By: JeffC | August 14, 2009
If you have upgraded your PC memory to 4 Gigabytes of RAM, you may not see all of it. System Properties may only show 3.0 GB to 3.25 GB of RAM if you are running a 32-bit operating system. Why? Here's as simple an explanation as possible. It can get really technical but most people don't really care.
Windows XP 64-bit, Windows Vista 64-bit, or Windows 7 6...
- Binary math: 2^32 = 4,294,967,296.00 bytes of memory. This is the maximum possible that Windows (32-bit) can see.
- Hide and Seek: The PC hardware reserves some of that memory for itself and hides it from Windows.
- More math: 4 GB of RAM - hidden memory = ~3.2 GB of RAM (your mileage may vary)
- Did I waste my money? All 4 Gigabytes of memory are being used, you just cannot see it.