Question about RAM

Hey everyone. I have been searching google and these forums but I haven;t had any luck with this question. I have 4 gb of RAM with 4 1gb sticks. When I have all 4 gigs installed windows shows only 2 gb of ram. When I have 3 sticks (3gb) of ram installed xp shows 2.86gb of ram. I know that I will not be able to see the whole 4 gigs in my 32-bit operating system. My main question is why do I see less memory when I have the whole 4 gigs installed than when I have the 3 gigs installed?

Would there be any improvements in performance having all 4 sticks in because of dual channel mode? I know all 4 gigs would not be usable. Or would having just 3 gig sticks be the same?

I have heard this may be fixable with a motherboard bios flash but I am not sure which one to use because there are reports of some bios versions causing problems or being worse for overclocking.

Also is it ok to combine a spd ram pair with a non spd ram pair if they are the same otherwise? Would it be better if I had all spd or all non spd?

My system setup

asus p5b deluxe wifi motherboard bios version 0711
core 2 duo e6400
4x1 gb gskill pc6400 ddr2 ram sticks
windows xp 32 bit sp 2

Thank you so much for your help.

[quote=ilikestuff;2163718]Hey everyone. I have been searching google and these forums but I haven;t had any luck with this question. I have 4 gb of RAM with 4 1gb sticks. When I have all 4 gigs installed windows shows only 2 gb of ram. When I have 3 sticks (3gb) of ram installed xp shows 2.86gb of ram. I know that I will not be able to see the whole 4 gigs in my 32-bit operating system. My main question is why do I see less memory when I have the whole 4 gigs installed than when I have the 3 gigs installed?

Would there be any improvements in performance having all 4 sticks in because of dual channel mode? I know all 4 gigs would not be usable. Or would having just 3 gig sticks be the same?

I have heard this may be fixable with a motherboard bios flash but I am not sure which one to use because there are reports of some bios versions causing problems or being worse for overclocking.

Also is it ok to combine a spd ram pair with a non spd ram pair if they are the same otherwise? Would it be better if I had all spd or all non spd?

My system setup

asus p5b deluxe wifi motherboard bios version 0711
core 2 duo e6400
4x1 gb gskill pc6400 ddr2 ram sticks
windows xp 32 bit sp 2

Thank you so much for your help.[/quote]
Here’s a link for you to read. I hope it helps and answers some questions for you

Your problem is likely with your MB. Is all 4gb recognized by the BIOS when your PC boots? You could try updating your BIOS if there is a new version available. For best performance, you would want to use two sticks of RAM as opposed to 3 or 4. RAM is cheap enough that you could get 2x2gb for less than $50, even half that onsale.

there is no problem using 4 sticks of ram, if u are on ddr1, then u’ll have a problem as the mhz decreases to 333 from 400, but thats only ddr 1. ddr 2 stays at the the speed the stick is rated at. 800mhz, 1066, or whatever, with 2 or 4 sticks :slight_smile:

Thanks for your help guys. No, my bios does not report all 4 gigs of ram but cpu-z shows it. Also, are there any problems with running a spd ram pair with a non spd ram pair that are otherwise the same?

Yo-

Welcome to the forums-

Ram does it’s best job when all the sticks are the same - I even go so far as buying factory matched modules-eh!!