Dual Channel vs Single Channel memory configuration question

Up until recently I had 1gig of ram configured with two 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200). In my setup it said it was in a dual channel config. Then I added and additional 512MB stick of ram to my PC totally 1.5gigs. Now when I check the setup it says its SINGLE channel. Is this a bad thing??? Also I have 4 slots on my motherboard for four different memory sticks. Two of the slots have black tabs and two have white tabs. Does it matter where I put each stick on the actual motherboard??? If it helps here are my system specs off PC WIZARD
Manufacturer : Dell Computer Corporation (Model Dell DIMENSION DIM4600)
Mainboard : Dell Computer Corp. 02Y832
Chipset : Intel i865PE
Processor : Intel Pentium 4 @ 2800 MHz
Physical Memory : 1536 MB (3 x 512 DDR-SDRAM )
Video Card : Nvidia Corp GeForce 6600 [NV43]
Hard Disk : WDC (120 GB)
Hard Disk : WDC (120 GB)
CD-Rom Drive : Lite-On LTN486S 48x Max
DVD-Rom Drive : BF0248X GZE422X SCSI CdRom Device
Monitor Type : NEC Technologies NEC FE991SB - 18 inches
Network Card : Broadcom Corp BCM5705 NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
Network Card : Intel Corporation PRO/100 VE Network Connection
Operating System : Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition 5.01.2600 Service Pack 2
DirectX : Version 9.0c (December 2007)
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More about dual channel single channel memory configuration question
  1. pre-built dell?
  2. ^^^Yes its a prebuilt Dell with an additional stick of Kingston Ram
  3. To run dual channel, put equivalent RAM into same-colored slots. By using 3 sticks, you can't run dual channel anymore as 1 stick is on a single channel dragging the other two back. Ergo, add another stick in your last slot (512MB is so cheap now, it's what, 30 bucks?) and you should be golden.

    Prebuild dell.. oh the humanity
  4. yeah.. pre-builts are not a good choice.. i wish i knew that before i got mine, yes.. i have one, haha. because of this im having a hard time finding RAM compatibilities, that being speed, or voltages as well.

    what would be the difference from buying for example 2 x (1Gb) in dual channel, you know.. buying them alltogether, and from buying them individually (piece by piece)

    I currently have 2 x (245 mb DDR2 PC-4300. I was going to but 2 GB DDR2 PC5300 (667mhz) in dual channel; this was months ago (im curretly waiting for a video card to be released) and the RAM was at $175. Now is at $89 (wow!)

    So i was wondering if my computer would be compatible with a higher RAm speed, such as 800 Mhz. with this whole pre-built mobos from Sony, Dell or whataver im not very sure..
    what data would youy need to see if my computer can go higher than 667mhz?

    Im sure i would see a big difference from 512MB to 2 GB, even at 667mhz, but im just seeing which option would give me the best deal.

  5. Best bet is to check the manual for your comp, it should say right in there what the rated speeds are for you mobo
  6. Running dual channel does help, but depending on what you do, you may benefit more from having the extra memory in. I would leave the extra memory in if it works and try it out and see if you notice any difference in your day-to-day use of the system.
  7. Quote:
    To run dual channel, put equivalent RAM into same-colored slots. ...

    For some MBs, you need to use different-colored slots. The MB manual should specify which to use for your MB.
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