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Need help on memory upgrade for AMD K6 233MHz PC

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February 19, 2006 3:49:49 AM

Hi. I had an old AMD K6 233 MHz PC which has 32 Mb RAM and a 3Gb HD.
I wish to upgrade its memory but I do not know what memory is suitable.
The PC is clone PC which has 4 white RAM slots and 2 brown RAM slots (longer than the white one). It has 2 RAM sticks on the white slots so the brown slots are emtpy and there are 2 empty white slots. I counted the
the pin at the RAM sticks has 72 pins which I presumed is 72 pin EDO RAM. It is running on Win95 and I felt that I should upgrade it to Win XP.
However, the RAM has to be upgraded first. I am not sure what's the limit
of allowable RAM but an upgrade to 256 Mb and higher would be preferable if it is possible. I noted that the existing EDO RAM is 64Mb Max per stick. Is that true? Is there any 128 Mb EDO RAM stick? As for the brown slots, I think it has 84 pin (if I did not count wrongly). I am not sure what's RAM does the brown slots accomodate. I hope there is someone who knows. Is the type of RAM for the brown slots able to accomodate RAM stick higher than 64 Mb per stick? If so which type of RAM and what is the max. size of RAM per stick it can go. Finally, can I mixed them i.e. filled up all the white slots and brown slots with their respective RAM type i.e. the white slots with EDO RAM and the brown slots for its RAM to get a higher total RAM.

I tried to get SisSoftware Sandra to check the RAM type but the recent Sandra does not support Win95. I tried Belarc but it did not informed me of the type of RAM used. I would like any diagnostic software for win 95,
so that I can get some info on the RAM and motherboard as well.

Thank you.
February 19, 2006 4:41:57 AM

72pin (white) ram slots are EDO, the longer brown or black slots are for SDR ram (faster, easier to get and cheaper) and its 168pin (84pin per side).

I ran a K6-2 400 in XP and it was dead slow the architecture is not cut out for it, a simple P3 would be more then twice as quick, but if you dont have the cash for anything but ram get two sticks of 64mb SDR and use em instead of your current 2x16mb EDO (usually you cannot use both anyhow).

Instead of WindowsXP try for 98 (fixes issues in 95 and adds a few more functions), or at best Windows 2000 might also run and be a better choice (XP without the colorful crap, just as solid but lighter).

Out of interest, whats the board brand and model (and chipset)?
February 19, 2006 10:15:05 PM

Hi. Thanks for your reply. Here's where I am not sure. I would like to buy some RAM and as you said preferably SDRAM PC100 or PC66 (difficult to find). According Sisoftware Sandra, the max RAM per bank that I can put in is 32 Mb and the total max. ram is 192 Mb (I have 2 brown and 4 white slots and if all are 32 Mb, it will add up to 192 Mb). This is what I thought.
Based on your explanation, I cannot filled up the EDO banks (white) as well as the brown banks (SD RAM banks) and I can only filled up either one. In this case then, I would find it difficult to add up to 192 Mb because
there are only 2 brown banks unless each there is memory size of 96Mb SD RAM. I am very tempted to buy some 64 Mb SD RAM PC100 sticks and some 64 Mb EDO RAM sticks to increase the memory to more than 192 Mb. However, I also feared if Sisoftware Sandra is correct then I will waste the RAM sticks. Is there any diagnostic software that is better than Sandra in informing me of my max. RAM allowed.
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February 19, 2006 10:45:28 PM

Sorry I forgot to mention about motherboard brand and chipset. It's a Soyo BT-1B5 with Intel Triton 430TX Chipset (from Sandra). In other words, its a SY-5BT.
February 20, 2006 4:41:07 AM

SiSoft takes a wild guess when it comes to hardware, ignore that, i had a gigabyte board with the 430TX chipset - intel specs say 256mb max and my old system had 2x64mb (so 128+mb will work).

