Help with RAM memory in windows 7 ultimate



Hello fellow mycer’s

I have a question about RAM memory with Windows 7 Ultimate(32 bit). I have a Dell 630 XPS system with dual core and it came stock with 4 gb of ram.
I have a 4 monitor system and I design Traffic Control Plans. I have several programs opened at once from paint to google earth. I wanted to boost my system so I installed 8 GB of memory with an 8oo MHz bus speed. Windows 7 only says I have 2.7 GB to work with. The rest is allocated to Hahardware. Is this an OS issue or can my board only handle 4 gb even though bios recognizes it.

any input would be greatly appreciated


Hello brentbennett and welcome to the forums.

Your main issue is not your motherboard or the ram itself. A 32 bit operating system will only be able to use 4gb of ram. But you may also be using integrated graphics, which will take a good sized chunk of that 4gb.

You could install Win 7 64bit…your system is very likely compatible with it. But it means reinstalling everything.


Last time I redid 7 went with the 64 bit version and so far almost everything I’ve had for years runs fine plus it can use all of the 8 gig I installed. Yes you’ll have to redo everything so make sure you have everything you still want available to reinstall.
Better to do a clean install anyways on such a huge upgrade so everything works from the start then you can redo the things you really use.
32 bit will only use a bit over 3 gig depending on how it’s configured so anything over 4 is wasted anyways.
There should also be a upgrade advisor or something like it that will do a basic test and tell you if everything will work OK with 64.


Thank You Gentlemen. I am going to format and reinstall my 64 bit version. I had a suspicion but needed confirmation. As far as my trusted older software I can just right clk on it’s executable and select properties - run in compatibility with XP. I did this with the 32 bit version. I don’t imagine it would be any different with the 64 bit.

Thanks Guys I appreciate your time on this.



Most of my older 32 bit stuff doesn’t even need compatibility mode to work but yes you can set it to run in about any windows mode you want for anything that turns out to be problematic. I held out for a long time too as I had a LOT of older stuff I still like that I was worried wouldn’t work but I’d say 99.9 percent of it does just fine, good luck with it.


I had the same paranoia but I am just gonna do it.

Thanks for the input.



One thing to look out for: If you have any old 16-bit Windows programs installed on your 32-bit Windows 7, they will NOT run under 64-bit Windows 7 (except by using virtualization software).

Welcome to the MyCE forums.


If you find out that you absolutely cannot switch to 64 Bit for whatever reason, this patch might be an alternative but can be incompatible with certain drivers (encountered that on my laptop at work which only booted in safe mode)

The explanation on that site is German language only but Google offers a translation.


Luckily everything is 32 bit. Thanks for the heads up on that point.

Stay Groovy


That site was interesting. I will be able to do the 64 bit install with no problems. I can install an O.S. with my eyes closed now a days :slight_smile:

Thanks for the site and pointers.