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How much memory can Windows 7 32-bit support

    Question

  • Can W-7 32-bit use the full 4 GB RAM I have in my system?  Vista 32 could only address approx. 3.6 GB.

    I've been beta-testing W-7 32-bit and it shows a full 4GB available, unlike Vista, but I'm not sure if that is just an artifact.

    Many thanks,
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 3:30 PM

Answers

  •   So have they changed memory things with RC1 compared to Beta? I am running 32bit beta right now and have 8gb memory installed. If I go to system properties it says 8gb memory there and I can definately tell a difference with programs opening if I take out 4gb. I really enjoy having the extra memory and DO NOT want to install 64 bit windows because alot of the stuff I use will not work under that.


      Ok. Since I posted this I have been reading other posts and looked in task manager, which shows only 3581 total physical memory, even though system properties shows 8gb. Also, I have tested this several times. When I remove 4gb, leaving me with 4gb, my system boots slower and programs take a little longer to open.
    • Edited by PeterPaul_69 Tuesday, May 05, 2009 7:46 PM update
    • Proposed as answer by div2div Tuesday, May 05, 2009 8:33 PM
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Thursday, May 07, 2009 9:18 AM
    Tuesday, May 05, 2009 5:20 PM

All replies

  • Probably around 3.5GB at the most and possibly less.
    JS
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 3:43 PM
  • It may depend on the system as well My Dell Inspiron 6400 only can support max 3.25 Gb in the bios..
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 4:45 PM
  • Hi. :)

    Well, since Windows Vista and Windows 7 have many things in common, Windows 7 (32-bit) will support up to 4GB but I think it only use 3.3GB of RAM, I'm afraid.
    Evandela
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 5:44 PM
  • It depends on how much VIDEO MEMORY that your PC is using.  XP with SP3 will claim to see the full 4gb, as does Vista x32 and Windows 7 x32.  Prior to that, they subtracted video ram.

    Only 64 bit systems can address MORE than 4GB of address space
    • Proposed as answer by JoelbX Sunday, July 12, 2009 3:40 PM
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 7:07 PM
  • On an identical system if Vista could only use 3.6 gB, then Win7 will only be able to use approximately 3.6 gB

    This is because certain devices reserve address space for their use below the 4 gB limit.  So if .4 gB is reserved, then you'll only be able to use 3.6 gB before you hit the 4 gB limit.  This means that the 4 gB that you have will have .4 gB above the 4 gB limit (where you can't use it).

    You can view the devices that do this by opening Device Manager and selecting Resources by Connection in the View Menu, and expand the Memory node.

    From Mark Russinovich's Blog entry here:  http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/07/21/3092070.aspx
    Search for "What's occupying the holes below 4GB?" to find that section
    - John
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 7:55 PM
    Answerer
  • Hi Octavianus

    Little has changed in this respect in Windows 7.

    Starting with Vista SP1, Windows now 'reports all of the installed RAM', instead of only what is available to the OS.

    However, nothing has changed as far as what is available to the OS. As others have stated, with 4GB RAM installed, around 2.5 to 3.6GB will be available, depending on the system.

    Hope this helps.


    Thank You for testing Windows 7 Beta

    Ronnie Vernon MVP

    • Proposed as answer by FattyXP Tuesday, September 28, 2010 4:40 PM
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 9:10 PM
    Moderator
  •   So have they changed memory things with RC1 compared to Beta? I am running 32bit beta right now and have 8gb memory installed. If I go to system properties it says 8gb memory there and I can definately tell a difference with programs opening if I take out 4gb. I really enjoy having the extra memory and DO NOT want to install 64 bit windows because alot of the stuff I use will not work under that.


      Ok. Since I posted this I have been reading other posts and looked in task manager, which shows only 3581 total physical memory, even though system properties shows 8gb. Also, I have tested this several times. When I remove 4gb, leaving me with 4gb, my system boots slower and programs take a little longer to open.
    • Edited by PeterPaul_69 Tuesday, May 05, 2009 7:46 PM update
    • Proposed as answer by div2div Tuesday, May 05, 2009 8:33 PM
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Thursday, May 07, 2009 9:18 AM
    Tuesday, May 05, 2009 5:20 PM
  • Consider installing 64-bit W7 or whatever. Otherwise , absolutely no need to have 8 Gigs. The speeding difference inbetween 8 and 4 Gig-systems on 32-bit has almost a psychological effect.
    Tuesday, May 05, 2009 8:40 PM
  • I have 6gb of ram installed on Windows 7 32 Bit RC and in task MAnanger it shows total ram:3327mb
    Monday, May 11, 2009 12:57 AM
  •   Ok, I installed 32 bit RC1 and it shows 8gb installed 3.5gb useable. I tried several tests with 4gb installed and 8gb installed with no performance difference. I put my hard drive in that has the beta version (7000) and there is a noticeable difference with having 8gb installed over 4gb, eventhough taskmanager shows only 3.5gb total inder performance. I decided to go with 64 bit rc1 so I could have the newest fixes and still take advantage of my 8gb. Alot more of my programs I regularly use work well with windows 7 64bit compared to Vista 64bit.

    Monday, May 11, 2009 1:07 AM
  • Well the beta has changed a whole lot to the RC release thing is things are changing all other software company's have to make same changes like in BEta Norton worked fine in RC doesn't work bugs and tweaks have to be all worked out... 32bit can only use up to max 4gb it just can not use more ram if they could make it they would lol. thats why you go to 64 bit then you can install up to like what 128GB or TB ram  lol
    Monday, May 11, 2009 1:11 AM
  • There is a new beta release of Norton products for Windows 7 RC:
    http://community.norton.com/norton/board/message?board.id=Win7Beta&thread.id=616

    Hope this helps 
    JS
    Monday, May 11, 2009 1:28 AM
  • If a PC is installed with 4GB of system memory, the computer itself will register 4GB but Windows 7 or Vista or XP will not be able to recognize it all. It's nothing to fret over, this is a normal limitation with 32 bit operating systems. The operating system will report 3.5GB or so, but the "missing memory" (varies between 500MB-750MB) is there, reserved for hardware devices.

    It's possible to install more than 4GB of memory in a PC, but that will require the use of Physical Address Extensions (PAE). This feature is primarily a workstation/server option, and realistically there isn't much need for that much memory in a desktop system

    Tuesday, June 02, 2009 5:14 AM
  • Why would you use 32 bit if your systems supports 64 bit? If any 3rd part add on that has a driver for 32 bit under windows 7 there should be no reason that it would not have a 64 bit driver.
    Tim Comes
    Tuesday, June 02, 2009 12:19 PM
  • Most but not all programs designed for a computer running a 32-bit version of Windows will work on a computer running 64-bit versions of Windows. Notable exceptions are many antivirus programs, and some hardware drivers
    BTW: My system have 8 GB installed memory ( 3 GB usable for operating system )
    then on graphics its 512 GB dedicated and 1279 GB shared system memory...

    • Edited by andy62 Tuesday, June 02, 2009 2:43 PM
    Tuesday, June 02, 2009 2:41 PM
  • up to 16 gb of memory windows 7 is capable of reading specially when your using quad core cpu's
    Wednesday, June 03, 2009 6:56 PM
  • Bolonia, You are wrong : 32-bit operating system don`t let You use more memory no matter how many cores is on your CPU. It can read but can`t use
    Thursday, June 04, 2009 2:41 AM
  • technically i was not able to elaborate on my explanation but 64bit systems read and use 16gb of memory
    Thursday, June 04, 2009 2:43 AM
  • Of course You are right, but Octavianus asked about 32-bit systems and so was my answer
    Thursday, June 04, 2009 3:29 PM
  • CPU cores have nothing to do with how much ram windows 7 or any os can and will use, sure more cores means you can do more things using more ram but that has nothing dto do with the OS itself using ram, on a 32 bit os top that can be used is about 3.5gb sure the new windows will see and show you all the ram you have installed but it will not use it, if your using windows 7 64bit sure it can use 16gb, it can use a ____ of a lot more than that, just at this point in desktop motherboard world usually they will only support up to 16gb but windows 7 64bit can use well unliminted gb ram well as far as todays technology can take it anyway not unliminted but as much ram as you can get in your machine the 64bit os is gonna be able to use it with todays hardware like 128TB ram or something like that i cant do the math in my head but its a lot.
     Rember when think it was Bill Gates said 1kb is all anybody will every need ;) or something like that, well he was some wrong lol..
    Sunday, June 07, 2009 10:28 PM
  • Windows 7 32 bit, Windows Vista 32 bit, Windows XP 32 bit, Linux 32 bit, all have something in common... 32 bit numbers go up to 4 billion.

    So to address each byte of memory, you need to have a number to address it by... once you run out of numbers, you can't address any more.

    So 32 bit operating systems have what is called a 4GB address space... However... system memory is only one kind of memory... there is also Graphics memory for example, so each device shares in part of the 4 billion available addresses.

    all this means in practical use, you will see 2.5 to 3.6 GB of available address space for system memory depending on what size of memory your hardware is consuming...

    This is one of the main reasons to switch over to 64 bit addressing.
    64 bit numbers can address up to about 16 exabytes of memory... so the hardware ceases to be a limitation.

    so yeah on average Windows 7 (and every other 32 bit OS) can use around 2.5 to 3.6 GB of system Memory
    • Proposed as answer by incipient Thursday, July 23, 2009 6:17 PM
    Monday, June 08, 2009 8:28 AM
  • OS Name	Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate	
    Version	6.1.7100 Build 7100	
    Other OS Description 	Not Available	
    OS Manufacturer	Microsoft Corporation	
    System Name		
    System Manufacturer	Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.	
    System Model	EP45-UD3LR	
    System Type	x64-based PC	
    Processor	Pentium(R) Dual-Core  CPU      E5200  @ 2.50GHz, 2500 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)	
    BIOS Version/Date	Award Software International, Inc. F4, 1/13/2009	
    SMBIOS Version	2.4	
    Windows Directory	C:\Windows	
    System Directory	C:\Windows\system32	
    Boot Device	\Device\HarddiskVolume4	
    Locale	United States	
    Hardware Abstraction Layer	Version = "6.1.7100.0"	
    User Name		
    Time Zone	Eastern Daylight Time	
    Installed Physical Memory (RAM)	4.00 GB	
    Total Physical Memory	4.00 GB	
    Available Physical Memory	2.88 GB	
    Total Virtual Memory	8.00 GB	
    Available Virtual Memory	6.63 GB	
    Page File Space	4.00 GB	
    Page File	C:\pagefile.sys	
    
