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I am running Windows 2012 on a Intel Core i5-2467M with supposedly 12GB of RAM. I say supposedly because Intel website says this processor supports a maximum of 8 GB. Microsoft System window recognize the 12 GB though.

Am I really making use of the 12GB? I don't know if it just in my mind, but the computer runs a little faster than when I "just" had 8GB.

Thanks!

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Max supported memory is often based on memory which is current when the CPU was released. E.g. if it supports up to two DIMMs and the largest relevant DIMM at that time is 4GiB then the specs often read "max 8GiB (2x4)". It might work with more but it would not be tested or guaranteed. –  Hennes Aug 28 at 17:32
    
If you are really worried I suggest you run something like memtest86 on the machine. If memtest86 shows all the memory and tests it as good, then the chance of a problem is very low. –  Zoredache Aug 28 at 17:51
    
The intel spec sheet for this proc says "Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 8 GB " so the number of channels and type of DIMMS supported by the motherboard will determine the actual available memory sizes –  Jim B Aug 28 at 18:06

1 Answer 1

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Yes, you can trust the operating system is using all that memory (if it's the 64-bit version).

The specification for this processor states that it has 2 memory channels. The datasheet for 2nd generation i5 processors also mentions that this processor family can work with 2 DIMMs per channel (supported DRAM device sizes are 1Gb, 2Gb and 4Gb, do not confuse with DIMM capacity). Check page 20 for more details.

So with 2 memory channels, 2 DIMMs per channel and the support for 8GB DIMMs (2x4Gb DRAM devices or other combination), you have a maximum memory support of 32GB.

I do not have enough knowledge about the chip industry to explain why the specification table shows a maximum of 8GB RAM but I can speculate that the internal memory controller is not the only component restricting the maximum amount of memory support. Other chip and motherboard features are likely involved. Component quality, what has been shown to work in the labs, etc, all these things will influence what a manufacturer is willing to commit to.

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