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  1. #1
    Mar 2009

    RAM limitations on 32-bit OS

    If I understand correctly, a 32-bit operating system will only recognize 3 gigabytes of RAM instead of the theoretical 4. Does this mean 3 gigabytes per core per processor, or just per processor?

  2. #2
    Oct 2003
    Edmonton, Alberta

    Re: RAM limitations on 32-bit OS

    The 32 bit OS is capable of using 4G of memory. But, that includes your graphics memory so if you have a video card with 512 of memory the OS will only see the other 3.5G

    The processor does not actually use the memory, that is a function of the application/s being run. If you have a total of 3.5G usable that is all the application can use n o matter how many cores are in use.
    Asus M8Z77-V Deluxe
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    EVGA 670 GTX
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    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  3. #3
    Jul 2004

    Re: RAM limitations on 32-bit OS

    My system sees 3.25GB of my 4GB kit and I only have a 256mb GDD3 G.Card I had some OCX 2GB Reapers and with 4GB its even more snapper.
    Windows XP 32bit SP3 (Moving to Win 7 RC1 64bit Soon)
    AMD Phenom 9550 AM2+ (4x 2.2ghz - Stock)
    Gigabyte GA-MA78G DS3H AM2+ (R1.0 BIOS F4)
    Kingston Hyper-X 4GB PC8500 DDR2 Kit (5-5-5-15 2.1v)
    Some Seagate RMA'd HDD (Upgrading To A SSD For Op Sys, & WD 250GB 7,200rpm SATA-II HDD For Storage)
    PNY 9600GT 512mb GDDR3 PCI-E 2.0
    Samsung SH-S138L DVD-RW
    Active Power 850w Mod PSU

  4. #4
    Jan 2004

    Re: RAM limitations on 32-bit OS

    32-bit memory addressing is a full 4GiB and this is totaly independent of number of processors or processing cores.

    However, everything must fit into those 4GiB of addresses, and since hardware resources reserve a number of addresses for themselves the most you usually see on a 32-bit OS is ~3.25GiB.

    And yes, VRAM eats these addresses as well. So, if you have a GPU with a lot of memory you will have even less system memory available.

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