    
    System Name	System Manufacturer	Dell Inc.
    System Model	OptiPlex 755
    System Type	X86-based PC
    Processor	Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     E8400  @ 3.00GHz, 3000 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
    BIOS Version/Date	Dell Inc. A09, 3/11/2008
    SMBIOS Version	2.5
    Windows Directory	C:\Windows
    System Directory	C:\Windows\system32
    Boot Device	\Device\HarddiskVolume1
    Locale	United States
    Hardware Abstraction Layer	Version = "6.1.7100.0"
    User Name	Not Available
    Time Zone	Eastern Daylight Time
    Installed Physical Memory (RAM)	2.00 GB
    Total Physical Memory	1.96 GB
    Available Physical Memory	1.15 GB
    Total Virtual Memory	3.92 GB
    Available Virtual Memory	3.02 GB
    Page File Space	1.96 GB
    Page File	C:\pagefile.sys
    
    I know they are two different types of Processors, but I had the 32 bit XP os on the e5200 Chip prior to the W7RC 64Bit and notices a huge performance lose.

    I am going to try W7RC 32Bit on the e5200 and see what difference I get.

    Video is the biggest lose.
    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 1:29 AM
  • This is real simple.

    8 bits = 256 addresses
    16 bits = 256 X 256 = 65536 addresses
    32 bits = 65536 X 65536 addresses = 4,294,967,296 addresses  4gb
    64 bits = 4,294,967,296 X 4,294,967,296 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 addresses

    You can't address more memory than the physical addresses unless you want redundant memory.

    Dan

    • Proposed as answer by techristian Tuesday, July 07, 2009 11:34 PM
    Tuesday, July 07, 2009 11:32 PM
  •    I don't see how you can have a great performance loss Considering the windows 7 RC 64 bit is allowing you to use the full 4gb of ram not just about 3-3.5gb, If the performance loss is video  it is probably your video card is weak and more ram is not going to help your video if its on-board video (IGP) and remember if it is onboard video memory remember it is shared with your actual ram so in turn you could actually have less decated memory over all for your system, doesnt look like your motherboard has onboard Video so you must have a GPU.
         Windows XP is also what a 10 years old OS it can use old hardware better than a newer OS with new functions updated graphic ability's and such, Think about it you cant really compare the 2. Windows 7 is made to run on today's technology maybe few years older but mainly for the future even though it can run on way less. I think the MS The Operating System Indistory is the only indastory that people actually but a new OS and expect old ____ stuff to work perfect and and it run fast as ____, not gonna happen just like you cant make DSL or cable internet run on a 56k modem.... Different technology and programming

    Not made you your post but in general for people that use a computer and have no clue what is inside it.
       I dont understand why people think that a new OS from MS should be able to run and be totally compatibly with all drivers with old out of date parts, not saying yours is out of date.  Plus remember windows xp is what 10 years old I really hope it runs faster than a full verson of windows 7 with all the bells and Whistle's running direct x 10 not 9, on computer parts made 7-8 years later than the OS itself. Anyway there are tons of kinds of video task types what is the performance loss on? what one are you talking about, games, movies, video encoding or decoding, video editing what?.
      I know for a fact Windows 7 works great with a lot of games and with the right Video card would blow away you running it on windows xp using same hardware.

      In my experience on all my tests show windows 7 an improvment over Vista, you really cant compare windows xp and windows 7 they are built on differently and Windows 7 uses better graphic DX 10.1 soon to be DX 11 compared to win xo DX 9c, not to mention all the other changes that allow the normal person to do stuff easier than they could in xp like setting up internet or networks, There is a big difference.

    I think the performance loss is either in your head just because of something you have read or have a unconscious bios towards or there is some kind of hardware issue or driver issue, tweak windows 7 RC and should be find, plus remember it is not the final there were prob some more tweaks that is gonna be in the release in OCT i think it is.

     That being said, I have done lots of real life tests between windows 7 and Windows Vista, Windows 7 is largely a improvement, and I do not mean just boot up time lol, and Vista is not even close as bad as most people say most of whom have prob even tryed the thing and go by hearsay... most rep came from the media and hardware company's not supporting there old ____ PC Components with new vista drivers and not making drivers for the OS and MS Vista takes the hit for it, when the people should have been mad at the hardware makers that wouldn't update there old drivers, sure there was some bugs at first but they worked out pretty fast. If you remember when xp first came out man you could not even burn a cd  because no software would work right with it and was all bugged, I didn't bother doing tests between windows 7 and Windrows Xp, well because Win Xp will be weened out soon and is out of date, at least I hope MS puts a stop to all this XP ____ because people do not want to put in the time and money into learning a new OS that is basicly all it is, it cost companys large amounts to upgrade then teach all there employees how to use it all over again efficiently, Windows 7 is far superior than Windows xp even Vista is now.

