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Old 11-17-2012, 10:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

Hey guys, first time poster here.

I am working on an Acer Aspire 5100 laptop and I am upgrading the RAM. The official specs say it can support up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM and it is running XP MCE which also supports up to 4GB of RAM.

The BIOS indicated it reads all 4GB but when i enter the OS, the computer properties and dxdiag both indicate it read 3GB instead of 4GB.

So... normally I would just consider that the manufacturer limited the amount of ram the motherboard supports but the official specs page on Acer says it can go up to 4GB like I said before.

So, any ideas on why it is limiting the RAM or how I can possibly fix/get around it?

Thanks in advance for any help or insight you guys can offer.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

Woah guys, don't speak at once now.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

1. Are the sticks of memory you put in of the same kind? If not, they have to be.
2. 64 Bit is better.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

32bit OS's will only read 3-3.5GB of RAM. It will also take away from your system RAM to allocate onto video RAM for your integrated graphics. So even though you have 4GB installed, it's only going to recognize 3-3.5GB.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

The ~0.5 is taken up, it's normally unusable by the user.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by -M4TT- View Post
The ~0.5 is taken up, it's normally unusable by the user.
Like I said, 32bit OS's only recognize 3-3.5GB of RAM. The other is treated as if it doesn't exist. It's a limitation of the 32bit architecture.

If you have a GPU, the VRAM of the GPU also counts towards this limit.

@OP: The only way to get around it is to install a 64bit OS. But like I also said, if you have an integrated GPU, it will allocate VRAM away from the system RAM as well.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
Like I said, 32bit OS's only recognize 3-3.5GB of RAM. The other is treated as if it doesn't exist. It's a limitation of the 32bit architecture.

If you have a GPU, the VRAM of the GPU also counts towards this limit.

@OP: The only way to get around it is to install a 64bit OS. But like I also said, if you have an integrated GPU, it will allocate VRAM away from the system RAM as well.
It seems like Microsoft is doing some "misleading advertising" by saying 4GB usable RAM for 32 bit PC's, when it's actually allocated elsewhere...
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by -M4TT- View Post
It seems like Microsoft is doing some "misleading advertising" by saying 4GB usable RAM for 32 bit PC's, when it's actually allocated elsewhere...
Microsoft has nothing to do with it.

The 32bit limitation exists whether you're on Windows, Linux, or Mac. It's just a limitation of the architecture itself.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

On the box, it says "Can support up to 4GB of RAM"
You buy OS
Install
Add 4GB RAM
You get to use 3.5GB RAM.

Why not say ON THE BOX, "3.5 MAX?"
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Acer Aspire 5100 Laptop RAM Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by -M4TT- View Post
On the box, it says "Can support up to 4GB of RAM"
You buy OS
Install
Add 4GB RAM
You get to use 3.5GB RAM.

Why not say ON THE BOX, "3.5 MAX?"
Because 3.5 is up to 4GB.

HDD manufacturers do similar when they sell drives. On a drive, they advertise 1TB. You don't get the full 1TB because of formatting usually. They advertise 1000 bytes, wherein reality it's 1024 bytes. Those extra 4 bytes add up over large amounts.
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