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Vista Home Premium x32 - Max Memory?

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February 25, 2008 9:38:39 PM

Hello All!

I am in the process of doing a major systems upgrade to my rig, and I think I may have made an amateurish mistake. My system specs are:

Abit IX38 Quad GT Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor
Gecube Radeon HD3870X2 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI-e x16 Crossfire ready graphic card
Thermaltake Toughpower QFan series 650W SLI/Crossfire ready PSU
Tuniq Tower 120 CPU Cooler
Mushkin Redline DDR2 2x2GB (4GB) 1000Mhz 5-5-5-12 ram modules
Vista Home Premium Edition x32

I have already ordered the parts, and they are due to arrive this week. The Abit board will support up to 8GB of ram, but it occurred to me today that Vista Home Premium x32 does not support 4GB ram. The real concern would be with installation of the operating system - what potential problems will I have? Is it better to install 1 or 2GB of ram pre-OS install, and add the remaining ram post-install? I could upgrade to Vista x64 - but a good deal of my other peripherals are not driver compatible (including my printer) w/Vista x64.

Is it possible to have 4GB of ram installed in my rig, even though Vista will not recognize it (i just hate the thought of having a whole GIG of ram that seems useless), will this cause me problems? Thanks in advance for any input - believe me it would be appreciated. Just trying to run damage control before there is any real damage.
February 25, 2008 10:02:12 PM

While the system will only recocognize 3.0+GB of RAM, it shouldn't cause any problems. Should still run faster than with 2GB and given the cost of RAM probably worth it.
February 25, 2008 10:05:08 PM

Thanks g-paw. I didn't think it would be a major issue, but I have read a number of horror stories regarding ram installation along with OS installs.

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February 25, 2008 10:07:47 PM

You're not going to hurt anything with 4G of RAM. The 32 bit OS won't necessarily display the full 4G but it can actually use a little over 3G so it's not a complete waste. It would be a good idea to use a single stick on your first few startups until you know everything is stable but that's a good idea with multiple RAM modules to isolate or eliminate potential problems.
February 25, 2008 10:23:20 PM

Is your Vista 32-bit OEM, retail, or upgrade?
February 25, 2008 10:44:20 PM

My Vista 32-bit is a retail version.
February 25, 2008 10:54:30 PM

That's good. Since you have the retail version, you qualify to get the 64-bit version for the price of the DVD media plus S&H. It comes to about $10 and uses your existing Vista product key/license. So, if you're really concerned about not getting all 4 gigs, you can opt for 64-bit. If you don't like 64-bit, you can stick with 32-bit and accept the missing RAM.

Go here for details:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/2057/ordermedia/d...
February 25, 2008 11:50:15 PM

Thanks! Appreciate the information. I don't think it would hurt to try the Vista 64-bit version. My only problem tho' is the other peripherals attached to my system.

For example; I have a Lexmark printer that unfortunately does not have drivers available for the 64-bit version of Vista - only the 32-bit version. There are some other small toys and trinkets that I have - that I am sure will not work with Vista 64-bit due to driver incompatibilities.
a b } Memory
February 26, 2008 12:20:17 AM

^Yeah, drivers are a real pain in the @$$.
a b } Memory
February 26, 2008 12:21:16 AM

Why not install both and dual boot ? Can even put different versions on different partitions to make eliminating one easier when / if all ya stuff gets compatible....also might try 32 bit compatibility mode many things will run under 64 bit if run in compatibility mode.
a b } Memory
February 26, 2008 12:26:03 AM

^ Not a bad idea. I run XP x64 /Vista / Linux on my main gaming PC.
February 26, 2008 2:56:02 AM

Interesting idea JackN. I may take that advice.
!