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RAM use with Vista 32-bit and 64-bit

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August 6, 2008 2:17:35 PM

- ASUS P5E3 Deluxe
- INTEL Core 2 Duo 3.16GHz E8500 [ LGA775 - 6MB - 45nm - 1333MHz]
- 2x DDR3 2GB [2x1GB] DDR1333 (PC3-10666) - CORSAIR DHX [TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX]
- ASUS Extreme N8800GTS/HTDP ( GeForce 8800GTS 512MB 2xDVI HDTV HDCP )
- SATA150 74GB - 10000 WESTERN DIGITAL RAPTOR (16MB) [WD740ADFD]
- English Windows XP PRO SP2b OEM

Hey there,

So this is my set up.... I have posted a thread about RAM issues with windows XP, but having read a whole bunch of forums etc, I've come to realize that whilst 4GB of RAM occasionally works with XP, generally it is not meant to.

Question is: Will upgrading to Vista Ultimate 32-bit change anything? or is the 64 bit version required. My PC starts up at the moment with the 4Gb, detects 3.12 in the 'system' in control panel, but upon starting ANY software the software crashes instantly. Windows keeps running though...

Thanks for any help you can give!

P.S. I'm reluctant to go to 64 bit as apparently lots of programs and games have issues with this in various shapes and forms.

More about : ram vista bit bit

August 6, 2008 2:20:02 PM

Forgot to mention: MEMTESTs shows RAM is fine.... they are 2 matched pairs purchased at the same time (to reduce chance of them being different in any way).
August 6, 2008 2:24:05 PM

The only issue with 64-bit is that punkbuster doesn't support 64-bit. That means you won't be able to play on PB enabled servers. Other than that, the thing about programs not working is really a myth.

Upgrading to 32-bit Vista should do the trick because it sounds like a bad install if Windows, but you'll only be able to utilize the 3GB still.
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August 6, 2008 2:30:59 PM

re: vista 64. It's over the hump and the hottest thing going now. OEMs are switching over to it, driver support is great, most all apps simply run in the 32 bit mode of the processor. No MS 32 bit consumer OS will get you the use of all 4 gig of your RAM. You will need to go 64 bit. This IS the way to go for now and the future but there are a VERY few apps (some popular VPN clients, 3d mark, and a few others, no 16 bit apps at all unless you run them in a VM) and mostly older hardware that don't work on it yet. The blog post I linked to below at Zdnet addresses this in detail.

Bottom line is Vista 64 is now past critical mass and is the OS of today and the very near future. Games run great on it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/237516-44-excellent-a...

Vista 32 runs great with 4 gig RAM but like XP it will not use it all. You'll end up with 3 gig +/- or even less if you use multiple video cards with lots of on-board memory. But there are no reports of system crashes in Vista 32 because of simply installing 4 gig.

Bottom line is Vista 64 is now past critical mass and is the OS of today and the very near future. Games run great on it.

August 6, 2008 2:33:16 PM

mmmm, i've always been curious about how real the whole 'nothing works on vista 64 bit' thing is....

As an afterthought.... Would I be able to only use 3 ram sticks in my motherboard to at least maximize that side of things? or would this cause damage to the motherboard and or RAM?
August 6, 2008 2:38:09 PM

stenno said:
mmmm, i've always been curious about how real the whole 'nothing works on vista 64 bit' thing is....

As an afterthought.... Would I be able to only use 3 ram sticks in my motherboard to at least maximize that side of things? or would this cause damage to the motherboard and or RAM?


You mean on Vista 64? Or what? I'm confused.
August 6, 2008 2:43:37 PM

sorry, to clarify.... using 3 of the 4 RAM slots would be with XP as is now or even possibly with Vista 32bit,
August 6, 2008 2:48:55 PM

Well, short answer is you can always use 3 sticks of RAM but in doing so you will lose dual channel, at least on MOBOs I am familiar with this has been the case for years. The effect of dual channel is somewhat overrated but it still speeds things up a bit so going to three sticks of RAM is a bit of a trade off.

You have 2, 2 gig sticks right? And your board has what, four slots? That's why I'm confused. Were you considering putting in 3, 1 gig sticks instead or adding another 2 gig?
August 6, 2008 2:52:41 PM

sorry, didn't explain that too well either.... I have 2 sets of matched pairs. In other words, 4x 1Gb.

Will the 3Gb be better than the gain from using dual channel?
August 6, 2008 2:54:43 PM

With DDR2 so dirt cheap right now, your best bet would be 4 sticks of 2GB RAM; it would only cost you another $40, tops.