    This is the computer I am on right now, has been running at least 2 days straight with tons of software started up and turned off and back on with no stability problems or crashes, only 2 days because had a thunder storm and power went out no UPS on this Machine :(, Actually I have never had a blue screen on Windows 7 or a Major crash Knock on wood, wish I could say the same for windows xp when its up time is up for days on end when I use to use it....  I cant speak for windows Xp as I would not put it on a machine with these specs as it would be a waste :P but Windows 7 is a large improvement over Vista in almost every way, but everyone will have there own opinion.
      I think the people that wont like it or complain are people that hate change which is a whole lot of people or people that can not use there computer for a week without having it full of virus and spy-ware, and mess with settings they know nothing what they are doing, OH and lets not forget the people that are browsing the net and see a pop-up that says "your computer is infected or needs to be fixed" and clicks it be-leaving the ad to be true and will fix all there problems LMAO or people with out of date parts that should not even be running windows 7 full version.
       Windows 7 - Well Just think Of Vista faster not as annoying and better :)

    OS Name    Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
    Version    6.1.7100 Build 7100
    Other OS Description     Not Available
    OS Manufacturer    Microsoft Corporation
    System Name    DANA-PC
    System Manufacturer    System manufacturer
    System Model    System Product Name
    System Type    x64-based PC
    Processor    AMD Phenom(tm) II X3 720 Processor, 2800 Mhz, 3 Core(s), 3 Logical Processor(s)
    BIOS Version/Date    American Megatrends Inc. 1502, 2/11/2009
    SMBIOS Version    2.5
    Windows Directory    C:\Windows
    System Directory    C:\Windows\system32
    Boot Device    \Device\HarddiskVolume4
    Locale    United States
    Hardware Abstraction Layer    Version = "6.1.7100.0"
    User Name    Dana-PC\Dana
    Time Zone    Atlantic Daylight Time
    Installed Physical Memory (RAM)    6.00 GB
    Total Physical Memory    5.75 GB
    Available Physical Memory    3.28 GB
    Total Virtual Memory    11.5 GB
    Available Virtual Memory    8.92 GB
    Page File Space    5.75 GB
    Page File    C:\pagefile.sys

    • Proposed as answer by footgay Wednesday, July 08, 2009 2:07 AM
    Wednesday, July 08, 2009 12:46 AM
  • probably the video side is driver problem.
    Wednesday, July 08, 2009 2:09 AM
  • Thursday, July 09, 2009 8:14 AM
  • It turned out that the Video Card just was not for 64 BIT even though there were drivers.  I brought home an newer ATI card from work and things are much better.

    I did the rate my computer option and prior to changing the video card out it was rated at 2.9 now its a 5.1 

    So things seem to be much better,

    Friday, July 10, 2009 1:13 AM
  • I understand the limits of the 32bit - 64bit limitations but the idea that I cant grasp is : what happens to the rest of the memory ? If i have 8g in my 32b OS and windows only uses 4g of it .. what happens with the other 4g ? Is it just discarded ( per say) or do other programs take advantage of it  such as Video cards and Games that play .
    Saturday, July 18, 2009 3:14 PM
  • Memory Limits for Windows Releases:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx

    It goes unused

     


    JS
    Saturday, July 18, 2009 3:39 PM
  • I understand the limits of the 32bit - 64bit limitations but the idea that I cant grasp is : what happens to the rest of the memory ? If i have 8g in my 32b OS and windows only uses 4g of it .. what happens with the other 4g ? Is it just discarded ( per say) or do other programs take advantage of it  such as Video cards and Games that play .
    32 bit systems can't see more than 4 GBs of RAM (see above posts), anything above that is simply unseen.  Programs can't address it because the OS can't address it.
    Monday, September 14, 2009 2:28 PM
  • Why would you use 32 bit if your systems supports 64 bit? If any 3rd part add on that has a driver for 32 bit under windows 7 there should be no reason that it would not have a 64 bit driver.
    Tim Comes

    Well, that should read "no good reason" because there are still many companies out there who haven't bothered to write 64-bit drivers for their devices.  It's sad, but true.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009 2:04 PM
  • 32 bit versions of windows can only address a maximum of 4GB. I also noticed something below the full 4GB, around 3.6GB. I don't think the remainder is wasted esp on my machine which uses shared Graphics memory. Installing 8GB will not help as that will not change the fact that a 32 bit system (Vista/7) is limited to a maximum of 4GB. Danacona's post makes interesting reading concerning Vista. I would like to comment on the 'demonization' of Vista. Just today I was asked to take a vote on whether Vista deserves it's bad name. Needless to say, I clicked the 'No'. After the vote I saw the total votes and about 60% voted that Vista deserves the bad name. I cannot blame them because I also believed Vista was really bad to the extent i was looking for a new Laptop with XP and not Vista. Bear with me because most of what i read was in the negative; Vista is buggy, it's a memory hog, worst drivers/ program compartibilty, crashes every often. As expted i could not get a new good PC with XP so i had no choice but to face Vista head on.

