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Vista and RAM

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by cgwahl, May 27, 2009.

  1. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    Ok, I'm buying a laptop for my mom and want to get the max RAM for it. I just can't find a good answer on the amount of RAM Vista will recognize.

    Some people say 3 gigs, others say 4 (and I realize MS site says 4 gigs). I also know that some of that RAM will disappear since it'll be shared by the on board video card.


    So my question for those that have actually used Vista is will it recognize 4 gigs minus the video card usage or will it only see 3 gigs?


    Here's the laptop in case anyones curious:

    Lenovo IdeaPad Y550 - 418646U
    http://tinyurl.com/rye9vm
     
  2. SomeGuyInAHat

    SomeGuyInAHat

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    32-bit Vista, which is most likely what's on that laptop, will address a maximum of 3.2 GB of RAM. 64-bit Vista can address up to 128 GB of RAM depending on the edition.
     

  3. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

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    what he said. it depends on if it is 64 bit. since it probably would not be, 3 gigs
     
  4. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    Yeah, it's 32-bit.


    Ok, so assuming you stuck 4 GB of RAM in the unit, the other 0.8 GB is wasted or will/can that be used by the video card?
     
  5. NGWT

    NGWT

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    Your video card will use those addresses.
     
  6. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

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    i am pretty sure it is wasted. I don't know what the guy above is talking about.
     
  7. grokdesigns

    grokdesigns

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    If the laptop is shipped with 4GB of RAM, it will most likely come with Vista 64-bit. I purchased a similar Lenovo and got 64-bit Vista on a 4GB RAM machine.

    Think about it, why would a reputable manufacturer advertise 4GB of RAM and then put an operating system that didn't recognize it? Anybody with half a brain would notice it and return it. It's not like Lenovo pays any more for a 64-bit version of Windows.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  8. JohnBT

    JohnBT NRA Benefactor

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    Anybody with half a brain would know the deal with Vista32 and take the 2 x 2 gig sticks and the bit of extra useful ram and move on with their life.

    John
     
  9. NGWT

    NGWT

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    To help avoid issues with hardware drivers, MS put a self-imposed max memory limit on 32-bit Vista of around 3.2GB. This memory address area up to 4GB is typically used by various hardware (video cards, net cards, etc). This memory is mapped into this area and is thus excluded from use by Windows.

    On XP the most memory I ever had available on a 32bit box was 3.8GB. The least? 2.2GB. A video card with 1GB of memory instantly takes your max memory available to the operating system from 4GB to down below 3GB. THEN it starts subtracting the other hardware that needs address space.
     
  10. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    I took a better look at the specs you can download and it looks like it preloads Vista Premium 64, so guess I was wrong in saying it's 32-bit so it's a non-issue afterall.

    The stupid grid for the comparisons didn't put the 64 on it.


    Anyhow, thanks all for answering my question.