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Processor: 2.40 gigahertz Intel Core2 Duo Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5B-MX Memory: 2 Gb VideoCard: NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT HDD: 80GB + 250GB both IDE Operating System: Windows 7 32bit

Please give me some advice what to improve in my System. I mainly used it for Graphic Design (eg, Photoshop, Cinema4d, Illustrator, Flash).

I was planning to increase my Memory adding 2 GB more, Pushing it to something like 4GB in total. But just found out that recently that I already have 2x2GB installed and should be 4GB in total. When I looked at the properties of my computer, It said "Installed Memory 2GB". I wonder why is that happening? Is the other ram broken?.. I never the computer casing since I bought. so I didn't realize that I already have 2 x 2gb ram.

what can you advice.

Thanks!

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2 Answers 2

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You'll get varying responses from different people. :)

From my take on it, I would try to get up to 4Gb of RAM - however you may do it. It does sound like one of your RAM modules is bad. I would check your BIOS to see how much RAM and in what configuration it sees. It should tell you what modules are present and how much they are. If one is missing, it's probably bad and you should try to figure out which one to replace (remove one and try to boot seems like a valid way to find out short of an expensive DIMM tester).

Really, 4Gb seems generally fine for most general use cases. The only cases I would consider getting more than that is for heavy programming, server systems, virtual hosts, gaming or video/audio editing. Other than the additional addressable RAM, I personally don't see a compelling reason to upgrade to Win7 64. If you were building a new system, sure... but to upgrade after the fact; I don't see the need.

Your processor looks relatively decent and your video card should probably be sufficient for your needs. Graphics editing programs don't tend to use video cards for acceleration, so the card is probably mainly busy rendering pretty transparencies for Windows 7 - which its more than capable of.

The only other thing I would probably touch offhand would be swapping out those hard disks for SATA. There is a much improved data transfer rate that should improve the rate at which your applications and images get loaded into memory. You may even look into an SSD if you've got money to spare.

As far as what Joel said about 4Gb of Total Memory... I would be curious to see some support. The problem with a 32bit OS reading > 4Gb of memory (afaik) is that the maximum expressible memory location with a 32bit integer is lower/equal to the 4Gb memory level. So, in order to address anything beyond that - you need a 64bit integer.

The part the confuses me there is that the video memory and system memory are separate entities (generally - ya, some are physically shared but those are still treated separately as far as apps are concerned). One does not address the bit @ 4Gb + 1 to get into the video card, its a separate instruction set. The byte location 0 can be share by both devices, as they are referenced in different ways. Consequently, both have the full range of available byte locations for integers - 4Gb available for both of them, not the sum of them.

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Joel is correct--you get 4 GB of total addressable memory, regardless of the fact that they are separate entities. There is not 4 GB available for each of them--4 GB are available fro the sum. –  Emory Bell May 29 '10 at 21:40
    
Can you support this at all? AFAIK; Its a limit in the max size of an integer which (in a 32bit system) is around the integerial expression of 4Gb. Addressing video RAM is done through a different register, thus a different pointer. Thus, two pointers (really big ints) that can both reference mem up to 4Gb - which means they are separate. –  phantomdata May 29 '10 at 21:50
    
Just as a point; msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/… (straight from MS) references 4Gb limit on physical memory. Physical memory is a generic term for RAM; not total system memory. –  phantomdata May 29 '10 at 21:54
    
    
The system maps these outside devices in the physical address space so that the processor can use them directly, as if they were ram. –  Joel Coehoorn May 30 '10 at 17:19

A 32bit operating system can typically only talk to up to 4GB total memory. This includes the memory in devices like your video card.

Here's what I'd change to get the most from your system, in order of priority:

  • 64bit Windows (will let you use all your ram)
  • Hard drive (speeding up your drive has a larger performance impact than most realize)
  • Max out your motherboard's supported ram
  • Quad core processor (because the photo and video software likely support mutli-threading)
  • Video card

I'm torn on the order of the last two. It basically depends on whether your video editing software supports offloading some of the work to your card (likely it doesn't).

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For the Hard Drive do you advice me to use SATA instead of IDE? for the Ram, My motherboard's limit for the ram is 4GB only. I already used 2 x 2gb DDR2. That means my memory limit is full right? Why is it showing 2gb installed ram only. I am still not getting the idea of 32bit affecting my ram. You said 32 bit can only read up to 4gb, when my ram are total. It's not higher than 4GB,It's only 4GB. Why do you think it's happening? Thanks! –  Pennf0lio May 29 '10 at 19:00
    
@Pennf0lio--Your video card has memory as well that is addressed to part of that 4 GB of addressable space. –  Emory Bell May 29 '10 at 21:41
    
@Pennf Go sata if the system supports it. As for RAM, you have > 6GB in the system already. There's the 4GB directly in the motherboard, but you also have to count the 2Gb on the video card and some smaller amounts on other IO devices in your system. –  Joel Coehoorn May 30 '10 at 1:38

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