    Now that i had Vista i wondered why the bad name. At it's early stages i had a few problems with drivers but most were available in months that followed to the extent i was running all my programs normally. Most people i came across were so annoyed with Vista UAC. The UAC prompts were driving them craze. A good number of the replaced vista with XP. As Danacona pointed out, the problem was not with Vista, applications at the time were written for XP. Programs in XP can run with full administrator rights. The new Vista architecture does not allow suc carelessness, so applications run with standard rights just like the user even if logged as an Administrator. So you can see a possible conflict which should not be blamed on Vista. I have been running Vista  for some good years now and i have only had the best of experiences compared to XP. Servise pack 2 also addressed a number of issues. I do not hate the UAC in Vista because I fully understand the benefits it brings. I have had prompts for programs trying to install in the background esp from some websites. With XP they may install but with Vista you will be able to cancel the stealth installation. So am vetry happy that Windows 7 has even enhenced the UAC, making it less intrusive and with more options.
    Thursday, October 15, 2009 10:34 PM
  • Here is something i Rarely see mentioned in Ram Usage Post ...

    When you go from  Four  2 gb sticks down to  Two  2 Gb sticks
    you must realize that you just removed  50% of the wires going
    into your ram bank...  half the lanes ?  half the traffic...

    if you really want to test 8gb ram usage verses  4 gb ram usage
    Try it without reducing the paths into the ram bank by 50% !

    try installing   "Four - 1 Gb sticks " to compare the performance
    of an 8 gb system vs a 4 gb system using the same amount of
    wires going into the ram bank for both modes.  then you will
    probaby see that  using  4 gb of ram in  4 sticks  is just as fast
    as using 4 gb of a 8gb bank also in 4 sticks.

    the reduction in performance you are seeing by removing two
    of the 4 sticks of ram is due to a 50% reduction in physical
    wires going into the ram bank,  NOT because some ram is gone
    that you assumed your system was using.

    I am designing 2 computers right now for a chiropractors offics.
    as usual I use all available ram slots in every machine I build,
    because test prove that using four  1gb sticks  is a faster bank
    than using  two   2gb sticks or worse even !!   ONE  4gb stick !
    Friday, December 11, 2009 5:16 PM
  •   So have they changed memory things with RC1 compared to Beta? I am running 32bit beta right now and have 8gb memory installed. If I go to system properties it says 8gb memory there and I can definately tell a difference with programs opening if I take out 4gb. I really enjoy having the extra memory and DO NOT want to install 64 bit windows because alot of the stuff I use will not work under that.


      Ok. Since I posted this I have been reading other posts and looked in task manager, which shows only 3581 total physical memory, even though system properties shows 8gb. Also, I have tested this several times. When I remove 4gb, leaving me with 4gb, my system boots slower and programs take a little longer to open.

    Hey,
      (The performance increase/decrease is in your head or you are leaving slower running ram in your system when you take the  4GB out, the speed of ram doesn't give that much improvement)
      Windows 7 32bit doesn't allow more then the 3.4 - 3.6GB barrier its not even a full  4 Gb beta or RC. The RC version could be using the ram more efficiently that's about it.
     
      For programs not working in Windows 7 64 bit (or any 64bit OS) 99% of them will work perfectly fine on a 64bit system. You can run 32 bit programs on a 64 bit operating system fine you just cannot run a 64 bit program on a 32 bit OS...)

     The only difference you could possible be seeing is the extra 128mb - 256mb ram your computer could be using for the onboard Video ram. Windows 7 and Windows Vista 32 bit can use the exact same amount of ram, a 32 bit operation system can only use a certain amount, it may show in your system as the ram is there but anything over 4GB is not being used and cannot being used, I say 4Gb because if you have 4gb in there the OS uses a certain amount and then the bios/OS used a decated amount for the Video Memory, but that is only if you have a IGP and not a deticated video card.  The only way you would be seeing a difference when you remove 4gb of ram from the 8GB to give your system 4GB left is if the ram you took out is faster clocked ram (even in that case you probably would not see very much if not any performance increase with the faster ram in real life use.), anything else and it is in your head because it is physical impossible for a 32bit OS to use more than 4GB of ram it cant even use the full 4gb people just put 4GB in because its 2x2GB sticks and can run in duel channel mode.

     I do not see why you guys do not want to move to a 64 bit operating system, It allows you to use more ram and there is no difference... You can still use all your 32 bit programs in most cases, it just allows you to take advantage of your 64bit processor along with programs programmed for 64bit systems allowing them to benefit from the more ram and run better. But running a 32 bit program on a 64 bit OS will work just fine in 99% of the cases.

    Do not be afraid of 64bit OS it is the future and perform faster and better than 32 bit that is why everything is starting to go 64bit. Microsoft is even shipping windows 7 with both 32 bit and 64 bit operating system software for the same price. where in Vista you had to buy either or... Once more people start switching to 64 bit operating systems and stop being scared for whatever reason, then everybody else software company's and hardware company's will start making all there stuff for 64 bit giving us all better performance in the end, a lot of company's are starting to make 64bit versions of there programs now anyway because of the performance increase it can have on things like Video and photo editing, encoding and the such.

