Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

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Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#1 by Ed_P » 16 Apr 2016, 17:02

Rava typing here, sorry first time me trying to create a new thread and then move post there. I wanted the posts to be all below that very thread, instead my initial post got moved to the very end, therefore I need to put the needed initial info into Ed_P's post. This is all written by me, Rava, unless you see below the <Rava END>. <- Not that one, that's not bold, and it's also for making things as clear as I could, sorry for messing this up a bit, I am not that experienced of a moderator when it comes to moving posts. First time me doing so by also creating what I wanted is an starting post that explains the initial info... :)


The off-topic posts in reply to viewtopic.php?f=94&t=5742#p44184 post in the programming subforum were move to here by me, Rava, since that discussion is not about coding or about the "goodies" (aka aliases & functions) I share there) and not about Porteus, therefore I moved that discussion here where its on topic..


And I removed the below lines from my initial post that started the discussion into this thread since that detail is irrelevant to the original post.


__________________________________________

[...] So you see, even a system with 3 1/2 GB RAM and Dual Core CPU gets into stress. Technically that PC has 4 GB RAM installed, but the silly BIOS only supports 3 1/2 GB of it (yes, it is updated to the newest version, which is years old already,not that new of a machine it is...).

The above info is what started the moved discussion. <Rava END>

Ed_Ps real post starts NOW:
Rava wrote:Technically that PC has 4 GB RAM installed, but the silly BIOS only supports 3 1/2 GB of it (yes, it is updated to the newest version, which is years old already,not that new of a machine it is...).
Frequently part of the RAM is allocated to the video card.
Last edited by Ed_P on 16 Apr 2016, 23:46, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#2 by Rava » 16 Apr 2016, 17:52

Ed_P wrote:Technically that PC has 4 GB RAM installed, but the silly BIOS only supports 3 1/2 GB of it (yes, it is updated to the newest version, which is years old already,not that new of a machine it is...).
Frequently part of the RAM is allocated to the video card.
It depends on the machine. My GPU/video card not uses any shared memory, also the BIOS at bootup lists all memory when testing it as only being 3 1/2 GB.


And last but not least, the readme of the mainboard says that one can install a maximum of 4 GB in the 4 slots, but that the BIOS will only be able to support 3 1/2 GB of the given 4 GB, and that always 1/2 GB is kinda "lost".


Seriously, its the Readme of the BIOS, written by the manufacturer. Why should they state it as clear as that, when that means telling the user "baaa! You fail in having this very version of our main board, you can install more RAM than supported, but when you want to use all supported RAM and also use the same kind of modules in all slots, there is no other way than losing approx 512 MB, cause we failed at coding either our BIOS, or some part of the hardware is a failure."
Why should they say so (yes, I exaggerate here) when that sounds like they made a crappy mainboard? Also, what they write is what I get, I cannot "deallocate" RAM for the video card cause there is no RAM allocated for it to begin with. Usually you can choose how much RAM you want to give the video card, but that usually is only true for notebooks and internal video cards, usually never for newer versions of the external Plug In GPUs/video cards that are the more recent versions.
One main reason is that the GPU's own RAM is so much more quicker than the slow mainboard RAM that giving the GPU some of that RAM would not increase performance, it would decrease it. You might have more RAM, but now all RAM needs to be in the slower RAM "speed / cycle" (sorry, forgot the REAL English term for RAM "speed") In German its "RAM Takt".


If you are interested, I can PM you the motherboards name and you can look up the most recent BIOS readme yourself.
Why should I just make up that story? I hope, at least, that I do not fail in reading such text THAT much. :D
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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#3 by Dave99 » 16 Apr 2016, 18:00

Ed_P is correct, many video cards "borrow" main system memory plus of course the BIOS also uses some.
Most motherboards "shadow" the BIOS, meaning that the BIOS contents are first loaded into RAM then run from there
as RAM is much faster than flash rom.

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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#4 by Rava » 16 Apr 2016, 18:08

Dave99 wrote:Ed_P is correct, many video cards "borrow" main system memory plus of course the BIOS also uses some.
Most motherboards "shadow" the BIOS, meaning that the BIOS contents are first loaded into RAM then run from there
as RAM is much faster the flash rom.
I expanded my above post, please review it. Thanks.
You are right with the BIOS shadowing itseld into RAM, but that's a very smaller amount of Memory, not 512 MB of it for shadowing the BIOS!
It's no supercomputer, just a plain old 2 Core mainboard with just 4 RAM slots that can have max 1 GB RAM each!

Quite outdated by recent standards.


Also, I can also PM you the info about the mainboard and you can also read what the most recent BIOS readme says about it.
Like I said, why would the manufacture lie when it would make him look bad?

Also, when I ask my GPU how much RAM it has it telly me "I have the RAM that is build into me an nothing more"

Here the details.
NVidia settings tells me, the GPU has 256 MB of RAM.

Now, when the BIOS uses a small bit of RAM for itself and gives the GPU the rest.... and the GPU comes with 256 MB RAM to begin with.... where is the rest of the RAM that was given to the GPU according to your theory?

