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Solved: 4mb vs 3 on a 32bit PC with shared graphics

843 Views 11 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Triple6
I just rec'd. a refurbished Win7Pro 32 bit Lenovo Laptop which came with 3mb ram and integrated Intel Graphics. My question is: If the integrated graphics share the 3mb and the 32 bit OS can only address 3mb and change, would adding 1mb (4mb total) make any difference because of the shared graphics? I think I have a 2mb SODIMM in an old NetBook running XP, so the cost is negligible. The laptop has 2 ram slots and I think the NB ram is the same speed.

BTW, the ref. laptop (by Blair Tech) from Newegg appears to show little wear and so far is absolutely fabulous with the KB and Screen showing no flaws at all.
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I think you mean 3GB not 3MB; huge difference.

The amount of memory space addressable by a 32-bit system is 4GB, that's not just the RAM, that's everything that uses memory addressing. Chances are that adding more memory will not have any significant difference even if it gets allocated to the graphics which if it's Intel graphics then it doesn't need a 1GB of memory anyways. You will likely get a bit more usable RAM but gains may be small.
Thanks for the VERY prompt reply, sorry, yes 3G not Mb, remember when 1M was huge?

I thought that a 32bit OS could only address about 3.3G not 4, but I also thought that addressable graphics could fill in the void and increase ram by 33%. I thought that the speed increase would be minimal.
Rounded off, for ease, as 32bit OS can address up to about 4Gb of RAM (give or take), it can only address RAM that is physically installed.

Out of the installed RAM, there is typically about 512Mb address space that is permanently assigned to various system processes, this is why you typically only see about 3.5Gb of RAM available if 4Gb is installed.

After that 512Mb going to system processes, the next thing that is assigned address space is the video RAM. If you have 1Gb assigned to video RAM (or 1Gb RAM on a standalone card), then that leaves only 2.5Gb useable by the rest of the system.
Thanks for the reply. When you say 2.5G after 512mb for system resources and 1G for video ram, you are talking about 4G installed ram, correct? So even with 1G on a standalone Video card, the 2.5G still holds? My main PC with Win8.1 32 bit with integrated graphics would then have 3G usable ram?? I ask this in addition to my laptop question because I had some trouble with an NVidia 1G video card which has now been returned to me but not yet installed again. If the 1G on the card does not add to the total ram, I won't install it and leave the integrated graphics active. I am not a gamer and do mainly WP and web email - surfing.

Relative to my 3G laptop with Win7Pro 32bit, with 512 assigned for system resources and 512 assigned to video leaving me with 2G useable ram, would the 4G installed ram leave me with 3G useable?

I hope I have made myself clear, rereading this doesn't sound that way.

Re my last message: Do video cards with installed ram add to the total ram in the system up to the limits of the OS?
Re my last message: Do video cards with installed ram add to the total ram in the system up to the limits of the OS?
Indirectly they do. Everything that requires memory addressing adds to the 4GB total of addressable memory space, and that includes the video card memory. If you have a huge amount of video memory than it actually cuts into the amount of system RAM that the system can use.
I've had the laptop for 2 days and just found out that it isn't 32bit but rather 64, sorry. That's a whole new ball game, correct? I could replace the 1G SODIMM with a 4 for a total of 6G which is all fully addressable by the 64bit OS. Again, though would it be noticeably faster?

Once again, with only 2 days of ownership (and no docs), has some specs. which state a max of 4G Ram, so I would think it would remain as is.

Thanks for all your help.
It may be worth posting the full type-model number of the laptop which can be found on the bottom and in the BIOS.

If it's Windows 7 Pro 64-bit than it can support up to 192GB of RAM. The real restriction will be the hardware.

With Windows 7 64-bit up to 8GB's shows gains for most users, 4GB is the minimum most would recommend. And above 8GB for very heavy users.

4GB max for a modern system seems unusual but again we don't know which model or how old it is.
Triple 6:
My laptop is a Lenovo SL500, from 2008-9, originally shipped with Vista, refurbished by Blair Tech with Win7Pro 64bit. It has an Intel Core2 Duo (T5870, 2Mcache at 2.0GHz with an 800 Mhz Bus). Lenovo Specs say 4G total ram in 2 slots which is probably appropriate for the age of the machine. While I have a spare 2G DDR2 SODIMM PC 6400 to replace the 1G SODIMM PC 5300, I may just leave well enough alone at the 3G it has now - this is assuming the PC6400 SODIMM would clock down to the PC5300 speed which I think it would.
Ah Ok. The SL500 is an older laptop that's about 6 years old now, it does have a 4GB limit as a result. You can add the 2GB PC6400 you have to max it out, it will run a bit better at 4GB instead of 3GB, especially since some of that will be allocated to the graphics chip. PC6400 should down clock to to PC5300 speeds no problem, RAM generally supports all lower frequencies.
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