    That being said 8 GB ram  in a 32 bit operating system is a waste and will be using less than 4GB of the ram even if it shows up as your system having 8GB, and will not make any kind of improvement unless you change over to the 64 bit OS in which it will be able to take full atavanage of that 8GB you have in your system.
    Saturday, December 12, 2009 7:24 PM
  •  Also, I have tested this several times. When I remove 4gb, leaving me with 4gb, my system boots slower and programs take a little longer to open.


    Could be that you removed the wrong pair of memory sticks and broke the dual channel feature hence slowing down your memory?
    Wednesday, December 30, 2009 8:43 PM
  • Your correct, I was running a 48-Bit OS back in 1980 (Not Windows), but for Windows 32-bit still a viable option. Not every software package out there is available in 64-Bit versions.

    More importantly is software that can take full advantage of Quad Core processors and the 6 core Intel processors due out in about another 6 months or less. I'd rather have an OS that allows me to specify allocation on a core by core basis that worry about 64-Bit vs 32-bit OS issues as the be all end all to performance issues.
    JS http://www.pagestart.com
    Thursday, December 31, 2009 4:24 AM
  • True and the best thing is that most apps will automatically detect which (32/64-bit) OS you are running and install the appropriate edition.
    JS http://www.pagestart.com
    Thursday, December 31, 2009 2:33 PM
  • yea im going on u aint runnin dual chanel wen u take 4 gig out
    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 2:51 AM
  • Nope, it isn't "real simple". Processes don't deal with physical memory, they deal with virtual memory, plus you incorrectly assume the OS deals with a single, physical address space, and it doesn't, it uses Virtual Memory Paging. Using VM, 32-bit OSes have been providing support for > 4GB for a long time. The x86 architecture is capable of it. If you are running commodity OSes like Windows XP, Vista, 7, etc. at home, then you get the 4GB limit. Windows Server Enterprise and Datacenter editions as well as Linux 32-bit have supported much greater than 4GB memory for a long time.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx#physical_memory_limits_windows_server_2003

    It bothers me when I see the herd mentality on advice forums. There are 20 folks on this thread on their soapbox, who clearly don't understand memory addressing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_memory

    All that said, 64-bit is the way to go. The support gets better every year.
    Monday, February 15, 2010 7:36 PM
  • how about using two 2gb sticks with twice as much mHz as a 1gb stick:P
    or a 4 gb stick with 4 times mhz as a 1 gb stick

    just an idea..:P
    Monday, February 15, 2010 11:19 PM
  • Well the beta has changed a whole lot to the RC release thing is things are changing all other software company's have to make same changes like in BEta Norton worked fine in RC doesn't work bugs and tweaks have to be all worked out... 32bit can only use up to max 4gb it just can not use more ram if they could make it they would lol. thats why you go to 64 bit then you can install up to like what 128GB or TB ram  lol

    um, actually, a lot more than that.
    you see, the reason why 32-bit machines are limited to 4GB is because 4 giga is 2^32.
    (2^10 = kilo, 2^20 = mega, 2^30 = giga, 2^32 = 2^30 * 2^2 = 4 giga)
    so if somebody with 4GB ram, and a graphic card with 1GB on-board ram, + some peripherals, the actual memory space available to OS could be less than 3GB. a lot of people here say about 3.5GB usable, which means they have a card with 512MB graphics memory.

    the case with 64bit OS then. the address size you need for 128GB is actually only 37 bits(2^37). for 1 tera you need 40.
    think of it this way. with 32 bits you can address roughly 4.3 billion(2^32) locations in the memory individually. our PCs happen to be byte-addressable, so this becomes 4GB(and 4GB isn't exactly 4 billion bytes, but we approximate:)). with addition of each new bits, multiply that number by 2, since each newly added address bit allows for either 0 or 1. going from 32 bits to 64 bits, you add 32 new bits. so multiply 4.3 billion(4GB) by 2, 32 times.

    with 64bit OS and its addressing capability, you're looking at 16EB (exabytes).

    between prefixes Giga and Exa exists Tera and Peta.

    so what, how big is this "16EB"? well, according to wikipedia(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exabyte), the global monthly internet traffic is estimated to be 5 to 8 exabytes(as of Dec.'08). so if anyone(God, maybe?) got his hands on a computer with 16EB RAM, he could download everything that happens on the internet and store them on RAM for 2~3 months. and since "one exabyte is the equivalent of about 50,000 years of DVD quality video", i'm guessing 16EB must be equivalent to 800,000 years of DVD.

    so, how big is it then, physically. roughly 4.3 billion 4GB rams. i doubt there're that many RAMs on the planet as of this writing, but i could be wrong. still, it doesn't change the fact that with 64 bit OS, we'll likely never reach this addressable memory limit in our lifetime.
    assuming one 4GB memory module requires 5W of power(a VERY generous assumption btw), 4.3 billion of them will consume 21.5GW, or more than three times the output of three mile island nuclear power plant.