Also, what the mainboard manufacture writes in the mainboard BIOS readme.
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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#5 by Dave99 » 16 Apr 2016, 18:13

Rava wrote:
You are right with the BIOS shadowing itseld into RAM, but that's a very smaller amount of Memory, not 512 MB of it for shadowing the BIOS!
I agree that BIOS by itself is not going to take up 512MB, but it will be quite large as much of the BIOS contents are compressed and then expanded when shadowed into RAM.
This plus possible sharing with video plus some reserved RAM for some drivers, kernel and so on could easily reach 512MB.

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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#6 by Rava » 16 Apr 2016, 18:29

Dave99 wrote:I agree that BIOS by itself is not going to take up 512MB, but it will be quite large as much of the BIOS contents are compressed and then expanded when shadowed into RAM.
This plus possible sharing with video plus some reserved RAM for some drivers, kernel and so on could easily reach 512MB.
I also expanded my above post, please review yours.
I added the info of NVidia settings. (See above)

Also, you can read the BIOS/Mainboard Readme. In it it states that when you want to use the full speed and the same RAM chips in each slot, and the max available RAM in that machine, you have to put in 4 1GB RAMs, but the BIOS will only support 3 1/2 GB of it at maximum. That's what the manufacturer writes in its own Readme.


Please do tell me, why should the manufacturer write so when your theories about only this very mainboard version (and not about any other cause I have never heard of a user losing 1/4th of the RAM when wanting to use the max RAM in a certain mainboard.
The only mainboard I know of that is that quirky is the very one next to me. I only learned about that when updating its RAM, the PC I got used and not knew about the issue, and the one I got it from not knew about it either since he never bothered giving it more RAM or updating the BIOS to begin with... Initially it came with 512 MB RAM and an outdated BIOS version to boot (literally), so I updated the BIOS and read the BIOS / mainboard Readme, and there I got told about I will lose 1/4th of my RAM when I want to have max speed and max RAM.
And I not only read that in the Readme, like I wrote above, my GPU gets NO mainboard RAM, and also, what the mainboard Readme writes is true, approx 512 of RAM is lost, not even RAM test software that starts prior most BIOS stuff is loaded can test the 4 GB RAM.
Most versions of these RAM testers even tell my the installed RAM is 3 1/2 GB! Why should they say so? It is all on text mode, the GPU has no X or windows loaded, wo where should the 512 MB have gone to?
Also, all RAM testers that start prior any OS always have reported the RAM size correctly. With the one exception of that very quirky mainboard I tell you about.


Is is that you two not believe me what I say what the manufacturer writes in its own BIOS / Main board readme?


If so, I will send you the Mainboards name and you can read the Readme yourself.

(I will read it again first for you so that I can point out where you find the info and not need to browse the whole book)
Cheers!
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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#7 by Dave99 » 16 Apr 2016, 18:47

@Rava

I'm not saying that you are making it up or that the BIOS manufacturer is trying to hide something.
I'm only saying that between the way your (any) BIOS handles RAM, possible video RAM sharing, kernel reserved memory, memory used by some drivers, shadowing of the BIOS and so on
most if not all machines will always "give" you less RAM than that physically installed, it's only the percentage that varies.

Here is an example from my Win 7 64 bit i7 PC with 8GB RAM:

Code: Select all

Total Physical Memory:     8 142 MB
Available Physical Memory: 5 434 MB
... and you are worried about your 25% ? :D

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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#8 by Jack » 16 Apr 2016, 18:58

All my 32bit computer with 4 GB of memory shows 3.5 GB. Then I had one computer with 4 GB that would not even boot up so I had to remove 1 GB stick and replace it with a 512mb stick.
I just like Slackware because I think it teach you about Linux to build packages where Ubuntu is like Windows you just install programs you want.

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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#9 by Rava » 16 Apr 2016, 19:13

Jack wrote:All my 32bit computer with 4 GB of memory shows 3.5 GB. Then I had one computer with 4 GB that would not even boot up so I had to remove 1 GB stick and replace it with a 512mb stick.
Thanks Jack, that might be a very interesting info indeed, much more than you might think of, or I even knew!


Know why? The PC / motherboard we talk about is able to run x86-64 Bit Linux systems, so it sure is a 64 Bit system. I think we can agree on that.

Me thinks when that very motherboard was developed, for some reason, that machine was able to run 64 bit OS, but on the other hand had still some "old 32 bit issues"... if you get what I mean.

Maybe they hard coded that limit somewhere in an initial development state.
Or some hardware bridge was / is a wrong one that only is able to support 3 1/2 GB RAM, and was prior only used for 32 nit systems and was either by choice, or by mistake also used for my very 64 bit capable mainboard.
It also has 2 IDE slots, but also already has the back then new SATA slots...

Seems, you have been able to explain that mystery to me, since the only non 64 Bit PC I own is a notebook with only12+256MB RAM, and that notebook needs to give either 64 or 128 MB RAM for the internal video card, so it is far form reaching the 3 1/2 GB RAM barrier.


So thanks, Jack, might be you just explained what might be the "reason" for that very quirky motherboard.


