If Memory Serves

When To Upgrade

Memory is always on every techie's list of top upgrades. But that doesn't mean you should automatically add memory to a slow machine. "If your system is less than a 486, sell it," advises McGregor. "It's technologically incompatible with Windows 95."

Similarly, if you have a brand-new machine, you probably won't need to upgrade memory, either. Most computer manufacturers have begun loading new machines with 24MB or 32MB RAM, which is more than adequate for most requirements. It's certainly more than today's applications can use, and it will probably take a year or two before typical applications start requiring that much memory. Even then, probably only the traditionally memory-hungry applications such as games, multimedia or videoconferencing will require additional memory.

Where you may start needing more memory is if you habitually use several applications at one time in different windows. For the most part, memory is a good upgrade. If you have an older Pentium model, or if you have a 486 with 4MB to 8MB RAM, you can probably get another year out of it.

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This article was originally published in the April 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: If Memory Serves.

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