Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Installed versus Usable RAM

  1. #1

    Installed versus Usable RAM


    I've read all of the current threads about memory, and learned a lot---but still have a question. I built a computer recently (so it's not a 'store-bought system'), installed 16 GB of RAM, but System Information shows only 2.96 GB as usable. I'm using Win 8, 32-bit, with an Intel i3-2120 (3.30 GHz) CPU on an MSI motherboard. Not a gamer, so I have only a low-end GE Force 210 video card.

    From what I gather, Win8 (32-bit) only allows a certain amount of RAM to be used. Is this correct? If so, did I make a mistake by installing 16 GB, when I could have installed a lesser amount? For example, if Win8/32-bit only recognizes (or at least, uses...) something like 3.5 GB---should I have simply stuck in 4 GB?

    FYI, I'm happy with my computer, my wife and I can surf just fine (we have cable Internet, with an advertised speed of 15), and I don't really have any complaints. Just trying to educate myself about installed versus usable RAM.

    Thanks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    A 32 bit OS, Win XP, Visa, Win 7, Win8, can only address a little under 4GB. Thus only having 2.96GB useable is a valid figure. Generally its 3 to 3.5GB but depending on hardware it can be a little less.

    To fully use the memory, reinstall the 64 bit OS version. The i3 will run 64 bit OS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    If you want to use the full 16 gigs of RAM, you will need to install a 64 bit OS.


    32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Thanks to both for your quick replies. You've answered my question. I'll likely upgrade to 64-bit at some point so that I can use all of my memory, but you've helped me understand the results that I received from the System Information report. Take care.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Installed versus Usable RAM
Related Threads
Hello, I have 16GB of DDR3 memory installed but Windows 8.1 x64 shows that only 8 GB is usable. I did overclock my processor yesterday and have only noticed it this morning, I'm not sure if it was reading the full 16GB when I initially overclocked. Please see attached screenshots and...
16 GB RAM installed but only 8 GB usable in BSOD Crashes and Debugging
Hello, I have 16GB of DDR3 memory installed but Windows 8.1 x64 shows that only 8 GB is usable. I did overclock my processor yesterday and have only noticed it this morning, I'm not sure if it was reading the full 16GB when I initially overclocked. Please see attached screenshots and...
Source: Surface Pro versus MacBook Air: Who's being dishonest with storage space? | ZDNet
Windows 8 versus Adobe Flash in Browsers & Mail
When playing games on facebook, some ask for the latest Flash to be installed. Windoes 8 will not allow me to update my flash player to latest version; instead it refers me to an Issues page. I need to update the flash player; can anyone assist me on how to do this in relation to the above...
3.79 gig usable from 4 gig installed memory! in Performance & Maintenance
Hi ;I have an asus laptop and I clean installed windows 8 pro x64...in pc info it says 4.00 gig memory(3.79 usable)...that it wasn't like this before on my last windows 7 sp1 x64...what should I do now?... PS: in my bios there is no option named memory remapping or etc.
4GB memory ram installed 3.80 usable, why? in Performance & Maintenance
Earlier I had windows 7 B memory ram 4GM was useable but not when I switched to windows 8 it said 4GB installed 3.80Useable , I tried setting maximum memory option In msnconfig boot option but it took me to256MB and took a while to fix things . Attached contain all files . Thanks
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook