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4GB RAM (3.25 usable) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've seen this question asked a lot but the solutions don't work for me.  I have 4GB RAM installed on Win7 x32.  The system properties tell me I have 4 but only "3.25 usable".  I thought 32-bit OS's could handle 4GB.  I have already enabled the "memory remap" feature in the BIOS.  The motherboard is an ASUS PK5-PRO with the latest BIOS (if that helps).  Any ideas?
    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8:05 PM

Answers

  •  There is no inconsistency.

    When you have 4 Gigs installed the motherboard is not actually using the 3.5 to 4 Gig space on the ram you have installed, but it reserves those address spaces for use by the system. When you only have 2 Gigs installed the full amount is useable because, again, the board is not actually using your ram , but the upper (3.5 to 4 Gig) address spaces are still reserved for system use.

    The actual amount of memory address space reserved for system use will vary according to various motherboards and their built-in functions and features.




    • Edited by OldHobo Thursday, November 12, 2009 2:42 AM Added link
    • Marked as answer by snickered Thursday, November 12, 2009 5:44 AM
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
  • Hello Snickered,

     

    According to your description, please understand that the question is not caused by the Windows 7 product itself. Since you installed 32-bit OS, the system could only recognize 3.3GB although we find the total RAM is shown as 4GB in BIOS. If you need full use of 4GB ram, you should install 64-bit product on the computer. For more information on this subject, please refer to the following webpage.

     

    The 4GB Windows Memory Limit: What does it really mean?

     

    For your current situation, please purchase the Windows 7 64-bit OS; format the HDD and do a clean-install on the computer. Thanks for your time and understanding!

     

    Good Luck!

    Andy

     

     

    • Marked as answer by Andy Song Wednesday, November 18, 2009 4:47 AM
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 9:53 AM

All replies

  • That's normal.

    The 32 bit version of Win7 has a 4GB address limitation, but in practice some of those addresses are assigned to things other than system RAM, so not all of 4GB of RAM is available to Windows.

    There was something called PAE (physical address extension) that allowed some Microsoft 32 bit OSes to address more than 4GB, but they were server OSes. None of the desktop versions (XP, Vista, Windows 7) support it.

    If you find it galling, switch to the X64 version. That probably makes little sense with 4GB of RAM, though. Win7 Home Premium X64 is limited to 16GB, but the Pro and Ultimate versions support more (128GB, I think).
    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 10:50 PM
  • Interesting that it's displayed this way.  When I take out 2GB of RAM I see the remaining 2GB being used without indication of only a specified amount being used.  So, what does that mean?  Consistently inconsistent with the way they display the amount of RAM?

    Do you know where I can read more about this subject?  I'm interested to know what the RAM is being used for and why Win7 chooses only to show it's using RAM for those things when I have 4GB installed.  

    TIA.
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 1:13 AM
  •  There is no inconsistency.

    When you have 4 Gigs installed the motherboard is not actually using the 3.5 to 4 Gig space on the ram you have installed, but it reserves those address spaces for use by the system. When you only have 2 Gigs installed the full amount is useable because, again, the board is not actually using your ram , but the upper (3.5 to 4 Gig) address spaces are still reserved for system use.

    The actual amount of memory address space reserved for system use will vary according to various motherboards and their built-in functions and features.




    • Edited by OldHobo Thursday, November 12, 2009 2:42 AM Added link
    • Marked as answer by snickered Thursday, November 12, 2009 5:44 AM
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 2:15 AM
  • Hello snickered,

    This is normal since 32 bit OS because some memory area are reserved by OS (driver and etc). So, 3.25GB are usable for applications.

    BR.
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 5:01 AM
  • Great link... that clears it up.  Thanks.
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 5:44 AM
  • Hello Snickered,

     

    According to your description, please understand that the question is not caused by the Windows 7 product itself. Since you installed 32-bit OS, the system could only recognize 3.3GB although we find the total RAM is shown as 4GB in BIOS. If you need full use of 4GB ram, you should install 64-bit product on the computer. For more information on this subject, please refer to the following webpage.

     

    The 4GB Windows Memory Limit: What does it really mean?

