My desktop is a 2008 Gateway GT5662 that has 4GB of RAM and is the reported max. memory capacity. This PC came with a 32-bit Vista. I recently replaced a bad drive with a new one and installed W7 64-bit. I was reading that the 64-bit version allows greater than 4GB of RAM. My question is whether or not this will permit me to increase my RAM or am I still limited my the motherboard max. specs?
I dug a little deeper and found the the motherboard specs and the board actually supports up 8GB of RAM. It was the OEM 32-bit Vista that is limiting it to 4GB. I also installed that Crucial memory tool to see what it said. It found my PC model # is was still basing it off the OEM specs. I also found it was contradicting itself on the max memory for each bank. It stated that only 1GB RAM max for each bank; which is untrue because I have a 2GB stick, and (2) 1GB sticks. Again, I believe it's simply going by the OEM specs and doesn't realize that I now have a 64-bit OS. I'll know for sure Friday, as I head up to my storage unit to get a few things. I've got another 1GB stick boxed up.
I've found this a lot specifically with Gateway machines. The information is stored somewhere that a lot of simple tools just grab and extrapolate, and so you're being told itis a limit of 4 when in actuality it is not a limit of 4 at all.
I don't know why Gateway does something so stupid as that, but there it is.
ISTR this also happening on an HP machine, but nowhere else in my experience.
Yeah, Gateway chat support basically just regurgitated what their documentation states. The reason I started this, was because I was noticing that my PC seemed snapper with the 64-bit W7 OS. So I did a quick search on the differences of 32-bit vs 64-bit, and found out about the memory limitations (32) and increase for (64). I then asked Gateway chat support and they simply rehashed the PC specs and decided to go search some for myself. I found two sites with the OEM motherboard specs that led me to my conclusion, and went back to Gateway support to inform them and to update their database. The rep was grateful for letting her know, as she didn't know as a tier 1 support and told me this.
Ummm, you're forgetting one very big thing and a smaller, though equally important thing.
1) You have a brand new OS installed - it's going to be snappier simply because it does not have all of the junk in the registry yet that accumulates over time from regular every day use of a computer that is Windows based. If you talk to the folks like me who maintain numerous computers in networks, you'll see that we have systems for reverting them back to a default stock system - imaging software, things like DeepFreeze, etc. which take the computer back to a stock image over a period of time.
Folks like us also do the same thing to our personal computers (especially me, since I beta test a lot of applications). Every 6 months to a year we'll format the system drive, reinstall the OS, and install the current version(s) of apps that we always have installed - for a much smoother experience until things start to slow down (inevitably) once again.
2) The smaller, though equal thing to consider, is that, while a 32bit OS says that it can address 4 GB of RAM, in actuality, it only addresses about 3.0 to 3.3 GB of your 4 GB, reserving the rest for system use that you'll never see. Your 64bit OS will address all of that 4 GB without the reservation at all. But, all in all, an increase of ~750 MB of ram is not going to make as noticeable difference in your computer when going from ~3.25 to 4 GB as it would if you were on XP and originally had 256 MB and boosted that to 1 GB. Windows 7 is by far the most efficient of all Windows OSs in terms of memory management, and at this level it is not all that different.
Now, that being said, I'm running 12 GB (DDR3) on my machine because I like to multi-task - a lot. Between Firefox and Thunderbird alone, I'm usually eating up 3 GB of RAM to begin with, so....doubling your RAM will make things operate much smoother, but will not necessarily make things faster - the program loading off your HD will still load the same, but having more RAM for it to stay in memory as opposed to having to swap to the HD will definitely improve efficiency and make it seem snappier - but going from almost 4GB to a true 4 GB will not be as much of the cause of the snappiness for you right now as the fact that your OS is a brand new install.
To get better performance you do, indeed, want to pair up memory with matching sticks - but for anything that is not really gaming / hardware intensive, it really doesn't matter a whole lot in the long run. Mechanical drives are the biggest bottleneck, an with Windows almost mandatorily needing a swap file on a disk, you're pretty much bogged down regardless.
I have an SSD as my system drive and 12 GB of RAM and Windows still insists on paging ... whatever the hell it is that it pages. *sigh*
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Little off topic but reguarding what SUroot said. Looking for a Crossfire ready board I came across a board by MSi that has, on board, 20GB of Intel SSD... I didnt read too much into it because I choked on the price but, does that mean they can store the OS on the 20GB SSD and use your HDD as just storage space??? What would happen with program files that feel the need to add information to your C: drive?
Hmmmm NEW THREAD!
I went and got that 1GB of memory out of my storage unit yesterday. Turns out, it was actually 2 x 512MB sticks. I thought there was some issues with the PC liking the extra memory, because the PC kept powering itself off after a few minutes. After taking the memory out, I realized the problem was one of the extra power cords out of the power supply was stuck and blocking the fan on my video card. All is well.
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Good to hear you got it working. I remember when I had a power cord itself fail on me. I spent two weeks swapping various things out before I tried a different cord. I felt so silly in the end when I discovered the real culprit was a $5 cable....
I was wanting to upgrade my quad-core to a new AMD eight-core system. But with all that I've discussed in this thread, I'm going to hold off on that for awhile. I'm content to upgrading my 4GB of RAM to 8GB. My AMD quad-core 2.2 CPU still runs good. Plus, I've got a new video card on the way I bought using my AMEX points. I'm upgrading my Radeon HD 4850 card to a HIS overclocked HD6870. This should tied me over for a little while longer.