If you have 4GB, are you getting 4GB?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by David J Taylor, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Rita Ä Berkowitz wrote:
    > David J Taylor wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Yes, that is an alternative OS, which will support 4GB. However, my
    >> question was about Windows XP as I don't yet wish to move to Win64,
    >> although that will most likely be my next OS upgrade.

    >
    > If you *must* use XP than your easiest solution is to use the /3GB
    > switch in your Boot.ini file. Plus, if the application(s) you are
    > using aren't written for the 64-bit platform you won't be getting the
    > full benefit from Win64, so I see your point of not wanting a 64-bit
    > platform.
    >
    >> I am dealing with some quite large images - 130Mpix - which take up
    >> some 400MB of memory each. Coupling with this with doing software
    >> development, plus running a 500MB+ production system, is taxing my
    >> current 1GB system rather!

    >
    > Then it seems like you are at the crossroads of making some changes in
    > hardware if this is a system that you'll be making money off of using
    > it as a tool. If this is a hobby machine than it might be worth
    > suffering with. In the end, it might be more cost effective to
    > upgrade, especially if you are wasting money on lost production time.
    >
    >> It seems that with Win32 today's systems don't give you access to all
    >> of the 4GB physical memory which many motherboards will allow, and
    >> this fact doesn't seem to be common knowledge.

    >
    > Sure it's common knowledge. Not everyone buys a MB that can use 16GB
    > of memory and not expect to run an OS that doesn't support it. You
    > just got bit by an afterthought on your part you didn't researched.

    []
    > Rita


    Well, it's a case at the moment of being limited to 1GB of memory on this
    4-year old Dell but often running a process which takes around 1GB of
    memory with all the other stuff still running (which takes nearly 1GB in
    itself). So do I upgrade to 2GB, 3GB or 4GB. I chose 4GB knowing that
    Win64 will support it, when I do upgrade.

    I don't think the Windows XP "can't use all of 4GB" limitation is that
    well known - XP is advertised as supporting 4GB and it was only with the
    subsequent release of SP2 with the DEP anti-malicious-code feature, and
    processors which supported it, that the "3GB" limit sems to have appeared.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 28, 2006
    #21
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  2. wrote:
    > David J Taylor wrote:
    >
    >> I am dealing with some quite large images - 130Mpix - which take up
    >> some 400MB of memory each. Coupling with this with doing software
    >> development, plus running a 500MB+ production system, is taxing my
    >> current 1GB system rather!

    >
    > Sounds like you need another computer, not necessarily more memory.
    > At least get that "production" stuff off your development machine.
    >
    >> It seems that with Win32 today's systems don't give you access to
    >> all of the 4GB physical memory which many motherboards will allow,
    >> and this fact doesn't seem to be common knowledge.

    >
    > This is not limited to Windoze. No 32b OS will provide all 4GB to a
    > single process: a comparitively large swath of the address space is
    > taken by the OS. You can play tricks with the page tables etc to give
    > sets of processes 4GB (less PTE overhead) in aggregate, but text+data
    > for each process is doing to be 2 (or 3) GB. It's unfortunately easy
    > to come up against this limit nowadays. Even if 4GB were available,
    > it's still not enough. Maybe Intel/AMD/et al can make processors that
    > automatically grow address and data lines on the fly?


    Yes, a further PC would be a good idea, but physical space and network
    connections are limited!

    2GB per process is [currently] fine. That allows the manipulation of my
    130MPix images. Yes, I know about the /3GB switch if needed (and I wrote
    my software to use it).

    Just as soon as Win64 supports my preferred anti-virus and firewall
    software I'll be off! I already have the CD.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 28, 2006
    #22
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  3. David J Taylor

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Beach Bum wrote:
    > "David J Taylor"
    > <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote in
    > message news:XFbCf.9780$...
    >> If you are fortunate enough to have 4GB of physical memory for your image
    >> editing with Windows XP, are you actually seeing 4GB?

