Getting The Most From An Old Computers By Adding Memory

Often, when we buy a computer off the shelf, the manufacture provides just enough for the computer to at least be able to power up, run, power off. In other words they just provide you with the basics to get you up and running. All too often most consumers and businesses do not look inside of the box to determine if they are getting the most possible performance out of the unit. As time goes by, often people replace computers due to the unit being deemed obsolete and slow. And the cycle continues. With a little bit of research, you can find out what level your hardware is running at, and how much the performance can be increased.

The first area I like to consider is the RAM. RAM is Random Access Memory that applications use to function. Typically, the machine uses all available physical RAM, and then reverts to using a part of the hard drive to substitute for what physical RAM is not present in the system. This therefore causes the hard drive to work a little harder. This is a pretty simple area to upgrade and you can get a lot more faster performance if you upgrade the RAM. To upgrade the RAM, you have to see what your machine currently has installed. If you run windows, you can go to the control panel, and click on system. In the general tab, you will see information about the operating system, the processor, and the RAM. Most of the time computers will have decent processing capabilities, and not enough ram to get the most performance. This is a great area for an upgrade.

In terms of RAM, there are several types of RAM such as SDRAM, DDR RAM, DDR2, DDR3 etc. It is crucial to determine what type of RAM your machine will take, and how much of it that it is able to take. A good way to determine this information is to Google the model number of your PC. For example, I have an old IBM Aptiva 572 with an AMD Athlon 600MHz processor. A more precise method is to find the make and model of the mother board. To get that information, you have to open the PC (if you don’t know) and look around on the mother board for various markings. There are many markings on the motherboard, the key is to look for the largest marks and see what you can get. Typically the largest markings you will find should tell you the make and model of the motherboard you are dealing with. When you go online and do the research, you can find out what type of RAM the machine takes, and the maximum that it takes. Consider the RAM that is currently installed for potential clues to the research that you do.

Once you have determined the type of RAM and how much capacity you can install, you can go online and place an order for the RAM that you need. When you receive the RAM chips, all you have to really do is open the PC, get access to the area where the RAM sits, open the slots that you need. Slide the chips into place and then lock them in place. Make sure that you take the necessary precautions to protect the equipment from static discharge. Make sure that the chips are seated tightly. Close the PC CPU box, connect the PC and see what you get. If the machine does its POST ( Power On Self Test ) successfully, that is a good sign that the RAM chips that you have installed work. You should also see some type of memory test that basically counts the amount of memory during the startup phase. The amount that it counts should reflect the amount that you have installed.

After all is done, installed and working, you’ll be surprised and amazed as to how much faster the computer runs. Applications will start and run faster. Processes will run much faster and smoother. You’ll find that you can get more stuff done in less time. The machine should run more stable for you. Often people overlook the fact that a simple upgrade to a computers memory can provide valuable increase to the overall performance of the machine. With this valuable increase in performance, you can save money and time. You can get a few more years of useful life out of a computer just by upgrading the memory. It is cost effective just to increase the performance of an old CPU as opposed to purchasing an outright new machine.

By: Paul R Wilson J

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Paul Wilson Jr has been fixing computers since 1994. For more of my computer repair techniques, articles, reports, and sweet deals on computer parts, visit DIY-Computer-Repairs.