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Making full use of memory on graphic cards

Hello!

Does anyone know if 32-bit OS will be able to fully utilize 4GB of memory (3GB Ram + 1GB GPU)?

I know that out of 4GB Ram + 1GB GPU on 32-bit OS some of that ram goes to waste due to 32-bit OS limitations.

Thank you!

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marked as duplicate by Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams, Kyle, Shinrai, MaQleod, akira Jun 2 '11 at 19:09

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
You will be fine with that setup... –  Kyle Jun 2 '11 at 18:00

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It won't use all of your memory, but you won't miss very much. 32-bit Windows is generally limited to 4GB of total memory address space. This address space is used for all memory-mapped devices in your system, including RAM, GPU RAM, DMA hard drives (hard drive cache), audio device memory, network card direct access, and numerous other small I/O devices. So what you have is 3GB RAM + 1GB GPU + various sundry low-level system components.

Those additional system components don't add up to a lot, but they will eat a small portion of your available address space. Exactly how much depends on your system, but it's generally less than 100MB all told. Compared to the bigger GPU and normal RAM you'll hardly notice it, but it will mean some of your physical ram goes unused.

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Thank you very much, Joel. I was afraid that i'll lose much more ram than (let's say) those 100 MB due to not knowing how address spacing works. As long i dont have 4GB ram with a GPU, i'll be able to utilize close to 100% of available memory (minus that part of the memory, of course, that "goes away" so other devices could function normally). Also, thanks to all others who took the time to read the question and reply to it. I really appreciate it. –  user84192 Jun 2 '11 at 19:10

Slightly OT, but who knows.

If you use linux, you can map more than 4GB with a 32bit kernel if you use a kernel supporting Physical Address Extension (PAE). They can be installed directly from the software repository on most popular distros.

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