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Old 11-27-2008, 02:12 PM
Location: Brooklyn
2,867 posts, read 4,570,268 times
Reputation: 5242


I posed a question on another thread similar to this which everyone was very helpful. Thank You once again.

Under My Computer properties I see this as far as ram is concerned:
3.00 GB of RAM

I have a very reliable "system Information" utility that shows:
Free Memory...........6,907.07 MB
Used Memory...........1,126.32 MB
Physical Memory.......3,071.50 MB
Virtual Memory.........4,961.89 MB
Total Memory...........8,033.39 MB

When purchased this computer I was told it had 8 GB of memory. My OS is XP Pro 32 bit.

My questions are;
What is the difference between Physical & Virtual memory?
I do actually have 8 GB installed?
If I started over with XP 64 bit I was told on this forum that all my memory would be recognized, but, do I really have that much on here?

I'm confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:57 PM
Location: United Kingdom
339 posts, read 1,216,181 times
Reputation: 186
Physical memory is the amount of actual RAM you have connected to your motherboard. Virtual memory is a "paging file" on the hard drive where everything that is pushed out of the RAM goes to in case it needs to be accessed again.

I would suggest you contact your computer retailer to find out exactly how much physical memory you have installed.
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Old 11-27-2008, 03:03 PM
Location: kcmo
712 posts, read 2,068,510 times
Reputation: 373
Well, if your information is correct you have 3 Gb of RAM if you had 4 to 8 Gb of RAM that memory would show up as 3.5 Gb of ram as that's where it stops with 32 bit operating systems..

What is ram you ask?

We have ram for one simple reason.. the HARD DRIVE is too SLOW.. if the hard drive wasn't slow we would not need ram.. the HARD DRIVE is both the slowest thing in your computer and the place where all important information is stored called "data"

Ram is memory chips installed in the computer that forget there information if the power is turned off.. they have faster access times and therefore allow the computer to function faster rather then reading back that information from the hard drive all the time..

What is virtual memory?

Well, long ago when ram was in short supply someone had a ingenuis idea to use the hard drive as memory.. meaning using certain amount of it for ram.. that is what virtual memory is..

In summary..

You don't have 8 Gb installed based on what you stated above.. and even if you did a 32 bit OS would stop at 3.5 Gb.. if you install more memory you could get a OS upgrade but that would in all honestly be pointless.. most people don't need much ram even a 1 Gb is sufficient.. if you run a lot of background programs like anti-virus then more helps.. but the only reason to have a hell of a lot of memory is running programs like PHOTOSHOP and other crazy programs like some games that gobble it like no tomorrow but since people that do this our a rare breed my advice is.. it don't matter to you what the memory is..
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Old 11-29-2008, 12:24 PM
Location: Chicago
526 posts, read 1,008,894 times
Reputation: 162
id like to know who sold the computer, sure its not technically a lie if factoring in virtual memory with physical. but its misleading to the average person who knows nothing about 64 and 32 bit
if it was truly 8 gb of physical then at this point you would then have to be running a copy of vista 64 or xp 64 to take full advantage of 3.5 gb or more.
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