16GB of ram, only 3.5 showing up

I have two 8gb G SKILL Ripjaws (the red ones) that came together.I installed both (correctly) and going into the computer properties shows that I do have 16GB of ram. However, when I try to allocate more than a gig or two of ram to programs, it says I do not have enough ram to do this. I'm unsure what the problem could be. Im running 32 bit vista if that matters Picture included.

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  1. A 32 bit os can only use 4gb of ram. You should get a 64 bit os to use more.
  2. ^ yup.
  3. Alright then. Good thing this is a temporary OS, im only using this until I upgrade to windows 8 64bit.
  4. I know this is old, but as I came across it easily, others might and believe 32bit O/S only supports 3.5GB RAM. This is completely untrue, it's an artificial limit set by M$ to make you buy 64bit. There is a registry edit you can do (google it) which makes it see more than 3.5GB. I did it on my laptop with win7 32bit, takes a few minutes.
  5. 32 bit software can also use more than 4gb ram but you should understand why the artificial limit was put in place to begin with instead of trying to pass on what seems to be a conspiracy theory of how they are cheating you. 64 bit and 32 bit costs the same so it doesn't make sense in the first place. 64 bit has other merits so why not just get it?

    Some old 32 bit drivers that directly accessed memory through physical addresses assumed that the address space was 32 bits when it's actually 36 bits with PAE enabled (which is for more than 4gb ram on a 32 bit os.) This would result in a blue screen. These drivers aren't common but ms felt the need to put it in place (which happened in xp sp2. Yup that's right, you can have more than 4gb ram on xp 32 bit pre sp2.) It's also not just a registry edit, you are modifying the kernel.

    I just noticed, he has IB with vista on a dell. Even if he upgraded from SB, 7 was already out for a couple years, so why would he have vista? Vista alone would make most people just upgrade os anyways.
  6. the information given here was incorrect;

    "A 32 bit os can only use ~3.5gb of ram. No way around it. You need to have a 64 bit os to use more"

    so I corrected it, so that people already with a 32bit o/s didn't feel they had to change/reinstall at 64 bit o/s in order to see more than 3.5GB, which I believe is helpful information as many don't know that. Not everyone wants to install a new o/s.

    I think you focused on the wrong part of my post in order to write a belligerent response.
  7. A 32 bit os can only use ~3.5gb of ram. No way around it. You need to have a 64 bit os to use more.
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