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Windows 7 Thread, Windows 7 Enterprise x64- Memory hole. in Technical; Hi All, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post as it's probably hardware related, but due ...
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    Koldov's Avatar
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    Windows 7 Enterprise x64- Memory hole.

    Hi All,

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post as it's probably hardware related, but due to a recent install of x64 Windows on an old legacy system I have had some problems.

    I had x86 installed and working OK, however I have heard many on this site say things along the lines of 'OMG WTF why is anyone running x86 in this day and age as x64 is soooo much better'. So with a spare disc doing nothing I have installed it over the weekend, as I thought I could do with a nice new uncluttered, fresh install.

    Now I thought I had a reasonable grasp on why th 32-bit OS could not 'see' the 4 GIG of ram installed, so knowing that the new OS should see it all thought I could enjoy a little bit more 'oomph'. As soon as the install had finished I opened up the computer properties to see the same 3.25 GIG as the 32bit OS....

    Much trawling of Goooooogle lead me to the belief that I had to disable the 'memory hole' option in the bios as the 64 bit version of the OS does not need it. Once I had done that the OS could indeed see all 4 GIG, however it ran like a dog with no legs. 3D mark and games could not see any of the video cards RAM at all!

    To sum it up I wondered if anyone knew the the answer? It is a legacy system but I thought 64 bit capable. Now I have read that obviously I will always lose some RAM as the memory hole is just moved above the 3 GIG mark, so is it that because I have only 4 GIG the machine cannot do that and therefore has nowhere to map it to?

    AMD 64x2
    ASUS A8V deluxe (Via K8T800 pro)
    4 GIG RAM
    Gainward 7800gs 'AGP' card (512)
    Audigy2
    500GB MAXTOR SATA II HD
    150GB SAMSUNG SATA II HD

    Should it work? I'm not even going to ask for opinions on if it's worth it.... Just really wanted to know, to stop it bugging me!

    Kol.

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    newpersn's Avatar
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    Just a few things to try:

    Try updating chipset drivers.
    Are you running onboard graphics or is the graphics "borrowing" some system ram
    Motherboard Bios update?

    Guessing its DDR2 ram?

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    Hi,

    ASUS do not have any updated chipset drivers as this is such an old legacy board, nothing since XP in the drivers section not even VISTA (which I thought I might use) as I think they are relying on the included Windows drivers.

    There is no onboard graphics chip on this motherboard.

    The bios is the latest available.

    Yes DDR2 (PC3200).

    I know there are limitations with this chipset (my SATA-II hard drive isn't detected on VIA VT8237 chipset based motherboard, so I have to limit it) and the motherboard has always been a little highly strung. Very picky with it's settings and I am always wrestling with it!

    All old school stuff, was a beast in her day and still scores quite well on the 'Experience Index'.

    Kol.

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    newpersn's Avatar
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    I got a gut feeling that you hit the max that the motherboard supports... Just a quick Google recons that the chipset supports 4GB.

    Have you tired re-seating your memory?

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    Yup, I'm pretty sure that is all she will take. The full 4 GB can be seen by the OS when the 'memory hole' is disabled, so I'm sure that isn't the issue. Although I am wondering what the problem is...

    Did I answer my own question?! Always becomes clearer when you sound it out with someone else...

    A 64bit OS can access above 4GB and therefore does not require a hardware memory hole to be enabled, because it can address the memory above 4GB and put it somewhere there. But still needs to address it somewhere (?) and maybe the AGP card needs it to be below?
    It always confused me when the Nvidia system information said 'shared' system memory as it doesn't share system memory it has 512 on the card! Maybe I should see it as address space for the AGP aperture? It was around the 240mb mark 'shared' and the aperture is set at 256mb. All I know is that although the OS can 'see' the full 4GB without the memory hole, the graphics cannot and performance is a dog.

    Nope still confused lol!

    Kol.

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    newpersn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koldov View Post
    Yup, I'm pretty sure that is all she will take. The full 4 GB can be seen by the OS when the 'memory hole' is disabled, so I'm sure that isn't the issue. Although I am wondering what the problem is...

