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Last Updated December 10, 2003

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Much as changed in the world of processors. The AMD vs. Intel rivalry has produced some great new chipsets and is driving speeds higher every few months. Microsoft has dropped support for the Alpha chips. Overclocked liquid cooled processors are becoming more common, and Windows 2000 has extended the support for multiple processors. We've tried to put together a collection of "everything you ever wanted to know about processors" library, including overclocking and coverage of AMD's chipsets.
Where to Start...

Intel Processors Frequency ID Utility
Make sure that new server or workstation you just bought really does have the Intel© Processor  you ordered, and not an overclocked model. The Frequency ID Utility was developed by Intel Corporation to identify and determine if their Intel Pentium III processor is operating at the correct and rated frequency. Source:

Keep Your CPU Cool
Advice and theory behind CPU cooling techniques, and why its essential to keep your CPU cool under pressure. Source:

Processor History
Take a walk down memory lane as the older chips created by IBM and others are revealed in this reflective tutorial. Source:

Tom's CPU Guide
The lowdown on the different processors from Intel, AMD, and Cyrix.

Understanding Moore's Law
In April of 1965, Electronics magazine published an article by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore. The article and the predictions that it made have since become the stuff of legend, and like most legends it has gone through a number of changes in the telling and retelling. The press seized on the article's argument that semiconductor technology would usher in a new era of electronic integration, and they distilled it into a maxim that has taken on multiple forms over the years. Regardless of the form that the maxim takes, though, it is always given the same name: Moore's Law. Source: ArsTechnica (March 2003)

Understanding the Hype: Under the Hood
Take a look under the hood of latest Processors to reveal what all the Jargon really means to you. Source:

How to...

Adding a Processor Without Reinstalling Windows NT
Adding a Processor Without Reinstalling Windows NT Last year, I came upon a Web site whose authors described adding a second processor to the site's server without reinstalling Windows NT after doing so. I wanted to add a second processor to my system, but my server is a production server with Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and other critical applications, so I was loath to reinstall NT. The setup.log edits replace single processor system files with multiprocessor files. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (Feb 2000)

CPU Installation
Things to consider when installing a new CPU, including Heat Sinks and explanations of Upgrades, as well as a step-by-step guide to install your new processor. Source:

Hacking Intel's CPU ID
How to hack Intel's CPU ID Source:

How to Add Support for Multiple Processors in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 234558:Windows 2000 provides support for single or multiple Central Processing Units (CPU). However, if you originally installed Windows 2000 on a computer with a single CPU, the HAL on your computer must be updated for it to be able to recognize it.

Technical Information and Comparisons

Introduction to 64-bit Computing and x86-64
This article outlines what AMD hopes is the next step in x86's evolution: x86-64. As we'll see, x86-64 is more than just a 64-bit extension to the 32-bit x86 ISA; it adds some new features, as well, while getting rid of some obsolete ones.  Note that this article deals with the x86-64 ISA only. The sequel will cover the specific implementations (Hammer, Opteron, etc.). And note also that the general discussions of 64-bit computing that make up the first half of the article are applicable to 64-bit platforms, not just x86-64. Source: ArsTechnica (March 2003)

Benchmark Marathon: 65 CPUs from 100 MHz to 3066 MHz
After 300 hours of testing in the Tom's Hardware labs, we bring you a comparison of 65 CPUs - from the Pentium 100 to the latest Athlon XP 3000+. It's a monster review with 13 different CPU platforms. Source: Tom's Hardware Guide (Feb 2003)

CPU Voltage: What's the Big Deal?
In today's processors, voltage is a major concern. In the pre-486DX66 days, everything was 5 volt, so there was no question on voltage, and nobody cared. Today, voltage concern plague every CPU buyer. Source:

Description of Windows 2000 Support for Multiple-CPU Computers with Mixed Stepping Levels
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 234556 - This article discusses Windows 2000 support for computers with multiple central processing units (CPUs) with mixed Stepping levels.

AMD Family Chips
The AMD K-Series chips started it all for AMD. Check the K-series. Source:

Then and Now: Athlon Platforms Compared
Up till now, there has been four generations of Athlons; the fifth, called Barton, has just begun. Equally important, however, is the platform: there's a total of 11 chipsets, from KT133 to nForce2, which have contributed much to the success of Socket A Athlon. We put these chipsets in a side-by-side comparison in order to take a look at the progress made with regard to the platform. Source: Tom's Hardware Guide (March 2003)

Intel CPUs
4x4: A Comparison of Four Mobile Pentium 4-M Processors
When choosing the right CPU for your notebook, you should always consider the applications you plan on running. Tom's Hardware compares four Pentium 4-M CPUs so that you can make a more informed choice. Source: Tom's Hardware Guide (Feb 2003)

