Systems with the Intel Skylake chipset and 4G or above memory: Memory size shows less than 2 GB available RAM if 32-bit Windows 7 is installed on the system

Systems with the Intel Skylake chipset and 4G or above memory: Memory size shows less than 2 GB available RAM if 32-bit Windows 7 is installed on the system



Summary: Systems configured with the Windows 7 (32-bit) and the Intel® Skylake chipset may report that less than 50% of the system memory is available.


32 bit memory limitation.

Systems that have a 32-bit operating system installed are limited to 4GB usable memory. If the system has more than 4GB of RAM installed, it will not be recognized by the operating system due to the memory addressing limitations of the 32-bit architecture.

The amount of memory available for 32-bit systems is generally around 2.75 to 3.25 GB based on the hardware configuration of the system. Items like the PCI-e bus have memory allocated for their operation by the operating system, reducing the amount of memory indicated available by the operating system. (See Figure 1.)

Normal 4GB RAM available
Figure 1.




Skylake specific issues.

There is no hardware failure with the system, it is working as designed.

System's with Skylake processors have been reported to allocate a large portion of the system's usable memory to the hardware. Skylake systems allocate more memory as they are often configured with Thunderbolt capability.

Not all Skylake system are configured with Thunderbolt, these systems will still allocate a larger amount of memory to hardware that non-Skylake systems. This is because the Skylake processor cores are built to support Thunderbolt functionality regardless of the system having actual Thunderbolt hardware installed.

NOTE: Windows 7 (32-bit) cannot access more than 4GB memory regardless of the processor in the system.

EXAMPLE: A Windows 7 (32-bit) system reporting 50% or less memory usable (1.89GB usable) out of 4GB available. (See Figure 2.)

Skylake with 4GB RAM
Figure 2.

Dell Skylake systems (See Table 1.)

Latitude Portable E7270/E7470/E5270/E5470/E5570/3470/3570
Precision Portable 7710/7510/5510/3510
OptiPlex Desktop 7040/5040/3040/7440 AIO/3240 AIO
Precision Tower T3620/T3420
Alienware Portable 13-R2/15-R2/17-R3
Alienware Desktop X51-R3
Inspiron Portable 15-7559/14-3459/15-3559/15-7568/13-7353/13-7359/11-3153/
11-3158/14-5457/15-5557/14-5459/15-5559/17-5759
Inspiron Desktop 24-7459/24-5459/20-3059/3459/3650
Vostro Portable 5459/
Vostro Desktop 24-5450/3250
XPS Portable 9350
XPS Desktop 8900
Latitude Tablet 5175/5179
Venue Tablet 5855/5056

Table 1.




Article ID: SLN299440

Last Date Modified: 09/14/2019 07:50 AM


Rate this article

Accurate
Useful
Easy to understand
Was this article helpful?
Yes No
Send us feedback
Comments cannot contain these special characters: <>()\
Sorry, our feedback system is currently down. Please try again later.

Thank you for your feedback.