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  1. #1
    Joined
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    81

    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
    Joined
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    1,779

    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.
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  3. #3
    Joined
    Jul 2004
    Location
    England
    Age
    35
    Posts
    326

    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)
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    Some Seagate RMA'd HDD (Upgrading To A SSD For Op Sys, & WD 250GB 7,200rpm SATA-II HDD For Storage)
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  4. #4
    Joined
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,463

    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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