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4GB or 6GB ram for Windows 7 32bit

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July 30, 2009 4:39:28 PM

Hello,

I am building a new computer and I was looking at DDR 3 ram 1600. I noticed alot of the choices is for 6Gb (3 x 2gb) sticks.

My questions are,

What is the max amount of memory win 7 32bit can run?
On a 4 slot motherboard, would 4 gb dual channel setup be better than 6gb setup, (3 of 4 slots filled) for access time, or usage?
Does CAS latency really matter any more when comparing DDR 3 memory such as 7, 8, or 9?

Thanks
a b } Memory
a c 209 $ Windows 7
July 30, 2009 5:21:07 PM

1) 32-bit operating systems will only be able to access 4GB of memory, and of that most applications will only be able to use 2GB.

2) With most motherboards you're better off for performance with an even number of DIMMs. But there are exceptions such as with the Core i7 - so check your motherboard manual.

3) I'm not an overclocker so I won't comment on your latency issue other than to say of all the variables in your system, memory timings are probably the ones that matter least for overall performance. Modern CPUs have very large caches which means they are much less reliant on memory speed than older systems.
July 30, 2009 10:13:10 PM

^^^^^ exactly what sminlal said..... unless you are going 64bit there is no point to 4+gb of ram
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July 30, 2009 10:40:41 PM

OK , makes sense. Thanks for your help.
July 30, 2009 10:52:42 PM

the real question is

why are you using windows 7 32 bit???
July 30, 2009 11:49:59 PM

uh_no said:
the real question is

why are you using windows 7 32 bit???



The reason why I am getting windows 7 32 bit is because I am building a gaming computer and I have a lot of old games I still like to play and I don't want to deal with driver issues and on any of my adobe programs, etc.
a c 104 } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
July 30, 2009 11:50:44 PM

subaru41 said:
Hello,

I am building a new computer and I was looking at DDR 3 ram 1600. I noticed alot of the choices is for 6Gb (3 x 2gb) sticks.

My questions are,

What is the max amount of memory win 7 32bit can run?
On a 4 slot motherboard, would 4 gb dual channel setup be better than 6gb setup, (3 of 4 slots filled) for access time, or usage?
Does CAS latency really matter any more when comparing DDR 3 memory such as 7, 8, or 9?

Thanks

A 32 bit OS of any kind can use at most 4gb.

With a 64 bit OS, the more ram the better. It will use extra ram to cache the stuff you use the most. The 4 slot motherboards may actually run the 3 of 4 slots in triple channel mode.

The cas latency has a minor effect on real application performance. Perhaps 1-3%. Actually, ram speed does not matter much either(same 1-3%), unless you are going for record overclocks. If DDR3-1333 ram was significantly cheaper than 1600, it would be OK.

Do plan on using Windows-7 64 bit.
Download and run the windows-7 upgrade advisor to check for any incompatibilities:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyi...
The only programs that will not run are 16 bit dos based.
July 31, 2009 4:07:05 AM

btw, remember that a 32-bit OS can only recognize 4 GB, but u take about 0.5 GB for address space, and 0.5 - 1 GB for a graphics card (asuming u have a 512 - 1 GB dedicated card), u r left with = 4 - 0.5 - 0.5 = 3 GB OR = 4 - 0.5 - 1 = 2.5 GB.

if u insist on using a 32 bit version, just use 3 GB.

also, i know u want to play old games, but new ones arent bad... u could install a 64 bit OS and install more ram and legally buy new games and play or illegally download them from the internet...
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
July 31, 2009 1:09:44 PM

subaru41 said:
The reason why I am getting windows 7 32 bit is because I am building a gaming computer and I have a lot of old games I still like to play and I don't want to deal with driver issues and on any of my adobe programs, etc.


You need to do some more research, as you have a few wrong ideas about running a 64 bit OS.
While you MIGHT have some problems with very old games, it will not be because the OS is 64 bit.
If a game will not run on Windows 7 64 bit, it very likely won't run on Windows 7 32 bit either. It will be a Windows issue,
but not for the reasons you are thinking.
"Programs" written for 32 bit code will run perfectly fine on a 64 bit OS.
The problem you might have is with certain older hardware and drivers, but.....
Driver issues will NOT be a problem if you are building a new computer, using new hardware.
Anything "Adobe" will work perfectly fine on a 64 bit OS.
Adobe's programs, like most design and graphic programs, have been running on 64 bit OS's for a over a decade.
Today, if you are going to spend money on a new OS, you would be foolish not to buy 64 bit.
If you use Adobe products, I would think that breaking the 4 gig memory barrier of a 32 bit OS would be a desired benefit.
Remember, it's not application programs that have a problem with 64 bit, it is hardware their drivers that were written for
32 bit that have a problem with a 64 bit OS. And, as I said, if unless you are going to be using some very dated hardware,
you don't have to worry about that either. Probably the worst thing people have problems with is peripherials, like old printers,
scanners, etc. These are the kind of things you have to look at, if you have them, and see if there are 64 bit drivers available.
To that end, if there are Windows 7 32 bit drivers available, they will have Windows 7 64 bit drivers available as well.
So take a good long study before you buy Windows 7 32 bit instead of 64.

