Why can my 64-bit system only use 3.75 GB of RAM, when it has 4 GB and should support 8 GB?
Question by omer /

I was recently going through my laptop specs when I stumbled upon a surprise. Apparently, according to my 64-bit Windows 7, I have 4 GB of RAM, but only 3.75 GB of it is actually usable.

I was planning on buying more RAM, but now I am not sure. I’m including a Flicker photo to prove it.

Can any one tell me what’s wrong with my laptop? It’s supposed to support a total of 8 GB of RAM.

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Answers (26)
  • btowne

    Did you end up going to 8GB? I am in the same boat but someone told me Windows 7 64-bit can only see/use max 3.75GB of RAM.. which just dosent seem right.. anyway, did you upgrade, and if so, did it work?


  • Poxer

    Pramoth is Correct it is your on board graphic card that steals a cookie.
    I got this also and the size missing changes depending on how big I make my on board graphic card.

  • Right processor?

    Not all processors are capable of running 64 bit systems. Are you sure yours is? Or is this the preinstalled OS? in which case pay no heed.

    • Oron

      Read the question carefully! The screenshot shows clearly that Omer’s PC is running Win 64.

  • Anonymous

    all ram I have seen is in binary measurments (ie 256, 512, 1024, etc.) Hard drives are advertised in decimal (ie 1000 bytes=1kbyte) and you will have less storage than advertised. The OP has on board graphics that is using 256 MB of his memory. If it was a 32 bit system it would show ~3.25-3.5 GB

  • Sudhan Thiran

    Pramoth’s Exactly Right,
    This exists in the case of integrated graphics card.
    But if it’s a desktop, u can change the quota of allocation for graphics memory.

  • Pramoth

    I think ur Internal Video/Graphics Cards is taking 256MB RAM

  • linus

    The difference is simply due to the existence of two systems: decimal and binary. Hard drive capacity is measured in the decimal system.


    for a full explanation

  • Voidoid

    I have a laptop with integrated graphics and it shows 4GB usable of 4GB ie I don’t have this problem. This infers that some of the proffered explanations are incorrect.

    • pceasies

      It’s possible that your system doesn’t reserve memory for your IGP and shares it all, or it has separate memory dedicated to IGP only. I believe the Intel 4500MHD has it’s own video memory and doesn’t use the system memory.

  • Jim

    yes it is not including the memory reserved on your system for video. i am betting you have an intel video card w/ 256mb memory on your laptop. most laptops use something called shared video memory, which means it uses a portion of your system memory for the graphics. this is why when looking for a laptop most techies will look for one with a separate video card with it’s own video memory so as not to take any memory away from the system. shared video is still ok if you are just searching the web but it will restrict the possibility of playing the more popular video games

  • pceasies

    If you have integrated graphics you may have system RAM being reserved for graphics. Go into the the BIOS and see what’s it’s set at, it’s probably set for 256MB or .25GB, so that’s why it’s not visible. Any other memory beyond that it might need is shared with the system.

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