Where can I get RAM for an old computer?
April 30, 2004 9:36 PM   Subscribe

Looking to get some RAM for an older machine; the motherboard specs say it wants 168-pin 3.3 volt SDRAM; I'm wondering if this is still made (is this the same as some early PCxxx RAM?), or if I'm going to have to do some digging... If it's out of production, where could I find a 128-meg stick or two?
posted by kaibutsu to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
I'd assume as a matter of course that's it's PC100 or PC133 both of which are still extremely available for dirt cheap, but just to be sure - what speed is the processor? It is also helpful, but not absolutely necessary, if you know the manuf. and model of the mobo.
posted by Ryvar at 10:02 PM on April 30, 2004


It's a 650-mhz Intel Celeron, in an HP Pavillion; motherboard specs are online and pretty extensive, but I can't find a manufacturer name; probably put together by HP themselves... Yeah, the main issue was that I couldn't remember if PC100 was synonymous with SDRAM of the given specs, and it seems that RAM information on anything but the newer varieties is hard to come by.

If you have any other ideas for how to soup-up an old machine, please share.

Thanks!
posted by kaibutsu at 1:25 AM on May 1, 2004


What operating system did you plan to put on it?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:15 AM on May 1, 2004


For single-clocked SDRAM, you have three choices: PC66, PC100, and PC133, corresponding to the respective bus speeds.

From the look of things, the C650 ULV is a 100MHz part with a 6.5 multiplier. So at most it will take advantage of PC100. Few no-name boards of the Celeron era such as those used in brand PCs support asynchronous clocking of memory, so your best bet is to put a stick of PC100 in there.

Look around on eBay. Used PC100 is cheap, though the supply on the new market is getting somewhat limited and it's a little spendier than it needs to be.
posted by majick at 7:48 AM on May 1, 2004


Both CNet Memory Shopper and OEMPCWorld have convenient web apps to tell you what memory you need for PCs from most manufacturers, although OEMPCWorld's only seems to want to sell you their brand, while CNet's will find many different ones.
posted by Oops at 8:15 AM on May 1, 2004


If you have any other ideas for how to soup-up an old machine, please share.


Put a new computer in the case. But seriously, heed what Civil_Disobedient said -- if you can put a lightweight operating system on it (read Linux), you can still get decent mileage out of an old machine. Makes a lot more difference than looking for old upgrade components, if you ask me.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:31 AM on May 1, 2004


Actually, I was going to suggest (if Windows was necessary) that he install Windows 98 SE. It's not secure by any means, so I wouldn't want it hooked up to a 24 hr./day internet connection, but it's reasonably quick and hasn't got as many services running as 2000 or XP, so your OS overhead is very small. Win98 can support most multimedia apps and games (and DirectX), and has loads of drivers available for it.

Plus, you can find a super stripped-down version called 98lite that really makes old systems scream.

Or, you could install Linux. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:15 PM on May 1, 2004


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