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How much RAM is REALLY available in Vista x86?

Hi, my question is about how much RAM Vista x86 can see. I know that it shouldn't be able to see more than 4 GB (if I'm not mistaken, I picked up that information from when I was building my computer). I bought myself 3x2 GB Corsair sticks, and running Win Vista Ultimate x86, the whole 6 GB is visible. Is TigerDirect giving misleading information, or maybe I got something wrong in the first place?

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  1. Vista can see more than 4G but cant use it.
  2. Best answer
    Vista displays the total installed amount, but is still fully subject to 32 bit address space limitations. If you wish to use all 6GB installed on your machine, you will need to do a clean install of a 64 bit OS.
  3. ^+1, Is the best option for now.
  4. I thought so. I tried x64 several times by now, but each time I switched back to x86, for several simple reasons. x64 eats more space, I did not notice any significant increase in performance, and occasionally the settings I have had for different programs were all wiped out and reset to default settings. I do not think this could be solved somehow. That's why I switched back to x86.

    However, the only performance increase I've noticed in Photoshop CS4, which is ultra fast on x64. But nothing else than that.
  5. Which programs? I can't say that I've ever noticed that issue. But yes, if you have 4GB+ of RAM, then installing a 32-bit OS is a waste of time and money. With 64-bit you're not going to notice any significant increase in performance with 32-bit programs... but you will be able to run more of them at once. After all, 32-bit programs are still subjected to that 2GB limit they always were... but with a 64-bit OS, they can be assigned any 2GB available. With a 32-bit OS, all programs have to share the same 2GB.
  6. @Zoron, as reply to your question above: The settings that were wiped out occasionally were for uTorrent, Yahoo! Messenger, Opera and WinAMP. WinAMP and Yahoo! Messenger they normally store their settings in \Users\AppData\Virtual Store\ or some other location under the AppData folder, etc etc. At moments, these folders went blank and their contents were moved to other location, impossible for the program itself to find them. This happened both under Vista and 7, x64.
  7. Odd... I use Yahoo and uTorrent and never had any issues.
  8. And that's not all. Now, even more weird!! I am running Win 7 x64 right now, 10 minutes ago I had all my icons on the desktop, now many of them are missing!! Although they appear in C:\Users\Criss\Desktop\! Guess I'd have to start a separate thread about that..
  9. Again, very odd... I've never had icons simply "disappear". I don't think this is a 64-bit issue, as more people would be complaining about it if it were. I think it's a coincidence that you are using an x64 version of Windows and having these issues.
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