Unfortunately, getting into 240-pin DDR2 means a mobo upgrade. Basically, you are not getting DDR RAM to push 6.0 ratings no matter what you do. Sorry. :|

    Two other things confuse me: 32-bit Vista generally won't recognize more than 3.5gigs of RAM, and less if you have a big vid card. What did you do to get it to recognize all four gigs? Or were you saying you finally got it to work with all four gigs in there and you assumed it was recognizing all of it?

    The second thing is that I worry your voltages may be stressing one set of RAM more than the other. You should really double check to see what the acceptable ranges of each of the DIMMs are and make sure you are within them. You don't want to burn out one of the sticks (or worse, the mobo) just to get four gigs. A fifth of a volt can mean the difference between dead, functioning, and on fire with RAM. (this is why I don't think power is an issue... you'd be experiencing video issues first if you were short on power, and you wouldn't be getting a boot if your RAM was underpowered)

    MrMonroe on
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Shortass wrote: »
    bigwah wrote: »
    More ram != better ram. You didnt cheap on the ram and buy some value ram did you?

    Massively incorrect. Any value brand of ddr800 or higher ram is fine for the topest of top end computing. More is always better, especially with Vista.

    That said, don't just the Vista index of lies as any indication of system performance. Real benchmarking programs like Sandra and just regular tasks should be an indication of whether or not you're satisfied. As long as the actual sticks of ram are okay and there's enough power in the system I wouldn't worry about it.

    Of course, you'll see in the first line of the OP that the poster has upgraded to four sticks of DDR PC3200, or DDR 400. Your problem is not that you don't have enough RAM, the problem is that it about half as fast as what is recommended for Vista. (DDR2 800)

    Unfortunately, getting into 240-pin DDR2 means a mobo upgrade. Basically, you are not getting DDR RAM to push 6.0 ratings no matter what you do. Sorry. :|

    Two other things confuse me: 32-bit Vista generally won't recognize more than 3.5gigs of RAM, and less if you have a big vid card. What did you do to get it to recognize all four gigs? Or were you saying you finally got it to work with all four gigs in there and you assumed it was recognizing all of it?

    The second thing is that I worry your voltages may be stressing one set of RAM more than the other. You should really double check to see what the acceptable ranges of each of the DIMMs are and make sure you are within them. You don't want to burn out one of the sticks (or worse, the mobo) just to get four gigs. A fifth of a volt can mean the difference between dead, functioning, and on fire with RAM. (this is why I don't think power is an issue... you'd be experiencing video issues first if you were short on power, and you wouldn't be getting a boot if your RAM was underpowered)


    32-bit vista was changed in SP1 to display all 4 gigs of memory, but it'll still only address ~3.3-~3.5 gigs of it.

    Dehumanized on
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Oh, I see. So now instead of cutting out the overhead so you can actually address it all, it just lies to you. Good job, M$.

    MrMonroe on
  • CmdPromptCmdPrompt Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Oh, I see. So now instead of cutting out the overhead so you can actually address it all, it just lies to you. Good job, M$.

    Thats a limitation of any 32-bit OS. :|

    CmdPrompt on
    GxewS.png
  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    CmdPrompt wrote: »
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Oh, I see. So now instead of cutting out the overhead so you can actually address it all, it just lies to you. Good job, M$.

    Thats a limitation of any 32-bit OS. :|

    It's obviously the limitation of Vista's DRM that restricts the OS to less than four gigs because the rest is being used to monitor your activity and send it back through WGA.

    You can tell someone's right by their use of clever dollar signs in acronyms.

    Morskittar on
    snm_sig.jpg
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yeah, it's not something that Microsoft can magically get around. 32-bit operating systems just can't see anything above 4 gigs of RAM, and your system/video memory will get first pick of addresses.

    I'm guessing for SP1 microsoft decided that they'd get less complaints of "My computer shows 4gb of ram but can only use 3.3ghz of it." than they got for "Why is my computer only showing 3.3 gigs of RAM? I put 4 in there...".

    Dehumanized on
  • WavechaserWavechaser Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Well, thanks for the responses. I upgraded this computer a few years ago, and already it's like "Better replace the entire MOBO in order to be somewhat functional!". So tired of this shit, because upgrading the MOBO means getting entire new RAM, and throwing out the stuff i've already invested in. Hell, it's almost worth it to return my RAM for the 80.00 I spent, buy a brand new motherboard for 160 to 200.00 and get new fucking RAM for it.

    It's like, oh yeah, you have 4 gigs, but it's only 128 pin DDR olol sorry that sucks! There's DDR, SDRAM, DDR2 fucking hell, when did this stuff get so convoluted?

    It's almost like building your own system isn't even worth it anymore. They are constantly coming out with new formats for things like RAM, and PCI-Express, and oh what's that? None of it works with your current motherboard! OH DARN GUESS YOU HAVE TO BUY ALL NEW SHIT.

    /end rant

    Wavechaser on
    PierceNeck wrote: »
    People still do the anal thing?
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    It's always been a fact of life for computer building that newer, faster, better, non-backwards compatible standards will emerge. Just gotta deal with it.

    Dehumanized on
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Ok, the straight dip on 32-bit vs 64 from wiki.

    If you read that right, you'll see that a 32-bit architecture should be able to address 2^32 bits of RAM, which actually comes out to 4.29 gigabytes. That article used to be more specific, I don't know why it was simplified to just "4GB." Obviously, there's a disconnect here when people with 32-bit OSs can't address the full 4.29GB. Where does this come from? Overhead, waste, poor coding, and yes, video memory. I've still seen people with older cards getting less than 3.5.

    Microsoft, instead of endeavoring to eliminate that waste, has simply started lying to its customers in order to make their 32-bit OS more attractive. Is that fair? May I continue making snide comments about their business practices now?

    MrMonroe on
  • El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Wavechaser, at the risk of sounding condescending, building computers isn't something that's particularly easy. The ability of the average Joe to build a working machine from parts is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it's awesome that you can do it, and it will probably work just fine. On the other hand, no one is going to hold your hand while you do it to keep you from fucking it over completely. If you're serious about following this road, there are plenty of resources on the Internet to point you in the right direction, and there's forums like this one to get advice and encouragement. Hell, I have a degree in computer science, and I always do tons of research before building a new box because I'm not exactly rich and I don't want to waste money on stuff that either doesn't work or meet my needs. I've made my share of mistakes, too, but it doesn't do any good to bitch about things you can't change, like the fact that 32 bits means a maximum of 4GB of addressable memory. Don't let it get you down, it's part of the learning process. But the payoff potential is huge. My current box kicks absolute ass (for me anyways) and I spent $1k on something that would have cost me $3k retail. It's definitely worth the effort, because the alternative is so much more expensive. Keep up the good work!

    El Guaco on



  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Ok, the straight dip on 32-bit vs 64 from wiki.

    If you read that right, you'll see that a 32-bit architecture should be able to address 2^32 bits of RAM, which actually comes out to 4.29 gigabytes. That article used to be more specific, I don't know why it was simplified to just "4GB." Obviously, there's a disconnect here when people with 32-bit OSs can't address the full 4.29GB. Where does this come from? Overhead, waste, poor coding, and yes, video memory. I've still seen people with older cards getting less than 3.5.

    Microsoft, instead of endeavoring to eliminate that waste, has simply started lying to its customers in order to make their 32-bit OS more attractive. Is that fair? May I continue making snide comments about their business practices now?

    Units of memory always convert by bases of 2. So, you don't divide by 1000, you divide by 1024.

    2^32 bits = 4194304 kb * 1024 = 4096 MB * 1024 * 1024 = 4 GB * 1024 * 1024 * 1024.

