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Jb5k1
12-07-2003, 05:35 PM
Alright, most of you already know (because I'm always complaining aboot it) that I have a Dell. Now, whats up with there BIOS thing. Is it the little blue and gray screen I get when I press F2 at startup?

stephen2002
12-07-2003, 05:42 PM
:curious: Is there a problem with the BIOS?

Yes, pressing F2 at startup will get you the BIOS screen with the few configuration options that Dell allows...what were you expecting?

t-man152
12-07-2003, 05:55 PM
yeah thats why I hate dell they limit things that users can do. I have a friend who asked me to fix his computer I knoew exactly what I had to do ( I had done it millions of times in the AWARD BIOS) but for some reason they dell had blocked out what I wanted. so he had to send it into dell so that they could fix it. it was free because he still had a waranty but it took 2 weeks for them to send it back when it would have taken me at most 30 seconds plus a reboot to fix the simple problem. it basicaly forces you to rely on dell for everything. and once your warenty is done you can just hope nothing happens to your computer.

Jb5k1
12-07-2003, 05:58 PM
Yes, I was looking and everyone is like "go to the BIOS and set the agp/pci to agp" or something, and I'm all looking for shite like that, and I cant find anything relative. I can set the time, and uhhh, change my boot options. GO ME!!


w00t w00t:surprised

t-man152
12-07-2003, 07:07 PM
thats pretty much all dell allows you to do.

Jb5k1
12-07-2003, 07:17 PM
I'll be in BIOS heaven when I build my new computer...

Anyone wanna donate to the cause:beer: :rolleyes: :bounce:

elvis
12-07-2003, 11:49 PM
you have to remember that 99% of dell's customer base are complete morons. i make a living helping said morons when they break non-dell equipment after jumping into bios and tweaking things they shouldn't.

a good example: one client had a 266MHz FSB AthlonXP chip. he jumps into BIOS and sees his FSB set to 133. "that can't be right" he thinks to himself, and proceeds to set the FSB to the highest amount he can (200) not realising that the chip will be double that in all actuality.

a phone call and $50 later, and i've fixed it for him. dell make money from selling systems, not fixing them. it's quite understandable that they make them tweak-proof to stop your average wannabe home expert breaking them.

if you have half a clue, buy and build your own system. if you want fuss-free, then buy a prebuilt from dell et al. it's your choice whether you want untweakable with service, or fully tweakable with no service if you break something.

Jb5k1
12-08-2003, 12:03 AM
Yea thats what I'm doing (cough cough wow a first timer for hearing that). I'm glad I read an article about AMD's, cause I learned that about fsb. Why is it doubled when listed, I don't understand that.

singularity2006
12-08-2003, 04:17 AM
Originally posted by Jb5k1
Yea thats what I'm doing (cough cough wow a first timer for hearing that). I'm glad I read an article about AMD's, cause I learned that about fsb. Why is it doubled when listed, I don't understand that.

It's a marketing thing. They give u the biggest number there to try to play on the idea that "bigger is better." But then again came the Hummer... that's a totally different issue.

Jb5k1
12-08-2003, 12:05 PM
Ooo, so, my BIOS says that my computer runs at 100mhz fsb, is that doubled or no? I take it by what elvis said it's not.

allseeingi
12-08-2003, 03:15 PM
Hang on, if we're talking about why the figure is doubled, it'e because that system uses DDR (Double Data Rate) RAM. Normal SDRAM can only either have data going into it or data going out of it at any one time. DDR RAM can have data going in and out at the same time, hence Double Data Rate. So effectively a 133Mhz RAM chip can operate at 266Mhz and therefore so can the FSB. The FSB is still inputted as 133Mhz but in actual fact runs at double that.

Jb5k1, as far as I know the first RAM chips to be made DDR were 133Mhz, so I would say it's unlikely that you're system FSB runs at double rate.

- allseeingi

Jb5k1
12-08-2003, 08:13 PM
Yea well, thats why there is SDRAM in my computers mobo

(sorry to sound snotty):bounce:

CgFX
12-08-2003, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by allseeingi
Hang on, if we're talking about why the figure is doubled, it'e because that system uses DDR (Double Data Rate) RAM. Normal SDRAM can only either have data going into it or data going out of it at any one time. DDR RAM can have data going in and out at the same time, hence Double Data Rate.
That isn't why it is called doubled data rate. What you are describing is full duplex. Double data rate means exactly that, the EFFECTIVE clock rate is doubled-- therefore the data rate is doubled. It does this by reading or writing data during the raising and falling edge of the clock pulse and not just the raising edge (typically).

Full duplex does not give you 2x data rates. Not even close. double pumped or double data rate bus clocks do.

