E521 Memory Question

Hello, I am not very comp savvy.
I have a Dell e521 adm-64x2 DCP 3600-1.96GH Vista 32bit . It came with 2- 512M of RAM installed in slots 1&2. I installed 2 -1G sticks and I thought I read that they needed to be in staggered slots 1-3 & 2- 4 So I put an existing 512M in slot1, new 1G in slot 2, existing 512M in slot 3 and new 1G in slot 4. When I went to Computer/properties i saw the 3G, but the comp was not noticably any faster. So I read, to go to Task Manager and see what the free memory was. It was Physical memory TOTAL- 1022M- CACHED 459M FREE-was single digits to low double digits. Should total memory show 3000M? I also tried different configurations of the RAM . They were originally installed with the 2 512M sticks in slot 1&2 . I went back and put original 512m back in 1&2 and new 1g in 3&4. No change in Phy Mem still 1022M. Comp/ properties still sees 3G Then put 2- 1G new in slots 1&2 and orig 512M in 3&4 thats how it is currently. and still see 3G in comp/ properties and roughly the same readings in Task Manager/Performance. Am i doing someething wrong or is it just not going to be any faster . I did not know what sub-catagory was so I put the 1st one. Thanks Andy
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More about e521 memory question
  1. 3GB is how much it is total, 512MB + 512MB + 1GB + 1GB = 3GB (~3000MB). Adding more ram doesn't necessarily make your pc any faster, it just has more memory at it's disposal.
  2. Last year I added RAM to an old laptop and it increased performance almost X2. I always heard running Vista with 1G of memory was the minimum . I thought going from 1G to 3G would speed up the process . Is my installation correct?
  3. For that mobo, channels are dimm1-2 and dimm3-4 so the 512mb sticks go in slot 1 and 2 while the 1gb sticks go in slots 3 and 4 (or 1gb in 1-2 and 512mb in 3-4 like you said you have it.) Task manager is showing 1022MB which is 1GB but you said computer properties shows 3GB. That is an issue. Try to go into msconfig. Press start, type msconfig and click the exe in the list, go to boot tab, click advanced options. Nothing should be checked but you can try to put the max memory up.
  4. Thanks, i looked at: detect,debug all were unchecked. Max memory was checked and 1024 was in there and also the highest I coud go.
  5. Success! Went back to the boot/adv opt/ and could not change the 1024 max so I unchecked it and restarted and the computer must have found the new memory because now when I go to task mgr/performance/total memory is 3005 not 1024. Then went back and looked at mscon/boot/adv opt/ and it now saw 3024 as max so I rechecked the box for max.
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