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asugri

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What is the max available memory to a 32-bit Windows?

Hi,

I got a machine running 32-bit Window Vista Business.  It has 4 GB of RAM.
At the beginning, only 3 GB is shown in Control Panel->System.   Now OS
has SP1 and 4GB shows up.   What is the max available memory to this machine
before and after SP1 and why?

Thanks.
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rindi
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In theory it is 4GB, but some hardware resources like the graphical card etc use some of the same address space which would be required for the OS to be able to access that RAM. So in practice normally you'll be able to use somewhere around 3GB, +/- 512MB or so.

Apart from that very often the graphical card actually shares the system RAM, so that often reduces the amount of RAM available to the OS as well. This depends on the card you are using and the mainboard.

What Vista shows you in the system is just what is installed, and not what the OS actually uses. Pre SP it wasn't able to show that yet.
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Gabriel Clifton
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