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Does graphic card RAM reduce system RAM ?
Old 6th July 2009
Gear Nut

Does graphic card RAM reduce system RAM ?

Hi !

I just realised that my system info says I have 2gb instead of 4gb ram installed, so I was asking myself if ram from pci-e cards reduce the overall system ram?

I am working on windows xp sp3 (32bit)

Old 6th July 2009
Here for the gear

ram reduction

it depends on the video card in the pc, but it wouldn't reduce it by 2 gigs.
You might have it running in physical address extension or PAE, which shows 2 gigs but all 4 are available actually....

described here

Memory Limits for Windows Releases (Windows)

read down in the comments and you will see this:

  • A 32 bit OS can only use 4GB of memory total, that means if you have 4GB of ram and your graphic card has 1GB of ram, you have a total of 5GB of memory.
  • Out of that 5GB of memory, you can only use 4GB total. 1GB the graphic card will take up, so now the 32bit OS can only use 3GB.

  • Enabling PAE, will limit to the OS to 2GB total. What PAE does is dedicate 2GB to OS and the other 2GB to anything other then the OS. Apparently some people don't understand how PAE works and think that some how it can magically make a 32bit XP use more then 4GB, which is impossible, so after noticing my explanation is not getting through, I thought a visual from MS itself might help sink it in, you can see it here: Physical Address Extension - PAE Memory and Windows
Vista 32bit can see only 3.5GB of ram total. The new sp1 only reports how much memory you have intalled, not how much memory you can use.


The reality is that when you move to later versions or 64 bit versions of windows, more memory is able to be used...

Hope this helps
(the other option is maybe someone sold it as a 4 gig system and only put 2 in)...


Last edited by boot_me; 6th July 2009 at 10:27 AM.. Reason: added quotes
Old 6th July 2009
Gear Nut

thanks boot me!

hmm... I opened my pc and there are two 2gb rams installed...

my graphic card has only 512mb ram...

maybe one ram is just broken?

I was actually thinking about upgrading to vista 64 bit, but Im a little afraid ableton live and some other plugs wont work....

I think ill check if the ram is broken or not....
Old 6th July 2009
Lives for gear
Susceptor's Avatar

You're better off installing Windows 7. I'd personally stick to XP until they make something useful.
Old 7th July 2009
Gear Nut

yes I thought that too... thats why my Vista install DVD is somewhere lost in a drawyer....

what about XP 64 bit? does it work? can I use it with more than 4GB ram?
Old 18th July 2009
Here for the gear

Ponybob, one of your RAM sticks may not be seated properly in the socket. It's certainly worth a try to pop them out and re-seat them. It has worked for me before.
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