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*64-bit* -> 4gb RAM not working properly in VIsta 64-bit

Last response: in Windows Vista
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November 2, 2008 5:11:28 PM

I have:

- Vista Business x64 SP1
- 4gb DDR pc3200 OCZ RAM (4x1gb sticks)
- Asus A8N-SLI Premium Motherboard
- Athlon64 X2 4800+ s939 processor
- GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896mb

Vista reports 4.00gb of RAM under My Computer. However, task manager only shows 3gb of physical memory total, and when I am using 1gb, it says I am using ~33% of my physical memory. Adobe After Effects reports that I have 3.00gb of RAM available.

In BIOS, S/W memory remapping is ENABLED. However, H/W Memory Remapping is Disabled - whenever I try to enable it, Vista will not start.... either BSOD and reboot, or just a reboot before I even see the Vista loading screen. So I have to leave it with just S/W memory remapping enabled. For what it's worth, when S/W memory remapping was also disabled, Vista still reported 4.00gb of RAM, but task manager only reported 2.75gb. So, enabling S/W memory remapping got me an extra 0.25gb of RAM.

I am also wondering if this caused a problem with 3D Mark Vantage. I was running the benchmark, but got a BSOD and reboot... the error said "Memory Management." My guess is this might be related? I know my RAM is good, though, as I ran memtest all night and it passed everything 100% with no errors.

Any thoughts/ideas? Where is my extra 1gb hiding? I went to Vista 64-bit so I could use this extra RAM, and I'm still stuck right around 3gb! Grr.

Thanks for the help!
November 2, 2008 9:55:58 PM

Go to OCZs website and look up your exact memory timings for 4 1G setup including DDR voltage and set those manually, then try enabling H/W remapping.
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November 3, 2008 2:31:29 AM

Check the specs of your motherboard.

Some motherboards that work with 64-bit processors retain the limitations of 32-bit systems, so to exploit the advantages offered by the newer architecture, it is important to ensure the motherboard has a wide enough address bus. Motherboards with wider address and data buses currently still impose artificial limitations on the amount of memory due to the impracticality otherwise. Windows Vista x64 Edition allows up to 128 GB of memory – far more than most current motherboards permit - but you should consider the expandability of applications built using the new architecture as the technology improves.
http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/5709

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November 3, 2008 12:48:45 PM

Frequent problem with ASUS A8N SLI Series due to buggy ASUS BIOS. Update to the latest BIOS, obtain latest drivers from the chip vendors (not from ASUS). If still doesn't work, time to upgrade the motherboard.
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November 3, 2008 3:25:31 PM

That brings me to another question - when I installed XP in the past, I always installed the latest nforce4 drivers, which then enabled LAN, onboard audio, etc. etc.

With VISTA, it seemed to download all of this stuff right automatically and I never had any issues. It also appeared that maybe it downloaded newer versions. So as of right now, I have not installed nforce4 chipset drivers from NVIDIA.

Should I? And do I need to? Save for the RAM issue, everything seems to be running well and fast. I thought maybe Vista already found the newest best drivers and it was no longer neccessary to go to nvidia's site and download it's nforce4 drivers (and I don't think they've been updated in a while anyway...)


Thanks for the help so far. I will check on the Timining and Voltage settings. I do remember H/W remapping worked before, but I forgot, that was before I manually set my timings and voltage to spec (H/W remapping worked when the sticks were underclocked to 166mhz and slower timings by default. Now that I have set them to what they are "suppose" to be... maybe thats the issue. I will check it when I get home.
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November 3, 2008 8:18:08 PM

dannyaa said:
That brings me to another question - when I installed XP in the past, I always installed the latest nforce4 drivers, which then enabled LAN, onboard audio, etc. etc.

With VISTA, it seemed to download all of this stuff right automatically and I never had any issues. It also appeared that maybe it downloaded newer versions. So as of right now, I have not installed nforce4 chipset drivers from NVIDIA.