And yes, latencies are important. More important than most of the time than bus speed.
You will notice a speed difference more in memory latencies of say....9 to 7, than you will a bus speed difference of say...1333 to 1600.
July 31, 2009 3:49:37 PM

geofelt said:
A 32 bit OS of any kind can use at most 4gb.


It is funny then that by installing superspeed's ramdisk (just one example) you will be able to use ram above 4G for your ram-drive.
a b $ Windows 7
July 31, 2009 7:52:19 PM

OP, the retail outlet where I pre-ordered Win7 says specifically that the package will include BOTH 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7. So you can install whichever you choose when you get it.

Mikrev007, it appears that in the most advanced version, Superspeed Plus 10, they are using special memory management software outside of 32-bit Windows to access the address space above 4 GB.
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
August 1, 2009 3:53:02 PM

mikrev007 said:
It is funny then that by installing superspeed's ramdisk (just one example) you will be able to use ram above 4G for your ram-drive.


Why in the world would you want to install software that will enable your system to use memory above 4 gig as a ramdrive, when you can simply install an OS that eliminates all the problems right off. It's like putting a bandage on a broken leg.
August 1, 2009 7:17:11 PM

jitpublisher, I am enlightening people on what is possible.

And don't forget that this is an it forum where people come to learn how stuff works. And that statement about 4GB being the mathematical limitation of 32bit OSes is still false.
May 23, 2010 6:12:21 AM

I have windows 7 Home premium 64 Bit And Have NO problems Running Older Games Like Diablo 2 Or Warcraft 3.
This is on a sub $400 Wal-mart HP Laptop. So My Question is how old of a Game Are You Running?
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
July 31, 2010 3:34:20 PM

64-bit gaming

EVERY game I have works on Windows 7 x64 (90 games).

Unless you have an expensive piece of hardware which has support for Windows 7 32-bit and NOT 64-bit then 64-bit is what people should buy.

Recommended setup:
- Windows 7 Premium x64 OEM
- 4GB DDR3 1600MHz

Other:
- 60GB SSD (like the latest OCZ for $175)
- 1TB WD hard drive (split into two partitions. Partition #1 for installing games instead of buying a larger SSD. Partition #2 for backups, downloads and multimedia etc.)
- *Make an Image of your Windows drive (C-Drive) after it has been Activated for easy Restore (OEM Windows has a limited number of re-installs; Restoring a backup Image of an Activated Windows installation will not count as reinstalling)

**A 60GB SSD should be plenty of space for almost anybody if you use a secondary hard drive as indicated above. I have a WD Velociraptor which was my primary and now is my E-drive. I have all my games there. I even COPIED my entire Steam games folder (instructions at Steam Forums) so I didn't have to re-download.

I absolutely LOVE my OCZ Vertex 2.
(I went RAID0 with 60GBx2. I now wish I'd purchased just one because:
a) 60GB was enough for Windows 7 (not Vista)
b) currently no TRIM support for RAID0
c) It's so fast it would be hard to tell the difference between RAID0 and one fast SSD. In fact, the visual effect of programs opening takes longer than the read time for most programs and Windows.
d) The only time I really wait is opening games or game levels. Those are on my hard drive anyway (and most open in 20 seconds).
April 13, 2011 10:28:55 AM

If you want to use greater than 4gb ram then you have to use 64bit os. Any kind of 32bit os can access max 3gb ram. Why are you using 32bit os? for playing older games? then i want to know how older is that game? if the game is 32bit then also it will work fine in a 64bit os, only 16bit softwares will not work in a 32bit win7. 64bit os is quite faster then 32bit also.
a b } Memory
April 13, 2011 1:46:37 PM

I can't help it, you guys are going to laugh your butts off...

The reason I won't upgrade from XP 32-bit, is because I'm afraid I won't be able to play Wishbringer anymore!!!
June 9, 2011 6:34:02 AM

Have everyone forgot that to be able to use DDR3 memory in 3x1/2/4GB combination you have to use a motherboard wit X58 chipset and 1366 pin CPU
June 9, 2011 12:48:48 PM

Subaru,
Which version of Windows 7 are you considering? If you get Pro or better, the Windows XP mode that comes on the 64 bit version is 32 bit. Maybe run your games on that if they don't like the 64 bit version of Windows 7. And, as Paperdoc said, your Windows 7 disc will have both versions (32 and 64 bit versions), so if you install the 64 first and run into too many problems, reinstall 32.

I have heard anecdotal stories of Photoshop, Corel Draw, etc. having problems with 64 bit version of Windows...
http://www.sevenforums.com/software/10261-photoshop-64b...
I am running Windows 7 Pro 64 and have had problems with PSE7, though I don't know for sure if it's Windows 64 that's the problem. I also have an older Epson scanner that currently has no 64 bit Windows 7 drivers. It's a great scanner and I don't want to spend good money to replace it, but may have to if I want to use it on Windows 7/64. Maybe I'll try it in XP mode ;-).