Your current ram (EDO) wont work with the new SDR ram (wont mix - its one or the other), so you will have to remove em and use the new SDR ram only (faster anyhow) and besides - its only 2x16mb - no loss there, dont bother getting 2x64mb edo - it will cost too much, i have two 64mb edo sticks (ex server, ecc) and there rare as hell now.
February 20, 2006 7:35:51 AM

fgshgghsfhsfghsfghfshsfghsfhfsdhfh

PC100 MEANS IT CAN RUN AT SPEEDS UPTO 100MHZ AND THAT INCLUDES 100MHZ AND BELOW

dont worry bout new sticks get 2x64mb or (cant guarentee) 2x128mb SDR Ram from ebay

Its more then likly the board will not work with 1x256 and not sure either about 1x128mb (definitly not single sided)
February 20, 2006 3:20:02 PM

Yah, but all I saw in pc100 was 512 sticks...
pc66 had 128sticks
February 20, 2006 9:06:18 PM

go to ebay and have a look

and PC66 will work, you K6 has a fsb of 66mhz so 66mhz ram will work but PC100 would be better
February 20, 2006 9:27:31 PM

There should be a jumper by the RAM. If you use SDRAM, it needs to be set to 3v, EDO is 5v. You can use them together for a month maybe two, but the SDRAM will slowly die with 5 volts.

Getting PC66 would be good, then you will be sure to get 128mb double sided sticks. If you get a 128mb singe sided stick you will only be able to use 64mb.
February 21, 2006 3:15:04 PM

Have you considered upgrading the motherboard CPU and RAM? Im sure you could prolly pick up an old 1Ghz athlon T'bird with motherboard and maybe a bit of RAM for about £15. It might even be cheaper than buying some SDRAM on its own. Have a browse on ebay.

When it comes to installing XP I dont believe it will actually let you install it on anything less than a 350Mhz CPU, but I could be wrong. The OS alone is about 2gigs when fully updated, which will only leave u with 1gig of hard disk space.
February 21, 2006 7:49:37 PM

Hi. Thanks for all your advice. I am a bit unsure here. I actually did not know what motherboard it is but I was informed of that by Sissoftware.
I only noticed that the motherboard has Soyo chip and Award Bios chip.
Assuming it is a SY-5BT motherboard (Soyo BT-1B5) I had downloaded its manual. I seemed to have the same motherboard sketch. According to the manual, it has 4 EDO slots/modules (SIMM) where a pair of EDO modules are known as 1 SIMM bank (so the EDO RAM sticks must be plugged in pairs) and 2 DIMM banks/slots (168 pins; PC66 or PC100). The maximum RAM is 256 Mb and all slots can cater 64 Mb RAM max. The manual also said I cannot filled up all the SIMM and DIMM slots but I can mix them by 1 DIMM to 1 SIMM bank (2 EDO slots). So based the manual explanation, I can only get 256 Mb max. by putting in 4 x 64 Mb EDO RAM sticks (filling up all the SIMM banks and leaving the DIMM banks empty).
If I used any other configuration, I will never get 256 Mb RAM. For eg., if I filled up the two DIMM slots/banks (each max. 64 Mb according to manual), I can only get 128 Mb DIMM RAM (168 pins). If mix, one DIMM and one SIMM bank, I will get 64 Mb + (2 x 64) which is equal to 192 Mb.
As Apache_lives said, 64 Mb EDO cost a bomb and it is worth investing on this near obsolete machine but a 64Mb PC100 SDRAM is reasonable in price. I am not sure which is faster, a 256 Mb EDO RAM or a 128 Mb PC100 SD RAM. I think Jammydodger has a point about whether the 233 MHz can deal with Win XP, I'll check on it but though I knew it is more wiser to get a 1GHz Ahtlon which is rather cheap but I wish not to throw away a working PC unless it die on me. The PC is still pretty healthy surprisingly. I am very glad to hear Conroe advice, I did not know that SD RAM is a 3V (differ from EDO) and I make sure to read up the manual in details before plugging any new RAM in. PC 66 SD RAM is quite rare.
Currently, I am watching some EDO and SDRAM at ebay but as you have said it is quite expensive in comparison to the worthiness of investment.
However, I'll keep looking out for any bargains that is within the worthiness but chances is, it'll be 4x32 Mb EDO stick which I can see is the cheaper ones.
February 21, 2006 10:52:17 PM

XP will work on any 32bit x86 cpu, 233+mhz is recomended, but as thg even showed - there P1 100mhz was running in XP, and 64mb i believe is the minimum ram - even so with minimal specs is would run really slow - any Socket7 cpu would, the architecture and fsb designs are slow, even a P2 would double xp desktop performance.
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