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I have Windows 7 64-bit, 8GB RAM and 1152MB is hardware reserved. This leaves me with 7039MB of physical memory available as I can see on the Task Manager. What are the advantages or disadvantages of keeping it this way?

If I disable it from MSCONFIG, the hardware reserved comes down to 1MB. Which way should I keep it for best performance in all meanings considering that nowadays, 8GB is still a lot?

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You will barely notice the difference in performance between 7 and 8GB. –  user3463 Oct 3 '10 at 8:56
    
Hi,yes, but having 8gb to use, do I get any benefit by having any memory HARDWARE RESERVED or shall I disable it? –  alex Oct 3 '10 at 11:20

2 Answers 2

In old 32 bit systems, the max addressable amount of RAM was 4Gb. Now you need memory space in order to communicate with hardware on the computer, so at the end of the 4Gb, space was reserved that doesn't tap into memory, but taps into devices. I think the memory space for devices is now much higher on 64 bit systems with good drivers and new hardware so it doesn't get in the way of RAM.

However, even 64 bit systems can still have devices and drivers that use that space under 4Gb for legacy reasons. Some newer systems with good devices, drivers and BIOS' use very little hardware reserved memory. (around 29Mb Hardware reserved by my 5Gb (yes 5) Dell laptop.)

Sometimes you can change BIOS settings to get more memory. Some BIOS' offer software memory hole remapping.

Having hardware reserved memory will not benefit your system in any way and is only a detriment as you have memory that cannot be used.

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Old 32-bit systems AND old 64-bit systems (which were limited by the physical number of address traces). –  Ben Voigt Feb 24 '11 at 14:32

If I remember correctly (I could be putting a foot in my mouth) having hardware reserved ram meant that devices on your PC such as sound cards and such will prefer to use the hardware reserved ram which is supposed to improve stability.

Although I'm not sure if this applies to 7 because I read something along those lines way back when I was researching why XP being 32-bit can't use 4GB...

Maybe someone else can confirm or debunk my statement?

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