    >
    > Mostly. I mean Windows takes some space to run, and there are some other
    > things going on besides the photo editing software. On the other hand,
    > virtual memory gives me another 10 gig, but it's obviously much slower when
    > accessing it.
    >

    It depends on the OS settings, and what else you have running. There
    are programs that will let you monitor your 'free ram', but they are
    largely useless as many programs just grab all free memory, or a large
    percentage thereof to make their operations faster. If you regularly
    'page' to disk, then things slow down drastically, and you may need more
    ram. Things like photoediting take up a lot of ram, but I would think
    4GB would be more than enough for most users.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jan 28, 2006
    #23
  4. David J Taylor

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Beach Bum wrote:
    > "Beach Bum" <> wrote in message
    > news:HkcCf.24023$...
    >> "David J Taylor"
    >> <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote

    > in
    >> message news:XFbCf.9780$...
    >>> If you are fortunate enough to have 4GB of physical memory for your

    > image
    >>> editing with Windows XP, are you actually seeing 4GB?

    >> Mostly. I mean Windows takes some space to run, and there are some other
    >> things going on besides the photo editing software. On the other hand,
    >> virtual memory gives me another 10 gig, but it's obviously much slower

    > when
    >> accessing it.

    >
    > Sorry, typo.. that's another 1 (one) gig of virtual memory.
    >

    Since 'virtual memory' is really the free space on your HD, then should
    should have MUCH more than 1GB of virtual memory, or you badly need a
    larger HD!
     
    Ron Hunter, Jan 28, 2006
    #24
  5. David J Taylor

    Ron Hunter Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:
    > G- Blank wrote:
    >> In article <XFbCf.9780$>,
    >> "David J Taylor"
    >> <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> If you are fortunate enough to have 4GB of physical memory for your
    >>> image editing with Windows XP, are you actually seeing 4GB?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks,
    >>> David

    >> The image you see on screen is a cached representation of
    >> any much bigger file. I think your referring to ram memory
    >> but can't be too sure as you have stated this awkwardly.

    >
    > OK, I mean "does Windows report all the 4GB of physical memory as being
    > available to the operating system".
    >
    > David
    >
    >

    Right-click on your 'my computer' icon, then select 'properties'. It
    will tell you how much system ram it can access.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jan 28, 2006
    #25
  6. Ron Hunter wrote:
    []
    > Right-click on your 'my computer' icon, then select 'properties'. It
    > will tell you how much system ram it can access.


    Thanks, Ron.

    I know about that technique, but I don't have the actual PC in front of me
    just yet. Oh, and I don't have a "My computer" icon.

    On my existing PC, the 1GB of physical memory is reported as 1GB.
    However, a 4GB system reports less than 4GB - about 3.2GB. Hence my
    original question. I have had at least one other report confirming this
    behaviour, and there is a Microsoft article about it as well:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;888137

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 28, 2006
    #26
  7. On Sat, 28 Jan 2006 03:20:31 -0600, in rec.photo.digital Ron Hunter
    <> wrote:

    >Since 'virtual memory' is really the free space on your HD, then should
    >should have MUCH more than 1GB of virtual memory, or you badly need a
    >larger HD!


    No there could be another informed choice. Once can fix the size of the
    swap drive. That way you take Windoze out of the picture from wasting time
    and resources by "managing" it. set it 1.5 -2x your physical memory as a
    start.
    --
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
    http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index.html
     
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Jan 28, 2006
    #27
  8. David J Taylor wrote:

    > Well, it's a case at the moment of being limited to 1GB of memory on
    > this 4-year old Dell but often running a process which takes around
    > 1GB of memory with all the other stuff still running (which takes
    > nearly 1GB in itself). So do I upgrade to 2GB, 3GB or 4GB. I chose
    > 4GB knowing that Win64 will support it, when I do upgrade.


    Understand. Well, memory is so cheap that it's nothing more than pocket
    change unless you need several gigs of RAMBUS. At this point in time, since
    you are pretty much at the limitations of your 32-bit platform, you should
    just pack the 4GB in there and use the /3GB switch and enjoy your system
    till you upgrade your hardware to 64-bit. Good luck.








    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jan 28, 2006
    #28
  9. David J Taylor wrote:

    > Just as soon as Win64 supports my preferred anti-virus and firewall
    > software I'll be off! I already have the CD.