Should I? And do I need to? Save for the RAM issue, everything seems to be running well and fast. I thought maybe Vista already found the newest best drivers and it was no longer neccessary to go to nvidia's site and download it's nforce4 drivers (and I don't think they've been updated in a while anyway...)


I'm not entirely sure, but it looks like the drivers are from the manufacturer because that's what it says. Maybe they either have a partnership to provide drivers to MS servers...or MS redirects you to their servers to get it? This is in 64-bit and I know there is some form of "digital signing" involved for drivers and maybe they have to give them to MS? Not sure exactly how it works. But I think they are "optional" downloads as well. Unless there is a security issue with it.
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November 3, 2008 9:32:22 PM

1.) I updated to the 15.23 nforce4 chipset drivers, didn't notice any differences but at least it's done.

2.) Tried setting my DRAM settings in the BIOS back to auto, which underclocks (for some reason) the RAM to slightly slower timings and 333mhz. STILL, whenever I have H/W remapping enabled, I just got an instant reboot as soon as Vista tries to load. S/W remapping still works fine. So I set it back to the advertised timings and 400mhz and S/W remapping only.


SO, I am still stuck with Vista reporting 4.00gb of RAM but only using 3.00gb for Apps and in the task manager... UGH. Is there any other possible way around this?

- I have the latest non-beta ASUS BIOS for my motherboard, which is, however, relatively old at this point (again I have a socket 939 AMD ASUS A8N-SLI Premium mobo with an Athlon64 X2 4800+).

- My RAM is OCZ Platinum DDR400 pc3200 2-3-2-5, 4x1gb

http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_el_ddr...

(though I think I have Rev1 probably, not Rev2, since I bought it in 2005... though I RMA'ed two sticks of it a few months ago so half the RAM could possibly be Rev2)

- My GPU is 896mb if that makes any differences for available RAM

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November 4, 2008 12:38:26 AM

what happens when you enable HW remapping with only two gig of ram installed?
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November 4, 2008 10:45:29 AM

@dannyaa

Quote:
OCZ EL DDR PC-3200 / 400MHz / Platinum Edition / Revision 2

OCZ Platinum Edition Revision 2 PC-3200 memory has been designed for ultra-low latency operation on Intel Pentium 4 and AMD AthlonXP/Athlon 64 platforms. OCZ Platinum Edition PC-3200 memory is able to reach latencies as low as CL 2-2-2-5.

OCZ PC-3200 products are 100% hand-tested to ensure compliance with stringent quality standards. In addition, each OCZ Platinum Edition Revision 2 module also comes with a high quality copper heat spreader with a platinum mirrored finish.

OCZ Platinum Edition memory modules are rated to handle up to 2.9V without invalidating the OCZ Lifetime Warranty so that performance enthusiasts can tweak their systems without worry.



You didn't buy a 4G matched set of 4 X 1G so did you buy each 1G module separately?

A 4G matched set gives you timings all 4 modules will run at the timings suggested however you're attempting to run settings that are for a 1G module, 4G will not run at that speed!

Try 3-3-3-12 or 4-4-4-16, it may help you to research this at OCZs forums, OCZ says you can run 2.9V on the slots so try that too.

Note: AMD dual cores seem to lose performance when memory remapping is enabled and Vista has the full 4G of memory at its disposal, as long as you're seeing the full 4G in the BIOS boot screen then the unavailable memory is reserved for your onboard devices that have their own onboard memory, so you won't actually be losing performance.

Whats going to be most important for you is to get your timings relaxed so all four modules work together without producing errors, the timings advertized for one stick are too tight for four.

You may even consider sending a request for settings advice directly to OCZs support and ask for their suggestions for the optimal performance timing and voltage settings for the modules you have, they may save you a lot of time testing.