32 bit systems can only access 4GB RAM total; counting main memory, GFX card RAM, sound card RAM, page file, etc.
August 6, 2008 2:59:47 PM

my RAM is DDR3.... and 4 sticks of 2GB would be 8 so I'd have to get vista 64 bit. Can't imagine windows xp being too happy about 8GB of RAM?
Anonymous
a b } Memory
August 6, 2008 3:02:03 PM

gamerk316 said:
With DDR2 so dirt cheap right now, your best bet would be 4 sticks of 2GB RAM; it would only cost you another $40, tops.

32 bit systems can only access 4GB RAM total; counting main memory, GFX card RAM, sound card RAM, page file, etc.
32 bits systems can access 3,25 GB ram(as i saw in my friends pc) and yes, th best bet would be 4 sticks of 2GB ram :) 
August 6, 2008 3:05:27 PM

My only gripe with Vista's 64 bit version is NO VPN SUPPORT. My employer has two different VPNs I can connect to (Cisco & SonicWALL) and neither provides a 64 bit VPN client. The 32 bit VPN client fails on install so I'm gonna have to hold onto my old XP laptop just in case I need to connect back to work... it's not a deal breaker. Being able to use all 4 GB of RAM is nice... Vista 64 has been 100% stable... no crazy reboots/lockups. IE did crash once, but even that wasn't a major event... just re-opened the browser and it was back to normal (for the record I typically use Firefox)
August 6, 2008 3:10:31 PM

stenno said:
sorry, didn't explain that too well either.... I have 2 sets of matched pairs. In other words, 4x 1Gb.

Will the 3Gb be better than the gain from using dual channel?


My bad. I saw 2 x 2 gig in your system specs and didn't read inside the parenthesis where it specifies the 2 gig is in a matched pair.

Yes, you can use three sticks. You just lose dual channel.

But this raises a new question: many motherboards have issues running properly when all four RAM slots are filled. This has nothing to do with the total RAM size, it's all about powering and coordinating 4 separate sticks. Not sure if your board has this issue or not. The usual remedy is to do one or more of the following:

1. In the BIOS setup reduce (bus) speed of the RAM down to the next lower level eg. 667 from 800 (try first, this often fixes it)
2. Raise the timings eg. got to 5,5,5,15 instead of 4,4,4,12
3. Bump the RAM voltage very slightly
4. bump up the Northbridge voltage slightly

Also be sure that your RAM is set to mfg spec - if it is spec to run at 2.2 and your board is only giving it 1.8 this could make the system unstable.

All of this stuff is somewhat motherboard specific so it is hard to give you specific advice - but generally these are the tweaks that have gotten 4 sticks stable on other ssytems. You might want to email Asus suipport or perhaps look over the manual carefully for specific instructions on running 4 sticks. Perhaps this explains why XP didn't like 4 gig and it's not an OS issue at all? Don't know. I've never tried running XP 32 with 4 myself. I always heard that XP didn't like 4 gig but the usual issue was that it slowed it down a tad.
August 6, 2008 3:13:25 PM

rodney_ws said:
My only gripe with Vista's 64 bit version is NO VPN SUPPORT. My employer has two different VPNs I can connect to (Cisco & SonicWALL) and neither provides a 64 bit VPN client. The 32 bit VPN client fails on install so I'm gonna have to hold onto my old XP laptop just in case I need to connect back to work... it's not a deal breaker. Being able to use all 4 GB of RAM is nice... Vista 64 has been 100% stable... no crazy reboots/lockups. IE did crash once, but even that wasn't a major event... just re-opened the browser and it was back to normal (for the record I typically use Firefox)


Rodney, have you tried connecting through XP running in a VM on Vista?
August 6, 2008 3:16:32 PM

stenno said:
sorry, didn't explain that too well either.... I have 2 sets of matched pairs. In other words, 4x 1Gb.

Will the 3Gb be better than the gain from using dual channel?


ON XP 32? Eh, don't know but doubt it. Depends on how much stuff you are running at the same time I think, and if you use ram hungry apps in general.
a c 109 } Memory
August 6, 2008 3:17:50 PM

You SHOULD not have a problem running XP with 4gb. You will see about 3.3gb.
1) Check to see if your mobo has a bios update that might address the issue.
2) Have you installed the latest mobo chipset drivers?

If the above do not address the issue, consider re-installing XP.

64 bit Vista home premium has been trouble free for me. If you are inclined to change to Vista, I can recommend it.
August 6, 2008 3:19:28 PM

bpogdowz said:
The only issue with 64-bit is that punkbuster doesn't support 64-bit. That means you won't be able to play on PB enabled servers. Other than that, the thing about programs not working is really a myth.

