I’m Getting Short Changed!

Now, let me give you a hypothetical.

Say I buy a large pizza, because I'm hungry, but also because I like pizza.

Say a large pizza has 8 slices, but when I get home, I find that the pizza shop has taken a quarter of the pizza out (the chef probably got hungry), and now I've only got 6! I'd be mad! Real mad!

Well, that's what Vista is doing to my poor little HP nc8430!

I've got 4GB (2 x 2GB modules), and am running the 32-bit version of Vista Ultimate, and low and behold, this is what Vista is telling me it can see!

Now, from my calculations, 2^32 should be more than 4GB of addressable space right? Anyone had this problem and worked out a fix? I want every last pennies worth!

Comments (9)

  1. tzagotta says:

    Are you kidding?  The fix is to run 64-bit Vista instead of 32-bit.  The 32-bit version can’t address 4GB of RAM – only about 3.5GB as you’re finding.

  2. Kolchak says:

    Me thinks you have shared video memory – the system is using system RAM for the gfx card…

  3. Cory Nelson says:

    Hi David,

    A 32-bit PC indeed has a 4GB address space, but it needs some of it for things other than RAM – some hardware, like video cards etc, will get a chunk of address space.

    The best way to fix this is to get with the times and install a 64-bit OS!

  4. Funnily enough, this topic was hinted at in a recent DotnetRocks with Raymond Chen (http://www.dotnetrocks.com/default.aspx?showNum=211) however Raymond was in a funny mood when he did the interview and wanted to spend more time talking about knitting etc.  His answer on this issue appeared to be something like "If you want to read my blog you must understand the difference between addressable storage and physical memory".  If you read Ian Griffith’s explaination then go listen to Raymond Chen talk on DNR you can kinda figure out what is going on.

    Having said that I am still a bit confused myself.


  5. darisole says:

    Cory Nelson is right.

  6. I’m feeling a bit out of touch of what’s happening. while I am recovering from my recent bout of Sinusitis.

  7. Sunny says:

    I think tzagotta is right on this one..

  8. Rosyna says:

    Let me guess, you have an Intel Core or Core 2 with a Intel 945 chipset? This chipset is a 32-bit bit chipset. It has a 4gig address space and it shares that address space with other devices. If you look closely at the HP specs for the computer, you’ll see that it says you cannot use much more than 3gigs of ram, despite the OS you have.

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