    Did I answer my own question?! Always becomes clearer when you sound it out with someone else...

    A 64bit OS can access above 4GB and therefore does not require a hardware memory hole to be enabled, because it can address the memory above 4GB and put it somewhere there. But still needs to address it somewhere (?) and maybe the AGP card needs it to be below?
    It always confused me when the Nvidia system information said 'shared' system memory as it doesn't share system memory it has 512 on the card! Maybe I should see it as address space for the AGP aperture? It was around the 240mb mark 'shared' and the aperture is set at 256mb. All I know is that although the OS can 'see' the full 4GB without the memory hole, the graphics cannot and performance is a dog.

    Nope still confused lol!

    Kol.
    Im stuck now.

    I would like to know what this "memory hole" thing is. Im gonna put it down to the APG/Graphics cards is "Borrowing" some resources.

    With the memory hole turned off your seeing Full 4GB of ram. But graphics is suffering. Memory hole turned on graphics is better and you only see 3.5GB of memory.


    2 some resourses"

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    Yeah it's a legacy bios option thing for us oldies to think about, rarely if ever would you have to know about it. Only system builders or tweakers/overclockers would see it, as on purchased PC's it would be set-up by the manufacturer to whatever hardware was in the machine. If it had more than 4GB of ram and was a 64bit OS I don't think it's even an option/issue.

    Mostly systems with 64bit OS would be on completely native 64bit systems as the popularity in both (at an average user level) is fairly recent.

    Kol.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I shall hasten to point out the known issues with running AGP systems on Windows 7...

    Put simply. Don't.

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    Honestly? That's the first time I've ever heard that!

    I have two old systems with AGP cards running Windows 7, they may not be cutting edge or run the latest games but they certainly hold their own for most of the stuff I do (CS and WoW play ok anyway lol) and the graphics card always score quite well in the Windows Experience.

    Kol.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    AGP kit was considered legacy even in the early days of Win 7 and some of the bridge drivers, certainly from the likes of nVidia were extremely ropey at best. it took a long time for them to do anything with it other than provide basic functionality; no aero or anything. I can't however remember if that is something specific to x64, but i do recall having issues using Vista x64 on an nForce 2 system (oh the awesomeness!) As they share the majority of the kernel I would imagine that's still the case with 7, however my memory is fuzzy on that.

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    Koldov's Avatar
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    I know exactly what you mean about legacy kit! I remember getting my first nForce 2 board

    However, I had been running quite a nice piece of kit for its time, just had socket 939 board - MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (nVIDIA nForce3 Ultra Chipset) and CPU - AMD 3800+ Athlon 64x2 (all overclocked and stable), Geil PC3500 ram (DDR 2 though), Gainward 7800GS (last & fastest AGP card which itself was a PCI-E port I think) and I was still running XP! I think the GFX alone was in the 200+ bracket!

    I just knew my next upgrade to PCI-E would mean scrapping the lot of it and just couldn't bring myself to do it... and never did

    Looking about at the time meant it was all move to intel or go AM2 (also DDR3 and PCI-E)...

    Then I stopped playing games quite so hardcore and quit my CS clan when they went all source and as really that was what had driven every upgrade, I've never been interested since. Although I did move to Windows 7 32bit and still thought it was an OK rig.

    Kol.

    Edit: Oh, and I bypassed Vista... As you can tell I'm not one to get the latest thing too early and by the time I looked at it word was out that it was a nightmare lol!
    Last edited by Koldov; 25th November 2013 at 03:41 PM.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Some chipsets just don't manage more than 4gb total, I think it is something to do with them being built when 32bit was popular and only being able to address 4gb max at the system level. As you have 4gb plus some gpu memory the board is forced to steal enough out of the 4gb space to map it. Had the same issue which I never resolved on some nforce based boards, started buying Intel again shortly after having to deal with their awful drivers and system architecture - putting a nic on a PCIe bridge that needed a driver that would not work in winpe, insanity.

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