4GB or 3GB physical memory for 32 bit wondows vista

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by JC, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. JC

    JC Guest

    I have 4GB of physical RAM, windows vista shows only 3326MB. Does it really
    help with performance if I have 4GB or should I just install 3GB memory? I
    just bought the additional 2GB memory (had 2GB before) and wondering if I
    should exchange for a 1GB one. Thanks.
    JC, Dec 7, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  2. JC

    Tom Lake Guest

    If your motherboard is dual-channel capable, install memory in pairs.
    3 GB is OK if you install 1 GB, 1 GB, 512 MB, 512 MB

    If you don't install in pairs, you won't get the benefit of Dual-channel.

    Tom Lake
    Tom Lake, Dec 7, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  3. JC

    Cal Bear '66 Guest

    If it is dual channel memory, you definitely do NOT want to use just one 1GB
    stick. Leave well enough alone -- at least you got 1/3 G of RAM more, and RAM
    is cheap now (about $US 50/G) -- or install Vista x64 and if your motherboard
    supports it you can use all 4GB.

    I Bleed Blue and Gold
    Cal Bear '66, Dec 7, 2007
  4. JC

    JC Guest

    Thanks. But this doesn't seem to answer my question.

    I want to know if I should have 3BG or 4GB installed and whether the
    additional 1Gb will help with the performance given that vista only show
    3.3GB when I have 4GB installed.

    I have two 1GB DD2 dual channel installed. I think that I have a choice of
    two 1GB or two 512MB extra installed.
    JC, Dec 7, 2007
  5. JC

    Tom Lake Guest

    You won't notice a difference between the two if you have memory in pairs.
    If you already have two 1 GB sticks and two 512 MB sticks, use 'em,
    I'd go for the four 1 GB sticks and get the absolute maximum memory usage
    I could.

    Tom Lake
    Tom Lake, Dec 7, 2007
  6. JC

    Curious Guest

    If you can install 3GB and get Vista to recognize it then there is almost no
    benefit to installing 4GB and only have 3.2GB of it used by the OS with the
    address space for the remainder being used to support hardware controller
    cards which have their own memory
    Curious, Dec 7, 2007
  7. JC

    AJR Guest

    This is one of those topics that keeps popping up and can be answered by
    "reviewing" previous posts.

    Article #929605, Support.com, addresses all your questions including a "Work
    around". Following are two quotes from the article:

    1. The reduction in available system memory depends on the devices that are
    installed in the computer. However, to avoid potential driver compatibility
    issues, the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista limit the total available
    memory to 3.12 GB. See the "More information" section for information about
    potential driver compatibility issues.
    If a computer has many installed devices, the available memory may be
    reduced to 3 GB or less. However, the maximum memory available in 32-bit
    versions of Windows Vista is typically 3.12 GB.

    For Windows Vista to use all 4 GB of memory on a computer that has 4 GB of
    memory installed, the computer must meet the following requirements: (note
    therre are several "steps" listed in the article - one of which must be a 64
    bit processor).
    AJR, Dec 7, 2007
  8. JC

    Tim Slattery Guest

    It's normal for 32-bit Vista (or any other 32-bit system) not to see
    the entire 4GB. Some of the 4GB address space must be used to access
    video memory, BIOS, etc. See http://members.cox.net/slatteryt/RAM.html

    You computer is currently sees and is able to use 3326MB. If you have
    only 3GB installed, it will be able to see and use only that much.
    Whether you're actually using and benefiting from that extra 326MB is
    another question. You probably won't notice the difference.

    You should read your motherboard or system manual before making a move
    here. As others have said, memory sticks often need to be installed in
    balanced pairs.
    Tim Slattery, Dec 7, 2007

  9. Two points:

    1. All 32-bit versions of Windows (XP as well as Vista), even though
    they have a 4GB address space, can only use *around* 3.1GB of RAM.
    That's because some of that space is used by hardware and not
    available to the operating system and applications. The amount you can
    use varies, depending on what hardware you have installed, but is
    usually around 3.1GB.

