Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

4GB RAM: Vista 32-Bit or 64-Bit?

Last response: in Memory
Share
April 20, 2007 6:38:57 AM

So, I'm looking at building a new system that will have 4GB DDR2 RAM, and I'm wondering which Vista OS to go for, the 32-bit or 64-bit version.

From what I understand, the 32-bit version can only address 3GB or so of RAM. Is that true? If so, does that mean that the last 1GB goes completely wasted when running programs?

Thanks for any help/advice!

More about : 4gb ram vista bit bit

April 20, 2007 7:23:03 AM

Yes, 32-bit OS's can only handle 3GB of RAM. Far as which Vista to get, ask me in 2008 when I finally switch to it.
April 20, 2007 7:50:31 AM

I've tried installing Vista-32 bit for this reason on my rig with 4gb and see what would happen, it worked but the ram showed up as 2,7gb, so i'd recommend installing 64-bit or it would be a bit of a waste of your memory :) 
Related resources
April 20, 2007 5:45:43 PM

Yeah, 4GB of ram are really only beneficial on a 64-bit o/s. I forget the numbers of how much you really use, but you only utilize all 4 with a 32-bit one.
April 20, 2007 5:58:53 PM

Quote:
So, I'm looking at building a new system that will have 4GB DDR2 RAM, and I'm wondering which Vista OS to go for, the 32-bit or 64-bit version.

From what I understand, the 32-bit version can only address 3GB or so of RAM. Is that true? If so, does that mean that the last 1GB goes completely wasted when running programs?

Thanks for any help/advice!


I have 4 gigs and Vista 64. Great performance and no issues. All 4 gigs are recognized.

Regards.
April 20, 2007 6:27:18 PM

whoops my mistake, typo,

that last line of my last post should say

*you only utilize all 4 with a 64-bit one.*
April 20, 2007 6:56:12 PM

It really depends, try installing a 32-bit OS first and see how much is recognized, then ask yourself if you really need the extra RAM right now. Chances are that you don't need it. Then the question becomes do you want to lose 16-bit compatibility as well as risk more compatibility problems in the future by going 64-bit. I've heard a great many people say they've had no problems with 64-bit but then I've heard a bunch of people who've had problems as well. My vote is go for the 64-bit and grab DOSbox or virtual PC and install 98 for 16-bit support.
April 20, 2007 7:08:57 PM

Physically, the total amount of ram that a 32bit OS can address is 4GB. When you factor in the memory on the video card(s for SLi/Crossfire), the L1 and L2 cache on the CPU, and the possible memory on the audio cards, the total can drop by at least a gig. For instance,i am running 32 bit Vista Ultimate on a QX6700, 4x 1GB sticks of Crucial, and 2 8800GTX with 768MB of Vram on each, the upshot is that even though the BIOS can see all 4Gigs of system RAM, the OS can only address and therefore see 2.3 gigs.

As for decision on with OS to use, bear in mind that 64Bit vista needs MS Signed drivers, and won't use unsigned drivers (currently the lastest nVidia graphics driver won't work under 64bit for instance), plus some incompatibilty with existing programs.

My decision was to go 32bit, as:

1, You can't use unsigned drivers.
2, Free software on the net (AVG-Free for instance) will only work on 32bit, you have to buy the 64bit version, and the 32bit version won't work on 64 bit.

When 64 bit computing gets going, then i might change, but fot the time beig, i am firmly camped in the 32bit field.

P.S. 32bit OS can address 4 gigs max, but the 64bit can address 128GB! Just thought i'd throw that in there...

Hope it helps.
April 20, 2007 7:19:11 PM

Why not just get xp x64, you can use all 4gigs and you wont need to worry about driver signing. Yes it doesn't look at pretty but it is faster and perfectly reliable. Upgrade to vista in 6months-1year i say
April 20, 2007 11:55:26 PM

First off, thanks for all your input, I appreciate it.

I think I'm gonna go with 32-bit Vista from what everyone is saying.

In that case, I'll go with 2GB RAM instead of 4GB. So what's the best RAM I can buy. Now that I have some more money freed up by not buying all 4GB of the stuff, I can afford a higher-performing 2GB to put in my system.

Any suggestions on what's the best 2GB RAM for the money?

Thanks
April 21, 2007 12:42:28 AM

Quote:
Physically, the total amount of ram that a 32bit OS can address is 4GB. When you factor in the memory on the video card(s for SLi/Crossfire), the L1 and L2 cache on the CPU, and the possible memory on the audio cards, the total can drop by at least a gig. For instance,i am running 32 bit Vista Ultimate on a QX6700, 4x 1GB sticks of Crucial, and 2 8800GTX with 768MB of Vram on each, the upshot is that even though the BIOS can see all 4Gigs of system RAM, the OS can only address and therefore see 2.3 gigs.

As for decision on with OS to use, bear in mind that 64Bit vista needs MS Signed drivers, and won't use unsigned drivers (currently the lastest nVidia graphics driver won't work under 64bit for instance), plus some incompatibilty with existing programs.

My decision was to go 32bit, as:

1, You can't use unsigned drivers.
2, Free software on the net (AVG-Free for instance) will only work on 32bit, you have to buy the 64bit version, and the 32bit version won't work on 64 bit.

When 64 bit computing gets going, then i might change, but fot the time beig, i am firmly camped in the 32bit field.

P.S. 32bit OS can address 4 gigs max, but the 64bit can address 128GB! Just thought i'd throw that in there...

Hope it helps.


Why do you have 4 GB? Why not just sell 2 extra GB?
April 21, 2007 1:02:08 AM

Quote:
I've tried installing Vista-32 bit for this reason on my rig with 4gb and see what would happen, it worked but the ram showed up as 2,7gb, so i'd recommend installing 64-bit or it would be a bit of a waste of your memory :) 


I just build a new system with 4GB (see signature) and at first all 4GB was available - shown in full in BIOS as well as in Vista. However, after BIOS update, all of a sudden only 3.2GB was available (in BIOS and in Vista). In BIOS, it said: Total 4096, Apropriated 896, Available 3200.
The solution was, in my BIOS, to enter Advanced > Chipset and change the setting "Set Momory Remap Feature" to ENABLED. Save changes and reenter BIOS - voila, all 4096 now available, as well in Vista.

I read somewhere that the "apropriated" memory is reserved for hardware, not sure what that means...
April 21, 2007 11:29:25 AM

Quote:
Physically, ... blah blah blah... helps.


Why do you have 4 GB? Why not just sell 2 extra GB?

I'm keeping the other 2gig for the 64bit switch over. Probably. As for why i got it, i did realise the apparent limitations.
April 22, 2007 7:01:44 PM

Howard_Stern, how did you fit 2x8800's in the antec 900 case? 8O
!