Archive for the ‘hardware’ Category

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Officially the M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 is “only” an AM3 mainboard (Phenom II era) and can support at best a few older FX CPUs (AM3+) and even that support is labeled beta only. I read some rumors that using an FX 8350 (Vishera) would be possible regardless, so I thought I would give it a shot. I was happy to learn that it indeed runs nicely, without any problems. There also doesn’t seem to be any significant difference in performance in comparison to running this CPU on newer boards with 9x chipsets.

It would be really great if ASUS would update their site properly, to let people know what this stuff is actually capable of. But then again, this level of compatibility makes the purchase of a new mainboard probably less enticing.

fx1

fx2

Left to right: V450 Nano, M505 and B605. :)

Speedport 200

Jumper

As we all know by heart, there are currently 3 SATA standards. The good ol’ trusty SATA 1 (1.5Gb/s – yay, it’s already slightly faster than IDE!!! In theory!) with the awesome cables that had to be modified for the next revision (because these bitches can fall off like… for no reason), the SATA 2 (3 Gb/s) and finally SATA 3/6G (6 Gb/s) – sorry eSATA, I’m gonna ignore you completely… Right now 3 is only on mainboards and I don’t know of any drives that would come with it, which is cool, because even flash isn’t that fast YET (yes, I know what RAID is). That means realistically, (next to) all current drives in shops anywhere, would be SATA 2. These drives are usually downwards compatible to SATA 1 and this is where the trouble begins. When 2 was brand new, most 2 drives came with a jumper setting, enforcing 1 behavior – many people would probably still connect them to a 1 board after all. For some time now this is no longer the case, even worse: some drives don’t even have outside pins anymore, that can be set to 1 compatibility. Some drives still have pins, but those don’t do anything (that’s documented). I had an ugly experience with a Samsung drive, that could be set to 1, but only via a software – but how are you supposed to do that, if only 2 recognizes the drive in the first place? Yes I know, my hardware is FUCKING OLD, still. This doesn’t help owners of 1 hardware at all. Right then, it’s no different to hardware without that backwards compatibility. So, for the compatibility to make any sense whatsoever, it must be possible to set it via jumpers on the outside manually – the rest is almost destined to be a placebo. It sucks enough with a drive, that can be configured from the outside (think Seagate), because they stopped delivering the jumper itself. It’s incredible where companies try to save money. How expensive can such a little piece of plastic be? 5 cents? I never saw a shop that sold a bag full with these jumpers. I solved the situation, by removing one from an old IDE drive. Thanks a lot!

6-months

SMBus Drivers

It’s so easy and yet takes so much time to find. Good thing I’ll never have to look again.

Issue:

* Windows* does not recognize the SMBus controller.
* Device Manager shows a yellow question mark for the SMBus controller.
* Device Manager lists the SMBus controller under Other Devices.

Background:

SMBus is the System Management Bus defined by Intel in 1995. It is used in personal computers and servers for low-speed system management communications. An SMBus controller is integrated into most Intel® chipsets.

Solution:

Download and run the Intel® Chipset Software Installation Utility. This will install the chipset INF files so that Windows* properly recognizes the chipset’s built-in SMBus controller.

intel.com

Vista x64 isn’t mentioned, but it’s the same there. “infinst_autol.exe” updates all the necessary *.inf files, so Windows will recognize the SMBus correctly.

dimming down

I just red (only 3 editions behind – I’m that fast) that Windows 7 can now dim the displays of mobile devices when they are idle, to further save energy. But it’s only working, if the BIOS supports it. So far, it worked on no computer in the test with the then current Windows 7 Beta. Maybe some newer devices will receive BIOS updates later, so they will become compatible still.
Ubuntu already does dim displays when idle for quite some time. On every machine when the option is set. No matter what BIOS it has.

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