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32-bit memory limit on gaming

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 22, 2011 2:14:50 AM

I have Windows 7 32-bit. From what I understand, their is a 3.75GB limit on memory (4gb, but 256mb automatically is reduced). I'm worried about upgrading from a 512MB card to a 1GB card for Battlefield 3. BF3 will likely require a lot of both RAM and VRAM. But a 1GB card would reduce my RAM to 2.75GB, which might hurt performance.

Are my fears correct?
a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
September 22, 2011 2:43:43 AM

CrisisCauser said:
I have Windows 7 32-bit. From what I understand, their is a 3.75GB limit on memory (4gb, but 256mb automatically is reduced). I'm worried about upgrading from a 512MB card to a 1GB card for Battlefield 3. BF3 will likely require a lot of both RAM and VRAM. But a 1GB card would reduce my RAM to 2.75GB, which might hurt performance.

Are my fears correct?


Nope. The video ram is isolated from the system ram on an add in card, it doesn't matter to the OS how much video ram you have because the video card accesses it. If this were an onboard video, you might have cause for concern but not for a dedicated graphics card. no worries.

I've even heard of tests that show systems with more than 3.25GB of ram, even in a 32 bit environment can access that ram. But regardless 32 bit Operating systems are not supposed to be able to access the memory, but having more than 3.25gigs will not hurt the system. Neither will having 4gigs video ram.
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September 22, 2011 2:49:54 AM

I've just been finding conflicting information. Right now, if I bring up Task Manager, I have 3327MB of Total Physical Memory, and this is with my 512MB card. So if I upgrade to a 1GB card, I will still have 3327MB of Total Physical Available Memory? I'm worried I will lose another 512MB of RAM which could be critical to a demanding game like BF3.
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a c 171 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
September 22, 2011 2:55:04 AM

just install the 64 bit version. if you bought it you should have the 32 bit and 64 bit discs.
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a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
September 22, 2011 3:17:33 AM

CrisisCauser said:
I've just been finding conflicting information. Right now, if I bring up Task Manager, I have 3327MB of Total Physical Memory, and this is with my 512MB card. So if I upgrade to a 1GB card, I will still have 3327MB of Total Physical Available Memory? I'm worried I will lose another 512MB of RAM which could be critical to a demanding game like BF3.


No, you aren't going to lose anything. The video card is not going to steal memory from your operating system as it has it's OWN memory. You will be adding memory (Vram), not subtracting memory. Do you see where the dedicated graphics card has its own memory??
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a b U Graphics card
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
September 22, 2011 3:19:08 AM

The total physical memory reported by task manager is the available memory for the operating system. This has nothing to do with the onbaord memory of your graphics card. You STILL HAVE 512 MB of VRAM.
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September 22, 2011 3:19:46 AM

Quote:
just install the 64 bit version. if you bought it you should have the 32 bit and 64 bit discs.


I could, but reinstall are a pain.

Does anyone out there have 4GB system memory and 1GB video card and run 32-bit Windows 7? If so, could you please hit ctrl+shift+esc, select "Performance" tab, and tell me how much "Total" memory there is under "Physical memory (MB)".

If it is too low for me I will reinstall, I suppose.

Buzznut, I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. I think you are confused as to my concern, and your pointless aggression is annoying. I'm quite aware of the separation of VRAM and RAM, and your second post was totally pointless. Are you aware the 32-bit limit of 4Gb includes both VRAM and RAM combined? I'm just trying to figure out the exact amount I will lose in Windows if I go from 512MB to 1024MB of VRAM. If it is too much, I will go 64-bit but I do not know the current figure.
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a c 171 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
a b 4 Gaming
September 22, 2011 4:08:55 AM

Sort of. The ram is separate, but the issue is address space. The OS needs to copy some info held in the GPUs ram so that it can issue orders/updates. (character moved forward, character fired, etc.) To my knowledge this amount of info it reserves is static. My ram stayed at 3.25 with 32bit XP when I upgraded my 384MB 8800GS to my 1GB 5750. Because it needs to copy this info, starting from ram address space FFFFFF and works its way back. 3.25GB should be constant unless you run two cards. I believe CF would need to drop you down to 2.5 something.
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a c 144 U Graphics card
a b } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
September 23, 2011 8:15:08 PM

CrisisCauser said:
Quote:
just install the 64 bit version. if you bought it you should have the 32 bit and 64 bit discs.


