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Old 06-01-2008, 11:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Motherboard/ Memory Read Error

Hi all.

I recently put together a system on a Gigabyte motherboard, model # EP35C-DS3R. I wrote to their tech department with what I'm about to ask here, but their answer wasn't really satisfying to me, and didn't make much sense to my understanding of things. But who knows, it could just be me!! :-)

I put in 4GB of Memory. It's Corsair Memory:
2 X 2GB Modules
Twin 2 x 4096 - 6400C5DHX
800 MHz
5-5-5-18

I'm operating on Win XP Pro. When I go to My Computer and right-click and choose Properties and bring up System Properties, it states that my Memory is 2.75 GB of RAM.

Strangely enough, when I very first put the system together about a week ago, I remember it had read 3 GB of RAM; currently, it is reading 2.75. I don't know what has changed since a week ago. So remember: There's 4GB of RAM (two sticks of 2GB's).

I've been putting systems together since the mid/ late 90's, and I was aware at one time that if you have either a "cheap" motherboard and/ or memory sticks, that they may not always read correctly. Well, this is a pretty decent motherboard and a good brand name of memory.

The instructions in the motherboard's manual for memory installation was a little chart, and it was slightly confusing. This board actually has 6 slots for memory, but two of them are for DDR3 memory, which I don't have; I have DDR2. And, like many motherboards, the slots are color-coded. Usually, when installing dual channel memory, you put it in matching color slots; but not always...I've seen motherboards that don't do this.

But like I said, the instructions in the manual with the little chart were slightly confusing, but I guess I did it correctly because here's how I described it to the tech people at Gigabyte:

"I have the two chips in the DDRII 1 and DDRII 3 slots; they are colored Yellow. Is this correct? Is there something I need to check/ change in the BIOS? Should I try putting the chips in different slots? I know to stay away from the DDRIII slots of 1 and 2; I don't even have that type of memory."

When they wrote back, they didn't say that I had physically installed it wrong. In my message to them I also mentioned that I have a BFG GeForce 9800 GX2 Nvidia graphics card, so, they included something about that in their reply. Anyway, here's their reply:

"The GX2 card will reserve mroe memory, if using an single gpu card it should be able to detect at 3.xxx
Due to standard PC architecture, a certain amount of memory is reserved for system usage and therefore the actual memory size is less than the stated amount."

I think there's a type-o in their response where it says "mroe"; I think they meant "more".

So what does their response mean? Are they saying that my graphics card is "physically" demanding so it's affecting my system RAM reading (4GB reading as 2.75). And I know that some memory is used for system usage, but is that going to affect the actual memory size amount as reported in System Properties? Any other system I've put together through the years....when I right-click on My Computer/ Properties, and then there's System Properties.......it's always read the proper/ actual amount of Memory that I had installed physically in my system. It didn't report back to me the amount available at the moment minus the amount being used by "system usage".

They didn't comment on my suggestion of trying my two sticks of RAM in different slots (the other two DDR2 slots; not the DDR3).

What do you think, everyone? Shouldn't System Properties report back the actual amount of RAM physically installed in the system?

Any help, hints, tips, or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Pez
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Motherboard/ Memory Read Error

Difference Between 32 Bit (x86) and 64 Bit (x64)

Actually they are correct. In a way. Using the GFX card that you do uses up more of the Memory than the system. Since 32 Bit can only recognize 3.5GB max anyways. They are actually correct.

What it means is that ALL your system Memory, RAM and GPU RAM is counted and only 3.5GB will be recognized. Since you have a GX2 card which i am guessing is around 512MB or so. Which add that to the 2.75 would give you teh 3.5GB that 32 Bit can recognize.

Get 64 bit.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Motherboard/ Memory Read Error

Hi Mak213; thanks for your reply. And a very well-informed reply!

So the response from the tech people over at Gigabyte was kinda correct, eh?

I also checked out the link you provided on 32 bit & 64 bit. I downloaded that little program of CPU-ID (although I already knew what I had), and I looked up my processor's specs. I have an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450, and according to the info I looked up, yes, it is capable of 64 bit.

I'm running Win XP Pro, but I'm pretty sure it's just 32 bit, not 64.

But since my processor is capable of 64 bit - and my motherboard's a fairly new model - should I try going into the BIOS to see if I can enable 64 bit? Or is this not recommended because I don't have 64 bit Win XP Pro?

And oh, btw....your guess what pretty close with the GX2 video card; it's got two GPU's inside of it, and each one is 512MB of vid RAM (bringing the total to 1GB). But, this card, when going to Display Properties/ Settings tab/ Advanced/ Adapter....it only reads as 512, but this is "normal" for this card (monster-sized card, too! It's like a brick!!!).

But anyway........please let me know what you think about going into my BIOS and enabling 64 bit. Is it advisable? Can it actually be done even though I don't have 64 bit Win XP Pro?

Thanks again!
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Motherboard/ Memory Read Error

Okay lets me work thru this step by step with you.

Yes that CPU is 64 Bit no problem. I can almost guarantee that the 64 Bit is enabled. If you wish do this:

Start>Run>winver

Take a screen shot of that and post it up here by uploading that image to Photobucket or Imageshack and i will tell you right away if it is 32 Bit or 64 Bit.

Since you don't have 64 bit XP having ti enabled in the BIOS would not be any different. That is just a settings that has to be one for when you want to use 64 Bit.

Yes i figured that the card was 512MB. Cause it explains it perfectly. the 512MB + the 2.75 would equal the 3.5GB that can be used with 32 Bit.

My best bit of advice is if you wish to take full advantage of the 4GB of RAM and the Video cards. Get 64 Bit. But sadly you will have to format and reinstall as you can not just upgrade to 64 Bit from 32 Bit.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Motherboard/ Memory Read Error

Hi Mak213; here's that screenshot you requested:

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/l...ude/WinVer.jpg

I hope this image link works; it's the first time I've ever used this PhotoBucket.

And yes......"sadly", if I really wanted to go to 64 bit, like you said, I'd have to do a reformat/ reinstall. I just put this system together and ran into a few snags along the way, so now that things are up & running, I don't know if I'd want to do a reformat/ reinstall.

But yes, please le me know if according to my screenshot I provided if I currently have 64 bit or not.

Thanks!
Pez
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Motherboard/ Memory Read Error

Hey Pez yes the link worked and just from a glance it is 32 Bit. If it was 64 Bit it would read it right there. As XP is known as XP X64 when it is 64 Bit.

64 Bit does have it advantages. But you have to see if you have all the drivers available.
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