Two 2 GB ddr2 ram sticks on board, only shows 2.75 GB installed on win 10 32 bit computer. Not the "usable" problem.


I've come across a problem while upgrading a pc to Windows 10 32 bit from Windows 7 32 bit. actually I did this a long time ago, but I just noticed the problem now.

I have two 2 GB DDR2 667 MHz dual channel RAM sticks on my motherboard (iBase MB930) but my computer properties shows that i have only 2.75 GB installed. If I go to one stick it shows 1.99 installed. This happens with Windows 7 as well, the BIOS is AWARD V6.00.

I've seen a lot of similar threads but my problem is different. It does not show
"Installed Memory: 4 GB (2.75 GB usable)", it shows installed memory is 2.75GB

Memtest, BIOS, Speccy all show 4GB, though Speccy says 2.75 under physical. (Under memory it shows 4).

Task manager is a little odd, it shows 2,7 unknown, it doesn't seem to know it's DDR2 as I have seen on others. It shows the correct speed, slots used, and says hardware reserved is 0.

msconfig maximum memory is greyed out and unchecked, but it says 2816.

I am using my slots and RAM correctly, same exact sticks in same colored slots. I have for fun tried all combinations.

I would greatly appreciate any and every attempt to help so please feel free to post.

Thank you for your time.
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about ddr2 ram sticks board shows installed win bit computer usable problem
  1. Do you have a Graphics card installed? As since its 32bit, it will use ram address space as well. Since max you can get it 3.5gb, as you know, any GPU in PC will also use ram.

    Under a 32 bit operating system (XP, vista 32) you have 4GB of address space available. Address space is different to the amount of memory in your PC.

    The reason a 32 bit system can only use 3GB (or 3.25GB, or whatever number you get) of system ram is because it doesnt have enough address space left. Video cards are the most important part of a PC that uses address space.

    If you had 4GB of system ram and a 1GB video card under a 32 bit operating system, each individual program could only use 3GB of that system ram (due to the video card using 1GB of address space) However there is something else most people are NOT aware of.
    Under DirectX 9.0C (and lower) video card ram must be duplicated into system ram. That means if you're running on the highest settings with your new shiny 1GB video card - that 1GB of video memory must be duplicated leaving you with only 2GB left for your game.

    If it was 64bit, the memory allocation of the GPU would be in a different range and not use any of the RAM's space.

    what is the hardware reserved total on Ram tab?
  2. Hello -

    Thank you for asking. I have an nVidia GT610, which I think has it's own RAM. I've used a couple of other nVidia cards, same result. The hardware reserved is zero.

    If I put 8GB RAM in it, it says the installed RAM is 4GB, 2.75 usable, and then I do get a hardware reserved number of about 1.3GB. I can re-do it and see the exact number. BIOS says 8GB, as does Speccy.

    Since it is 32 bit, and I have to use this motherboard for what I'm doing, I went back to the two 2GB sticks later on today, no joy all day, I can't make it say anything other than 2.75GB installed..
  3. This is where I get fuzzy. The GPU RAM and the system RAM are competing for the same space?

    It still seems odd that it says 2.75 installed, I've seen 4 installed and 2.75 usable when searching the Internet, but I've not seen anyone else seeing what I'm seeing.

    If I used a 512Mb card I'd get 512Mb of my RAM back, I think?

    Thank you again for your time.
  4. That thread is a little confusing to me as well.

    This wiki page might help more -

    Even on 64 bit you never get the full memory amount on a stick. I have 16gb now but can only use 15.8gb, PC keeps some for its own uses. With 512mb, there would still be some ram restricted for hardware + the bios uses ram too.

    can you open speccy
    click File, Publish snapshot
    click yes
    share the link provided here, it won't share any private info, just show parts in PC. The info might help me see if there is a way to use more than 2.75 on your PC
  5. I was shown the speccy thing last week so its new to me too :)

    I used to have an E6600 (Dual core). You lucky even to get win 10 to run on it.

    CPU Q6600
    Motherboard Bear lake socket 423 (LGA 775) - Intel Q35

    Type: DDR2
    Size: 4096 MBytes
    can see ram but refuses to use it

    Physical Memory
    Memory Usage: 45 %
    Total Physical: 2.75 GB
    Available Physical: 1.51 GB
    Total Virtual: 5.50 GB
    Available Virtual: 3.76 GB

    I found a few references to other people with same motherboard also having only 2.75gb of ram available so it appears to be a hardware limitation.

    why don't you just upgrade to 64bit?
    The CPU supports it
    The Intel motherboard should support it.
    Suddenly have 4gb ram (or 3.9 which is close enough)

    only fun part is you would need to install win 7 64bit 1st and upgrade it as very small chance your motherboard drivers would be on a Win 10 installer, so clean installing isn't an option directly onto 10 64bit.
  6. I can't go to 64 bit, I wish I could. I am running a really old DOS based program using some keys I wrote, took me about a year to get it to go. That it works is the lucky part:-) Then that program uses a framegrabber that is only 32 bit, it won't install on a 64 bit. And for some reason this is the only motherboard I've gotten to run my program under Windows 10. The April 2018 update wiped my keys out but I reinstalled them and I was fine.

    Thank you again for your time
  7. Best answer
    Well, in case anyone is following I got an answer from the vendor, iBase, who have been great to work with, and I think even I understand it. So here it is:

    First using a 32bit OS make limitation ...

    the explanation ...

    Various devices in a typical computer require memory-mapped access. This is known as memory-mapped I/O (MMIO). For the MMIO space to be available to 32-bit operating systems, the MMIO space must reside within the first 4 GB of address space.

    Standard PC Architecture System Resources require addressing which overlaps physical memory below 4GB:

    o System BIOS

    o Motherboard Resources (I/OxAPIC)

    o Memory Mapped I/O

    o PCI Express* Configuration Space

    o Additional PCI Device Memory (Graphics Aperture)

    o VGA Memory

    o Others as included, etc..

    For example, if you have a video card that has 256 MB of onboard memory, that memory must be mapped within the first 4 GB of address space. If 4 GB of system memory is already installed, part of that address space must be reserved by the graphics memory mapping. Graphics memory mapping overwrites a part of the system memory. These conditions reduce the total amount of system memory that is available to the operating system.
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