I could, but reinstall are a pain.

Does anyone out there have 4GB system memory and 1GB video card and run 32-bit Windows 7? If so, could you please hit ctrl+shift+esc, select "Performance" tab, and tell me how much "Total" memory there is under "Physical memory (MB)".

If it is too low for me I will reinstall, I suppose.

Buzznut, I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. I think you are confused as to my concern, and your pointless aggression is annoying. I'm quite aware of the separation of VRAM and RAM, and your second post was totally pointless. Are you aware the 32-bit limit of 4Gb includes both VRAM and RAM combined? I'm just trying to figure out the exact amount I will lose in Windows if I go from 512MB to 1024MB of VRAM. If it is too much, I will go 64-bit but I do not know the current figure.


i'm not really sure if this thing is related to your problem but i think it is something good to read nonetheless:

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9126...
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October 9, 2011 7:47:38 AM

CrisisCauser said:
I have Windows 7 32-bit. From what I understand, their is a 3.75GB limit on memory (4gb, but 256mb automatically is reduced). I'm worried about upgrading from a 512MB card to a 1GB card for Battlefield 3. BF3 will likely require a lot of both RAM and VRAM. But a 1GB card would reduce my RAM to 2.75GB, which might hurt performance.

Are my fears correct?

Video hardware is often integrated into the motherboard, however all modern motherboards provide expansion ports to which a video card can be attached. In this configuration it is sometimes referred to as a video controller or graphics controller. Modern low-end to mid-range motherboards often include a graphics chipset developed by the developer of the northbridge (i.e. an nForce chipset with Nvidia graphics or an Intel chipset with Intel graphics) on the motherboard. This graphics chip usually has a small quantity of embedded memory and takes some of the system's main RAM, reducing the total RAM available. This is usually called integrated graphics or on-board graphics, and is low-performance and undesirable for those wishing to run 3D applications. A dedicated graphics card on the other hand has its own RAM and Processor specifically for processing video images, and thus offloads this work from the CPU and system RAM.
Meaning a gpu that you buy wont use the system ram so you will still have that 3.75 gig ram
:) 
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October 9, 2011 7:54:49 AM

CrisisCauser said:
Quote:
just install the 64 bit version. if you bought it you should have the 32 bit and 64 bit discs.


I could, but reinstall are a pain.

Does anyone out there have 4GB system memory and 1GB video card and run 32-bit Windows 7? If so, could you please hit ctrl+shift+esc, select "Performance" tab, and tell me how much "Total" memory there is under "Physical memory (MB)".

If it is too low for me I will reinstall, I suppose.

Buzznut, I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. I think you are confused as to my concern, and your pointless aggression is annoying. I'm quite aware of the separation of VRAM and RAM, and your second post was totally pointless. Are you aware the 32-bit limit of 4Gb includes both VRAM and RAM combined? I'm just trying to figure out the exact amount I will lose in Windows if I go from 512MB to 1024MB of VRAM. If it is too much, I will go 64-bit but I do not know the current figure.

But since you insist on more ram read this if you dont believe .
http://www.unawave.de/windows-7-tipps/32-bit-ram-barrie...
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October 9, 2011 8:21:34 AM

CrisisCauser said:
I have Windows 7 32-bit. From what I understand, their is a 3.75GB limit on memory (4gb, but 256mb automatically is reduced). I'm worried about upgrading from a 512MB card to a 1GB card for Battlefield 3. BF3 will likely require a lot of both RAM and VRAM. But a 1GB card would reduce my RAM to 2.75GB, which might hurt performance.

Are my fears correct?

To make it simple, The intergrated memory on the GPU does not directly use your system's memory space. However, the increase GPU memory does use more I/O addresses which will take away avaliable memory addresses for the OS (so a gpu with 1 gig ram wont take 1 gig from the system ram only a small amount say 256mb )
:hello: 
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