Quote:
Tried setting my DRAM settings in the BIOS back to auto, which underclocks (for some reason) the RAM to slightly slower timings and 333mhz. STILL, whenever I have H/W remapping enabled, I just got an instant reboot as soon as Vista tries to load. S/W remapping still works fine. So I set it back to the advertised timings and 400mhz and S/W remapping only.


The underclock happens because the timings are too tight, its a commendation to your hardware it even boots at all.

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November 4, 2008 11:35:52 AM

@dannyaa

After doing a little research at OCZs website forum my suggestions are not off by much, you'll need to get your timings from there for your particular situation.
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November 4, 2008 3:07:35 PM

Ah, this makes sense. Thanks 4ryan6. For what its worth, I bought a 2x1gb Kit in 2005, and then a year later in 2006 bought another 2x1gb kit. This second kit was recently RMA'ed a couple months ago for a replacement 2gb kit.

SO, I have 2 2x1gb kits. The two kits are the same. Does this change anything you were saying?

And also, I am really sorry, but I didn't quite understand what you meant by the way you phrased this part:

------------------------------------------------
Note: AMD dual cores seem to lose performance when memory remapping is enabled and Vista has the full 4G of memory at its disposal, as long as you're seeing the full 4G in the BIOS boot screen then the unavailable memory is reserved for your onboard devices that have their own onboard memory, so you won't actually be losing performance.
------------------------------------------------

Are you saying that when S/W *or* H/W memory remapping is enabled, the RAM will run slower? Or the whole chipset/processor?

Are you saying that it is ideal to NOT see the full 4gb of RAM in Vista as being available because this causes the performance loss, and it is preferable to JUST see it in BIOS and know that its being dedicated to other devices?

And, if so, why?
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November 4, 2008 4:00:20 PM

dannyaa said:
Ah, this makes sense. Thanks 4ryan6. For what its worth, I bought a 2x1gb Kit in 2005, and then a year later in 2006 bought another 2x1gb kit. This second kit was recently RMA'ed a couple months ago for a replacement 2gb kit.

SO, I have 2 2x1gb kits. Does this change anything you were saying?

And also, I am really sorry, but I didn't quite understand what you meant by the way you phrased this part:

------------------------------------------------
Note: AMD dual cores seem to lose performance when memory remapping is enabled and Vista has the full 4G of memory at its disposal, as long as you're seeing the full 4G in the BIOS boot screen then the unavailable memory is reserved for your onboard devices that have their own onboard memory, so you won't actually be losing performance.
------------------------------------------------

Are you saying that when S/W *or* H/W memory remapping is enabled, the RAM will run slower? Or the whole chipset/processor?

Are you saying that it is ideal to NOT see the full 4gb of RAM in Vista as being available because this causes the performance loss, and it is preferable to JUST see it in BIOS and know that its being dedicated to other devices?

And, if so, why?




2 matched sets will still require adjusting your timings to a relaxed speed so they can all run together stably.

Each 2G matched set will run at its advertised timings by themselves, but running all 4 will require relaxing the timings.


Regarding the Note: I ran into the situation of the amount of available memory to Vista being directly controlled by enabling and disabling the memory remapping feature, at the time I was running a dual core AMD 5400+, so once I got the 4G available to Vista I decided to bench it with memory remapping enabled vs disabled, the results were > Enabled 4G available to Vista 3Dmark06 = 8,998 > Disabled 2.5G available to Vista 3Dmark06 = 11,744 thats a 2,746 performance hit!!!

So thats where my statement came from, now that only applies to 4 x 1G modules!

If you run 2 x 2G with remapping enabled your performance will increase, this really only applies to a 4G setup that is 4 x 1G modules, now Why? Don't ask I don't know why, all I have to go on is the benchmark results which pretty much speak for themselves IMO.
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Anonymous
October 12, 2010 2:14:54 PM

There's nothing to do with RAMs they're good, just flash your BIOS to newest version (beta).. I updated my a8n-sli bios to 1604 (beta) and now I don't have any BSOD's and windows shows 4GB RAM as it should..
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