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According to my motherboard manufacturer the max amount of RAM I can use is 8GB. Why am I limited to 8GB? I have only two slots but I know I can buy 2 8GB sticks to get to 16GB and I am running a 64bit processor. What is the hold up? Or put 16GB in it and it will work just fine?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The limiting factor seems to be chipset support. I couldn't find definite specs for Nvidia nForce 630a, however all other motherboards based on the same chipset support maximum 8GB as well. So, this seems to be a limiting factor in the chipset's memory controller.

Some manufacturers artificially limit the maximum specs of their lower-end chips in order to not cannibalize sales of the higher-end hardware. I'm not claiming that this is definitely the case here, just pointing out that the reason for this limitation is not necessarily technical.

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Thanks for the info, is there a hack that allows me around that limitation if it is artificially created? – L84 May 31 '12 at 21:23
I don't know about this particular chipset, but usually such hack is not possible. I'm afraid you're stuck with max 8GB on this board. – haimg May 31 '12 at 21:41
What would happen if I try to stick 16gb in here? Only work with one stick? – L84 Jun 1 '12 at 2:04
@Lynda: Either work with just one stick (if 8GB sticks are supported), or work in dual-channel mode with 4Gb from both sticks, or just flat out refuse to start-up with an unsupported memory configuration. – haimg Jun 1 '12 at 3:05

This is obviously very specific to the motherboard make and manufacturer. All I can offer is an educated guess.

Just because you think you should be able to put 2 8GB sticks, doesn't mean it will work fine. The memory limit comes from many factors, including bus speed, addressing support, lines from the memory banks to the CPU, etc. The CPU architecture does not correlate into memory address lines available. Yes, a 64bit processor can support more memory than a 32 bit, if the memory address lines are wired on the PCB board to the rest of the chipset. Currently, AMD and Intel x86_64 actually use 48-bit address lines, not 64! This is where your 'max supported' memory number comes from.

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I usually recommend using's motherboard detection and RAM advisor. It will tell you what limitations your motherboard has, and often why, and what your maximum upgrade possibilities are.

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That is what lead me here as to asking why I am limited. => – L84 May 31 '12 at 21:22

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