[edit]

grubGrob
12-09-2003, 12:20 AM
Good grief, Id like to offer you some advice.
Sell your DELL. go make yourself a real computer . You mentioned in another post that your 14 and can build machines(with friends too (lucky bugga))
Now with that, study what you want and how you want.
And put it together.
Dont mess with the FSB to much as you can fry things. As for OVER CLOCKING.. it voids ALL warranties. But you will probably go down this way as I assume from your direction of questions.

Simply Said, err get a NEW CHIP, RAM, and even a new SATA hdd, then you will make up a new MACHINE on your carfully selected MB, also often overlooked is the POWER SUPPLY. Get a good one.
Build it and install your NEWLY BOUGHT OEM XP PRO that you can get with that. Dont forget your set of network cards for your old and new machine. and bobs yer uncle. DOnt try to use your DELL XP HOME with that either dont even try.

So good luck and if all else fails use your dell as a door stop. Err when you ring customer support , do you speak to INDIA?

So elf in training good luck, and save up for your new rendering crunching game eating machine. The only hard bit is actually getting the wires for the start switch and pwr and speaker phisically onto the MB as ive got drunk fingers that act like thumbs.

allseeingi
12-11-2003, 03:12 AM
Originally posted by CgFX
That isn't why it is called doubled data rate. What you are describing is full duplex. Double data rate means exactly that, the clock rate is doubled. It does this by reading or writing data during the raising and falling edge of the clock pulse and not just the raising edge (typically).

Full duplex does not give you 2x data rates. Not even close. double pumped or double data rate bus clocks do.

Ah, I stand corrected. So a DDR bus gives you a doubled FSB? For which you need DDR RAM which uses the full duplex method?

- allseeingi

Ice Czar
12-11-2003, 03:37 AM
Originally posted by allseeingi
Ah, I stand corrected. So a DDR bus gives you a doubled FSB? For which you need DDR RAM which uses the full duplex method?

- allseeingi

errr..no :D

http://www.lostcircuits.com/memory/ddrii/2.shtml

allseeingi
12-11-2003, 04:28 AM
OK. Thanks for that link. So DDR doubles the amount of data going through the data bus by fetching 2 bits per I/O channel per clock cycle instead of SDRAM's 1 bit. So it runs the same as if you doubled the FSB on a system running SD-RAM.

But I take it full-duplex mode is what allows DDR RAM to fetch two bits per clock cycle instead of one. Is that right?

Also is there another name for the aforementioned data bus (That which the RAM outputs data to)?

Sorry for my lameness.

- allseeingi

elvis
12-11-2003, 05:52 AM
Full duplex usually refers to things happening in two directions at once. eg: for networking it means send and recieve simultaneously. For RAM I assumed it meant being able to send and recieve data simultaneously.

I could be wrong.

CgFX
12-11-2003, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by allseeingi
But I take it full-duplex mode is what allows DDR RAM to fetch two bits per clock cycle instead of one. Is that right?
Actually, no.

It is because data is sent when the rise in the clock is detected as well as the fall and not just the rise.

A clock pulse looks like this:

_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_

A single data rate bus would send data at the rises in the clock:

_1.._1.._1.._1.._ or _1~\_1~\_1~\_1~\_

A double data rate bus would send data at the rise and fall in the clock:

_1.1_1.1_1.1_1.1_ or _1~1_1~1_1~1_1~1_

The images on that link make more sense. The arrows are when data is being read or written.

I am not a RAM expert but I have never heard RAM talked about as being full or half duplex. There is dual-ported RAM which allows it to be written to from one side of a design and read from on the other side. This has been used in the past with video card memory that needed to be written to by the graphics chip while it was being read from by the RAMDAC or some other device.

Jb5k1
12-11-2003, 12:00 PM
I heard antec cases are nice, and that they often come with good power supplies.

Here's the link to my setup as of right now

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=108840

Ice Czar
12-11-2003, 01:43 PM
sorry had to go to sleep
here is a nice tutorial on Memory Basics

http://www.corsairmicro.com/memory_basics/153707/index.html

if any clarification is still required

Antec power supplies (made by ChennelWell Technology) are quite good, among the best Id recommend the True Power Series.

But its still imporatnt to know how much your total voltage per rail the components require (primarilly the +3.3V, +5V, +12V)
and what that translates to in Wattage.

In addition a PSU that is running at near full capacity will not have the same lifespan as one that is running at say half the load, and then there is capacity for any additional components you add (HDD being common) or AGP upgrades, you never seem to use less power and your investment in a PSU should be considered infrastructure, that will last well beyond the current computer.

