Max. RAM?

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DeputyDogg

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Aug 19, 2009
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Hi all,

I'm having trouble utilising all of my RAM. Physically, I have 4x2GB DDR3 memory sticks installed. These are acknowledged by the OS and CPU-Z.

However:
- Task Manager reads a total memory of 4087 (MB)
- System settings reads Installed memory (RAM) count at 8.00GB, but only 3.99 usuable.

Now the bit that's really confusing me. My motherboard is a ASUSTek P7PP5-LX. I haven't got the manual to hand, but a quick internet search reveals that the max. memory is 16GB. However, when exploring the BIOS I found it says the max. is 4GB.

FYI - I have Memory Remap enabled (as default).

Now, were the specs of the motherboard not telling me differently, that message in the BIOS would have led me to think that the it was only capable of using upto 4GB RAM. However, as the specs for the motherboard say upto 16GB, I'm not sure why I can't utilise the 8GB available. The only things I think it could be is: a) the BIOS has set a default cap of 4GB, or b) 4GB is being reserved for the BIOS...IF (I'm probably wrong here) either of these were the case, I don't know where in in the BIOS to go to change the settings.

Any thoughts?

===================================================================

Further Specs:

Processor: Intel Core i5 2.80GHz
OS: Windows 7 x64
 

leroys1000

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The bios indication is probably max 4GB per slot.
Are you running 64 bit or 32 bit windows?
 
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What exactly does it say in BIOS about the maximum and where?

Run msconfig and check to see what maxmem is set at now (if anything).
 

DeputyDogg

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Cheers for the replies, guys.

leroys1000 - I am running Windows 7 64bit...and the manual confirms I can run up to and including 4GB per slot, so you may be right.

Elvandil - apologies, as I am work at the moment I cannot check the exact message. I will do so this evening though and re-post. Thanks for your suggestion! I will run msconfig first thing when I get back at review the maxmem option - I was unaware this option existed.

I thought briefly that it could be incompatible RAM...as in RAM that can only be used to fill 2 of the 4 slots...then again, if the OS and CPU-Z are acknowledging it, I'm sure this can be the case, can it? I will check this with the MemOK! mobo option tonight.

How can I check if memory is being shared with other components (like the GPU for instance)? Any other thoughts?

Please keep any suggestions coming.
 
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The option is an advanced one under the Boot tab. Just FYI, some people (of unknown character or reliability) have reported that setting the actual numbers for memory and number of processors speeds up the system. I have not personally seen any evidence of this, however, and see no technical reason why it would be the case. :D

Try msinfo32 for details of GPU memory allocation (and the Vista kernel tends to reserve a large amount for potential use by graphics). What does that tell you about installed/usable RAM?
 

DeputyDogg

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Ok then,

msconfig reveals no maximum memory. The option is there, but it is unchecked.

msinfo32 reveals the following re: my memory allocation - got anything from this?

Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 3.99 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.59 GB
Total Virtual Memory 7.98 GB
Available Virtual Memory 6.41 GB
Page File Space 3.99 GB

I checked the BIOS again. The "message" I found was under Main | System Information | System Memory, and says "Usable Size: 4088MB"

Let me know if you want me to post any more info.
 
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It seems to say that something is not right. But usually, BIOS is King, so if it needs to show 8 GB's somewhere, BIOS is where. Nothing changeable there? No differences among sticks? Any "Bank Interleave" settings or anything like that?

What board, chipset, exactly?
 

DeputyDogg

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I agree. I'm wondering if perhaps the RAM is compatible with the BIOS to the point that the OS is able to detect it, but that the BIOS itself isn't happy with it ;) have you guessed I'm clutching at straws here?!

However, to compound the problem, last night I spotted that the graphics card, which has a determined memory of 1GB, has a total memory of 2.8GB...so 1.8GB is shared with the RAM. Would this be part of the "missing" 4GB? If so, then it is being utilised somehow, if not only partly, but I still don't know how to access the remaining 2.2GB.

In answer to your questions:

They are different sticks. Two are Corsairs (these are the same make and model and the original 4GB, detected no problem). One is A-Data. The final one, I can't remember the make/model. I understand that this could be the issue. Over the weekend I'm going to try some various configurations of different RAM sticks in different slots to see what results that yields. However, I want to be sure before I go throwing money at more RAM.