    Huh? I'm not even sure this is something I would even think of basing my
    upgrade decision on. What's in Win64 is more than adequate, why would you
    want a third party kludge that gives you a false sense of security?







    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jan 28, 2006
    #29
  10. Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!) wrote:

    > No there could be another informed choice. Once can fix the size of
    > the swap drive. That way you take Windoze out of the picture from
    > wasting time and resources by "managing" it. set it 1.5 -2x your
    > physical memory as a start.


    Been there and done that. It works great in 90% of the applications and is
    great advice, but it's not that hard to slam into the wall by running out of
    memory. I did this and found the tradeoff of letting Windows manage my
    pagefile more advantageous for my needs much better so I switched back.







    Rita
     
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Jan 28, 2006
    #30
  11. Rita Ä Berkowitz wrote:
    > David J Taylor wrote:
    >
    >> Well, it's a case at the moment of being limited to 1GB of memory on
    >> this 4-year old Dell but often running a process which takes around
    >> 1GB of memory with all the other stuff still running (which takes
    >> nearly 1GB in itself). So do I upgrade to 2GB, 3GB or 4GB. I chose
    >> 4GB knowing that Win64 will support it, when I do upgrade.

    >
    > Understand. Well, memory is so cheap that it's nothing more than
    > pocket change unless you need several gigs of RAMBUS. At this point
    > in time, since you are pretty much at the limitations of your 32-bit
    > platform, you should just pack the 4GB in there and use the /3GB
    > switch and enjoy your system till you upgrade your hardware to
    > 64-bit. Good luck.


    Thanks, Rita. That is exactly what I have decided to do, and just leave
    the 4GB. The shop offered the option at 3GB at a reduced cost, but it
    seems penny pinching.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 28, 2006
    #31
  12. Rita Ä Berkowitz wrote:
    > David J Taylor wrote:
    >
    >> Just as soon as Win64 supports my preferred anti-virus and firewall
    >> software I'll be off! I already have the CD.

    >
    > Huh? I'm not even sure this is something I would even think of
    > basing my upgrade decision on. What's in Win64 is more than
    > adequate, why would you want a third party kludge that gives you a
    > false sense of security?


    Rita,

    Are you saying that there's no need for any 3rd party firewall and
    anti-virus software in Win64?

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 28, 2006
    #32
  13. On Sat, 28 Jan 2006 07:29:16 -0500, in rec.photo.digital "Rita Ä Berkowitz"
    <ritaberk2O04 @aol.com> wrote:

    >Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!) wrote:
    >
    >> No there could be another informed choice. Once can fix the size of
    >> the swap drive. That way you take Windoze out of the picture from
    >> wasting time and resources by "managing" it. set it 1.5 -2x your
    >> physical memory as a start.

    >
    >Been there and done that. It works great in 90% of the applications and is
    >great advice, but it's not that hard to slam into the wall by running out of
    >memory. I did this and found the tradeoff of letting Windows manage my
    >pagefile more advantageous for my needs much better so I switched back.


    I don't understand why you wouldn't then just set a higher fixed limit.
    Disk space is cheap and if you need it do it. Then you don't have to deal
    with automatic resizing and defragging that happens when you least expect
    it. Best kept on a partition separate from the one with the OS as well,
    IIRC.
    --
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990/5700 & D70 at
    http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index.html
     
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Jan 28, 2006
    #33
  14. David J Taylor

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    Hywel Jenkins <> wrote:
    >In article <XFbCf.9780$>, david-
    >-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid says...
    >> If you are fortunate enough to have 4GB of physical memory for your image
    >> editing with Windows XP, are you actually seeing 4GB?

