Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This question already has an answer here:

I have HP dv7 laptop. Intel core i5 2.53 and 6GB of RAM. but now it is showing 6GB RAM (2.43GB Usable) I Checked both of RAMs separately. on of them that is 4GB it is showing 2.43 GB usable. an second one is showing 2GB (1.86GB Usable). but when I am inserting both of them, again it is showing 2.43GB usable. when it has original windows 7 home premium, it was like this. the computer was working too slowly. it was like that. but when I changed from win 7 home prem. 64bit to win 8 professional 32bit, again it is showing like that.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Oliver Salzburg Mar 14 '13 at 17:02

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.

The 32-bit version of Windows has limits imposed on memory by Microsoft, usually 4GB on a desktop. To get around this, you will either have to use PAE or switch to a 64-bit version of the OS. I would not recommend the former, as PAE tends to have a slight performance hit, and it will require some sort of advanced hack.

According to this page, the 32-bit version of Windows 8 can only USE up to 3GB of RAM. The reason that you are not being able to use all 3 GB's is because the integrated graphics controller takes up a certain amount of RAM, which becomes unusable for anything other than the graphics controller.

Intel graphics do not have dedicated memory but utilizes some of the computer's system memory. The amount of memory used for graphics may be a fixed amount or may vary up to a maximum amount. It depends on if the computer manufacturer has configured the computer to use a fixed amount, a dynamic amount (varying up to a maximum amount), or a combination of both fixed and dynamic amounts of graphics memory.

According to the manual for the dv6:

Intel Extreme Graphics - Intel GMA 4700MHD - Up to 1759 MB of graphics subsystem memory on computer models equipped with 4096 MB of main system memory (64-bit OS)

share|improve this answer
The first sentence is true if you refer only to desktop versions of Windows; the second sentence is false. 32-bit operating systems are perfectly capable of addressing more than 4 GiB of RAM using PAE, just like 8-bit operating systems are capable of addressing more than 256 bytes of memory. Windows 8's memory limit is artificially imposed my Microsoft. – Dennis Mar 14 '13 at 16:31
@Dennis I know that PAE allows for more memory for 32-bit systems, however I thought Microsoft imposed a limit on the memory. – CC Inc Mar 14 '13 at 16:39
@Dennis Thus per the question, there is no way for a Microsoft user to use PAE to extend the memory beyond microsoft's limitation. – CC Inc Mar 14 '13 at 16:41
I don't disagree with your conclusion. I was just talking about the wording of the first paragraph. 1. Windows Server 2000 Advanced 32-bit can address 8 GiB of memory. 2. There are ways around the limit in Vista and 7 (source), although I haven't – and wouldn't – try them out myself. – Dennis Mar 14 '13 at 16:51
@Dennis Alright, I'll edit it – CC Inc Mar 14 '13 at 17:01

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