I have made no efforts to activate interleaving, nor have I seen any obvious options to enable it within the BIOS. However, that's not to say it isn't activated by default and I just haven't spotted it yet.

The motherboard is an Asus P7PP5 LX - http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?p_id=2uysq8dahoj0k84o
Chipset is Intel® P55 Express Chipse. Intel Core i5 CPU installed.
 
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Well, I just checked mine to see what I could see. It says Installed RAM 12 GB's (correct). Nothing about available. (Computer Properties). Sysinfo says 12 GB's RAM, and 4 GB's graphics memory (3.5 from the system). So, mine does not subtract the graphics memory from total.

I still think it has to have something to do with BIOS. I don't know what, but until BIOS says all your RAM is available, the system won't see that, either.

Mine's a different model Intel, too.

Are all the RAM sticks the same speed? Are they all non-ECC and unregistered? I'm grasping, too, but their specs may be involved.

Yes, try different configs. Pairing (or lack of it) is another issue. Pairs are usually like 1-3, 2-4. If both your matching sticks are 1-3 or 2-4, they may be paired and the others not. So try your matched ones 1-2 and the others 3-4. (Assuming you have 4 slots.)

How are they arranged now?

They should be all paired (or tripled in my case), or all unpaired. The BIOS will automatically change settings for pairs (if not manual) and then they will be wrong for the unpaired sticks.
 

DeputyDogg

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CPU-Z identifies all the RAM as 667MHz, but I believe the speed of one or two is being reduced (to allow for dual channeling?) as the non-Corsair's are 1333MHz. I believe all are non-ECC, but again I will check this. This seems to be the most obvious cause of the problem...but can't be sure.

I'll post back once I can confirm these details and have had a play around with the setup. If still no luck, I'll see if I can get my hands on 2 more corsairs of the same model.

I'm also waiting on a response from Asus to see if they can shed some light on the BIOS concern. If absolutely necessary, I'll see if there are any updates available for the BIOS. Unfortunately, I have been able to see nothing in the BIOS to identify total/physical RAM...only usable RAM.

Btw, cheers for your help so far, mate. It is much appreciated.
 

DeputyDogg

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Just a note: I have just checked the crucial site, and it confirms that the motherboard can support upto 16GB memory, that it all has to be non-ECC, and that it is backwards compatible for all speeds. Also, whilst dual channel is preferred, the sticks do not have to be the same make/model.

I appreciate the BIOS can still be upset by RAM when it is not all identical. However, the crucial specs suggest that my mismatch of makes and speeds shouldn't be the issue. As such, when I started rearranging the RAM tonight, I should find, at least that the PC can still acknowledge 4GB memory after removing the Corsairs. If that's the case, we know the problem is either with the combination of RAM, or with the BIOS.

That's the theory anyway ;)
 

DeputyDogg

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Aug 19, 2009
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Ok, so I've tested some alternative arrangements of RAM and think I may have isolated the problem (I still have a couple more arrangements to try).

I tried running just 2 sticks of RAM at a time. Sticks in A-1 and B-1, and the PC boots fine. However, the PC fails to boot if the RAM is in A-2 and B-2. However, as I said, the OS is able to detect the RAM in those slots, it just can't access it.

Do I have to enable these slots some how? I can't see anything in the motherboard manual to suggest this.

FYI - with the CPU on your left, the arrangement of the slots is: A2, A1, B2, B1. A2 and B2 are black, A1 and B1 are blue. As I understand it, the RAM sticks should be paired based on the colour of the slots (i.e. the number 1 or 2)?!
 
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Some boards require that RAM fill slots in an order, so that does not necessarily tell us anything. But as for supporting different speeds, I don't think they mean at the same time. Speeds for RAM would need to be the same for all installed sticks, so those that don't work within the speed range would not function.

Yes, the colors indicate pairs.

Try A1/B1 with similar sticks (should both be detected and used) and A1/B1 with dissimilar sticks (only one stick used though both detected) if my mismatched speeds theory is correct.
 

crjdriver

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What exact ram are you using? Did you check the asus site to see if this ram is listed on the qvl list?

Post a link to the exact ram you are using.
 
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