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Buying 4GB RAM for 32-bit OS using onboard graphics?

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January 14, 2010 8:12:54 AM

Could anyone explain to me that is it really worth buying 4GB of RAM if using 32-bit OS and 32-bit programs and the onboard graphics? I am not planning to do any gaming - just HTPC stuff.

I bought Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H which has the ATI HD4200 integrated graphics card. So if I buy 4 GB of CORSAIR DDR2 PC2-6400C5DHX and run it in dual channel - do I get reasonable benefits compared to just 2 GB of RAM?

Let's say that I assign 512MB of this total 4GB ram to the ATI HD4200 integrated card - DOES MY WIN XP USE THE 3,5 GB that is left or do I have redundant RAM that is unusable?

Thanks for the answers.

ps.
It's really confusing this marketing of some computers. They sell systems with 8GB RAM and 32-bit OS. Why the fudge would anyone need that 8GB of RAM if it can't be used?
January 14, 2010 11:01:45 AM

Your computer will only detect 3.ish gb so you if you give .5 to the igc you will be more than fine with that 3gb.

For those 8gb, did you noticed that the manufacturers are rippers ? They just use huge term with **** perf. 8gb of ddr2 667mhz isn't good at all , even less if you use a 32 os. They know that there will be someone dumb enough to say WOW IT HAS 8 GB !

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a c 435 V Motherboard
January 14, 2010 11:09:49 AM

4 gb is plenty. Save for a decent video card. I just noticed that tom's has an article on a dx11 card for only $99.
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January 14, 2010 11:56:15 AM

o1die said:
4 gb is plenty. Save for a decent video card. I just noticed that tom's has an article on a dx11 card for only $99.


Do I need DX11 if I don't play games? I am using it only for a HTPC setup and that HD4200 does everything I need.

My setup:
Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H (includes integrated graphics)
AMD Athlon X2 240
WD Caviar Blue 640 GB SATA2 WD6400AAKS
4GB Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX
PSU, keyboard etc...

The motherboard supports up to 8GB of RAM, but that is not the point.

Is this correct calculation in the case of "my setup":
4GB -512MB (IGP) = 3,5GB to be utilized by WIN XP PRO 32-BIT AND programs?

So my question really is about how much I can use from that 4GB for my system including IGP. I do not mind using RAM for the integrated graphics, but if I am buying something and not using all potential of it then why to buy it and pay for nothing?

Another option could be to upgrade to 64-bit XP, but are there any problems with it if I am using only 32-bit programs and want to run a HTPC system?
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January 15, 2010 10:04:03 PM

Mr Pianoman said:

Is this correct calculation in the case of "my setup":
4GB -512MB (IGP) = 3,5GB to be utilized by WIN XP PRO 32-BIT AND programs?


Your graphics card isn't the only thing that uses the address space, so I'd guess you'd be left with something closer to 3.3GB of usable RAM.
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a b V Motherboard
January 15, 2010 10:18:56 PM

Mr Pianoman said:


Is this correct calculation in the case of "my setup":
4GB -512MB (IGP) = 3,5GB to be utilized by WIN XP PRO 32-BIT AND programs?

No, the correct calculation would be:

3.5GB"ish" - 512MB shared with IGP = 3.0GB (give or take a couple hundred MB) available to the OS and applications. The amount of memory lost due to 32-bit Windows limitation comes straight off the top.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
January 16, 2010 1:27:47 AM

There are other devices, besides your video, that use 'shared', memory-mapped I/O to communicate with the processor - it's just that the video is resposible for the biggest contiguous 'chunk' of real estate... If you open Device Manager, select 'View>Resources by type', and then select 'Memory', you'll see all the little critters who are grabbing their own piece! (Calculator, in hex mode, will let you see who's actually hogging what - just subtract the first hex address from the second, and go back to decimal to convert...)

Quote:
For those 8gb, did you noticed that the manufacturers are rippers ? They just use huge term with **** perf. 8gb of ddr2 667mhz isn't good at all , even less if you use a 32 os. They know that there will be someone dumb enough to say WOW IT HAS 8 GB !


They 'pull the wool' every chance they get - the latest scam is selling (essentially useless) ultra high speed RAM for the i7/i5 platforms - when RAM frequency scales infinitesmally, and only latency makes a real world difference; but they're depending on people's inability to understand and compare latency across seven or eight available speeds, and counting on the 'ugh - big number worth more!' mentality - all the way to the bank!!
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January 23, 2010 7:33:37 AM

Best answer selected by Mr Pianoman.
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