BIOS for Beginners

How To Overclock, Continued

Memory Timings : Optimal.

FSB Spread Spectrum : Disabled. This feature helps systems pass European electromagnetic interference (EMI) tests. It accomplishes this by constantly varying, ever so slightly, the frequency of the Front Side Bus (FSB). Be warned that enabling this feature with large values can result in Internet connection disruption, as well as stability problems if you overclock your system.

AGP Spread Spectrum : Disabled. The description above applies here as well, except that this is for modulating the frequency of the Advanced Graphics Port (AGP) interface.

CPU VCore Setting : AUTO.

CPU VCore : Be sure to set this in accordance with the core voltage requirements of your processor.

There are so many processors out there that I don't know if one example would be better than none. Instead, here is a partial chart, showing the name of the CPU, its actual operating speed, its core voltage requirement, and how hot it can get before failing.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Athlon ProcessorSpeed (GHz)Core Voltage (V)Max. Temp. (°C)
XP 17001.4671.5090
XP 19001.601.5090
XP 20001.6671.6090
XP 21001.7331.6090
XP 22001.801.6090
XP 24002.01.6085
XP 26002.1331.6585
XP 27002.1711.6585
XP 28002.2501.6585

Graphics Aperture Size : 64 MB or 128 MB. This feature controls the size of the Graphics Address Relocation Table (GART) and the amount of memory address space used for AGP memory addresses. Regardless of how much on-board memory a system's video card has, a setting of 64 MB or 128 MB is recommended. This will allow the video card to remain optimized in the event that an application requires more memory for texture storage, while simultaneously limiting the GART to a reasonable size.

AGP Frequency : AUTO.

System BIOS Cacheable : Disabled. You might be under the impression that all cache is good, but that's not true. This feature can cause problems such as system crashes if a program tries to write to the BIOS area being cached. This is a great feature to enable if you're still using DOS.

Video RAM Cacheable : Disabled. This option allows the Video RAM to be copied directly to your L2 cache, which is considerably faster to access than ROM. However, Windows is so much more advanced than DOS, Windows rarely ever uses this ROM. Because the L2 cache is quite limited in size, it is recommended you let Windows use the L2 cache for enhancing the efficiency of other tasks.

DDR Reference Voltage : 2.6V. This setting controls the voltage of the Double-Data Rate (DDR) memory in your system.

AGP VDDQ Voltage : 1.5V. VDDQ is an engineering term meaning Voltage between Drain and common for Data Quad-band. In English, this refers to how much voltage should be supplied to the video card.

AGP 8X Support : Enable this if the system's video card supports 8X AGP speeds. You must install the VIA 4-in-1 drivers to take advantage of this feature on VIA-based motherboards.

AGP Fast Write Capability : Enabled is recommended. This feature, when enabled, allows the AGP device to bypass main memory when performing write transactions from the chipset to the AGP device, increasing performance by as much as 10 percent. However, some games and PCI cards may experience problems with this setting enabled. It is recommended that you experiment with this setting to determine what works best for your PC.

  • wguru
    Not sure I'll find THG detailing how a user can change the boot drive to a plugnplay usb optical drive, so if needed, I can use my recovery disk to boot because I junked my laptop's onboard optical drive and am using a high end Windows compatable optical drive now and the Bios is still set to boot from it. But I'll keep drilling.
  • Hello. I was wondering if you could help me. I loved your well described article. You are the first person I have seen online to acknowledge that the power management contained in the software does not mesh well with the hardware. So, I am trying to change my ACPI Settings in the the bios. I want to try switching it to S1 mode. I have Windows 7 and it will not wake up. Problem is I can't find the power settings in my bios. I have a dv9000 and not sure what button to push when I turn the laptop on. If anyone could help me out it would much appreciated. This problem is driving me crazy. Thank you in advance.
  • exact same problem here.