Why am I only getting a maximum of 1.8GB of RAM out of a 2GB stick?

Subhom Mitra April 25, 2011

I installed a 2GB RAM stick from Kingston in my Gigabyte H55M-S2V, but Windows 7 shows 1.8GB RAM usable and 1.72GB RAM usable when I increase my integrated graphics memory to 128MB+2MB(GTT) from 64MB+2MB(GTT) default. What is the problem and how can I recity it?

  1. Prateek Kumar Singh
    May 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Its because every memory storage device uses some of the storage space to maintain its file-system. Thats why, you get only 1.8 GB out of 2.0GB, be it Ready Boost or simply storage.

  2. Mike
    April 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    First of all RAM sizes are always stated in binary GB which means if you buy 2GB of RAM you get 2GB (or 2048MB, ...)

    The reason why don't get as much RAM as expected is because of the shared memory your GPU is using. The change you made to "128MB+2MB(GTT)" refers to the reserved/allocated memory for your Integrated Graphics Processor. Which means even at full load your IGP has at least those 128+2MB available.
    This is not a maximum value! If your graphics card needs more RAM, it will take it. If your RAM is utilized completely, your CPU and GPU will fight over it.

    • pceasies
      April 27, 2011 at 2:21 am

      This RAM is also reserved as soon as you start your PC, before you reach the operating system. That means the operating system has no idea that a 2GB stick is installed, the BIOS is telling the OS it has 1.8GB available for it to use. It's also possible for other hardware to reserve RAM.

      • Subhom Mitra
        August 20, 2011 at 4:59 am

        Methinks the integrated card is the culprit; just for information's sake though, what other hardware can reserve RAM?

    • Subhom Mitra
      August 20, 2011 at 4:57 am

      So the only solution is to get a discreet card. Will do so; thanks Mike!

  3. Sahil Dave
    April 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    It is simply a question of marketing. See, people in marketing need to sell product, and the better they can make the product look, the better it should sell. So what happened a while back is that people in marketing decided that 1MB shouldn't equal 1048576 bytes and instead should equal 1000000 bytes. 1GB should equal 1000000000 bytes instead of 1073741824 bytes.
    In your case, when you take 2000000000 bytes you can call it 2GB in the packaging, but computers use base 2 math, which converts this into 1.8 GB of real space.

    For the second part, check if Ready Boost is enabled for your drive or not. Can be possible that it may be eating up some space !


    • Subhom Mitra
      August 20, 2011 at 4:54 am

      Hey Sahil, the problem is with my RAM, so I don't see any reason why having ReadyBoost enabled (or disabled) will have any effect on that. Thanks for the info, though; will check out the packaging better next time :)

  4. James Bruce
    April 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I think you just answered your own question didn't you? Integrated graphics memory is taken from the main system RAM. So if you increase that to 128mb from 64mb, your system RAM would decrease by 64mb as a results. Hence 1800 - 64 = 1720 (roughly!).

    If you mean why does it report 2gb as 1.8gb, I believe thats due to the often confused difference between "bytes" and "bits", and it's the same with hard drives. Even though you buy a 500gb hard disk, you can only use 450gb of it, for example (though I dont have the exact conversion figures to hand).

    It's just one of those confusing things that manufacturers like to do, but they can't change as it would make competitors look better ("this hard disk is 50gb smaller than the rest!" - when it isn't really, it's just accurately reported).

    • Subhom Mitra
      August 20, 2011 at 4:47 am

      Thanks Man

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