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Basic Motherboard Configuration

Building Your Own PC, Part 1: Know-How for Do-It-Yourselfers
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Many modern motherboards with integrated software configuration no longer require you to do anything prior to assembly. That means that you type your processor parameters directly in BIOS (Basic Input Output System). Most of the time, you access the BIOS menu by pressing the DEL key, F2 or F10, shortly after switching on the PC. Check your handbook to find out which key to use. The latest technology even recognizes the CPU automatically, a feature that is particularly useful for beginners. But making settings manually is still a must for anyone who wants to fine-tune his or her system.

Processor Settings: FSB And Multiplier

The external clock speed is usually referred to as the Front Side Bus (FSB), or system clock. Typical physical frequencies for system clocks are 100.00 and 133.33 MHz. The actual processor clock is calculated by multiplying the system clock with the multiplier. For example, a Front Side Bus of 133.33 MHz and multiplier of 13 results in a physical CPU clock speed of 1733 MHz. Some manufacturers provide "marketing" figures when Double Data Rate (DDR) or quad pumping raises effective bandwidth. Here's an example of such marketing figures, which have been placed in quotes:

Socket/ Slot Processors System Clock (FSB)
Socket 7 AMD K6-2,
AMD K6-III,
Intel Pentium MMX
66, 100, 133 MHz
Slot 1 Intel Pentium III,
Intel Celeron
66, 100, 133 MHz
Slot A AMD Athlon (K7) 100 MHz (200 MHz DDR)
Socket 370 Intel Pentium III,
Intel Celeron,
VIA C3
100, 133 MHz
Socket A
(Socket 462)
AMD Athlon (Thunderbird),
AMD Athlon XP (Palomino),
AMD Athlon XP (Thoroughbred),
AMD Duron (Spitfire, Morgan)
100 MHz (200 MHz DDR),
133 MHz (266 MHz DDR)
Socket 423 Intel Pentium 4 (Willamette),
Intel Pentium 4 (Northwood)
100 MHz (400 MHz quad-pumped)
Socket 478 Intel Pentium 4 (Northwood),
Intel Celeron (Willamette)
100 MHz (400 MHz quad-pumped),
133 MHz / (533 MHz quad-pumped)

AMD also lists a so-called P-Rating, or Number Modeling, for marketing purposes. In other words, an AMD Athlon XP 2100+ actually only runs at a physical speed of 1733 MHz. "2100+" is merely a way of comparing the processor to an equivalent Intel Pentium 4. Put plainly, an AMD Athlon XP 2100+ is about as fast as a Pentium 4 2100.

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  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 20, 2008 7:55 PM
    thanks,i hope my mum approves of my £700+ setup that i want lol ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    Marco925 , May 6, 2010 3:44 PM
    So Different compared to today's build it yourself article
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 13, 2010 5:36 PM
    y is this so hard
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 13, 2010 5:38 PM
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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 13, 2010 5:43 PM
    This is is so similar compared to today's build it yourself article
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 31, 2011 7:45 AM
    This is a pretty in depth guide on how to build a computer. I found How to Build a Computer pretty useful too.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 31, 2011 7:46 AM
    How to Build a Computer is a pretty good guide too.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 11, 2011 12:57 AM
    My son and his friend bought the components for a gaming pc. They had XP to put on the computer but it wont load. It has Linux on it. I don't know much about this sort of thing but could it be bc the XP is already been loaded on another computer? If I can find one of our op systems software that has an extra load on it will it load on the gaming pc with no problems? Just want to be sure in case I have to drop the money for the operating system.
  • 0 Hide
    joeman99 , January 30, 2012 7:05 AM
    I always use this manual when building PCs, I never touch or buy any computer without it http://howtofixstuff.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-to-build-computer.html