Windows 7 64 bit - All RAM not usable

Hi guys,
I have an HP Compaq DX 2300 Mini Tower with an Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2160, 1.8 GHz processor, 4 GB of 667 MHz DDR2 RAM memory and PNY Geforce GT 240 (512MB GDDR5). I have just now changed over to 64-bit Windows 7 Pro from 32-bit version of Windows 7 hoping to get a good use out of 4 GB of RAM. Something seems odd, though. In BIOS, you can clearly see 4096 MB available, but in the 'System Properties' it says 4GB installed (2.75 GB usable).

What a disappointment. Or maybe not. When I look at my memory usage widget on my desktop, I can see computer using 25% of RAM immediately after boot-up which equals 1GB of RAM, which is about double of what 32-bit version uses (500-600 MB) right after boot-up. Could it be that all RAM is usable, but the 'System Properties' are wrong. I use this computer mostly for Adobe CS 5.5 Web Premium Suite applications and some video editing with Windows Live Movie Maker 2011. Adobe Premiere CS 5.5 requires 64-bit version of OS already although I don't use it. I am just mentioning this because maybe that's the sign of things to come. Dreamweaver CS 5.5, Photoshop CS 5.5, Illustrator CS 5.5 and Flash CS 5.5 are still OK with 32-bit OS.

4 GB is RAM limit on my machine. Should I go back to 32-bit version or am I still better with 64-bit version?

Thank you very much for your help.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Keep the x64bit. No point to go back to x32bit.

    Try to make a 4GB RAM disc and make it scratch disc for the CS5.5!
  2. ^ to do that he would need to go to 8 gigs of ram. He indicated His system limit is 4 gigs - So Not possible.

    You have a feel for how the performance was under 32 bit Win 7. Try it for a while using the 64 Bit. Then go with which ever performs better in real life.

    With 4 gigs ram, Myself I generally go with the 32 bit version and except the loss of about 1/2 gig. 64 bit has slight more bloat compared to the 32 Bit which tends to offset performance advantage. If 4 Gigs and planning on increaseing, then 64 bit is the only true choice.
  3. Open your resource monitor and click on the physical memory tab. you should see a breakdown of in use / modified / standby and free memory. Is any alot of it "hardware reserved"? Some video cards reserve a portion of memory as hardware reserved. Also check your msconfig to turn off unneeded startup items that could help free up some RAM.
  4. You will need to install a video card in order to use all of your memory for windows since the remaining memory now is being used for your graphics/video processing
  5. check bios for memory extensions, PAE or something similar, this will then map the memory address for the video cadr and other peripherals above your 4GB of RAM
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