//Update
@Dave99
Currently due to lack of a monitor I cannot give you the info about my other PC, also a dual CPU one, but that one only has 3 GB installed, and I get the whole 3 GB (minus a small amount that is used for BIOS)

Even when it has 612 less usable memory, it is usually still the quicker machine. This quirky one has a Dual Intel Pentium, the other one a Dual Athlon, both of (halfway) comparable speed. Usually Athlon systems rank slower than Pentium ones, but here we have an older Pentium mainboard (with the weird 3 1/23 GB RAM boarder even when its a 64 bit system), on the other hand a more modern motherboard that would support full 4GB or even more...
I must look into the max RAM I can put into the other PC since RAM got so cheap...
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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#10 by Jack » 16 Apr 2016, 19:35

It also has 2 IDE slots, but also already has the back then new SATA slots...
I have had 3 computer that had that setup and now I have the computer I been talking that only has SATA slots. And FYI all those computer had Windows Vista and about the same age. I think they had both because SATA was new and they were trying it out. 2 of those computer had both but use IDE drive the other had both but use SATA drives. Hope you understand what I'm trying to say and hope it help.

EDIT:
Back in 2006 and before most computer would support only 512mb to 3 GB but there was a few that would use more memory.
Last edited by Jack on 16 Apr 2016, 19:43, edited 1 time in total.
I just like Slackware because I think it teach you about Linux to build packages where Ubuntu is like Windows you just install programs you want.

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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#11 by Rava » 16 Apr 2016, 19:39

Jack wrote:It also has 2 IDE slots, but also already has the back then new SATA slots...
I have had 3 computer that had that setup and now I have the computer I been talking that only has SATA slots. And FYI all those computer had Windows Vista and about the same age. I think they had both because SATA was new and they were trying it out. 2 of those computer had both but use IDE drive the other had both but use SATA drives. Hope you understand what I'm trying to say and hope it help.
When, the PC had XP on it, that's the age it is... At that time there were hardly any Vistas around, and I never had a Vista myself, but since I own several XP Professional (only 32 bit ones), I installed that, but mainly I run Porteus. :D
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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#12 by Jack » 16 Apr 2016, 19:52

I know most of the computer with XP only had 512mb to 1GB of memory that all the memory the motherboard would support. I still one of those computer and Porteus run great on it and it only has a total of 1 GB of memory and that all you use on that one.
I just like Slackware because I think it teach you about Linux to build packages where Ubuntu is like Windows you just install programs you want.

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Re: Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#13 by Rava » 16 Apr 2016, 22:29

Jack wrote:I know most of the computer with XP only had 512mb to 1GB of memory that all the memory the motherboard would support. I still one of those computer and Porteus run great on it and it only has a total of 1 GB of memory and that all you use on that one.
That's possible, but it depend on how you use your system.

But also how quick your harddrive is, since a quick hard drive will well placed large swap partition can make a huge difference.


I see it every few weeks. I only reboot when the system gets too "sick" and prior rebooting I killall palemoon more than once, since it tends to not free memory but wants to keep old closed tabs "just in case one might open it again"... or the history,even when I mostly run my palemoon in Private Browsing and not save any history, still every tab has its own back/forward history that could be accessed and that has to be kept in RAM since Private Browsing not saves such stuff on disk...

Like, 3 hours ago, Palemoon got quirky in a very strange way, 2 of the open 3 windows disappeared (I had them open on other desktops, but rolled up. On the XFCe preview icon for that desktop it still looks like the window is full screen, but when I go to that desktop, I only see the title bar of the window and no more. Usually that tells me "wrong window, not the stuff I wanted" and I switch to the right one.
Or it was the one I wanted, then I use the mousewheel to roll down the window and e.g. get drunk on the randomness of quirky anime or tvtropes.
When I want to,and when I have the time. And when the weather is bad, or it's night or such...

</digress>
Cheers!
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Re: [STOLEN POSTING] Quirky motherboard RAM discussion

Post#14 by Rava » 17 Apr 2016, 07:46

Ed_P wrote:.
HOW ARE NON-MODs and NON-ADMINs ABLE TO EDIT THE POSTINGS OF OTHERS. THIS IS BULLSHIT!!! :evil:


I DID NOT WRITE THIS POSTING. :x
You know that huge bold font and CAPSLOCK is meant to be seen as aggressive shouting.

Also, what do you mean with the above? I am a moderator here. How else could I move threads or edit the posts of others.

Since you don't want to be a reasonable friendly person, I give you your first official warning.

Also, I sent you a PM explaining what happened, where I said sorry that I messed up and why I had to edit your post instead of having one of mine as the initial post.

Did you choose to ignore all that, also ignored what I wrote in the initial post, and also you did ignore that after the Ed_Ps real post starts NOW: line your original post is there verbatim...


For the above reasons I also lock this very thread for a while and remove the uncalled for huge bold CAPSLOCK text from the initial post.

I will keep this very quote above as it is for a few days for everyone to see why you got a warning, and why I reverted your post, and also why I locked this thread.

Sorry to all others in this thread that have a closed thread due to one single person unable to read a whole post, also unable to read a PM, and also unable to realize that mods are just humans that can make mistakes as well.
Cheers!
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