    >
    >Eh? Windows uses the physical memory it needs, then some more, and once
    >it's run out it uses the disk as well.
    >



    The max size of any single process (or data structure) is 2GB in a 32
    bit system, and the pagefile gets used when total of all process
    Working Sets[1] exceeds the physical memory, limited to 3GB on a 32
    bit windows system. This is the 5 cent explanation.

    here's is a new Adobe tech note for CS2 that covers all current 32 and
    64 bit operating systems and 32 and 64 bit iron, as wall as workdisk
    requirements.

    http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/320005.html

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_set

    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Jan 28, 2006
    #34
  15. David J Taylor

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <W%gCf.9941$>,
    David J Taylor <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote:
    >JohnR66 wrote:
    >> "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04 @aol.com> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> David J Taylor wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> If you are fortunate enough to have 4GB of physical memory for your
    >>>> image editing with Windows XP, are you actually seeing 4GB?
    >>>
    >>> http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PAE/PAEmem.mspx
    >>>
    >>> Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003 Memory Support. The
    >>> maximum
    >>> amount of memory that can be supported on Windows XP Professional and
    >>> Windows Server 2003 is also 4 GB. However, Windows Server 2003,
    >>> Enterprise Edition supports 32 GB of physical RAM and Windows Server
    >>> 2003, Datacenter Edition supports 64 GB of physical RAM using the
    >>> PAE feature. The virtual address space of processes and applications is
    >>> still
    >>> limited to
    >>> 2 GB unless the /3GB switch is used in the Boot.ini file. When the
    >>> physical
    >>> RAM in the system exceeds 16 GB and the /3GB switch is used, the
    >>> operating system will ignore the additional RAM until the /3GB
    >>> switch is removed. This
    >>> is because of the increased size of the kernel required to support
    >>> more Page
    >>> Table Entries. The assumption is made that the administrator would
    >>> rather not lose the /3GB functionality silently and automatically;
    >>> therefore, this
    >>> requires the administrator to explicitly change this setting.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Rita
    >>>

    >> To expand on this, even with the 3 GB switch set, each 32 bit
    >> application gets 2 GB of space max. So one app would have 2 GB and
    >> the other could have the remaining 1GB.
    >>
    >> If you put 4GB in a non server machine, it is important to use the
    >> switch or you are wasting memory as the OS never uses anywhere near
    >> 2GB in a workstation.
    >>
    >> Also, with 4GB, the chipset may use some address space and you will
    >> only get something like 3.4GB.
    >> John

    >
    >Thanks, John. That's the first on-topic answer I've seen.
    >
    >Is there any chipset (and/or graphics card) which allows Windows XP to see
    >the full 4GB?


    No.

    The hack of using the upper part of the virtual address sapce for the
    operating system isn't unique to Windows. VMS did it right from the
    start, in 1978(?). IBM OS/360 did something similar in the 60s but I
    feel my memory dimmer, dimmer.......


    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Jan 28, 2006
    #35
  16. David J Taylor

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    <> wrote:
    >David J Taylor wrote:
    >
    >> Is there any chipset (and/or graphics card) which allows Windows XP to see
    >> the full 4GB?

    >
    >Yes. They are called "64 bit CPU's".
    >



    But not with XP.

    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Jan 28, 2006
    #36
  17. David J Taylor

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <sgGCf.10604$>,
    David J Taylor <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote:
    > wrote:
    >> David J Taylor wrote:
    >>
    >>> I am dealing with some quite large images - 130Mpix - which take up
    >>> some 400MB of memory each. Coupling with this with doing software
    >>> development, plus running a 500MB+ production system, is taxing my
    >>> current 1GB system rather!

    >>
    >> Sounds like you need another computer, not necessarily more memory.
    >> At least get that "production" stuff off your development machine.
    >>
    >>> It seems that with Win32 today's systems don't give you access to
    >>> all of the 4GB physical memory which many motherboards will allow,
    >>> and this fact doesn't seem to be common knowledge.

    >>
    >> This is not limited to Windoze. No 32b OS will provide all 4GB to a
    >> single process: a comparitively large swath of the address space is
    >> taken by the OS. You can play tricks with the page tables etc to give
    >> sets of processes 4GB (less PTE overhead) in aggregate, but text+data
    >> for each process is doing to be 2 (or 3) GB. It's unfortunately easy
    >> to come up against this limit nowadays. Even if 4GB were available,
    >> it's still not enough. Maybe Intel/AMD/et al can make processors that
    >> automatically grow address and data lines on the fly?

