Why doesnt the 32 bit version of Windows 8 accept all my memory.

As the title suggests, my Windows 8 preview version is still only accepting 3gb of memory. Will this be resolved or do I have to change to the 64 bit version? Cheers, Ron.
 

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Last updated September 22, 2013 Views 69 Applies to:
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You would need to upgrade to the 64 bit version. The 32 bit can only address 4 GB of RAM (which some is taken by the video card and other devices that map to memory). 
Dustin Harper
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On Fri, 28 Sep 2012 16:47:40 +0000, Ronjackman wrote:

As the title suggests, my Windows 8 preview version is still only accepting 3gb of memory. Will this be resolved or do I have to change to the 64 bit version? Cheers, Ron.

It's no different in Windows 8 than it is in other 32-bit client
versions of Windows. All 32-bit client versions of Windows (not just
XP/Vista/7/8) have a  4GB address space (64-bit versions can use much
more). That's the theoretical upper limit beyond which you can not go.
But you can't use the entire  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
3.1GB.

Note that the hardware is using the address space, not the actual
RAM itself. If you have a greater amount of RAM, the rest of the RAM
goes unused because there is no address space to map it to.

Do you have to change to the 64-bit version? Maybe. It depends on
whether more than the 3GB you are able to use is adequate for good
performance and whether more RAM would give you an improvement. That
depends on what apps you run, and for most people, that 3.1GB or so is
enough.

Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP

Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP since October 2003

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