I have WinXP Pro X32 and also 4GB of RAM installed (2x2GB).
Task Manager reports 3,144,748 bytes of RAM.
If I installed a second video card, that requires some address space,
and the Task Manager report would be reduced.
Now, a second question would be, how can I use that RAM ?
A typical application here, can only use about 1.8GB of RAM via
normal allocation. So a single program might not use all of the
RAM. I might need to run two programs to use 3,144,748. So your
video editor program, might not get that much more than it has
Setting a switch in boot.ini, and using a LARGEADDRESSAWARE application,
would allow a single application to get closer to using 3GB. Otherwise,
with ordinary programs, you would likely need to use two of them to use
all the RAM.
It is not worthwhile for me to change how I have physically configured
my RAM. With the price of RAM, it is just easier to install 2x2GB and
be done with it. At one time, smaller DIMMs were more popular and more
available. Now, DIMMs tend to larger sizes. So 2x2GB is just convenient.
As for your current motherboard, a little known thing, is some of the
last VIA chipsets, could actually use 2GB DIMMs. Using a hacked BIOS,
my motherboard that normally accepts 2x1GB as its config, would also work
with 2GB+1GB or 2GB+2GB. The problem with it was, the BIOS did not know how
to set the timing in a stable manner, so the 2GB DIMMs were throwing errors.
I had to return to the 2x1GB config. And the funny part of it as well,
is the support of 2GB on the chipset, was not even noted on the VIA website.
But some hacker tried it out, and the support must already have been in
the BIOS. It just was not tuned properly for actual usage. The 2GB DIMMs
ended up in my current motherboard. The VIA chipsets also run the RAM
rather slowly, in terms of clock rate, but that turned out to not be
a big deal. The best setting was DDR2-533, as DDR2-667 was a little
unstable. But the 533 setting was "like a rock". That machine is my
When you see the prices of RAM, like the price of DDR3 RAM, you might
consider just buying 2x4GB DIMMs, and ignoring the wasted RAM. The thing
is, the price of RAM *will* rise, sooner or later, and dirt cheap 4GB
modules will not stay as dirt cheap forever. For example, this 2x4GB kit
is only $46. How can you say no to that ? :-) If my machine supported
DDR3, I'd have a set like that two days from now. There is always some
experiment, that will use it.
If you want to use that extra RAM, you can install this. it will make
a RAMDisk for you. The free version, will use up to 4GB of unused
memory. And this works with WinXP. So you can have a 4GB RAMDisk and
still have 3,144,748 bytes free. That is an example of an experiment
you can try.
This is a benchmark of the RAMDisk when I tested it. Then you can
tell people, the RAM was not "wasted". You ought to be able to get
a better benchmark than I got. An example of something to use the
RAMDisk for, is a scratch disk for Photoshop.