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Upgraded to Win 7, now want to change to 64-bit

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December 5, 2011 8:38:01 PM

I have a Dell 1525, bought in Aug 2008, with 2GB RAM. I recently upgraded from Vista 32-bit to Win 7 32-bit. I am thinking about adding 2GB RAM, for total of 4GB and upgrading to Win 7 64-bit OS. I have a few questions, please.

Can I just upgrade to the 64-bit version using the 64-bit disk that came with my Win 7 upgrade package?

Will it have to be a "clean install"?

Should I add the new RAM before or after changing to the 64-bit version of Win 7?

Thank-you in advance for your help!
December 5, 2011 8:43:25 PM

You can't upgrade 32 bit to 64 bit, it will have to be a clean install.

You can add the ram whenever, i would do it before the install.
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a c 395 $ Windows 7
December 5, 2011 8:43:30 PM

Clean install is a must!

If your not able to go above 4 gigs of ram stay with 32 bit
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December 5, 2011 10:10:04 PM

I am getting conflicting information on the maximum RAM GB's for my computer. Some info I get says I can put 2GB into each slot and some says 4GB into each slot. Aaargh! I suppose 4 GB would be plenty enough anyway, and that way I wouldn't have to go through the hassle of a clean install to change from 32-bit to 64-bit.

Thank you!
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December 5, 2011 10:21:25 PM

As a side note the user state migration tool, or files and settings transfer wizard is compatible between 32bit and 64bit, but you still have to reinstall your OS and applications.

Keep in mind the 4GB limitation of 32bit OS's includes VRAM. So if you are using 2GB vram or more (SLI/X-fire), you would need to use a 64bit OS.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 5, 2011 10:36:06 PM

MsSota said:
I have a Dell 1525, bought in Aug 2008, with 2GB RAM. I recently upgraded from Vista 32-bit to Win 7 32-bit. I am thinking about adding 2GB RAM, for total of 4GB and upgrading to Win 7 64-bit OS. I have a few questions, please.

Can I just upgrade to the 64-bit version using the 64-bit disk that came with my Win 7 upgrade package?

Will it have to be a "clean install"?

Should I add the new RAM before or after changing to the 64-bit version of Win 7?

Thank-you in advance for your help!

Win 7 can take advantage of the RAM better than any other Windows in past, more u have the smoother it runs.

Why would u update to only 4GB? I see ... Max is 4GB.

Dell Memory Inspiron 1525
Maximum Memory 4GB
Memory Slots 2 Slots

Yes, get the x32bit version as others have suggested.

Also, u should not pay more than $20-$30 for 2GB stick.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 5, 2011 10:41:41 PM

dalethepcman said:
As a side note the user state migration tool, or files and settings transfer wizard is compatible between 32bit and 64bit, but you still have to reinstall your OS and applications.

Keep in mind the 4GB limitation of 32bit OS's includes VRAM. So if you are using 2GB vram or more (SLI/X-fire), you would need to use a 64bit OS.


Nope --- it includes the Video memory Page files that are set aside to communicate with the video sub system not the actual amount of VRAM (otherwise you would not be able to use Xfire with 2 - 2gb. video cards on a 32 bit system !!) so in most cases you will still be able to address 3.25 GB. no matter what amount of VRAM you have on your video card !!
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December 6, 2011 12:07:41 AM

Go with 64bit Win 7 as soon as possible.

The biggest difference is NOT the memory subsystem, although that's what everyone keeps trying to point to. The NTx64 kernel handles systems calls differently then the NTx86 kernel, specifically memory addressing. Under NTx86 (32bit) any privileged process can access kernel memory, this single issue is responsible for most BSOD crash's. In NTx64 only privileged kernel process's can access kernel memory, a user process even if it's run with administrative rights can not access kernel memory. The only way to BSOD a 64 bit NT kernel is bad drivers.

Also NTx64 runs all the x86 code in a sand boxed virtual environment using WoW64 (Windows on Windows). This forces x86 code that would otherwise behave badly to play nice with the rest of the system. A crashing 32-bit process can only crash it's own environment, it can't effect anything else on the system. Seriously, when MS made the NTx64 kernel they did an outstanding job and fixed many of the legacy problems from the older NTx86 days. It's almost an entirely different OS under the hood.

In short, biggest reason to go 64-bit is not the memory but the system stability and security gained from leaving NTx86.
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December 6, 2011 12:45:29 AM

JDFan said:
Nope --- it includes the Video memory Page files that are set aside to communicate with the video sub system not the actual amount of VRAM (otherwise you would not be able to use Xfire with 2 - 2gb. video cards on a 32 bit system !!) so in most cases you will still be able to address 3.25 GB. no matter what amount of VRAM you have on your video card !!


Sorry, but you are wrong, and Tom's has already done extensive tests to prove it. Read this article.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,...

"All graphics cards have a simple memory management unit called the GMP (graphics memory page table) on PCIe cards. The amount of system RAM utilized by this mapping process depends on the total capacity of the memory on your graphics card, which must be almost identical to what's available in system RAM."

You will still be able to use 3.25GB of ram, but once you load a game with your 2GB card most of that will be out the window. (700mb for os, 2gb for vram, 500mb for game?) I'm not saying using 2X2GB cards will leave you with 0 system ram, just that your video card does require some system ram to work properly, and having less system ram than vram will cause video artifacts and system instabilities while gaming.
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December 6, 2011 1:14:03 AM

dalethepcman said:
Sorry, but you are wrong, and Tom's has already done extensive tests to prove it. Read this article.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,...