But In your case your at the cusp of a desktop and a workstation
(as the primary application is animation) and the "upgrade path" is typically to a dual mobo, which often requires special PSU (EPS12V SSI compliant) not you typical ATX power supply, so treating it as infrastrucre may not be applicable.

allseeingi
12-12-2003, 11:38 AM
That's a great link Ice Czar, cheers. Thanks as well CgFX. I must have misinterpreted the article but when DDR first came out I read that the reason the speed was doubled was because it could have data going in and out at the same time (Full duplex). Guess I got the wrong end of the stick :blush: .

- allseeingi

GregHess
12-12-2003, 12:37 PM
In addition a PSU that is running at near full capacity will not have the same lifespan as one that is running at say half the load,

To just tack on a note to Czar's post...

Alot of individuals like to point out that shuttle XPC systems run on 200 or 220 watt powersupplies, and do fine.

There a few reasons for this...

For starters the Shuttle XPC mainboards are extremely tiny. The distance electrical signals need to travel is almost expodentially smaller then a normal ATX or extended ATX setup. The entire SYSTEM is contained within the shuttle XPC's space...not just one component. (A Geforce4 is almost the entire length of most Shuttle XPC's)

Secondly...the shuttle XPC's power supplys run EXTREMELY hot. In fact their actual temps are on par if not exceeding that of the central processors.

This is usually indicative that the powersupply is running at, or near capacity. (And also an indication of poor airflow).

The closer a psu is to max power, the hotter its going to run, and the greater chance for voltage fluxuations, psu failure, or just a massive heatsource in your case.

Its always a good idea to buy a bit more then you need, as it will allow for expansion, as well as greater longevity.

Remember that a decent psu like an Antec Truepower should last at LEAST 3 years...which is usually longer then most DIY systems last. (before their upgraded).

I also recommend the Antec Truepower's as well.

Their readily available (in many retail outlets), fairly priced, have multiple fans, a sizable # of connectors, and most importantly, a 3 year warranty.

elvis
12-12-2003, 11:30 PM
I've built a lot of shuttle systems this quarter for people looking for a more asthetic computer setup. I work with a lot of architects, and the smaller "sexy" look of a machine seems to be more important than one that functions well.

However, most architects are hard pushed to branch into 3D, and those that do rarely move to scenes as complex as animators and graphic artists produce. As such, a relatively mid-range system copes fine.

The average system I spec for these guys is an AthlonXP 2700+, 512MB RAM and a mid-range GeForce card (sometimes even on-board gf4mx for the less capable).

If larger-scale 3D is your thing, a tiny shuttle case can get quite hot once you put a decent 3D card and processor in there, not to mention the PSU limitations Greg spoke about above.

Antec not only make great power supply units but their cases are great too. if going for a brand new system, i whole-heartedly recommend an Antec Case and TruPower PSU together.

3Dfx_Sage
12-13-2003, 07:53 PM
just to clarify on why the FSB is effectively twice what it reads...

someone posted that it was because teh system used DDR RAM. While it may use DDR RAM, that is not the reason that the FSB is doubbled. The FSB is the link between the CPU and the northbridge. It is the northbridge that is then linked to the memory.

On Athlons, the link between the CPU and northbridge works on the same principle that DDR RAM does- it transfers on both the leading and trailing edge of the clock pulse. The system can then use regular SDRAM or DDR SDRAM (or even Rambus RDRAM, but that's a different subject, and isn't an option for AMD systems... yet ;)).

On the Pentium4 you actually get data rates that are 4 times the FSB, so at 100MHz the P4 is going to effectively have 400MHz, and at 200MHz it's effectively 800MHz. Now, no system memory can run at an effective 800MHz, but the link between the CPU and Northbridge is still running that fast.

Now we come to the next confusing thing- Dual Channel. Dual Channel memory is just another way of doubbling your bandwidth. What it means is that the northbrige has two links to the memory. You put some memory in the slot(s) for one link and some memory in the slot(s) for the second one, and now the northbridge can be talking to one at 200MHz (effectively 400MHz because of DDR) and at the same time be talking to the other at 200MHz (effectively 400 as well) which means the total bandwidth is 400MHz (which is effectively 800MHz because of DDR).

Also, it's very important to look beyond the specs because different northbridges are more/less efficient than others. For example, the KT600 is only single channel, while the nForce2 is dual channel, so you would expect that the nForce2 would perform twice as fast as the KT600. But, the KT600 is very efficient whereas the nForce2 is very inefficient, so the reality is that the KT600 performs very close to the nForce2. Now, on the Opteron and Athlon65/FX chips the memory controller has been moved from the northbridge to the CPU which means you no longer have to go through the northbridge to access RAM, making it much more efficient.

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