Weekly Tweaks Archive V
Current CPU Temperature
Indicates current CPU temperature if you have a monitoring system. Bear in
mind, though, that the CPU is not working hard while you are in the BIOS setup.
Reload of Windows
You can do this in around two minutes..
First, make a clean installation, add all your drivers and applications (which
should be on a separate partition), then install Winzip and compress the \windows
and \program files directories. Then unzip them to \windows.zip and \program files.zip,
or similar. (These are incomplete at this stage because open files cannot be
Boot into DOS mode, and rename the original directories to something like
\windows.xxx, or something equally different, and rename the zipped directories
to \windows and \program files. Reboot into windows - although flaky, it will be
good enough to compress your original renamed windows and program files directories,
which are the full versions. Don't forget to include hidden and system files and
store all pathnames.
Once this is done, boot back into DOS and rename all the directories again, so
you are back to the original. Delete the incomplete version. Unzipping the zipped
files will restore everything, and you can keep them on a CD or a zip drive.
View of the Pentium IV and AMD
Uses NetBurst micro-architecture, and SSE2 (Streaming SIMD Extensions
2), but will need special software to use them properly. It uses clock rates of
1.4 Ghz or higher, with no upper limit as yet, with a 400 MHz Front Side Bus,
which is three times faster than the Pentium III's (133 MHz) and twice as fast
as the Athlon's, just to put it in perspective. These speed increases are best
seen with applications that are disk- and screen-intensive, however. Although
Intel's idea is to use RDRAM with it, through its 850 chip set, you can expect
to see other chipsets that support different memory. AMD's answer is a variation
of the Athlon, called the Mustang.
The Athlon, or K7, uses Slot A (now Socket A) technology and has
three super-scalar fully pipelined execution units for floating point, with allowance
for MMX and 3DNow! instructions, together with 128K of L1 cache and 512K of half-speed
off-chip L2 cache (on earlier models) with its own special bus. Later models have
256K of L2 cache on-chip, so expect to see a total of 384K. The L1 is four times
larger than that on the PIII, and the Athlon can decode any three x86 instructions
at a time, where as the PIII can only do this if two of the three are simple and
relate to a single internal operation. It can also send up to nine internal instructions
per clock cycle compared to the PIII's five. A variation called the Mustang is
AMD's answer to the Pentium IV.
The system bus (between CPU and system logic) also runs at 200 MHz (266 for the
Mustang), being developed from the EV6 bus used with the DEC Alpha, so a new chipset
is required, supplied by AMD initially. A side benefit of using this bus is that
multiprocessor chipsets for the Alpha 21264 will also support the Athlon. Slot
A looks like Slot 1, but the pinouts are different, partly for copyright reasons
and partly because AMD felt it was time to blaze new trails. The result is a bus
design that is technically superior.
The release of Socket A makes Slot A redundant, but newer Athlons will be released
in limited numbers for Slot A, though you should use them with AMD chipsets, because
the 750 chipset was designed for future processors. There will, no doubt, be plenty
of slocket converters available. The Duron uses Socket A as well, and a 200 MHz
Front Side Bus, against the Celeron's 66 MHz. Its 192K of cache (128K L1 and 64K
L2) certainly helps it give the PIII a run for its money.
Wide Area Information Server. A way of searching huge distributed database servers
over the Internet, but any network will do. Think of gopher as a table of contents,
and WAIS as an index.
Wide Area Network. A network operating over long distances, with a third party
involved in its operation, such as the telephone company. A network spread over
a large campus, but operated internally may be over a wide area, but is still
technically a Local Area Network.
Wait And See How It Turns Out.
Used in fibre, where more than one wavelength of light is used to multiplex signal
on to a fibre.
This exists where multiple writes to non-contiguous memory addresses are merged
into one PCI-to-memory operation by the host controller, letting devices sort
out the ones they want, which increases bus throughput and hence performance for
devices that support it-not all PCI video cards do, so enable this unless you
get bad graphics (this setting is intended to improve video performance). When
enabled, the controller checks the CPU Byte Enable signals (8 of them) to see
if data from the PCI bus can be merged. See also Byte Merge Support (next) and
CPU-PCI Byte Merge.
Byte Merge Support
In this case, enabling means that CPU-PCI writes are buffered (Award). 8-
or 16-bit data moving between the CPU and PCI bus is accumulated, or merged, into
32-bit chunks and held in a buffer, being written to the PCI bus when time permits.
CPU to PCI
Consecutive 8- or 16-bit writes in the same double-word address en route from
the CPU to the PCI bus are held in a posted write buffer, from where they are
sent as a single double-word, giving faster video performance, as byte merging
is performed in the compatible VGA range only (0A0000-0BFFFFh).
-Enabled is best.
Interlaced or Non-Interlaced, according to whether the video system
should output a full screen in sequence (NI) or lines in alternate passes (Interlaced).
Cheap monitors won't support full interlace at higher resolutions.
For BIOSes that auto detect the CPU. Speedeasy does it for you.
Jumper emulation is for the settings as taken from the manual, in terms of bus
clock, multiplier, voltage and CPU speed.
Essentially, the functionality of the chipset is combined on two main components,
the North- and South- Bridge chips, which are connected over the PCI bus. The CPU,
Memory and AGP talk to the Northbridge and the Southbridge handles all the I/O,
including the ISA bus.
The link between the CPU and Northbridge is called Front-side bus, which is
(usually) the same speed as the Memory Bus, and can be varied, as when overclocking.
The Back-side bus connects the CPU with L2 cache. But even this is changing, because
the essential problems that plagued the original PC still havenít gone away, in
that some parts of the machine simply run too slowly, notably the PCI bus, which,
at 33 MHz, is 10 times slower than even a 333 MHz CPU.
If that werenít bad enough, all the I/O, including USB and Firewire, go through
the Southbridge and hence the PCI bus, losing all that speed advantage. Intel's
intention (starting with 800 series chipsets) is to have three major components,
namely a memory controller hub, an I/O controller hub and a firmware hub, all
tied together with a 266 Mbps interface. The CPU and AGP would talk directly to
the memory controller, and any ISA slots would run through the firmware hub.
Fast Write Transaction
As an addition to the last newsletter's mention of AGP, this
is an optional feature that allows data to be sent directly from the corelogic
(i.e. chipset) to the AGP master (graphics chip) instead of keeping a copy in
system memory and making the AGP master fetch it. Enabled is best for performance.
Instant-Off allows the system to switch off immediately the power
button is pressed. Otherwise, it will only do so after you press it for more than
4 seconds. Below this, the switch acts as a suspend button, leaving a small amount
of power on the system so that power can be restored not only by the power switch
but also by ring detection-your PC is therefore potentially subject to voltage
surges on the power line 24 hours a day, whereas a conventional power switch physically
disconnects the PC. This option may also leave power on the parallel ports and
prevent printers from entering their own power saving modes.
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