intel chipset soft. install. utility

Does anyone know if we are supposed to update "Intel Chipset Sofware Installation Utility" driver on a regular basis?
Now that I have the SP2 CD, I'd like to do a clean install of XP. I noticed that Gateway(my computer) only has the 4.0 version of the "intel sofware utility" but now Intel's website has version 5.0. Even more confusing has a version 6.0.

Intel's website say to refer to your computer makers website, but Gateway always seems to be slow updating drivers.

Should I stick with the 4.0 version? Or should I update to the 5.0 version on Intel's wesite.
A description of "Intel Chipset Sofware Installation Utility": The Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility installs Windows INF files to the target system. These files outline to the operating system how to configure the Intel chipset components in order to ensure that the following features function properly: Core PCI and ISAPNP Services, AGP Support, IDE/ATA33/ATA66/ATA100 Storage Support, SATA Storage Support, USB Support, Identification of Intel Chipset Components in the Device Manager.
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  1. What chipset do you have? This <A HREF="" target="_new">page</A> lists the chipsets that are supported by the utility.

    It's likely that what will happen if you install the newest version is that the .inf files will be updated, and that's about the worst of it. <i>If</i> the utility thinks it is necessary. Otherwise, the installation will just cancel, after telling you that the .inf files don't need updating.

    For now, I'd stick with version 5.0, since this version is what's available on the Intel website, and has worked fine when I've updated systems in the past.

    Afterwards, depending on the age of the chipset, I usually install the <A HREF="" target="_new">Intel Application Accelerator</A>, and never again worry about updating the Software Utility or the .inf files. The great majority of the time, this driver set does an excellent job of increasing the I/O performance of a system. For example, just the other day, I updated a WinME system with an Intel 810 chipset, a 667MHz Celeron, and a 20GB ATA-66 drive ... first with the Software Utility, and then, after a reboot, the Application Accelerator. The user was considerably surprised at how much more responsive the system had become, and this was before doing a complete defrag ... the first since 2000!

    You may also find this link useful:

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Intel® Application Accelerator Product Overview (including supported chipsets)</A>

    Programs like <A HREF="" target="_new">Belarc Advisor</A> and <A HREF="" target="_new">AIDA32</A> can help you find out a lot about your system configuration, including the hardware, just in case you aren't exactly sure of what is installed.

    On older systems, there was a time that the Application Accelerator wasn't yet fully supported, and in those situations, I used to install the Software Utility, and <i>then</i> the <A HREF="" target="_new">Ultra ATA Storage Driver</A>. Chipsets supported by this driver are found on this <A HREF="" target="_new">page</A>.

    With the Storage Driver installed, the Application Accelerator could be used.

    But those bad old days are over, and the Storage Driver isn't used much anymore, as illustrated on this <A HREF="" target="_new">page</A>.

    And so, now I just use the Software Utility and the Application Accelerator, in that sequence.

    Systems updated with the Application Accelerator have a difference. Basically, the DMA settings are no longer viewed in the Device Manager, but under the IAA settings on the Start menu. Next, systems updated with the driver set are less likely to have problems when burning optical media, such as when CRC errors occur, which can cause skips and jumps during the recording process. Even if the errors occur, they are are far less likely to affect the media.

    With WinXP, six or more CRC errors can knock an entire IDE channel and any attached devices into PIO mode, but I've never seen it happen once the Application Accelerator is installed unless an IDE cable or the mainboard IDE controller is damaged. Or if a CR-RW/DVD-RW lacks some kind of BURN-Proof technology, which is nearly standard with all modern optical drives. This is even if the Event Viewer logs are filled with CRC errors.


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  2. Thanks for the really helpful answer. These forums are awesome.

    I have a 2.53 Pentium 4 on the 845PE chipset. Which is still fairly new(ahem), and I already installed Intel's Application Accelerator 2.3. I read elsewhere that Intel's Chipset Software is updated only to add support for additional(newer) chipsets, and doesn't necessarily mean it's is more efficient for older chipsets.

    Any thoughts?
    Any installation tips?

    "Give me a Go or No go, for launch."
  3. As long as you don't have any issues with USB devices or enabling AGP hardware acceleration, since you've already installed the Application Accelerator, you should be finished.

    I normally install the Software Utility first, due to the type of .inf files that are added, as illustrated in this <A HREF="http://" target="_new">README</A> file.

    The Application Accelerator, though, as I understand it, is basically just an IDE controller/channel driver set, with the latest version offering 48-bit support, (and the same goes for the RAID version.)

    If you benchmark the system, and notice any slowdowns, especially in regards to video ... or see any difficulties (such as connection issues or jerkiness/slowness of USB devices), then you might want to uninstall the IAA, install the ICSIU, and then reinstall the IAA.

    Otherwise, if everything functions correctly, it's clear sailing. But ... the README for the IAA does list this as the system requirements:

    1. The system must contain the following Intel products:

    * Intel(R) Pentium(R) III or Pentium(R) 4 processor
    * Intel(R) 82801AA, 82801AB, 82801BA or 82801DB

    2. The kit software should be installed on systems with at
    least the minimum system memory required by the
    operating system.

    3. Microsoft Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition(SE),
    Windows Millennium Edition(Me), Windows NT 4.0,
    Windows 2000, or Windows XP.

    4. Installation of the Intel(R) Chipset Software
    Installation Utility prior to loading the Intel(R)
    Application Accelerator.

    Link for <A HREF="http://" target="_new">README</A>.

    It's number four that I really wanted to you to observe.

    It's because of this that I haven't ever just installed the IAA without first installing the ICSIU. And so ... check out the system thoroughly, to see if you need to start over. Just in case. The default WinXP drivers already in place were probably just fine, otherwise the IAA wouldn't have allowed the install in the first place, but even so ... better sure than confused, and better dry than pissed on, as my old Pappy used to say.

    Once the IAA is installed, I can't think of any reason to ever update or install the ICSIU. If you actually needed to swap out the mainboard, and the new board contained a chipset not previously recognized by the ICSIU, you'd be starting over with a clean installation of Windows, anyway. And the newest drivers. And so, once the IAA is in place, unless Intel happens to release a newer standard IDE version (which is unlikely), this should be the last time that you install or update your chipset drivers until you build a new system.


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