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btos
Token Ring
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎05-12-2009
Location: Florida
Views: 1,378
Message 1 of 9

DDR3 Memory on XP Confusion

I've read threads on this forum about issues of the 32 bit os ignoring memory upgrades on the T-400.  I had added the expensive new 4 GB of DDR3 memory into one memory port, with an additional port stock with 1 GB of memory- that's 5 GB of total physical memory after the upgrade. The forum threads that I had read confused me after the upgrade so I called support to clarify my doubts as to whether my 32bit XP system was in fact even using the expensive new memory.

 

The question to support was: Does the computer recognize and use the memory f it isn't displayed by the XP system? The short answer was yes. The explanation was that XP os cannot display the memory beyond a certain level but it uses the entire amount of phsical memory. The explanation contined to say that the only way to see the memory in XP is to reboot and press the F1 key to get into bios, where the evidence of the newly installed memory is presented. After reading the posts on the forum, I wanted to ask for a refund on the memory, due to the high expense of DDR3, which the computer seemed to have ignored. I'm not fully convinced that the memory is being used, since I've continued to have issues with sound break-up, perhaps due to a shortage of memory (this caused me to make the memory purchase). I have to trust support's answer to my query since I'm not savvy on tests for evidence.

lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 1,375
Message 2 of 9

Re: DDR3 Memory on XP Confusion

The 32 bit XP pro and Vista can only use 3 gigs of ram within the operating system, regardless how much more you install. You need 64 bit OS to get the full benefit..
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
btos
Token Ring
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎05-12-2009
Location: Florida
Views: 1,355
Message 3 of 9

Re: DDR3 Memory on XP Confusion

If what you say is true, it baffles me that IBM would even offer such expensive memory upgrades to the standard 32 bit systems which come stock with the laptops..What you are saying is that even if the bios can see the memory, the computer cannot use it? Why would they advertise the memory as even being compatible with these laptops? It seems that either a 64 bit os, be it Vista or XP, does not even work properly within the Lenovo T400, since it is not standard issue. Again, why would they offer memory that does nothing? It would be outrageous to advertise and sell memory that does nothing but cost money, with no useful function. I have a hard time believing it is true but consumers are constantly ripped off these days. I'll call support again to get confirmation that the memory I just bought serves no useful purpose.
lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 1,350
Message 4 of 9

Re: DDR3 Memory on XP Confusion

64 bit OS works on thinkpads, but they are not common as many softwares don't support 64 bit OS. The memory are compatible, but whether they are fully utilised is a different question. Sure you can drive your Ferrari F430 at 200 miles if you want, but would or could you in the middle of New York City during the peak hour?
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
faraz
Punch Card
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎06-25-2008
Location: MI
Views: 1,345
Message 5 of 9

Re: DDR3 Memory on XP Confusion

How do we know whether we got a 32 or 64 bit OS. Lenovo website doesn't give the option to choose 32 or 64 while ordering online.
btos
Token Ring
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎05-12-2009
Location: Florida
Views: 1,341
Message 6 of 9

Re: DDR3 Memory on XP Confusion

Well, I got an RMA for a memory return and had to settle on a 2 GB memory upgrade- to 3 GB. There should be some indication of the compatibilty issues of the memory BEFORE purchase is made. We are not all computer engineers! There was no mention of a conflict when I ordered the memory from the Lenovo site.

 

As for performance, I had wanted the extra memory horsepower to edit movies, create graphics, and make 3d renderings- all of which use up lots of memory. I was just told that for the money I just spent on the computer ($2600 after memory upgrade) that I could have bought a W500- one of the top-of-the line models. Of course the return period had already expired! Lenovo did give me a refund on the useless memory upgrade though. I only wish I had known about the W500, prior to purchasing the T400. That's annoying to say the least.

btos
Token Ring
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎05-12-2009
Location: Florida
Views: 1,083
Message 7 of 9

Re: DDR3 Memory on XP Confusion

Standard issue for the T400 is 32 bit system. There's no 64 bit offering from Lenovo. You must have a third party installation or do it yourself to use the absurd memory advertised for this laptop. It's just wrong. I'll just bet that the warranty would be void too...along with all the little bells and whistles that come with the Laptop...like the light- the ThinkVantage button etc...all that would be gone.
Hackster
Punch Card
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
Location: Canada
Views: 1,079
Message 8 of 9

Re: DDR3 Memory on XP Confusion

I have bought my W500 in June, and in the Memory Upgrade section there was an asterisk next to every configuration above 3GB, stating that to take advantage of 4GB or more of RAM one would require the 64bit OS. For video-related work you would have possibly been better served by a W500, but the T400 is still a very good machine. In your position, I would have actually gone for the 4GB of RAM, bot to have a "matched" set of memory modules, and because of some calims that even though the 32-bit OS does not allow applications to access more than 3GB of RAM, the OS itself and the shared video memory can reside in that upper 1GB, leaving more memory available. I am not sure if this is true - I run Vista x64 and wating for Win 7 to come out...

lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 1,066
Message 9 of 9

Re: DDR3 Memory on XP Confusion

not why you would have a voided warranty, given the fact that Lenovo don't support software issues. 
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft

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