8 gigs ram installed but only 2.99GB usable. Why?

I just built my first computer. I installed 4 x 2 gb DDR3 Kingston 1600Ghz RAM. When I go into windows 7 show system, it says

" 8.00GB (2.99 GB usuable)

Why is this?
10 answers Last reply
More about gigs installed 99gb usable
  1. Do you have 32 bit Windows 7?
  2. A mistake that is made often. It's simple, that is all that 32 bit windows 7 supports. Upgrade to 64 bit or your memory is wasted.
  3. You need to install windows 7 64 bit lad
  4. Thanks guys. I guess im going to have to upgrade to windows 7 64 bit. Can you only use one copy of windows 7 per a computer. I have a laptop and desktop and I have heard you can a Cd key 2 or 3 times. Is this true? And is 32 bit windows cd keys different from 64? Im pretty sure but just wanted to make sure.
  5. Yes, the keys are different; yes {OEM vs Retail}, you need a 64-bit OS; maybe you can use your other 64-bit 'key' but DO NOT use the OEM/Laptop DVD to install Windows. 9/10 Microsoft will NOT activate you either online or phone. The key is attached to the 'MOBO' primarily. In the cases where I've changed; I found it easier to get another OEM - I build systems.

    Differences: OEM is either 32 or 64 bit; Full has both 32 AND 64 bit.

    You'll need a copy of Windows 7 X64.
    FAQ1 - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help/videos/upgrade-to-another-edition-of-windows-7-by-using-windows-anytime-upgrade
    FAQ2- http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/32-bit-and-64-bit-Windows-frequently-asked-questions
    Reinstalling - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Installing-and-reinstalling-Windows-7
  6. So I need to purchase a retail version of 64 it windows 7, not upgrade version? I need to install it on my bro's computer as well who just built one. Can I use it for both? is there a family pack?
  7. Then the Family Pack is the best option. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/buy/products/offers-family-pack.aspx The Family pack is Windows 7 Home Premium".

    Compare editions - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/compare/default.aspx
    RAM Maximum Support - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx
    {Windows 7 Home Premium 16GB MAX}

    "Determine if 32 or 64-bit is right for you
    Each package contains two disks: one with the 32-bit edition and one with the 64-bit edition of Windows 7. Please make sure you know which to install on your PC. The benefits of 64-bit are most apparent when you have a large amount of random access memory (RAM) installed on your computer, typically 4 GB of RAM or more. In such cases, because a 64-bit operating system can handle large amounts of memory more efficiently than a 32-bit operating system can, a 64-bit system can be more responsive when running several programs at the same time and switching between them frequently. Please note: if you are presently running 64-bit software on a PC running a 64-bit edition of Windows Vista and you move to a 32-bit edition of Windows 7, your 64-bit software may no longer work."
  8. Or just move to linux (ubuntu)
    unless you are gaming or using certain programs heavily like office

    ubuntu can do all you need and it free
  9. spenceryuan said:
    I just built my first computer. I installed 4 x 2 gb DDR3 Kingston 1600Ghz RAM. When I go into windows 7 show system, it says

    " 8.00GB (2.99 GB usuable)

    Why is this?
  10. Actually all of you are wrong. You see it is true that a 32 bit OS limits you ram a bit. It only limits is to 3.25 not 2.96. If the computer properties are saying this then there is something else wrong. But if you look up a little more on the window of the computer properties, you will see if you have a 32 or 64 bit OS. And if you do indeed have a 32 bit then yes your 8 gigs will only be brought down to 3.25. However i have a 64 bit install of windows and it claims that only 2.96 of my 4 gigs or ram is usable. So it sounds like you and me are having the same problem.
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