Slightly different memory question

Mark Haney mhaney at
Wed Jan 7 15:09:28 UTC 2009

Scott wrote:
> Hi,
> 	I have a Inspiron 1525 with 4GB of Ram and I noticed through system 
> monitor that the 32-bit Ubuntu sees 3.5GB of that.  I know my video card 
> uses 256MB, so does this mean that I am using a total of 3.75GB or is 
> that 256MB included in the 3.5GB listed?
> 	This question is important to me as I am trying to decide if I should 
> move to a 64-bit system or not.  Losing 500MB bugs me a little more than 
> loosing 256MB.

That depends, does your video card use shared video memory?  You can
find that in the BIOS as normally you can adjust that down if you need
to conserve RAM for non-video needs.

A lot of laptops do that, but I don't know that all of them do. Mine
does not, but yours might be different.

If it's NOT shared memory, then you're only seeing 3.5GB on the 32bit
system. However, I'd be willing to bet that you ARE using shared memory,
as typically a 32-bit system sees 3.7 to 3.8GB of RAM our of 4GB.

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Mark Haney
Sr. Systems Administrator
ERC Broadband
(828) 350-2415

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