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M3N-HT Deluxe memory issue

Last response: in Motherboards
February 19, 2009 8:48:06 PM

I've been running an Asus M3N-HT Deluxe motherboard, but I notice Windows only sees 2.5GB of the 4GB I've installed. I expected to lose 512MB to on-board devices plus whatever size video card I have (another 512MB). But it appears this board maps out a full 1GB of my RAM for on-board devices even though the on-board video is supposedly disabled (set to AUTO, there is no disable setting). Hey, when you only have 4GB of address space, 512MB is a lot of memory to lose for no benefit whatsoever.

I've talked with Asus tech support and the only suggestion they had was to turn memory hole remapping off, which didn't do anything to increase RAM available to Windows. Terrible...

Suggestions anyone?
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 80 } Memory
a c 233 V Motherboard
February 19, 2009 9:15:31 PM

Can't you install a 64-bit OS to resolve the issue?
February 20, 2009 2:11:26 AM

If you're running windows xp, thats all the ram windows is going to see.
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February 20, 2009 6:13:28 PM

Well, it that's true it's a terrible implementation by ASUS. I have several computers with 4GB and Windows XP sees at least 3GB (or more) on all of them except this ASUS board.

There is absolutely no reason for a mobo to map a full 1GB of memory for internal devices. I have disabled the internal video, so it should not be using any main memory at all. Knowing that most people will be running 32-bit OS, ASUS has no excuse for such a design flaw, wasting at least 512MB of main memory for no functional benefit.

a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 80 } Memory
a c 233 V Motherboard
February 20, 2009 6:53:17 PM

Do your other computers with 4 GB have that NVIDIA nForce 780a chipset? It looks like your motherboard uses 512 MB of shared memory, even if the onboard video is disabled.

My Asus motherboards with an Intel chipset don't have that issue, i.e., they have 3.3 GB available when using a 256 MB video card (or 3 GB if using a 512 MB video card).
February 25, 2009 7:56:22 PM

This is my first (and last) computer with the nForce 780a chipset. When limited to 4GB, the loss of 1/8 of main memory for a video chip that is disabled is an extremely poor design. I doubt that the BIOS can be patched to regain this 512MB, but if it can be done, it should be done.

2.5 out of 4GB usable is unacceptable. Purchasers should be forewarned of this behavior so they can decide if this is acceptable before purchasing. No reviews of this chipset or board mention this behavior. For me it is not acceptable, so I will be selling this board and will probably never purchase another ASUS product.
February 25, 2009 8:04:15 PM

Hi, dont be harsh on the motherboard though. The main limitation is the OS itself.

How about running parallel with a 64bit OS instead?
March 2, 2009 6:48:53 PM

Sorry, I understand where you are coming from on 64-bit Windows - but I disagree. 64-bit Windows OSes on the desktop are still relatively new and are frought with a raft of usability issues. Some 32-bit programs simply will not run on either 64-bit XP or Vista, while 64-bit drivers are not available for many devices (scanners, printers, etc.) which are perfectly functional on 32-bit Windows XP. Yes, 64-bit Windows XP or Vista solves the memory addressibility issue and works well for a small minority of users - but it is FAR from a perfect solution for everybody - myself included - because in solving the memory problem, 64-bit OSes create many other compatibility issues.

For these reasons, the vast majority of 64-bit capable computers are running 32-bit Windows XP, and this situation will not change for the next several years. Supposedly an industry leader, ASUS ought to know this and, if they don't, they should have done their homework.

As one of the vast majority of users with 64-bit hardware, I am stuck with 32-bit Windows XP for the forseeable future. So, yes, if they want MY money, I hold ASUS and any PC vendor to a very high standard. I expect them to be sensitive to the 4GB memory limit which is not going away for years to come, and not HOG 1GB of main memory for internal devices - especially do not grab a half-gig of memory for a video chip that is disabled.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.