1.99GB usable out of 4GB DDR3 1333 in Win7 Ultimate 32-bit?

okay, so i went over to my friend's place yesterday to check his P55+Core i5 760 system and do some necessary maintenance. i checked the system properties and saw that only 1.99GB out of 4GB RAM is being deemed usable in 7 Ultimate 32-bit.. i'm just a bit worried since i'm the one who assembled the system for him..and he doesn't have much of a clue about computers in general, so he's pretty clueless about these kinds of things. oh, and his 9800GT runs at 8x only, which is weird. but all his games run at max smoothly.

oddly enough on my own system, Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit detects all 3GBs of DDR2 RAM as usable. what gives? or is it a minor quirk the P55 chipset has? and i know that 32-bit can't read the full 4GB but i presume it can read 3GB at least.

his system:

Intel Core i5 760, 3.33Ghz @ Turbo mode
ASUS P7P55D-E Mobo
Kingston ValueRAM 4GB DDR3 1333 in Dual Channel
Palit GeForce 9800GT 1GB
WD Caviar Blue 500GB hard drive
AcBel R8 Power II 650W 80PLUS Bronze PSU
Thermaltake V3 midtower

my system: on my siggy.
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  1. could be the case. but i'll do some further testing to see if it's really the ram... one piece of evidence to support that is that the WEI rating for his ram went down from 7.1 to a 5.5. after windows said to refresh the rating. :\ the WEI rating for my DDR2 ram is at 6.5.. which is quite ridiculous for his part.

    and system properties say "4.0GB (1.99GB usable)". usually, i'm expecting it to read 2.99 at the very least.

    another worrying problem that i saw is that the PCIE width link for his 9800GT is strangely running at 8x only. of course, i used the top PCIE x16 slot.

    maybe a BIOS flash should do... but i'm quite nervous doing one since i might end up bricking the Mobo.
  2. I would do the BIOS flash after explaining the risk to your friend. If he says OK, do it.
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