    • Edited by kinus Monday, March 08, 2010 2:12 AM
    Monday, March 08, 2010 1:57 AM
  • Think about it, if he's removing memory most likely loosing dual channel memory matching.  Make sure you remove the right pairing if your using 4x2 most boards go every other slot, but not all do so check the manual.  Could be alot of things, memory controller that balances voltages across 4 chips better than 2 so you get fewer page faults who knows.  But my question is does win 7 do the /pae switch were you could still address the space in xp if you knew it was there even if the os didn't?
    Saturday, April 24, 2010 6:24 PM
  • Recent versions of 32 bit Linux compiled with PAE can use more than 4GB memory.

    Each process is limited to 4GB  but the total of all procs is NOT limited to 4GB.

     

    I don't know if or when Windows 7 will catch up to Linux.

    Perhaps Windows 8?

     

    Tuesday, June 01, 2010 4:05 AM
  • It is Faster because with 2 RAM cards it will use both cards accessing data faster, but will only use half of each card, similar to a raid setup.
    Friday, July 23, 2010 12:44 PM
  • If your pc or laptop supports 8gb then DU it will run a 64 bit OS..........if you put to much mem ,the pc or laptop wouldnt even come on
    Saturday, July 31, 2010 1:23 AM
  •   So have they changed memory things with RC1 compared to Beta? I am running 32bit beta right now and have 8gb memory installed. If I go to system properties it says 8gb memory there and I can definately tell a difference with programs opening if I take out 4gb. I really enjoy having the extra memory and DO NOT want to install 64 bit windows because alot of the stuff I use will not work under that.


      Ok. Since I posted this I have been reading other posts and looked in task manager, which shows only 3581 total physical memory, even though system properties shows 8gb. Also, I have tested this several times. When I remove 4gb, leaving me with 4gb, my system boots slower and programs take a little longer to open.

    Windows 7 32-bit will only address 4GB of Ram. The lack in performance you are noticing is probably due to breaking the Dual Channel feature. (It's like Raid for Ram), 64 bit is the way to go if you want to access that extra performance. You can always download XP mode from Microsoft for those true legacy applications that just won't work right on the 64-bit system. Or if you are tech savvy Dual boot with your choice of Operating Systems.

    For those who have 4 GB of system memory installed and are noticing less. Check to see if you have an onboard graphics solution, If so the video memory is shared with the system ram and will report as such. If you have an integrated video card and one install in an expansion slot, see if you can disable the integrated video card in the system BIOS.

    Regards,

     

    Friday, August 06, 2010 12:25 PM
  • Hello - I had the Same problem- I have the answer

    I went from 32 bit Win Xp Pro to Win 7 64 Bit Pro - Complete re-install - I have 4 Gig Memory installed - but PC only showed 3.16/3.36 or something like that - as far as I know the solution should be same for 32 bit operating systems

    Boot up into Bios Mode - Find "Chipset" - what you need to do is find "Memory Remap! or Memory Remapping!" - Google this! - once you go into Bios and Chipset - you will see it - Straightfoward to do - Then your PC will Recognize ALL the memory you have and make it available for use

    Hope this helps - Worked 100% for me

    Shaun

    • Proposed as answer by Shaun6811 Friday, August 13, 2010 10:53 PM
    Friday, August 13, 2010 10:49 PM
  • Removing the memory is putting your system into single channel mode I assume, hence reducing the available memory bandwidth by half. 

     

    If you have 2 slots with 2x4gb modules, then thats the issue.

    If you have 4 slots with 4x2gb each, only take 1 from each memory bank. If you have 4 slots, then they are grouped in 2's as a channel, put 1 stick in each channel.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 4:37 PM
  • Its always best to stick with whats recommended otherwise people dont support. 4gig for 32bit systems. More than that use a 64bit system.


    www.mypchealth.co.uk
    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 10:59 AM
  • Windows 7 32-bit will only address 4GB of Ram.

    Nope. As you can, 32Bit Windows 7 uses 8GB RAM ;)

     


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:00 PM
  • it simply cannot use it.

    look at the picture again ;)

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:12 PM
  • I posted my Image already ;) This is my Windows.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:13 PM
  • The missing 256MB are caused by my ATI HD onbaord graphics.


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:34 PM
  • Remember when EVERYONE was wondering what the crud they were going to do with the 10 meg of disk drive that came on the first IBM PC-AT (or maybe it was the XT)?  Time matters!!
    Friday, October 01, 2010 4:52 PM
  • technically the amount of memory is directly related to the operating system, as a 32 bit system can only address 2^32 bytes of memory, roughly 4gb's. this is a physical limitation of the o.s, not understanding larger numbers than that. devices like graphics cards that can use shared memory to pretend to preform better than they actually are will reduce this number as the system cuts a chuck of that 4gb to dedicate to the card. to support more one needs a 64 bit os because this is capable of addressing 2^64 bytes of data, technically 16 exbibytes,(millions of terabytes). at the moment win 7 64 could potentially support terabytes of memory. The flip side of this,.. i don't think anyone is writing code that makes use of such large/potentially precise numbers. and i don't think anyone is capable of utilizing hundreds of copies of word,photoshop, videogames etc. at a time. PeterPaul_69's start time might be related to haveing a mobo and processor that up till boot of the operating system preform in 64 bit, once the o.s. is started, the mobo's cmos no longer has control and addressing of only 4gb's resumes. wasting the other 4gb because the o.s. can't write numbers to access them.
    Thursday, December 16, 2010 8:30 PM
  • I am sure there have had to be others pointing this out for you. A 32 bit OS CANNOT access more than 4GB even if you are running the 32 bit OS on a 64 bit processor.
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 12:39 AM
  • I am sure there have had to be others pointing this out for you. A 32 bit OS CANNOT access more than 4GB even if you are running the 32 bit OS on a 64 bit processor.

    wrong ;)

    With PAE you can do it. Check my picture from Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:34 PM


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Want to install RSAT on Windows 7 Sp1? Check my HowTo: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=150221
    Tuesday, March 22, 2011 2:21 PM
  • Desktop versions of Windows do not support PAE but server versions do.

    they do, otherwise we can't use DEP/NX Bit.

    read this:

    http://www.geoffchappell.com/viewer.htm?doc=notes/windows/license/memory.htm

    it explains everything ;)


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Want to install RSAT on Windows 7 Sp1? Check my HowTo: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=150221
    Thursday, March 24, 2011 2:09 PM
  • Well I went from a 64 bit Vista to a 64 bit Windows 7 and it has been a nightmare. security issues, Adobe does not work with 64 bit 7 and Microsoft webcam will not work and everytime I turn around something else won't work and no patches to be found. Now it is in the shop getting Windows 7 32 bit installed so I can have my life back.
    Wednesday, April 06, 2011 4:47 AM
  • Windows 7 32bits can address up to 2^32 which is equal to 4294967296 addresses (one adddress is a word of 32bits). What is equal to 4 Giga of Words, that's 4Go. Then, Windows 7 32bits can address up to 4Go.
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:50 AM
  • My understanding is in the math, computers us binary (for those who don't know thats one & zero so 2) a 32 bit processorer is expressed as

    2 to the 32nd power so 4,294,967,296 which is approx 4 gig max.  Although it doesn't account for the resurved amount.

    that amout is appox 1 gig so your left with 3 gig of usable memory.  Use the comand "resmon" in the start coomand line then select the memory tab to see the usage.

    Thursday, December 01, 2011 1:33 AM
  • Your ram I'm assuming is ddr3 dual channel. Most motherboards like yours, (again I'm assuming here) will pair the slots together some using the numbering system of 1,2,3,4 and they would pair 1 and 3 together and they would pair 2 and 4 together to run at optimal speed. or it could be that they use the system 1,2,3,4 and they pair 1 and 2 as well as 3 and 4. Or you might have 4 memory modules with 2 different speeds and you've taken out one 800mhz and one 667mhz module leaving two oddly matched modules to run at the lower speed. Consult your motherboard manual or google your product number (you could probably find this at My Computer), look at your at ram as well.
    Friday, December 09, 2011 3:28 AM
  • Wrong.  There is a whole raft of software that will run on 32 bit windows 7 but will not run on 64 bit

    Thursday, December 15, 2011 3:40 PM
  • Does anyone remember 8-bit processors? I had a British BBC Micro and it was the best! Do you know why? Because it could address Much more than 64Kb of memory! But how? Software Paging! Does anyone remember MMUs - Memory Management Units? They were cool because they let you know about an address fault, via hardware back to the CPU. Wow! You could page out to disk and continue, somewhat slowly! Remember when they became part of the main processor? Wow.. Faster, not! Because they paged to the same device... A slow disk. (virtual memory systems are always slow when they run out of RAM). Take a step back.. And page to RAM! But what RAM you ask? The stuff the OS isn't using but the processor CAN see, via it's 'MMU'. But only if it's a 64-bit processor (or wants to mess with sideways RAM like in the day). Now take an OS that can do it. Windows can, but only certain 32-bit editions. That's not hard, unless I'm mistaken. Comments please guys. Loz.
    LozCool
    Wednesday, December 28, 2011 7:19 PM
  • You taught me something today. Makes sense. Thanks!
    Monday, January 09, 2012 3:28 AM
  • I have 3Gb memory installed with Win 7 Sp1 32bit system , and it says that it used only 2Gb out of 3Gbs and i think ( i am not sure ) that it used to say the same when i had Win 7 Sp1 64 bit system !! Anyone got any idea?

    Friday, March 02, 2012 5:46 PM
  • Look for a BIOS update for your motherboard, the only way you should see only 2GB RAM available in 32bit W7 with 3GB+ installed is if you have graphic(s) card fitted that have 2GB+ memory installed on them.
    Saturday, March 03, 2012 9:08 AM
  • Have you ever considered the fact that its because you have 2 separate sticks of RAM so there for the work load is being split between the two? that's whats making it faster not the fact that you have an additional 4GB. take them both out and insert 1 8GB and i guarantee if will be the same. If not slower than the one 4GB due the the fact that the timings might be a little longer cos its bigger! :D
    Monday, February 24, 2014 4:35 PM
  • I know this was years ago. Just wanted to post some helpful advice for future reference in case you submit on the same kinda topic again! :D

    Monday, February 24, 2014 4:36 PM