"All graphics cards have a simple memory management unit called the GMP (graphics memory page table) on PCIe cards. The amount of system RAM utilized by this mapping process depends on the total capacity of the memory on your graphics card, which must be almost identical to what's available in system RAM."

You will still be able to use 3.25GB of ram, but once you load a game with your 2GB card most of that will be out the window. (700mb for os, 2gb for vram, 500mb for game?) I'm not saying using 2X2GB cards will leave you with 0 system ram, just that your video card does require some system ram to work properly, and having less system ram than vram will cause video artifacts and system instabilities while gaming.



Not entirely.

A 32-bit program gets a 2GB virtual address range, that's it. Video memory is addressed separately and through a page region in the upper portion of your system memory. Video memory is NOT laid on top of main memory, although there exists the mechanism for your video subsystem to use main memory to compliment video memory for texture / object storage.

Having a 2GB video card will not immediately take up 2GB of system memory.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 6, 2011 2:09:37 AM

dalethepcman said:
Sorry, but you are wrong, and Tom's has already done extensive tests to prove it. Read this article.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,...


And to Quote the paragraph above what you quoted in the article you just linked :

Quote:
We know that a 32-bit application only can address a maximum of 2 GB of RAM and that 32-bit Windows systems can actually handle just 3.25 GB (or even less if more than 4 GB of memory is installed). Windows Vista and 7 will show the full 4 GB in the System Info, but the "missing" RAM is reserved by the system for hardware that might be incompatible with 64-bit systems. Also, a portion of the system memory is needed by the graphics card, although the size of this portion is not the same as the size of the graphics card's video RAM. This is another misconception we'd like to dispel.


Notice the last line in Bold !! --And if you reread the portion you did Quote it talks about the PAGE FILES which are the portion of RAM that is mapped to the video sub system as I mentioned and normally they consist of 256MB worth of 64MB pages which when combined with the 512MB reserved for the other components leaves approx 3.25GB remaining in the addressable area for a 32 bit system to use !

Normally the times when there is less than 3.25GB remaining it is due to using a video card that actually reserves a portion of system RAM (ie. built in chipsets that do not have their own VRAM and therefore must reserve a larger portion of the adddressable space because they do not have their own VRAM.) For example if you have a built-in chipset that shares 512MB. of system RAM you will wind up with only 2.75 GB. instead of 3.25 GB. because the system will still reserve the video page files and additionally reserve an extra 512MB of RAM for the video card to use as its VRAM - but in most cases if you have a dedicated video card with it's own VRAM there will be 3.25GB. of addressable memory left for the programs after setting aside the reserved portions !
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a b $ Windows 7
December 6, 2011 9:38:20 AM

Hi. If windows 7 32 bit does everything you want, just make it 4 gig of ram. You will see a good improvement. If you try to follow the other posts you will just get confused if you are not windows savvy. It is interesting reading though.
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December 8, 2011 2:43:07 PM

mibix19 said:
Hi. If windows 7 32 bit does everything you want, just make it 4 gig of ram. You will see a good improvement. If you try to follow the other posts you will just get confused if you are not windows savvy. It is interesting reading though.


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December 9, 2011 12:05:52 AM

@JDFan

In case you didn't read anything besides the quote in my second reply let me reiterate.

"I'm not saying using 2X2GB cards will leave you with 0 system ram, just that your video card does require some system ram to work properly, and having less system ram than vram will cause video artifacts and system instabilities while gaming."

Also its nice of you to quote "although the size of this portion is not the same as the size of the graphics card's video RAM. This is another misconception we'd like to dispel. " But the next line in that article states as I quoted "The amount of system RAM utilized by this mapping process depends on the total capacity of the memory on your graphics card, which must be almost identical to what's available in system RAM."

You are correct its not the same size, its just "almost identical" in size according to the TH editors. Talk about nit picking.. back to the OP's question. Yes you need 64bit, yes you have to do a clean install, and yes you should install the ram first.
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December 9, 2011 12:51:31 AM

dalethepcman said:
@JDFan

In case you didn't read anything besides the quote in my second reply let me reiterate.

"I'm not saying using 2X2GB cards will leave you with 0 system ram, just that your video card does require some system ram to work properly, and having less system ram than vram will cause video artifacts and system instabilities while gaming."

Also its nice of you to quote "although the size of this portion is not the same as the size of the graphics card's video RAM. This is another misconception we'd like to dispel. " But the next line in that article states as I quoted "The amount of system RAM utilized by this mapping process depends on the total capacity of the memory on your graphics card, which must be almost identical to what's available in system RAM."

You are correct its not the same size, its just "almost identical" in size according to the TH editors. Talk about nit picking.. back to the OP's question. Yes you need 64bit, yes you have to do a clean install, and yes you should install the ram first.



No where near the same size, its 256MB and it's not memory its address space. It can be in the 3.25~3.5 or 3.5~4.0 region depending on your motherboard and OS.

What your talking about is the newer implementation of GART (Graphics Array Reference Table). This is a mechanism where the graphics subsystem can store textures and other resources inside system memory directly without needing to pass the data in and out of the page table. Note that this is something that's done between the system kernel and the graphics drivers utilizing something similar to DMA. The graphics driver upon system initialization will ask the kernel for memory that ~might~ be used in the future. The kernel will then make a note about it, this is the number you see in your as system memory used for the graphics driver. This memory isn't actually being utilized nor even allocated, its just a bookmark in case the graphics driver needs it. This memory is ONLY used as a last resort when the graphics memory is full and more data needs to be stored. Using system memory for graphics data will result in HORRENDOUSLY slow performance, but it'll prevent a crash. Having graphics cards with bigger memory actually prevents this scenario, more graphics memory = less chance of system memory being used. Not the other way around.
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