On Mon, 7 Jul 2008 01:11:20 +0100, "Bradley Thomas"
> I want to increase the amount of Ram in my PC from 2gb to 8gb - however I am
> using the 32bit version of Vista.
Then you can not (unless you change to 64-bit Vista). All 32-bit
versions of Windows (not just Vista) have a 4GB address space. That's
the theoretical upper limit beyond which you can not go.
But you can't use the entire 4GB of address space. Even though you
have a 4GB address space, you can only use *around* 3.1GB of RAM.
That's because some of that space is used by hardware and is not
available to the operating system and applications. The amount you can
use varies, depending on what hardware you have installed, but can
range from as little as 2GB to as much as 3.5GB. It's usually around
Note that the hardware is using the address *space*, not the actual
RAM itself. The rest of the RAM goes unused because there is no
address space to map it too.
> Do I need to purchase a completely new copy of the 64 bit version,
> or can
> Microsoft supply an "upgrade" of any kind, as the PC was bought from an OEM.
OEM or not, there is no upgrade path from a 32-bit version to a 64-bit
May I ask why you want so much memory? Despite the many people who
continually repeat "the more memory the better," that's true only up
to a point. Once you have enough RAM so that the system is no longer
paging, any additional RAM does next to nothing for you. At what point
that happens depends on what apps you run, but for most people running
common business applications under Windows Vista, that point is
usually somewhere in the 2-3GB range, and except for those doing
something like editing videos or large photographic images, more RAM
than that is largely wasted.
Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP - Windows Desktop Experience
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