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General => Open Discussion => Topic started by: rcallicotte on December 04, 2008, 07:08:48 pm

Title: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: rcallicotte on December 04, 2008, 07:08:48 pm
Would anyone know for sure what will happen when 3G of RAM is placed into a machine that is running Windows XP Pro (32-bit) without the 3G switch?  Will there be a denigration or will it matter for better or for worse?
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: PG on December 04, 2008, 07:38:24 pm
Well 2GB is normally the maximum that can be assigned to programs, the other 2 being assigned to the kernel. Without the 3G/ I think it just means you'll have less memory specifically assigned to running the system. not that xp pro needs 1GB anyhow ;D
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: rcallicotte on December 04, 2008, 10:59:34 pm
There's this - http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/pae/paemem.mspx, but it really doesn't say that anything negative will come about by having the 3G without the switch. 

Just curious.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: Mohawk20 on December 05, 2008, 04:39:34 am
I have 3G in my pc, but didn't bother with the switch.

I have a 2nd pc with only 2G, and it does have less ram to spend on TG2 somehow.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: PG on December 05, 2008, 06:04:51 am
Well if you have 2GB then it won't be able to assign 2GB to terragen, it has to keep something for the page files. However if you have 3GB then using the 3G/ switch will just put you in the same position. It'll try to assign 3GB to applications, but because you only have 3GB it'll most likely return what's left. Honestly I don't think Microsoft tested this or even thought of this eventuality. If they did they'd have use a percentage of the remaining RAM, not a specific amount.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: reck on December 05, 2008, 06:29:07 am
I have 4GB in my 32bit Vista system at home which gives me about 3.2GB of memory. So if Terragen uses 2GB that leaves me with about 1.2GB of memory + paging file for running vista.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: andytw on December 05, 2008, 04:07:27 pm
As far as I'm aware the 3GB switch when set simply allows suitable applications to use 3GB of address space as opposed to the normal 2GB per application limit in Windows.
It shouldn't matter how much RAM is actually installed as the address space can be either in physical RAM or on the page file (virtual RAM).
However if you don't have at least 4GB of RAM installed then setting the 3GB switch is likely to result in excessive paging to disk as soon as any application starts using 2-3GB of address space.

Setting the 3GB switch usually only causes problems on systems which have a lot of extra components or where the graphic card(s) has/have more than 512MB of RAM, though this cannot be guaranteed.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: PG on December 05, 2008, 04:40:58 pm
Yeah, and remember that it's 2GB (or 3 with the switch) available to each program. So if you have Terragen 2 using 2GB, anti virus using 60MB, internet explorer using say 100MB, other services that may come with hardware, for example, then you'll really be pushing the amount of physical RAM you have available.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: zionner on December 07, 2008, 06:07:12 pm
Hey guys, *not sure if I should post this here, or start another*

Basicly, I lately bought 4 Gigs of RAM,

When I look on the system Specs in Vista it recognises I have 4 Gigs running, but whenever I look in task manager, it only shows 2.5

..Is this the limit windows is putting on? or should I still be seeing the rest of my RAM>

Thanks :)
Zionner
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: PG on December 07, 2008, 06:16:20 pm
Is it saying that for Total in the Physical Memory (K) group under the performance tab?
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: zionner on December 07, 2008, 06:17:57 pm
Yeah, it says Total: 2557
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: PG on December 07, 2008, 06:53:36 pm
OK. couple of things for you to try. Open boot.ini in C:/ You may have to allow hidden files and folders to be shown and disable the "hide protected operating system files" in the appearance part of control panel under folder options. Check to see if there is anything in there that appears to be incorrectly setting the max mem. Also, try adding /PAE to the last line of your boot.ini. And if you have a graphics card, go into BIOS (usually F2 at start of boot) and disable onboard graphics and drop any memory it may be assigning to the graphics to none. You'll never actually get 4GB anyway because it's 32bit but checking these things should get it up to the usual 3.5GB.
Edit: If you find your system can't run PAE (very unlikely as many have it on a standard these days) then go into safe mode (which disables PAE) and remove the line /PAE from boot.ini
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: zionner on December 08, 2008, 11:09:22 am
Thanks for your help PG<

But my boot.ini is missing X( *checked all the normal places for it to be?*

cant find it :(
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: PG on December 08, 2008, 01:44:26 pm
Here's a step by step guide to finding boot.ini just click on the bits in red
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: zionner on December 08, 2008, 03:33:01 pm
Thanks, but I just remembered Vista dosent have a boot.ini,

anyway, I modified it through a diffrent way, but it didnt work, its because my video card is using 1 Gig of my RAM..

*shared system memory*

and since my computers a dell, I have an extremely limited BIOS

Edit: Also, thanks alot for all the effort your putting in to helping me :)
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: PG on December 08, 2008, 05:07:23 pm
oh ok. Well I've had a hunt around, apparently dells are pretty bad for this. It is reserving memory for graphics but it is still available, even though it's not showing in task manager. Basically the BIOS assigns a bit to a segment of the RAM saying that it's graphics memory, therefore task manager doesn't give a crap about it :D. However the RAM is still just RAM and as long as you're not using it for graphics, it'll still be available.
Do you have a dedicated graphics (nVidia, ATI)? if so, try changing the graphics setting in BIOS from default to PEG. I don't know exactly what graphic setting, just one that has an option called PEG.
Edit: keep forgetting to include these bits. If you find your display not working after this, reset your BIOS. That is, take the side of the case off, find a small plastic peg placed on two pins with a bare pin next to it. It should have something like CMOS_CLR or BIOS_CLR written on the motherboard next to it. Move the peg one pin over so you cover the middle pin and the pin that was previously open, leave it for 10 seconds then move it back. That'll put everything back to normal.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: rcallicotte on December 08, 2008, 05:56:42 pm
I would be very careful about doing anything with the BIOS.  Any slip can possibly negotiate a dead or nearly useless PC.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: JimB on December 08, 2008, 07:17:26 pm
hang on, let's try tha......  (http://img45.imageshack.us/img45/9568/longhornrsodey9.png)

;)
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: rcallicotte on December 08, 2008, 11:14:57 pm
 ;D
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: PG on December 09, 2008, 05:15:11 am
well if you do get anything like that, just flip the BIOS jumper like I explained and everything goes back to the way it was. It's only overclocking that you have to be careful of.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: zionner on December 09, 2008, 11:00:43 am
thanks for your help everyone :D

I have a Nvidia 8500 GT 512 MB (though by the end of the week my new card will be here :D *Nvidia 9800 GTX+*

I have tried changing the setting in the BIOS, but it didnt change any of the values :(

@ JimB: :O Scarey error!!

*has never seen a RED screen from windows before*

Edit: My new Card has arrived, fitting it now :D
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: rcallicotte on December 09, 2008, 02:02:25 pm
@zionner - Hope you enjoy your new card.  I've been thinking about getting a new card...someday...
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: PG on December 09, 2008, 04:07:59 pm
yeah enjoy the card. The RSOD is an addition to windows vista. It's for the most seriously fatal errors.
Title: Re: 3G of RAM - No 3G Switch
Post by: zionner on December 09, 2008, 04:10:39 pm
Thanks :)

I got my gig of RAM back to :P, since the card is DDR3 and the RAM is DDR2..

:D