How much memory your Windows OS will recognize depends on which version of Windows you are running. 32-bit versions of Windows will see (and utilize) only 3GB or 3.5GB. To utilize more memory, install a 64-bit version of your OS. More information about OS memory maximums can be found at http://www.crucial.com/kb/answer.aspx?qid=4251
Not only is there a maximum amount of memory that your computer motherboard can accept, there is also a maximum amount of memory that your operating system (OS) can accept. For instance, when you install 4GB of memory in a 32-bit Windows system (the most common version; 64-bit systems are typically used by high-end users), your system reports only 3GB or 3.5GB.
First , we can assure you, there isn't a problem with the memory. While Windows allows for 4GB of memory to be addressed, it does not equate to 4GB of physical memory.
Some of the memory (regardless of how much you have installed) is reserved for use by the devices that you are using, such as a graphics card, PCI card, integrated network connections, etc, meaning it is unavailable for use as normal main memory.
Upon startup, your system calculates the amount of memory needed for these devices; if you haven't maxxed out the memory in your system, it's invisible to you, and all your physical memory (the installed RAM) is available for use. However if you've maxxed out the DRAM in your system, this amount will be deducted from your physical memory, so you can't use 100% of your DRAM.
The maximum memory limitation varies by operating system, For instance, the 4GB memory limitation doesn't exist in 64-bit versions of Windows.
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