Upgrading to 32-bit Vista should do the trick because it sounds like a bad install if Windows, but you'll only be able to utilize the 3GB still.


That is totally wrong. I've been using 64 bit OS for the past nine months (XP, Vista, and Kubuntu) and on everyone I didn't have trouble using punkbuster and playing on servers with punkbuster enabled. 32 bit programs run fine on 64 bit operating systems. In fact, Vista 64 is very stable and I have never come across a program that hasn't worked on it, or XP 64 for that matter. If you are really considering getting Vista, you should definitely get the 64 bit version.
August 6, 2008 3:23:58 PM

stenno said:
my RAM is DDR3.... and 4 sticks of 2GB would be 8 so I'd have to get vista 64 bit. Can't imagine windows xp being too happy about 8GB of RAM?


Wait till the 2GB GFX cards come out, and people try to SLI them...(February maybe? :p ).

I'm in the same boat as you though: I'm running 32-bit XP, and am waiting for Windows 7. So until DDR3 prices drop a ton, im stuck with 2GB.

As for the 32-64 bit debate: You shouldnt need any type of compatability layer to get 32 bit applications working right on 64-bit machines. The only diffrence is the range of memory avaliable for use. The issue is more CPU side than anything, but todays CPU's can run 32 or 64 bit, so that's not as big an issue. You see more issues with 16 bit programs more than anything else...
August 6, 2008 3:26:27 PM

When i initially set up the PC, i couldn't run the installation with 4Gb installed.... had huge probs. but that may have been due to an eventual prob i foudn with one of the RAM stick (now replaced). Could try reinstalling with the 4 new sticks and see what happens.

pretty sure BIOS is up to date... but will confirm that later when I get home.

Thanks for all the help btw people! :-)
August 6, 2008 3:32:04 PM

San Pedro said:
That is totally wrong. I've been using 64 bit OS for the past nine months (XP, Vista, and Kubuntu) and on everyone I didn't have trouble using punkbuster and playing on servers with punkbuster enabled. 32 bit programs run fine on 64 bit operating systems. In fact, Vista 64 is very stable and I have never come across a program that hasn't worked on it, or XP 64 for that matter. If you are really considering getting Vista, you should definitely get the 64 bit version.


Well Crysis doesn't work for sure I know that, haven't tried any others because I don't have any ATM. Did some googling when I got the error message and turns out that PB doesn't support 64-bit.
August 6, 2008 3:41:14 PM

My friends do Crysis fine on 64bit. You probably just need to run pbsetup to update punkbuster.
August 6, 2008 3:48:45 PM

gamerk316 said:
My friends do Crysis fine on 64bit. You probably just need to run pbsetup to update punkbuster.

proof?

August 6, 2008 3:55:20 PM

notherdude said:
Rodney, have you tried connecting through XP running in a VM on Vista?

Not yet. Is that even possible with Vista Home Premium?

With so many new systems shipping with Vista 64-bit, I just can't imagine Cisco not cooking me up a new VPN client. They're just making themselves look bad at this point... does anything think that 64 bit OSes are just going to disappear? I was thinking a little patience would be all it takes.
August 6, 2008 3:59:27 PM

Um I also have Crysis, and it has a native 64bit that comes with it.

I play all kinds of games with Punkbuster enabled. Enemy Territory and Quake Wars are 2 that I come up with off the top of my head and I play only on PB servers and between the two games I play everyday.

I'll go get the patch for Crysis and jump on a server with PB enabled for you okay?
August 6, 2008 5:06:25 PM

In Joint Operations I needed to change a config file for punkbuster to work on Vista 65 ultimate. In the boards for the game I found the solution. Runs fine now.
August 6, 2008 5:08:39 PM

Yeah, you're right bp. . . Got authentication error in Vista 64 when connecting to servers. . . However, in XP 64 I could use punkbuster by using the 32bit exe and connect succesfully to servers. Was first time I ever tried the game online, and I wasn't all that impressed though.
August 6, 2008 10:05:42 PM

The thread PB linked to seems to suggest that on a 64 bit system you can run crysis in 32 bit mode, from the bin 32 dir, and get it going with punkbuster. Anyone tried that?

August 7, 2008 8:43:38 AM

Like notherdude said I tried running Crysis from the .exe located in the bin32 folder and now it lets you join a PB-enabled server. It really wasn't an issue to me because I don't mind playing casually online from time to time in a non-PB enabled server where the occasional cheat, really doesn't upset me.
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