Older PC won't zip with chip upgrade

Helpline

April 18, 2002|By James Coates | James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I would like to add more RAM and wonder if I can just upgrade my P66 memory chip with a P100 or P133 chip. Here are some details: I have a 233 mHz Pentium PC with a 4.3 GB hard drive and 160 MB of P66 SDRAM, running Windows 95.

I see P100 and P133 SDRAM memory modules advertised at almost give-away prices compared with the older P66 memory. Will I get a performance enhancement with P100 or P133?

It is possible in most cases to plug in RAM chips that are rated faster than a computer can handle, but the results usually aren't worth howling about. Over the years, PC memory speeds have moved from P60 to P66 and P100 and above to accommodate the so-called bus speed of the main microprocessor. That central chip can only move at its top speed, so adding faster memory chips doesn't improve speed but will increase the amount of data that can be stored in high-speed RAM.

I wouldn't recommend taking the chance, though, because you seem to have very little to gain.

James Coates writes for The Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper. Reach him at jcoates@tribune.com.

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