I have a roughly 2-year-old motherboard with 4 slots. I am running 32-bit Windows. I currently have two 1 GB memory cards installed, both DDR2, but I want to expand to 4 GB for some heavy Photoshop work. I have two questions for the forum...
1) Should I get two more 1 GB cards for 4x1 GB, or should I scrap the 1 GB and just get two 2 GB cards? What's more efficient, 4x1 GB or 2x2 GB? Maybe it doesn't even matter... ? At least with 2x2 GB, I know I'll have a well-matched pair, right?
2) I believe I need to edit the BOOT.INI file to get Windows to recognize the RAM, but most of the BOOT.INI edits I've seen in this context are old. I am running XP Professional SP3 right now. What's the most current BOOT.INI edit for XP Pro SP3?
2x2GB is less likely to have signal issues on the memory bus (installing 4 modules can be problematic on some MBs).
With 32bit Win, the OS will only see about 3.5-2.5GB of the RAM, as other hardware uses up some of the 4GB total addresses available. The more RAM in your graphics card, the fewer addresses available for Windows, so a graphics card with 1GB of RAM will result in Windows having less than 3GB of RAM accessable.
You don't need to mess with your BOOT.INI file.
You may want to consider buying a new MB and a 64-bit OS.
Did they get rid of the need for the /3GB switch in SP3? I thought it was still required if you wanted to give the app access to more than 2GB? I didn't think that was changed... nor does a cursory check of the web make me think it is uneeded. Photoshop is one fo the apps that would benefit from this addition to the boot.ini.