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Thread: upgrading RAM with XP

  1. #1
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    upgrading RAM with XP

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    My OS is Windows XP. I currently have 2 gigs of RAM, but I want to upgrade. I would like to upgrade to 4 gigs, but I read somewhere that it might actually be better to have 3 gigs with Windows XP. Something about because XP's max RAM is like 3.5 gigs or something......

    Does anyone have any insight to this? Is 3 actually better than 4?

    Thanks,
    D

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    Windows XP 32 bit will only see about 3.5 gig, so it's a bit of a waste to get 4, unless you can get 2 sticks of 2 gig for a better price, just go with 3 gigs. Using 4 gigs won't hurt anything, XP just won't be able to use it all. You have to run a 64 bit operating system to use more memory.

    hope this helps

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    Yep. As said above...

    I would hate to be at the point of almost using 3 gigs of ram.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daddymac View Post
    Windows XP 32 bit will only see about 3.5 gig, so it's a bit of a waste to get 4, unless you can get 2 sticks of 2 gig for a better price, just go with 3 gigs. Using 4 gigs won't hurt anything, XP just won't be able to use it all. You have to run a 64 bit operating system to use more memory.

    hope this helps
    Not true at all. Depending on what other hardware you have in your system, 4g can be extremely useful. Every piece of hardware with it's own memory has to have the equal amount physical memory space reserved. That plus the os overhead is whats left to windows programs. So a couple of UAD's and a 512mb video hard will eat up a gig of RAM on their own. So even if you have 3 gigs, the amount available will be considerably lower (.5 for OS + 1 gb for other hardware only leaves 1.5gb for programs..)
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    I think I'm going to go for 4 gigs. I already have (2) 1 gig sticks and I'm going to add (2) more 1 gig sticks.

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    Also Many programs designed for XP are not Large Adress Aware which means they will not address more than 2 GB of RAM. THere can still be benefit to installing it since the OS etc can use additional RAM and Leave the full 2GB for the application
    Also you need to make changes to the boot.ini file to use the extra RAM

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    Changes in the boot.ini file. How do I do that? And why do I need to?

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    From Microsoft:
    The /3GB parameter
    On 32-bit versions of Windows, the /3GB parameter enables 4-gigabyte (GB) random access memory (RAM) Tuning, a feature that enlarges the user-mode virtual address space to 3 GB and restricts the kernel-mode components to the remaining 1 GB.

    What does it Mean:
    Basically even if you install 4GB of RAM the OS will restrict it to 2GB for the Apps you are running and keep the rest for the Kernel components
    The boot.ini change will allow the user apps to access more of the RAM addresses and leave less for Kernel components.
    Bear in Mind that the MOBO also needs some of the addresses for system components too
    Depending on how the MOBO is configured and what components are installed, you could see anything from 2.75-3.75 GB available to the operating system with 4GB installed. (newer MOBOs generally do a better job of allocation and leave more addressable space for RAM).

    Then there are your apps
    some apps are simply not designed to use more than 2GB of RAM. Older versions of cubase for example (don't know about v5) don't address anything above 2GB of RAM even if installed because they are not large address aware.

    XP was not really designed for large RAM addressing. When it was developed systems typically shipped with 128 - 256 MB of RAM

    For Big RAM you really need a 64 bit OS. Vista is OK but if possible hild on 'til early 2010 for windows 7

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    so there will be no disadvantage to 4 GB, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Posse View Post
    XP was not really designed for large RAM addressing. When it was developed systems typically shipped with 128 - 256 MB of RAM
    Thanks for the info.
    But I disagree on the 128 & 256 MB RAM configs.
    Two reasons :
    1) RAM Pricing. Was not as cheap as today, and some 512MB and 1GB RAM singles not yet produced. PC100 & PC133 are still pricey
    2) some Motherboards only supported 1 or 2GB or RAM. Sell a low RAM PC and make more $ on the upgrades of Maxing RAM
    Hello There, Ladies and Gentleman ARE YOU READY TO ROCK !!!

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