     

    For your current situation, please purchase the Windows 7 64-bit OS; format the HDD and do a clean-install on the computer. Thanks for your time and understanding!

     

    Good Luck!

    Andy

     

     

    • Marked as answer by Andy Song Wednesday, November 18, 2009 4:47 AM
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 9:53 AM
  • Hello, I have a problem about this topic. I have Win7 Home Premium but it is x64. Although it is x64, I have the same problem. It says 4.00 gb ram but in blanket it says " 3.25 usable". I don't understand this problem even if I use x64. Do you have any suggestions about this problem???

    Thanks for advice from now...

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:32 PM
  • It depends on your motherboard chipset:

    The 3GB-not-4GB RAM problem

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/hiltonl/archive/2007/04/13/the-3gb-not-4gb-ram-problem.aspx

    Your chipset must support 8GB to use the complete 4GB.


    "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 29, 2011 8:35 PM
  • beterbocek:

    It could also be tied to a BIOS setting.  That is, your chipset might be able to support it, but if there is a BIOS setting forbidding the extended address space ("allow memory remap" or some such) it could prevent you being able to use it in your x64 OS.  Might be as simple as allowing remapping...

    DAS

    Thursday, March 31, 2011 1:38 PM
  • I have the same problem/situation.

    I own a main board: Intel D945GNT L, using a Intel Pentium D945 processor, and running Windows 7 Pro 64 bits.

    The mainboard has the latest BIOS version.

    I was using 2 GB RAM (2x1) and Win7 showed RAM=2Gb.

    Yesterday I added 2 Gb.

    BIOS shows all 4Gb. Win7 shows: Intalled 4Gb, 3.25 usable.

    BIOS doesn't have the remapping option.

    Verified that the Maximum memmory box is unchecked in Boot Advanded Option's in MSCONFIG.

    So, the situation is a CHIPSET problem?

    INTEL says the motherboard suppors up to 4Gb ram.

    (I also tested installing 5Gb ram...both BIOS and win 7 show 5Gb installed, but only 3.25 usable).

    I read something confusing in INTEL's site regarding my mainboard:

    Integrator's Note

    It is possible to install four 2048 MB (2 GB) modules for a total of 8 GB of system memory, however, only 4 GB of address space is available. 

    What does that mean??? it is a waste of resources??? it will only use 4gb?? or 8?

    Please, I need your help and advice!

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,

    I r


    Thursday, June 6, 2013 1:03 PM
  • I have the same problem/situation.

    I own a main board: Intel D945GNT L, using a Intel Pentium D945 processor, and running Windows 7 Pro 64 bits.

    The mainboard has the latest BIOS version.

    I was using 2 GB RAM (2x1) and Win7 showed RAM=2Gb.

    Yesterday I added 2 Gb.

    BIOS shows all 4Gb. Win7 shows: Intalled 4Gb, 3.25 usable.

    BIOS doesn't have the remapping option.

    Verified that the Maximum memmory box is unchecked in Boot Advanded Option's in MSCONFIG.

    So, the situation is a CHIPSET problem?

    INTEL says the motherboard suppors up to 4Gb ram.

    (I also tested installing 5Gb ram...both BIOS and win 7 show 5Gb installed, but only 3.25 usable).

    I read something confusing in INTEL's site regarding my mainboard:

    Integrator's Note

    It is possible to install four 2048 MB (2 GB) modules for a total of 8 GB of system memory, however, only 4 GB of address space is available. 

    What does that mean??? it is a waste of resources??? it will only use 4gb?? or 8?

    Please, I need your help and advice!

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,

    I r


    You only get the memory discrepancy in 32-bit Windows 7.

    You need to recheck your system because it does not sound like it is running 64-bit Windows 7.

    If you actually do have 64-bit Windows 7 installed, then there is a problem with your motherboard causing your problem.

    You really should contact Intel Technical support to inquire about your problem.  If Intel tells you the board will only support 4GB then you should be talking to Intel.  Intel is a separate company from Microsoft and Intel provides support for their hardware.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”

    Thursday, June 6, 2013 8:29 PM