The system came with 2x 512MB RAM - total of 1GB. I was sent a 2GB memory upgrade, so I had to remove one of the modules, and was supposed to get 2.5 GB in total. But it seems like the machine will only take max 1GB per slot, and max 2GB in total, despite that my system says it has 2.5GB.
Dell confirms that the max capacity of RAM that can be used in my Vista Home Premium laptop is 2GB, and max 1GB per module. So, I am only using 1,5GB. True?
Is there any way (like a downloadable tool or an application) that can check how much RAM my PC is actually using?
It's DDR2 RAM and strictly speaking you should have the same amount in each slot for best performance. You could put 2GB DDR2 RAM into each slot and it would report 4GB, IMO.
Did Dell actually tell you about the limit, or is it just what's on their web page?
The DDR2 standard, if followed, should allow you to do what you've done, although performance can be sluggish if you're pushing memory in your applications and you don't have the two slots balanced. IMO you'd be better off just with the one 2GB stick.
Many thanks for your reply. Yes, Dell tech support have actually told me that the max RAM my lappy will take is 2GB, and max 1GB per slot. But, you know Dell tech support.
If one Googles "Inspiron 1501 max RAM", a number of results show 2GB as max. Crucial's scanner also confirms that, and tells me I have 1,5GB installed, but Crucial's tech support have said their scanner is not always reliable.
What is confusing is that Vista says I have 2,5GB RAM.
I have benchmarked my RAM using PerformanceTest, and the results with just two 1GB modules instead of one 2GB and one 512MB, are only slightly better.
The benchmark results with the 2GB will be markedly better once you stress the RAM. My suggestion holds true for large applications rather than multiple applications where in the latter case there is a trade off to be made with paging if you exceed physical RAM.
There are utilities such as Norton that measure and display in real time the proportion of physical RAM being used.