Ram Limit

So I know that 32-bit OS's can only run with 3GB, 3.5GB or 4GB of RAM (depending who you ask ;)) but this is now becoming a problem.

Currently, I have 3GB of 800MHz ram, and two 512MB graphic cards..

My system uses 512MB ram anyway (maybe onboard? not sure) so that's my 3.5GB limit, and then with my graphic cards as well, I'm down to 2.5GB.. which is fine. That's what it shows in most programs and in computer properties.. 2.5GB.

But now.. I'm looking at buying two GTX260's each with 896MB of ram. But will that mean I can only ever have 1.75GB of system RAM?
I was fine with losing 512MB. And when I buy my new graphic cards, I will also be upgrading to 1066MHz ram, but 1.75GB isn't very much at all for a high-end PC to use. Is it actually worth me going to XP64? Or would 1.75GB of 1066MHz ram be enough?

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  1. For part 1 - Understand that not all Video Memory is memory mapped. So you won't necessarily lose the entire amount.

    Here's a good article on the hows and whys:

    Part 2 - XP64? Why not Vista 64 or Win 7 x64? Why would you go through the work of changing only to go to an end of life OS?
  2. second move to win 7x64 beta. or even vista. unless you NEED a specific app you know will not run in either OS. Don't believe the stupid Mac commercials. vista is a awesome OS on modern PC it was made for.
  3. *** still uses mac? lol) and I know vista is a good system.. just seems a little too simpled-down for me. I don't to be asked if I'm sure of this that and the other all the time.. I know what I'm doing! And I haven't looked into Windows 7 64bit yet, but I will soon have a second system which will be my OS / Hardware tester.

    Only reason I said XP64 is because I'm used to XP, and I run a business from this computer so I didn't want to faff around with new OS's when I'm still trying to work.

    Thanks for your input though guys, much appreciated!
  4. Vista 64x SP1 should be your next step (as mentioned before), no more RAM cap issues, more secure, compatible with almost everything now ( it does not support legacy applications, i.e. really retro games), DX10 which is good but not jaw-dropping as M$ stated before.

    It does utilize more RAM, 1gb average, but it loads in that ram applications you usually use, so they start faster. At least for me, while playing, the most RAM used I've seen is 3.1gbs out of 4 gigs, and that's with antivirus, msn messenger, like 4 firefox windows, bittorrent and a bunch of gadgets running, while playing crysis warhead.

    So if you have a 512mb GPU, you can keep using XP and get awesome performance, but once you have more than 1gig Vram, XP no longer keeps up, in my case I have a 4850x2, that's 2gigs of Vram, imagine playing Crysis in XP with that card....I would have more Vram than actual RAM lol (not quite but funny to think about it).

    And it should be compatible with all(almost) 32bits apps
  5. Yeah that was my problem jassao!
    I currently have 1GB of VRAM, so I can only use 2.5GB of my installed 3GB.

    And Vista / Windows 7 wouldn't be a problem using a gig or so just to run, as if I had no limit, I would max my motherboard out with 8GB which is more than enough for todays games, gadgets and applications.
  6. PsyKhiqZero said:
    second move to win 7x64 beta. or even vista. unless you NEED a specific app you know will not run in either OS. Don't believe the stupid Mac commercials. vista is a awesome OS on modern PC it was made for.

    And and if you need a specific app you can just use the XPM on W7 :)
  7. And as for 8 gigs of ram, almost no application is going to use that much memory. Unless you are doing some heavy encoding or virtualization i would recommend sticking with the 4 gigs and putting that money somewhere else.
  8. Just remenber to get vista 64x, if you get vista 32bit you'll be worse than before,
    imagine this: vista 1gig ram, antivirus and other background apps 250mbs, SLI'd GPUs 1.75gigs... in theory you would have left 500mb ram to play! Even 1gig ram available is not enough for latest games.
  9. when I first moved to vista every one of my xp programs worked except a for like 3 games. compatibility is pretty good. and with windows 7 xp mode it's full proof. but if your going to rely on windows 7 and xp mode make sure your cpu supports virtualization.
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