    2. How much you need or good performance, or can make effective use
    of, is *not* a one-size-fits-all situation. You get good performance
    if the amount of RAM you have keeps you from using the page file, and
    that depends on what apps you run.

    For most people running common business applications in Vista,
    somewhere in the range of 1-2GB is sufficient, and any more than that
    will do nothing for you. Installing more RAM than is necessary is a
    waste of money.

    On the other hand if you do things like editing large photographic
    images, more RAM will very likely be beneficial.
    Ken Blake, MVP, Dec 7, 2007
  10. Well, 32 bit systems can only address 4 gig but they use some of it
    for add-on cards, etc. The difference between 4 gig and what you have
    is what the system uses. If you have 3 gig instead of 4 you loose
    some so you have less than 3 gig so yes, with 4 gig you have more
    Brett I. Holcomb, Dec 8, 2007
  11. JC

    Ian D Guest

    Since you already have the 4 GB, stick with it. If you ever decide to go
    64 bit you're all set. Since memory specs are always evolving it may
    be difficult to find matching RAM in the future, and older less available
    RAM usually goes up in price.
    Ian D, Dec 8, 2007
  12. JC

    Gene K Guest

    Gene K, Dec 8, 2007
  13. JC

    Joe Guest

    Perhaps you can help me. This is a different issue. I downloaded Itunes and
    it said it was not installed correctly on my Vista 64 operating system. I
    reinstalled it a total of three times and even did a "repair" install from
    Microsofts "install/delete" control. Now it will not install at all. Any
    Joe, Jan 13, 2008
  14. JC

    Rick Rogers Guest


    If I recall correctly, Itunes' software is not 64-bit compatible. Until they
    release a version that is, you cannot use it on an x64 system.
    Rick Rogers, Jan 13, 2008
  15. JC

    Que$tions Guest

    Que$tions, Jan 13, 2008
  16. JC

    Kyle Guest

    Okay. I'm having the same problem. I just installed 2 more gig on top of my 2
    gig on my rig and not only does vista say that it is 3.5 gig, but it keeps
    crashing and is acting really odd. I've gotten the Blue screen many times. It
    isn't the new ram because bios loves it and my mobo supports up to 8 gig.
    Dxdiag tells me that my geforce 8600gt xxx has 1774 mb of ram when I have the
    4 gig ram installed but I'm still crashing. I even took out one of my 1 gig
    sticks and I am still crashing. I am running 32 bit vista ultimate and can't
    exactly afford to go out and buy a 64 bit vista. I have tried all the updates
    with no results. So what is a solution to my hangups? Thanks in advance.
    Kyle, Jan 15, 2008
  17. Since you don't say what hardware your using, esp which mobo and what memory
    modules, the only advice is to go to the mobo manufacturer's website and
    review the information on tested ram and any limitations of the mobo. There
    should be a user forum on that website devoted to your mobo. This is
    probably the number one issue on those forums because it is an issue often
    seen here. There are many threads on your issue already started on this
    newsgroup and you should review those.
    Colin Barnhorst, Jan 15, 2008
  18. JC

    MICHAEL Guest


    It is a pleasure to see you back... I really mean that.

    I hope you are doing well, and I hope you plan to stick

    Take care,

    MICHAEL, Jan 15, 2008
  19. Health is better. Thank you for your kind thoughts.
    Colin Barnhorst, Jan 15, 2008
  20. JC

    MICHAEL Guest

    I'm so happy to hear that, Colin.
    Absolutely thrilled to see you back.

    Please, pardon the bragging;

    Folks, Colin is one of the most helpful MVPs you will
    ever encounter. He helped so many of us through
    the Vista beta period and through the the early months
    after Vista's RTM. Knowledgeable in so many areas, too.
    He's also brilliant with using various virtual machines/vhds.

    MICHAEL, Jan 15, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.