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Why Do I Only See 3 out of 4 Gigs of RAM?

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Posted by:Yez on Thursday, 17 Apr, 2008 @ 12:39 PM

Biffuz explains why 4 gigs of RAM in a modern computer system only looks like 3 gigs. The situation appears to be another case of some higher-up technology executive somewhere saying “we’ll never need that much memory in a computer system!” that is coming back to byte computer users in the butt!

7 Responses to “Why Do I Only See 3 out of 4 Gigs of RAM?”

  1. biffuz Says:

    I didn’t say that!

    I said that the solution is not easy, and not applicable to Haiku at the current stage. But we can make a 64 bit Haiku, and this will fix it. Haiku R2 maybe, or even earlier.

  2. m0ns00n Says:

    In time, Haiku will be available on all kinds of hardware. This is the nature of open source. First it will kick off on x86, and as people start using it, they will want it everywhere they work - with the hardware they work on.

    This is normal for open source. The only thing that needs to happen first is for the haiku project to release a stable build to the masses.

    I just installed BeOS two months ago out of curiosity, as I haven’t used it since 2001. I was gobsmacked. BeOS is a huge improvement over most other OSes, even MacOSX, IMO. Haiku, which polishes the old OS with better font rendering and an open ideology is bound to strike hard into the linux usedbase and give old BeOS users what they have been waiting for!

  3. Yez Says:

    Biffuz, I never said that you made that quote. Back in the early days of MS-DOS Bill Gates was quoted with “we will never need more that 640k of RAM for applications.” I would guess that some project manager or tech executive somewhere made a command decision 15 years ago and said “let’s use the 3GB-4GB memory addresses for hardware because we will never use 4GB of RAM in a computer system!” At the time we only had 5GB harddrives and they may have felt it was a safe assumption to make.

  4. Ben Says:

    I have heard this before. It is disappointing that this kind of problem continues to crop up, I thought we left problems like this back with Apple II and such. Using “real” memory addresses for I/O has always been problematic.

  5. biffuz Says:

    They did not think “we will never have 4 GB”, they thought “we will have 64 bit computers and the PCI will be in museum by then”. More or less the same that Bill thought.

  6. alban Says:

    It is a shame that “modern” computers only see 3GB I have a Mac from 2003 that came with 256MB but now sees 4 GB fine.

  7. Used computers Says:

    hahahah…….I know that just too funny I remember one of my friends buying a laptop with 4 gigs…however….
    only 3 work…that is because no-one has come up with a 4 gig compatible PC yet !

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