    >
    >Yes, a further PC would be a good idea, but physical space and network
    >connections are limited!
    >
    >2GB per process is [currently] fine. That allows the manipulation of my
    >130MPix images. Yes, I know about the /3GB switch if needed (and I wrote
    >my software to use it).
    >
    >Just as soon as Win64 supports my preferred anti-virus and firewall
    >software I'll be off! I already have the CD.
    >
    >David
    >
    >



    Buy a 64 bit PC for PS, but read your email and browse the internet
    porn sites on 32 bit XP running in a Virtual machine [1]. It will run
    your AV software and firewall in 32 bits. Any old DSL router/NAT box
    found in a dumpster will give you a physical brick wall firewall.

    If you don't use the 64 bit browser and are behind a physical firewall
    you're really safe.


    [1] VMWare or MS Virtual PC.


    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Jan 28, 2006
    #37
  18. David J Taylor

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!) <> wrote:
    >On Sat, 28 Jan 2006 03:20:31 -0600, in rec.photo.digital Ron Hunter
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>Since 'virtual memory' is really the free space on your HD, then should
    >>should have MUCH more than 1GB of virtual memory, or you badly need a
    >>larger HD!

    >
    >No there could be another informed choice. Once can fix the size of the
    >swap drive. That way you take Windoze out of the picture from wasting time
    >and resources by "managing" it. set it 1.5 -2x your physical memory as a
    >start.




    Virtual page management is a fundamental part of the Windows kernal.
    You can't make it go away. The type and number of applications you
    run determines how much physical memory needed, and if you don't have
    enough, some not-recently-used memory gets written to disk. this is
    called paging. Excess disk space doesn't help anything.

    The size of the page file, itself, doen't have any performance impact.
    It's the writing and reading of pages, measured in pages/sec, that
    does. Ths cost is in CPU cycles and context switches in addition to
    wallclock time and disk contention.

    perfmon.exe will tell you how many pages/sec you are reading and
    writing to pagefile. If, while you watching the windows hourglass,
    perfmon shows nearly zero pagefile IO activity then adding memory to
    you machine won't speed up your task.



    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Jan 28, 2006
    #38
  19. David J Taylor

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    Ron Hunter <> wrote:
    >Beach Bum wrote:
    >> "David J Taylor"
    >> <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote in
    >> message news:XFbCf.9780$...
    >>> If you are fortunate enough to have 4GB of physical memory for your image
    >>> editing with Windows XP, are you actually seeing 4GB?

    >>
    >> Mostly. I mean Windows takes some space to run, and there are some other
    >> things going on besides the photo editing software. On the other hand,
    >> virtual memory gives me another 10 gig, but it's obviously much slower when
    >> accessing it.
    >>

    >It depends on the OS settings, and what else you have running. There
    >are programs that will let you monitor your 'free ram', but they are
    >largely useless as many programs just grab all free memory, or a large


    There is no such thing as "free memory" in a modern OS. The job of the
    OS is to make most effective use of all hardware resources. If the
    working set of you applications isn;t asking for the memory it gets
    used for buffers and file IO cache.

    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Jan 28, 2006
    #39
  20. Al Dykes wrote:
    > In article <W%gCf.9941$>,
    > David J Taylor

    []
    >> Is there any chipset (and/or graphics card) which allows Windows XP
    >> to see the full 4GB?

    >
    > No.
    >
    > The hack of using the upper part of the virtual address sapce for the
    > operating system isn't unique to Windows. VMS did it right from the
    > start, in 1978(?). IBM OS/360 did something similar in the 60s but I
    > feel my memory dimmer, dimmer.......


    Unfortunately, with Windows XP it has more impact than with VMS. In 1980
    I bought (for the company) one of the very first VAX-11/750s. I recall it
    had a whole megabyte of memory (at the time when 64K in your home-built PC
    was good going). I think the most memory I saw in a VAX was 128MB or
    possibly 256MB, with some of the early Alpha systems. A few MB for I/O
    space was nothing (at the top end of 4GB). Today, it seems that with
    video cards at 256MB, you loose that for each processor (or processor
    core), so 512MB of memory can be lost very easily.

    Just looked up my VMS Internals and Data Structures Manual - P0, P1, S0
    space - the top 1GB not for memory!

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 28, 2006
    #40
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