Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My current setup:

Windows Vista, 32 bit

  • 2 sticks of 1 GB Kingston HyperX 1333Mhz ram
  • Asus P5K3 Deluxe Motherboard

My Theoretical, temporary setup

  • Windows Vista, 32 bit
  • 4 sticks of 2 GB, 1333 MHz ram

Final setup in 2 months time

  • Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit
  • 4 sticks of 2 GB, 1333 MHz ram

Questions:

Is there any problems with having 8 GB ram in a 32 bit Windows Vista? As i understand it, i would simply only be able to utiluse ~3,2 GB of them. The rest would just be unsused. Is this correct?

Does anyone have any notes i should be aware of, before buying this?

share|improve this question

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Is there any problems with having 8 GB ram in a 32 bit Windows Vista? As i understand it, i would simply only be able to utiluse ~3,2 GB of them. The rest would just be unsused. Is this correct?

Yes, the extra memory will be physically present, but not usable by a 32-bit OS. It will not cause problems.

share|improve this answer
    
I'd like to add the qualification that using all 4 slots does have an impact on (theoretical) memory performance. So, theoretically it would be better to only use 2 of the sticks with Vista 32-bit, since that is already more than it can address anyway, and then add the other 2 sticks later. I'm not sure you can measure the impact outside of overclocking situations, but this may be relevant to someone else later on ;) –  jerryjvl Sep 6 '09 at 11:53
    
Not usable by a 32-bit Windows desktop operating system. In the unlikely event that you run, say, Linux with a HIGHMEM kernel, you'd be able to use the extra RAM. –  ChrisInEdmonton Nov 10 '09 at 3:18

No problem, but like you said, you can use only 3,2GB memory.

I recommending upgrading, after win7 on the way, because memory will be cheaper.

share|improve this answer

Nope, Vista and 7 can see the "extra" ram, but won't use it.

It's almost testing you to go 64bit

share|improve this answer

You may need to reactivate Vista after changing the amount of installed RAM, depending on what other hardware changes you have made since activating. Not that this is a problem, per se, but it could be rather surprising.

share|improve this answer

Recently, a group of programmers have released a kernel patch for Windows 7 to allow the usage of more than 4gb of RAM under Windows 7. Click here to download the patch, or view more information about it. The patch basically modifies the Windows 7 Kernel to be more like the Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition, which is compatible with up to 8gb of RAM under 32-bit mode.

The patch allows you to extend the PAE well into 8gb of RAM under Windows 7 32-bit. For more information about why Microsoft implemented this technical limitation, see this article.

Note that individual processes will still be limited to 4gb even if the system can access more... Although if you had 8gb of RAM, then at least you'd still have another 4gb for other processes ;)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.