Install Win 10 32 Bit on 2 or 4GB RAM computer


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Hi all,

if you have a 64 bit computer but only 2 or 4GB of RAM, you should install the 32 bit version of Windows 10 as it only needs 1GB to run, if you install a 64 bit version; it requires a minimum of 2GB just for the OS, if your PC only has 4GB and you install the 32 bit version, you will have a reserve of 3GB RAM, likewise, if you install the 64 bit version, you are left with 2GB RAM so it makes sense to use the 32 bit version.

If you only have 4GB RAM and cannot upgrade due to the maximum amount of RAM supported by the motherboard then the 32 bit version is the way to go!. Installing more RAM may be an option for some but some older OEM computers won't allow any more RAM to be installed as the maximum amount of RAM on those motherboards has been reached!. Check your motherboard using the manufacturers website to gather information.

If you do decide to install more RAM, make sure it is indeed compatible with your computer before buying it, check whether it is DDR (very old now) DDR2 or DDR3, DDR4 is for more recent computers produced today. (DDR5 is on its way). Also check the speed of the RAM stick as that can differ from computer to computer!.

It is worth noting that a 32 bit computer can normally only read 4GB of RAM so before you go out to buy new RAM sticks, make sure the computer motherboard supports more than 4GB of RAM (that it is 64 bit OS system capable) otherwise you are wasting your time and money!. You may need to reference the handbook for your motherboard!.

I hope it helps. :)
 
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I think, maybe, the criteria here is what you intend to use your computer for.
I help "no longer young" colleagues, purely for pleasure. A couple are even in a home for the elderly. None, to my knowledge, are into extensive game playing. I would guess, out of something like 20 computers (All Laptops) I have never had occasion to use more than the factory installed 4gBs of ram. To the best of my feedback, no one has had any complaints. All are running 64bit Windows 10 Pro.
 
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I understand Dave, this is more or less specifically for people with 2GB RAM systems, that said, using the 32 bit version on a computer with 4GB RAM gives them 1GB of extra RAM to play with. :) (1GB RAM for the system and 3GB RAM to play with).
 
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Ok. No prob. I honestly feel that for the small gain, though, you are losing a lot of the abilities of a 64bit system, whatever the ram payoff. Most software today, is made with 64 bit in mind. Anyone using 32 bit would lose the (possible) advantage of trying, and using Apps which will only run on 64 Bit architecture.
However, your post can give food for thought!
 
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I have a Dell Latitude E6410 with 4GB RAM running the 32-bit/x86 Win10. The only issue I see is System shows only about 3.4GB total memory although the BIOS correctly shows both 2GB modules. It initially had 2GB with one module, wanted to add a 1GB module but didn't have any so went with the 2 x 2GB modules I had salvaged from a broken Notebook, works quite nicely. There's no restriction on having "too much" memory and I don't have much time until after I get the annual income tax reports done to investigate if Windows is using that uncounted 1/2 GB or not, probably will on Saturday if the "boss" doesn't need me.

I might, at the opportunity of a clean reinstall, go with the x64 version of Win10 since the Notebook can handle 8GB.
 
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Hi @Bighorn,

the missing 0.6GB RAM might be explained by onboard graphics and that is why it doesn't show the real amount but only the available amount of RAM?. :)

As an example, the laptop I have has 8GB RAM but only shows 7.6GB, the 0.4 is used by my onboard GPU!. :) I do have a 2nd GPU installed (an older ATI chip) but leave it switched off as it uses far more power and the laptop runs hotter!. ;)
 
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I might be wrong, but my understanding is the 32-bit Windows 10 can only read 3.5GB of RAM, whereas the 64-bit version will read 3.7 or 3.9 if you have 4GB installed. There's always a tenth or two reserved, maybe someone else knows why. On my Windows 10 64-bit systems (multiple laptops for home and travelling) with 16GB of RAM, either 15.7 or 15.9 is what is recognized.
 
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I believe that 32-bit versions are not important anymore. They have been phased out of production and out of support since the time 32 bit handling became a cumbersome task for software developers.
It is good that 32 bit ceases to exist.
Apart from that, Windows 10 cannot operate smoothly on a 2 or 4 GB RAM computer.
It has to have a at least 8 GB RAM to allow you to make use of it.
 
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I believe that 32-bit versions are not important anymore. They have been phased out of production and out of support since the time 32 bit handling became a cumbersome task for software developers.
It is good that 32 bit ceases to exist.
Apart from that, Windows 10 cannot operate smoothly on a 2 or 4 GB RAM computer.
It has to have a at least 8 GB RAM to allow you to make use of it.
That is a little misleading. I have three laptops, all running Windows 10 with perfection, all with 4Gbs ram
 
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I believe that 32-bit versions are not important anymore
Hi Justin,

there are millions of old computers around the world that are 32 Bit, software devs concentrate their efforts more on 64 Bit as you mentioned but a lot of people need the 32 Bit versions of their OS otherwise their computers are just paperweights!. Even Linux 32 Bit versions are getting harder to come by these days!. :)
 
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