Activating dual channel much improvement?

Hi all.
I've an older Epox EP-8RDA3+ mobo that I need to squeeze just a little mote life and performance out of.
It has 3 RAM slots (PC3200), two of which are dual-channel. Right now I have three mis-matched sticks totalling 1GB.
If I were to get 2x1GB matching set of sticks so it'll activate the dual channel, can I expect any noticeable improvement? (Either from the dual channel, or the upgrade from 1 to 2GB? It's running Win XP, by the way.)

If so, what if I went ahead and put in a third, 1GB stick in the remaining non-dual slot? Would it degrade any of the dual-channel properties the other two would have activated? Would there be any real benefit at all of having 3GB versus 2?

Thanks for any feedback! :)
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More about activating dual channel improvement
  1. You'll get minimal benefit using 3 gb instead of 2. If all your sticks are pc3200, then performance should be ok. It's really a price issue; I check craigslist for older parts. I've seen 2 board-cpu-ddr combos for around $30 recently, both with 1 gig of ddr.
  2. For day-to-day usage, and even gaming I haven't noticed any gains with dual-channel vs single-channel. Or even the difference with 333MHz memory vs 400MHz DDR-1 memory.

    If you do play games, or load memory heavy apps such as Photoshop (or Gimp) or other video editing software, then the more memory the better. If you're just surfing on the pc, then you wouldn't notice any real difference between 2GB vs 1GB.
  3. Thanks for the replies!
    I was hoping the dual channel thing would be like a magic bullet. :)
    I want to squeeze out a little better performance from a few games like Sims 3 and LotROnline (I can get a set of 2x1GB RAM sticks cheap making it a reasonable upgrade choice IF it'd fo any good. But I won't bother upgrading the video card, etc. as it'd be better to actually get a new PC than spend money on a new AGP card, for example).
    Thanks again.
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