Upgrade System Memory

Aptiva 1xx and 3xx Memory

Upgrading the memory in an Aptiva 1xx and 3xx is very easy and definitely the first system upgrade you should undertake. If your system has less than 16 Meg under Windows 95, nothing besides upgrading the processor will get you such significant speed improvements.

As with most Pentium systems, memory must be upgraded in pairs. If you want to add 8 Meg, you need to purchase two 4 Meg SIMMs (Single Inline Memory Modules). If you want to 16 Meg, then you need to purchase two 8 Meg SIMMs.

You must obtain SIMMs with the following specifications:

  1. 72 Pin
  2. 32 or 36 bit
  3. 70 nanoseconds (60 nanoseconds reportedly works but is not supported)
  4. IBM suggests gold contacts but I'm running tin contacts without problems.
  5. DRAM or EDO

To install the SIMMS:

  1. Carefully remove the case. I have found this is easiest by removing the screws, placing the edge of a thin book against the base, resting the other edge of the book against my body, and pulling forward on the case.
  2. Find the open Simm bank. They are located about where #1 is in the diagram below. (Aptiva desktop (2144) owners: Imagine the diagram is on it's side)
  3. If no SIMM bank is open, you will have to remove one set of SIMMs to make room for your new set.
  4. Press the SIMMs into place until they "click". They are inserted at a 90 degree angle to the motherboard and tilted to an approximate 45 degree angle to install.
  5. Replace the cover and restart the system. The Power On Startup Tests should show the new memory.
  6. If the tests do not confirm the new memory, then the SIMMs are not seated correctly in their sockets or they are the wrong type.
  7. If you have installed EDO memory, you need to enter the BIOS system setup and change the memory settings to reflect this. To enter the setup, press the F1 key when you see the IBM screen at power-on.

System Board

Special Note:

It is apparently possible to mix SIMM speed when upgrading the RAM on the Aptiva. However, it is vital when doing so to install the slower SIMMS in the first SIMM bank ( ie. sockets 1 & 2). Otherwise you will get memory errors, GPFs, etc..... All the other cautions re using same manufacturer's chip, same speed, type, etc. in each bank apply.
mokyde@ibm.net, who provided this information, is running with (2) 4MB 70 ns standard SIMMS in sockets 1 & 2 and (2) 8 MB 60 ns EDO SIMMS in sockets 3 & 4.


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