RAM advice needed

  ShooterFan 03:38 23 May 2008

Hi, I have an older HP Pavillion a1430n (AMD 64 3800+) upgraded with additional (2x) 1GB modules of DDR PC3200 400MHz RAM. (2x 512MB factory installed modules still present as well. I have recently upgraded from XP with a clean install of 32 bit Vista home premium. The only thing that this rig is used for is Internet, e-mail, and gaming. I have a PCIe nVidia 9600GT-OC 512MB videocard installed as well.

I would like to know if there is anything that I can do with my RAM (add, subtract, replace with other type) to improve the performance of my hardware. Some say the 32bit Vista os can only use slightly over 3GB of RAM, and others say that even though it isn't detected, the extra RAM can actually benefit the hardware. I've got a couple hundred bucks +/- to work with, and I was wondering if anybody here can point me in the right direction. Thanks!

  anskyber 09:15 23 May 2008

32 bit Vista can only use 4 Gigs of RAM. The mapped RAM includes any other system or component RAM so things like your video card would use some of the allowance, this is why usually only 3.2 - 3.5 is available.

SP1 now shows RAM as the installed RAM rather than usuable RAM (the usable figure is still discoverable) so 4 Gigs will appear if it is installed.

For a limited number of relatively new chipsets it is possible to release more than 4 Gigs with a "fix".

  anskyber 09:18 23 May 2008

Readyboost can help in a small way click here but the real trick is to control the number of startup programs which you then use on demand rather than running in the background all the time. click here

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