HyperThreading Threads Its Way into Application
Here's a short primer on what kind of applications are really impacted by HT. In addition, Intel turns up the heat by putting HT as the focus of a new line of compilers. We also take a look at an Intel patent that hints at where HT may take Intel in the future. Source: Tom's Hardware Guide (Dec 2002)

Intel's Pentium Performance Hangs on a Hyper-Thread
Does Hyper-Threading signal the end of the Megahertz race? We take a look at how it works, and what the impact may be on the CPU wars. Source: Tom's Hardware Guide (Dec 2002)

Battling Brothers: Celeron vs. Pentium 4
Since its launch several months ago, the new Celeron has made a name for itself as an inexpensive processor that is compatible with Intel's Socket 478 platform. While its "little brother" has a smaller L2 cache, the Pentium 4 is equal in everything else. How does the Celeron really stand up in a duel of brothers? Source: Tom's Hardware Guide (Dec 2002)

Cooling and Overclocking

AMD K6-2: Overclocking Woes
Chip manufacturers often discourage overclocking by saying it's dangerous and bad for the CPU, but many of us want to squeeze every possible ounce of strength out of our chips, with the notion that we're getting "real" value for money. Let's find out why people are kicking up a fuss about the K6-2, then. Source:

Cooling Tools
Your system temperature is too high? Do you have twenty high-power fans in your system but they still can't prevent your system from locking up halfway through the boot-up? We take a look at some of the readily available means of bringing your system temperature down to acceptable levels. Source:

CPU Overclocking
A guide to overclocking your processor. Includes the ethics and reasons NOT to perform this sometimes dangerous procedure. Source:

Fooling With Cooling
In the market for a decent heatsink? Want to learn more about the qualities that makes one better than the other? Sander gives a brief tutorial on coolers and recommends what's best. Source:

Fooling with Cooling - Part II
A lot has changed these last couple of months, the Pentium III has gone mainstream and the Pentium II and Slot1 Celerons have slowly been phased out, and heatsink manufactures have released their Pentium III SECC2 heatsinks. We take a look at a couple of popular Pentium III heatsinks from Alpha, Vantec and 3DfxCOOL. Source:

Supercool to a GigaHertz
Supercooling seems to be the hottest new thing around since overclocking. Don't know what it is or how you can gain by it? This tutorial covers what it is, the popular supercooling methods, and the insane things you can do with it, like breaking the 1 GHz barrier! Source:

The Overclocking Guide
A controversial subject, and not one to try on your production workstation. However we've known plenty of people who have successfully overclocked systems with great results. This guide is the best place to start. Source: Tom's Hardware Page

Unlocking the Multiplier - Part I
A lot of people have put their supercooling and overclocking projects on hold because of the bottleneck the multiplier lock on CPUs creates. This tutorial covers the various aspects of the multiplier and a brief glimpse into how to unlock it. Source:

Unlocking the Multiplier - Part II
This is part II of the 'Unlocking the Multiplier' series, in which we take a close look at the way 'remarkers' unlock or change the multiplier lock and manage to sell CPUs originally rated at much lower speeds. Also, we re-open the discussion as to whether the multiplier lock is on the PCB or in the CPU-core. Source:

Computer Randomly Plays Classical Music
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 261186 - During normal operation or in Safe mode, your computer may play "Fur Elise" or "It's a Small, Small World" seemingly at random. This is an indication sent to the PC speaker from the computer's BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed, or that the power supply voltages have drifted out of tolerance. This is a design feature of a detection circuit and system BIOSes developed by Award/Unicore from 1997 on.

Intel Pentium 4 CPU Not Identified Correctly by Windows Direct3D
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 269237 - Direct3D performance may not be as fast as you expect when you run Windows 2000 on a computer with an Intel Pentium 4 central CPU.

Msinfo32.exe Reports an Incorrect Processor Speed 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 319360 -  If you run Msinfo32.exe on a computer that has an Intel Pentium 4 Xeon 2.2-GHz or faster processor, a very high processor speed may be shown. The Processor information on the System Summary page shows the correct name, family, model and stepping for the processor, but the approximate speed may be 37,000 MHZ or faster.

One CPU Always Shown as Busy on Multiple-Processor Computer
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 241532 - When you view CPU usage using Task Manager, one processor may appear to be busy, with from 50 percent to 70 percent usage, even when the computer is idle.

Pentium 4 Processor Brand String Is Truncated in Windows 2000 System Properties
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 296728 - The Pentium 4 Processor brand string is truncated on the General tab in Windows 2000 System properties.

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