I think I heard somewhere that there is a patch for vista out that will make it recognize 4 gigs of ram, is it true at all? I'm getting a new laptop within the next day or two (in the mail now *prays to the UPS gods*) and it's coming with 32-bit home premium and 4 gigs of ram. Just curious and all. If there isn't a patch, will there ever be one or should I just upgrade to the 64 bit to make use of the 4 gigs?
No the patch... called SP1 is a display change only. A 64 bit OS is still required to use all 4 gigs of ram
I gotcha, and if I have this CPU processor, then it would just make sense to get the 64 bit then right, or stick with 32?
CPU Type Intel Core 2 Duo
CPU Speed T8300(2.40GHz)
CPU FSB 800MHz
CPU L2 Cache 3MB
My friend has a nice Dell laptop with 4 gig ram and Vista 32 was using around 3.5 gig of it, which is pretty good. I only got 2.9 gig of my 4 on my desktop which prompted the switch to 64. I guess the laptop used so much more because there was little or no memory on his gfx card? Less addresses to be reserved? Anyway, as Scot pointed out finding 64 bit drivers for everything on a laptop may be a nightmare. You should research it first and find out if it is even possible.
I just had a similar issue... trying to figure out what OS to run on my desktop. I decided to go with Vista 64 to use my 4 GB of RAM and take advantage of my 64 bit processor. So far, all of my hardware is installed without an issue and I am able to get all of my programs running (including all of the games I play, and I play quite a few) without any issues that you wouldn't encounter with a fresh install of any OS. If you rig is new, go 64 bit Vista. If the drivers/software isn't out yet, it will be very soon.
I'v been reading about this patch.. I'v actually installed all MS updates & SP1 and Vista still only recognizes 3.5 gb in my system.
Don't worry about it. There is nothing you can do on Vista or XP to use all of your 4 gig of RAM except install the 64 bit version. Period.
SP1 is supposed to report that you have 4 gig installed but that's all it does, report that it is there, it does not actually use any more than before.
Not sure why your system only reports 3.5 after installing SP 1 - unless you are looking in the wrong place. System monitors and RAM usage meters will still tell you there is 3.5. You will have to look under system properties in Windows to see any reference to 4 gig installed.
Your missing RAM is caused by the need of a 32 bit OS to reserve address space for other device have memory on them, such as video card for example.
Please note that you won't be able to "Upgrade" to Vista x64 because:
1) An OEM is 32 or 64. Retail have both version (for x64, need to order a CD from M$ for 10$ to cover shipping). So, need to buy another OEM x64 or the Retail version.
2) You cannot upgrade a 32bits to 64bits. Clean install only.
So, unless I'am wrong, may be you should try first what you will get and see if you really need to change everything. Will you do stuff that will require a lot of memory? This answer will tell you to go or not.