As far as I am aware, one can view the RAM Size in System Properties:

System Properties

From the above screenshot it seems that My RAM is 3.5 GB, but as far as I can tell I actually inserted 2 two GB RAM into my motherboard.

Is it that my memory is faulty, or that the information displayed in System Properties is faulty?

  • -1 asked and answered all over the place already.
    – TheSmurf
    Nov 24, 2009 at 22:53
  • 2
    @DannySmurf, the very fact that people are still viewing this question ( presumably they are coming from Google) proves that there is a huge value in it.
    – Graviton
    Nov 3, 2010 at 16:06

9 Answers 9


It's because your OS is 32-bit. Check out Dude, Where's My 4 Gigabytes of RAM?

  • 1
    Not neccesasrily. I only have 3 GiB of my 4, due to a chipset limitation. But yes, it's probably the 32-bittiness.
    – Joey
    Aug 21, 2009 at 10:57
  • 1
    Erm, the chipset is rather irrelevant. 32-bit Windows (excepting Server editions and PAE hacks) will not see 4GB of RAM. Sep 17, 2009 at 21:00
  • This answer, and the comments on it, are out of date. Modern 32-bit Windows will see and report all your RAM. It won't necessarily use all of it, but it will see and report it. Mar 12, 2017 at 21:44


This will tell you everything about the memory installed in your machine along with the cpu. It will show which slots contain what size sticks and what speed they are running at.

The link JP posted from coding horror explains exactly why you only see 3.5gb out of the 4 you have installed is because of a 32bit OS.

  • 1
    CPUID is a great tool!
    – kamleshrao
    Aug 21, 2009 at 9:13
  • 1
    This is a fantastic tool. I use it whenever I need to know what hardware a system has. Sep 17, 2009 at 20:05

Because you are running 32Bit Windows 3.5GB is the maximum amount of RAM you can support.

A 64bit Operating system is required to use any more RAM. So currently you are wasting 512MB of RAM.

  • 3
    The maximum is 4GB minus (amount of virtual address space consumed by various other devices), which isn't necessarily 3.5GB. The maximum I've seen so far is 3.75GB on a virtual server. Sep 17, 2009 at 21:03

4GB Ram is the maximum allowed in 32bit operating systems.

I suspect that because your Video Card uses 1/2GB, that leaves 3.5 GB left.


Check memory with memtest86

Or use Everest or other hardware recognition software


Your question is wrong. Better is "Why my XP see only 3.5GB RAM?"

Answer from JP is right


Or try the Crucial system scanner.


the reason is not the operating system (which supports 4 GB), it is the 32-bit hardware architecture.

and while we're recommending software, here's another goodie:

SIW - System Information for Windows


Another way to check the memory size is:

  1. Click the Start Menu and choose Run.
  2. Type msinfo32.exe and press return.

Download CPU-Z... Will detect whatever is in your slot... ;)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .