RAM allocation

After extensively searching for answers regarding my upcoming possible RAM issue and coming up with nothing, I thought I might as well just ask.

Current Rig:
Pentium D 280
7300 GS (Backup Card after screwing up my x1950pro in accidental OC)
2x 1GB DDR2 OCZ Platinum Revision PC2-6400
WinXP 32Bit
550W PSU

I am under the assumption that XP32bit splits my 2gb of ram in half; 1gb for applications, 1gb for kernel.

Planned System:
Same Motherboard
Core2Duo E8500 (I hope my MB supports the 1333FSB of my new CPU)
Powercolor HD4870 1GB GDDR5
Same RAM
Same OS
Same PSU

With the addition of the new graphics card, my RAM total will be 3GB, just about the level XP32bit accepts. I was just wondering how my 2GB of DDR2 and 1GB of GDDR5 will be allocated; will kernel take 2.5GB in total? Or does the GRAM go wholly on apps/games?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
2 answers Last reply
More about allocation
  1. I have no idea why you would think that your ram is divided between kernel and applications. RAM is just a pool that is used as needed, and better it is a virtual that is swapped to disk as the physical RAM starts filling up. Use task manager and see how much memory you are using and large your page file (disk swap area) is.

    Your graphics card RAM is not part of your system RAM, it is used only by the graphics card for graphics purposes. The graphics card is basically its own computer with its own RAM (just ask nvidia ;)).

    XP 32 can address 4GB of memory total. The thing that can happen that maybe got you confused is that if you have 4GB of RAM, XP has to make room for the graphics card RAM inside of the 4GB space so it will ignore physical RAM to make room for whatever RAM your graphics card has. With only 2GB of RAM you will not have that problem.

    Here is neweggs specs for that motherbaord, which has a link to gigabytes page so I linked the CPU compatibility page also.
  2. Thankyou so much for the speedy reply, your advice has certainly cleared up my murky view of how RAM works.
    The news just gets better, because I had an E8400 for christmas, and I have enough money to get my hd4870 1gb from ebay aswell! If I come across any problems when updating my tired old rig, and if I cannot find answers to my potential issues elsewhere, I shall certainly be back here for some more great advice, if it's not too much trouble.
    Thanks again, and Merry Christmas.
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