    There's no "waste". The system must reserve memory addresses for your video card, cache, and on-mobo/device memory before it can give addresses to your RAM.

    Dehumanized on
  • CmdPromptCmdPrompt Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Ok, the straight dip on 32-bit vs 64 from wiki.

    If you read that right, you'll see that a 32-bit architecture should be able to address 2^32 bits of RAM, which actually comes out to 4.29 gigabytes. That article used to be more specific, I don't know why it was simplified to just "4GB." Obviously, there's a disconnect here when people with 32-bit OSs can't address the full 4.29GB. Where does this come from? Overhead, waste, poor coding, and yes, video memory. I've still seen people with older cards getting less than 3.5.

    Microsoft, instead of endeavoring to eliminate that waste, has simply started lying to its customers in order to make their 32-bit OS more attractive. Is that fair? May I continue making snide comments about their business practices now?
    Not reading up on a topic and then making snide comments is just making an ass of yourself really.

    CmdPrompt on
    GxewS.png
  • WavechaserWavechaser Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    El Guaco wrote: »
    Wavechaser, at the risk of sounding condescending, building computers isn't something that's particularly easy. The ability of the average Joe to build a working machine from parts is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it's awesome that you can do it, and it will probably work just fine. On the other hand, no one is going to hold your hand while you do it to keep you from fucking it over completely. If you're serious about following this road, there are plenty of resources on the Internet to point you in the right direction, and there's forums like this one to get advice and encouragement. Hell, I have a degree in computer science, and I always do tons of research before building a new box because I'm not exactly rich and I don't want to waste money on stuff that either doesn't work or meet my needs. I've made my share of mistakes, too, but it doesn't do any good to bitch about things you can't change, like the fact that 32 bits means a maximum of 4GB of addressable memory. Don't let it get you down, it's part of the learning process. But the payoff potential is huge. My current box kicks absolute ass (for me anyways) and I spent $1k on something that would have cost me $3k retail. It's definitely worth the effort, because the alternative is so much more expensive. Keep up the good work!

    Yeah, I was just ranting for a bit. A year ago I was like "Nice, $600.00 upgrading my machine and it's back to being nice and fast and I'm set for at least a few years", and here I am a year later, looking at another $600 investment in order to keep it up to date. I know it's just a fact of life when it comes to computers, sometimes though it just seems like the life expectancy of these things gets shorter and shorter each time, yet the price remains about the same in order to keep it somewhat fresh. Also, a lot of my frustration is coming from a lack of knowledge on my part. When I decided to make the investment for Vista, I didn't do enough research to compare it with the 64 bit version, which I should have gotten from square one.

    I used to be into IT and keeping up with this stuff was easy, I dealt with computers every day and was always onto the newest latest and greatest technology. These last couple years though i'm in a completely different field of work and I just feel like this stuff is flying by me. First it was PCI to PCI Express, then DDR to DDR2, from regular AMD/Intel Processors to Dual and Quad Core. It's overwhelming after not following things for awhile, to all of the sudden want to upgrade and be like "Woah, what the hell?".

    After building my first computer in 1998, i'll never ever go back to ever buying a pre-built PC, I get a lot of enjoyment out of putting these entire intricate systems together from parts, it really is a great feeling. I guess what it comes down to is just spending more time researching this stuff and keeping up with all of it. Anyways I digress, but you will probably be seeing me a lot more around these forums. :D

    Wavechaser on
    PierceNeck wrote: »
    People still do the anal thing?
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Ok, my bad. It was my impression that the overhead varies, since I've seen it vary from 32-bit XP to 32-bit Vista on nearly identical machines. Not sure what's going on there. Still, it's not reasonable for Vista to simply lie to the user about what's going on in the computer.

    MrMonroe on
  • El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Ok, my bad. It was my impression that the overhead varies, since I've seen it vary from 32-bit XP to 32-bit Vista on nearly identical machines. Not sure what's going on there. Still, it's not reasonable for Vista to simply lie to the user about what's going on in the computer.

