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Bios, RAM, general performance issue questions

Last response: in Motherboards
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October 22, 2009 1:24:41 PM

Hello everyone,

Thank you ahead of time for looking this over. I have been looking through the forums a bit at different information about having x amount of RAM and only y amount showing up on the system (after Post and all that), and I have seen some posts about issues with ASUS and all that, and I was hoping for a little clarity.

I currently run the following system:


OS - Windows XP Pro (build 2600) - 32 bit OS
Processor - Intel Core 2 Duo E6420
Motherboard - Asus P5WDG2 WS Pro
RAM - 4 x Patriot Memory 1024 MB (clock 400 MHz)
Video Card - 2 x (SLI bridged) PNY Verto GeForce 9800 GT with 1025 GPU memory

Drives - 3 hard drives (SATA) and 1 DVD/R.

The problem I have is that when the Bios loads it shows the full 4096 MB of RAM, and of course I do not expect the full amount since I'm running a 32 bit OS - this machine is a bit of a FrankenComp with upgrades over time, one of which being ram.

When I right-click on My Computer and go to Properties it states I only have 2gb of RAM. I did read that the video eats a bit of the RAM due to limits on address space, but I wasn't sure how much, and if my 2gb of video RAM was eating up all of that or what.

What I want to know is if there is a way to free up some of that RAM or if I need to update the bios (currently at 0803 for the ASUS), or if I should just look at going to Windows 7 64-bit when it's fully released, though I am not sure how well all of my system's components will work on Win 7 x64.

I apologize if this information is incomplete in any way, let me know if any more information is needed and I will try and get it for you. Again, thank you for your assistance.
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 435 V Motherboard
October 22, 2009 2:15:22 PM

I would be more concerned about whether your performance has slowed over time due to extra c**p loaded on your system. I noticed my new backup pc with lowly celeron 430 and 2 gigs of pc5300 performs better than my other pc with sempron and 4 gigs of pc6400. The faster one has win 2k pro versus either win xp pro or vista basic (I have 2 drives on that one). The difference is in the security updates and other junk required to bring your pc up to date. It tends to slow the pc down; same is true for windows 7. Don't believe all the stuff about it being faster; I didn't notice any improvement in speed over vista or xp.
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October 22, 2009 9:42:04 PM

Thank you for the reply. I spent some time today clearing out some of the junk that has built up over the years and performing basic tweaks to try and increase system performance. I will see how it runs now with these changes.

In the researching I did to see what would be good to turn off/improve performance it was recommended to download Cacheman (shareware). When I open that up it still says I only have 2048 MB of RAM. I'm still curious as to why only half of my RAM is showing up. I know Windows XP can see more than that, or at least that's what I have been lead to believe.

Thank you again for the assistance.
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October 23, 2009 12:10:27 PM

primalist said:
Thank you for the reply. I spent some time today clearing out some of the junk that has built up over the years and performing basic tweaks to try and increase system performance. I will see how it runs now with these changes.

In the researching I did to see what would be good to turn off/improve performance it was recommended to download Cacheman (shareware). When I open that up it still says I only have 2048 MB of RAM. I'm still curious as to why only half of my RAM is showing up. I know Windows XP can see more than that, or at least that's what I have been lead to believe.

Thank you again for the assistance.


Well, after spending 4 hours installing SP3 (go Access Denied error in admin account in safe mode...) I finally have SP3 up and I'm still only showing 2 gigs of RAM.

I'm thinking I might go out and buy a new Motherboard and upgrade to a quad-core (just 'cause, might as well at this point), but I'm really not sure at this point and time.
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a b V Motherboard
October 23, 2009 8:42:58 PM

There was a specific update to xp as I remember for memory, while certainly it's included by SP3 I wonder if all the system files updated due to your message Access denied. If there is a bios update for the board and you have no reason not to, update it. Also while windows will allow video to utilize onboard ram for video caching and such it won't eat up 2 gigs of ram that I am aware of. Some is used for address space etc. Are your video cards 512k ea or 1024 each.
I think you can fix this.
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October 23, 2009 9:55:16 PM

roonj said:
There was a specific update to xp as I remember for memory, while certainly it's included by SP3 I wonder if all the system files updated due to your message Access denied. If there is a bios update for the board and you have no reason not to, update it. Also while windows will allow video to utilize onboard ram for video caching and such it won't eat up 2 gigs of ram that I am aware of. Some is used for address space etc. Are your video cards 512k ea or 1024 each.
I think you can fix this.



Thank you for your response - After going through and modifying the registry (per Microsoft's knowledgebase article regarding that error) it seemed to install fine, but knowing my luck with PCs it probably left that out. As for the bios update, I have had a hard time find anything on it. I am currently running version 0803, which I thought was the highest for my board. My video cards are 1024 each.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 435 V Motherboard
October 24, 2009 1:51:05 AM

If you're running 32 bit windows, 3.25 gigs is the max I've seen for memory recognition. I trust cpuid more for recognizing memory than previous windows files. I had a hard time updating some of my old windows files. I don't think the bios updates will cover this.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 435 V Motherboard
October 24, 2009 1:53:21 AM

If you're running 32 bit windows, 3.25 gigs is the max I've seen for memory recognition. I trust cpuid more for recognizing memory than previous windows files. I had a hard time updating some of my old windows files. I don't think the bios updates will cover this. There is one vender selling windows xp 64 for around $50 last time I checked. It's cheaper and maybe a little faster than 7, but 7 is much more secure. I had 2 trojan attacks with xp 64, so I stopped using it.
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October 24, 2009 3:29:17 AM

Thank you all for your replies, they are very helpful!

I'm looking in to upgrading to Windows 7 Pro 64bit this weekend. Since I'm a student Microsoft has a pretty decent deal regarding Windows 7 (30 bucks) and I was told the option to get the 64 bit systems are there, too. No difference in price for Pro, but maybe for the 64 bit options, I haven't checked yet.

With the upgrade to Windows 7 64bit, hopefully the memory issue will be resolved. Do you think there will be any issues with the hardware I listed, especially the motherboard, with Windows 7? I ran the test from Microsoft and everything looked okay, just double checking.

Again, thank you all for your assistance, I greatly appreciate it!
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