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Clarification needed on potential mobo problem


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#1
lozarian

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Kay, I've just built a shiny new pc - literally this week (or at least it's pretty shiny to me) and it's working fine, but I've noticed a lil problem with the ram/motherboard I think, and it leads me to believe that my mobo is wrong somehow, which makes me want to cry.

Basically I did the usual, installed everything all the drivers blah blah blah, set it up, had some minor problem that went away for no reason (in my case it was that my dvd drive didn't want to function for booting, so I used my mate's drive to install xp, and now the dvd drive works fine - that still confuses the [bleep] out of me)

but now it seems that my pc is only recognising 2 of my 4 gigs of ram, which is a bit pooh. I noticed it in the bios - it read as 4xxx mb of ram in post (I think) but when in the bios it only read 2 gigs, plus 1 gig in cache, this I confirmed with 3dmark showing as only slots 1 and 2 with ram in, despite my pretty blue sticks being in all 4 slots.

I then swapped my ram around to check if it was mobo or ram, and slots 1 and 2 are only in use again, 3dmark06 score the same (about 10k)

I'm really really hoping this doesn;t mean that my motherboard is pooh and I need to shout at msi to get a new one, cos [bleep] I want to play bioshock :)

Is there anything I could have missed, some option I need to enable, random drivers - anything that could mean that my motherboard isn't at fault.


thanks in advance, Laurence.


Edit: ah, system doesn't seem to show up, here's the full spec:

AMD Athlon™ 64 FX 3000 MHz

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX

MSI MS-7368 Mobo

4x 1024 MB kingston DDR2 ram

Cheers.

Edited by lozarian, 29 October 2007 - 12:51 PM.

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#2
stettybet0

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So, BIOS recognizes all 4GB, but XP doesn't... Hmm... This wouldn't happen to be 32-bit XP would it? Because 32-bit XP is limited to about 3.2GB minus the amount of RAM your peripheral cards use. Seeing as how the 8800GTX has 768MB of RAM, 3200-768=2432. If you have networking, sound, or other peripheral cards, they would subtract even more.

But why are you even using XP with a 8800GTX? You can't use it's DX10 abilities. Switch to 64-bit Vista, and be able to use all 4GB, as well as play Bioshock in DX10. :)

Edited by stettybet0, 29 October 2007 - 01:02 PM.

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#3
lozarian

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Well, primarily because it's the only boot disc we had lying around :)


Would the limiting cause it to no be recognised, it does say I have 3288 mb of ram now I think about it, but it literally says in the listing from 3dmark "slot 1: 1024 slot 2:1024, slot 3: nothing slot 4: nothing"

Though vista requires getting vista... bleh, I may have to go with that spawning if that is the case, but I don't know how that would work.

Thanks for the fast response mate :)
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#4
stettybet0

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Yes, the limitation IS the ram not being recognized. :)

If you are upgrading to Vista, you will have to get the 64-bit edition for it to recognize all 4GB. The problem here isn't XP, it's the fact that the version of XP you are using is 32-bit. You could get 64-bit XP, I simply recommended Vista since it could take advantage of your nice graphics card.
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#5
james_8970

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So, BIOS recognizes all 4GB, but XP doesn't... Hmm... This wouldn't happen to be 32-bit XP would it? Because 32-bit XP is limited to about 3.2GB minus the amount of RAM your peripheral cards use. Seeing as how the 8800GTX has 768MB of RAM, 3200-768=2432. If you have networking, sound, or other peripheral cards, they would subtract even more.

But why are you even using XP with a 8800GTX? You can't use it's DX10 abilities. Switch to 64-bit Vista, and be able to use all 4GB, as well as play Bioshock in DX10. :)

Thats wrong.
A 32bit OS can support up to 2^32 bytes. Which averages out to being 4.3GB, however as you add video card memory and other peripheals (among other factors), you being to lose more and more potential system memory that your system can use.
James

Edited by james_8970, 29 October 2007 - 03:31 PM.

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#6
stettybet0

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On the topic of wrong, 2^32 bits would equal only about 537mb, since there are 8 bits in a byte. :)

Anyways, on the same topic, the 2^32 byte limit is an addressing limit, which includes memory such as the paging file. I'd be willing to bet that his paging file, like every other paging file on a 32-bit XP system with 4GB of RAM, is about 1GB large, which explains why the starting value from which the peripherals are subtracted from is about 3.2GB. The reason that the peripherals decrease the recognized RAM is that they too have to be addressed in the memory.
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#7
james_8970

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Yeah, ment to put bytes not bits there. :)
1GB is to large, from past experiences with this, page filing should be no larger then 1/2, maybe 3/4 GB, but no larger. I have seen many setups with 4GB of RAM and a GTX showing 3.3GB of system ram. There is no reason, that I can see, why this system isn't showing 3.2GB of RAM.
lozarian, try running your PC with only two stick in the 3rd and 4th slot. This will show us if you ahve two defective slots. If it doesn't post, the motherboard needs to be replaced.
James

Edited by james_8970, 29 October 2007 - 03:40 PM.

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#8
stettybet0

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First I think we need some clarification. Lozarian has mentioned the numbers 4GB, 3288MB, and 2GB as numbers that he has seen for the amount of RAM recognized on his computer. He says he sees 4GB at post (which leads me to believe that it's not a mobo problem), but we need to know exactly where he sees each of the other numbers.

So, Lozarian, could you provide exactly where you see each of those RAM amounts listed?
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#9
lozarian

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OK, just tested ram slots by swapping them in n out and running 3dmark (convoluted I know, but I don't know how to check stuff elsewise) with ram in slots 1 n 2 and 3 n 4 it scores the same within 60 marks, and both say I have 2048 mb of ram, however with the ram in 3 and 4 it says this, which confuses the [bleep] out of me:


Slot 1: empty

Slot 2: empty

Slot 3: not present

Slot 4: not present


but it still claims I have 2048 mb of system memory, still booted properly, still did everything exactly the same?


I'm confused. Anyone?


Side note: during the the CPU tests on 3dmark 06 I was getting 0-1 fps, everything else I average 50 - any clue as to why that's happening too. It runs everything just fine, I just want a bigger score to brag about :)

Edited by lozarian, 30 October 2007 - 06:21 PM.

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