Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Usable RAM - Limitation-

  1. #1

    Usable RAM - Limitation-


    Hello,

    Background:
    PC: HP Desktop - 32 bit -
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad
    Ram: originally 2 Gb, recently added 2 Bb more, i.e 4 Gb total
    Mobo: AsusTek Barkeley
    Graphic: NVidia GeForce 210 GT218 - 1Gb
    Bios: Ami 5.11 (original, not updated since 2007)
    OS: Win8

    Recently I upgraded the RAM from 2 to 4 Gb. Control Panel (System page) reads: installed memory (Ram) 4 Gb, (usable 3 Gb)

    Tried already the following:
    Msconfig: unchecked MAX
    Enable DEP mode
    Bios (is really very basic) reads all 4Gb, however no MMIO found

    I am using 3 out of 4 Gb Ram.

    Any suggestions?

    Many thanks

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    There is an inherent x32 bit operating system "addressing limitation" that cannot make use of the full 4GBs so 3GBs (usable) looks about right. However, you may be able to "get close" to using the full 4GBs if you upgrade to an x64 bit system but even x64 systems are subject to BIOS and chipset limitations so there are no definitive guarantees.

    Here's my x32 bit OS information for your reference:

    Attachment 19093

    Also, FYI, I have a BIOS restriction that will not allow me to make use of the full 4GBs (even when using an x64 bit OS) but I also have a very old PC.

    Good luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    This should help explain the differences of the RAM limitations for each version of windows.

    Memory Limits for Windows Releases (Windows)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!


    Here's an explanation that I wrote a couple of years ago: The 4gB Memory Limit

    Basically, some hardware reserves address space (but doesn't necessarily use it) below the 4 gB limit - so that pushes the rest of the address space above the 4 gB limit where it's not usable. It has to do with how both physical and virtual memory is managed in the 32 bit OS.

    The links to Mark Russinovich's posts will show you how to determine what it is that's using those memory address' (usually it's the video card).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    I am thankful to all of you that provided explanations and very valuable references.
    This is an issue that, better, should have been known to me before upgrading the RAM.
    Thanks to the contributors and to the Forum, an asset, really, for the users.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Redmond
    Posts : 651
    Windows 8.1 x64


    The real thing to remember is that while the memory isn't available to Windows, it's still being used by the hardware (again, usually video and PCI-E or PCI-X devices) and as such is still a worthy upgrade.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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