All that being said, seems like the way to go is 64 bit. The memory issue is probably worth the tradeoff for a compatibility problem that can be worked around to some extent, and will fade into oblivion as more developers write for 64 bit.
a c 347 } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
June 9, 2011 3:19:00 PM

This is an very old thread -> 07-30-2009

Anyone reading it get 64-bit OS, but not XP 64-bit. Also 'now' RAM is cheap and 4GB sticks are recommended {budget allowing} and becoming the new standard: 3x4GB, 2x4GB, and LGA 2011 4x4GB.

RAM vs GPU performance article -> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,...

Bottom-line, more is better and as bloatware is getting bigger, lazy programmers, you might just need it. ;) 
June 10, 2011 10:10:48 AM

I have 4 gb ram memory, 521 grapich card , 3.1 ghz duo core , 320 hard disc .... ... I wanted to ask what is best for my computer windows 7 ultymate 32 bit or 64? for games of course?
June 10, 2011 10:12:42 AM

512*
a b } Memory
June 10, 2011 8:49:28 PM

webaware said:
Have everyone forgot that to be able to use DDR3 memory in 3x1/2/4GB combination you have to use a motherboard wit X58 chipset and 1366 pin CPU


Not completely true. Some (not all) motherboards allow the use of 3 DIMMs in a 4 DIMM-socket motherboard. It's a bad idea, though, because access to RAM will be slowed down by having the "half-bank" of RAM.

The OP may not have realised that the 6GB kits are intended for 1366 motherboards. Much better off buying 4GB (if persisting with 32 bit) or 8GB (if upgrading to 64 bit).

In answer to the question about how much RAM is supported: running under 64 bit, Windows 7 Home is limited to 16GB, while Windows 7 Pro and above can handle up to 192GB. Kinda moot, though, given that a typical motherboard with 4 DIMM sockets, limited to 4GB DIMMs, can't hold more than 16GB :)  Still, 8GB DIMMs are coming...

I'll join the chorus encouraging the OP to move to 64 bit Windows 7.
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
June 12, 2011 2:29:15 PM

mmm a thread posted 2 years ago, interesting.

I'm just going to put this out here, i could be wrong concerning older games but,,, if an old game has an 8bit installer (like the original avp has) will it install on a 64bit os? im sure i had problems with that.
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
June 12, 2011 2:52:42 PM

No, programs with 16 bit code will not run natively under 64 bit operating system.
You can upgrade to the 2 high end win 7 versions and run win xp in virtual mode, or install winBox.

I can run Basic prof using a "DosBox" on Win 7 64 bit.
August 11, 2011 6:35:48 PM

i use win 7 32bit.

if i remember correctly, there are games that do not work on virtual machines (online games like luna online or maplestory) due to the virtual graphics

is there no other way except to play from main drive?


I would assume most PC games would work on XP Mode, is that correct?
August 25, 2011 10:45:40 AM

Hi there,

I`m currently using Win 7 32bit but I`ve tried the 64bit version and still couldn`t wun it with two Kingston DDR2 800Mhz 2GB Ram sticks at the same time. I have a Pentium D 2.66Ghz and a Gigabyte GA31M motherboard.

Win 7 (both 32bit and 64bit) will run normally with only 1 stick of ram at a time. Whenever I put both sticks at the same time I have problems with the sound (old Soundblaster 5.1 Live) and then I get a blue screen. Then as soon as I remove 1 of the ram sticks, it`ll get back to normal, no matter what version of Win 7 I`m using.

Could this be that my soundcard is too old or could it be something else?

Thx in advance!
September 10, 2011 3:43:42 PM

Hi,

I`m currently using Win 7 32bit but my computer start-up sound was not working, what shall i do to activate the sound start-up of my build-in speaker of my computer?
February 18, 2012 11:39:16 AM

jitpublisher said:

"Programs" written for 32 bit code will run perfectly fine on a 64 bit OS.


Thats not true in all cases. I'm running Solidworks 2008 SP0 and while I've not personally tried it under X64, its a known fact that this application only works on a 32bit OS, even the publisher acknowledges this.

I've not tried it running in a virtual machine, but my experience with other applications has been that anything which interacts heavily with the hardware does not always do too well in a VM. In any case you need the "pro" edition for virtualisation to be possible.

As the other posters mention, scanners are a bit of a headache, and indeed I have a fairly expensive one which will only work with XP32 or below.

I think the best solution is probably to create a dual boot system, with something like XP32 and win7 pro X64. Best of all worlds.
September 17, 2012 12:12:17 PM

See, i am providing you an option.
Its best to go for windows 7 64 bit edition.
And dont worry, you will be able to play your old games ... even 16 bit games !! :D 
Just install the DOSBOX dos-emulator ... it allows you to use old applications !!! cheers :sol:  :bounce: 
!