    "Lie"? Them's fighting words. You make it sound like MS is out to defraud users, when they've done the exact opposite. That is, Vista is telling you exactly how much physically addressable memory is available for the operating system to use. Vista would be lying if it told you it could use all 4GB of RAM! And the overhead does vary, as different hardware (like video cards) don't always take up the same exact amount of memory to do their jobs.

    El Guaco on



  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Nearly identical is not identical hardware. Also, it isn't just memory that requires addresses. Every single piece of hardware has a range of addresses from the pool of usable address space.

    stigweard on
  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    stigweard wrote: »
    Also, it isn't just memory that requires addresses. Every single piece of hardware has a range of addresses from the pool of usable address space.
    I'm so glad someone has cleared this up. Because seriously. If you're going to go off on "abloo M$ iz st34ling my R4MZ and lying to me about what I purchased" you should at least have a frickin' clue as to what you're talking about. :?

    Vista pre-SP1: showed the amount of RAM that was available for it to address.
    Vista post-SP1: shows the total amount of RAM installed in the system.

    Both are accurate numbers, they just represent different things.

    The link that CmdPrompt presented is a GREAT explanation of exactly what's happening.
    To be perfectly clear, this isn't a Windows problem-- it's an x86 hardware problem.

    iTunesIsEvil on
  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. |She/Her| Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Wavechaser wrote: »
    El Guaco wrote: »
    Wavechaser, at the risk of sounding condescending, building computers isn't something that's particularly easy. The ability of the average Joe to build a working machine from parts is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it's awesome that you can do it, and it will probably work just fine. On the other hand, no one is going to hold your hand while you do it to keep you from fucking it over completely. If you're serious about following this road, there are plenty of resources on the Internet to point you in the right direction, and there's forums like this one to get advice and encouragement. Hell, I have a degree in computer science, and I always do tons of research before building a new box because I'm not exactly rich and I don't want to waste money on stuff that either doesn't work or meet my needs. I've made my share of mistakes, too, but it doesn't do any good to bitch about things you can't change, like the fact that 32 bits means a maximum of 4GB of addressable memory. Don't let it get you down, it's part of the learning process. But the payoff potential is huge. My current box kicks absolute ass (for me anyways) and I spent $1k on something that would have cost me $3k retail. It's definitely worth the effort, because the alternative is so much more expensive. Keep up the good work!

    Yeah, I was just ranting for a bit. A year ago I was like "Nice, $600.00 upgrading my machine and it's back to being nice and fast and I'm set for at least a few years", and here I am a year later, looking at another $600 investment in order to keep it up to date. I know it's just a fact of life when it comes to computers, sometimes though it just seems like the life expectancy of these things gets shorter and shorter each time, yet the price remains about the same in order to keep it somewhat fresh. Also, a lot of my frustration is coming from a lack of knowledge on my part. When I decided to make the investment for Vista, I didn't do enough research to compare it with the 64 bit version, which I should have gotten from square one.

    I used to be into IT and keeping up with this stuff was easy, I dealt with computers every day and was always onto the newest latest and greatest technology. These last couple years though i'm in a completely different field of work and I just feel like this stuff is flying by me. First it was PCI to PCI Express, then DDR to DDR2, from regular AMD/Intel Processors to Dual and Quad Core. It's overwhelming after not following things for awhile, to all of the sudden want to upgrade and be like "Woah, what the hell?".

    After building my first computer in 1998, I'll never ever go back to ever buying a pre-built PC, I get a lot of enjoyment out of putting these entire intricate systems together from parts, it really is a great feeling. I guess what it comes down to is just spending more time researching this stuff and keeping up with all of it. Anyways I digress, but you will probably be seeing me a lot more around these forums. :D
    As Tycho himself says, it's a lot like a very nerdy form of Voodoo. :)

    Zilla360 on
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