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Re: 4gb on msi k8n neo-4 F
If your OS is reading the 4Gb, it will be running the 4GB even if the bios is only seeing 3GB. You may just need to update the firmware on your motherboard but I suggest that you just leave it as is since the OS is recognizing the 4GB.
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Ram need to be installed in pairs. Windows XP only recognizes a max of 4GB ram 3.5 usable. Windows Vista 32bit only recognizes a max of 4GB ram as well as Windows 7 32bit. Vista/7 64bit can recognise a much larger amount of ram. Find out if your operating system is 32 or 64 bit and make sure you are using the right kind of ram for your system.
Download Everest ( http://www.lavalys.com/products.php?lang=en&page=11 ) and check it there. Some memory modules is not what it says. E.g my last memory module, was a 1Gb, but was only registered as 894 Mb.
That motherboard does not have a video circuit built-in, so the video sharing the system RAM does not make sense.
Have you checked the valid system memory configurations in your MSI manual pg 2-7 ?
Any chance that the bios is set for dual channel and you don't have
equal chip sizes in the dual slots? Example : In dual-channel mode,
equal size chips would go in slots 1 & 3 and in 2 & 4
Defective RAM is a possibility also.
Note1: Per MSI, all ram may not register correctly in windows unless 4 of the 2GB chips are used
What Operating System and revision are you running? I don't believe that XP 32bit (not sure about 64) will recognize 3GB of RAM, but Vista will as long as your MoBo (Mother Board) supports it or possibly even more than. My Asus MoBo will utilize 4GB but Vista 32bit will only utilize 3.48GB or so, and Vista 64bit will take up to 8GB if the MoBo will. Let us know what O.S. you're running?
If you are running 32-bit Windows, you must live with it. You will not ever see all 4GB of RAM you've paid for.
If you are running 64-bit Windows, you may have to live with it. Depending on your motherboard's chipset, your system may support memory remapping. If so, you will be able to use all 4GB of RAM.
Detailed: Due to an architectural decision made long ago, if you have 4GB of physical RAM installed, Windows is only able to report a portion of the physical 4GB of RAM (ranges from ~2.75GB to 3.5GB depending on the devices installed, motherboard's chipset & BIOS).
This behavior is due to "memory mapped IO reservations". Those reservations overlay the physical address space and mask out those physical addresses so that they cannot be used for working memory. This is independent of the OS running on the machine.
Significant chunks of address space below 4GB (the highest address accessible via 32-bit) get reserved for use by system hardware:
• BIOS – including ACPI and legacy video support
• PCI bus including bridges etc.
• PCI Express support will reserve at least 256MB, up to 768MB depending on graphics card installed memory
What this means is a typical system may see between ~256MB and 1GB of address space below 4GB reserved for hardware use that the OS cannot access. Intel chipset specs are pretty good at explaining what address ranges gets reserved by default and in some cases call out that 1.5GB is always reserved and thus inaccessible to Windows.