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Advanced users

Many users are fortunate in having a BIOS that allows them to improve critical memory timings. Vendors are often over cautious when setting the defaults on your PC system.

If your memory works faster then so is the entire system.

You must record the original settings, THEN it is safe to to make small adjustments.

Changes to main memory BIOS

Make a record of changes as you proceed, so you will know exactly which alteration(s) are worthwhile in your particular system.

Make only small changes and only one at a time, testing your system each time you make a change. If you encounter increased errors or a failed bootup, then access the BIOS on next bootup and change that setting back to the previous value.

The improvements you can make will depend on your BIOS type, and the computer components. You will need to consult your manual and/or visit the manufacturer's Web site to get the details that apply to your own BIOS type and version.

Important Settings that affect RAM timing

The more usual memory items of greatest interest are :
(the names may very with different BIOS manufacturers)

CPU to PCI Bridge DRAM Read Burst - DRAM Write Burst - RAS to CAS Delay - L2 Cache Timing

PCI to ISA 8 bit Recovery delay - 16 bit Recovery delay - DMA transfers

IDE Controller - Latency timer

A lower setting is nearly always faster, though you will need to check each one.

Caution: You MUST first make a note of the original settings.

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Don't forget to update your Video's driver (read Updates)

Newer drivers improve the reliability of your system, improve its performance, and add features to the video subsystem.

If you have a 'no name' video card, then find out the manufacturer and model of the video chipset and go to the manufacturer's Web site.

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Free Utility

You may be prefer to use a utility to make the changes. You could try Tweaks, or the difficult to use AmiSetup.

Tweaks has some helpful comments.
Tweaks (freeware, )

A lower setting is nearly always faster, though you will still need to check each one.

Caution: You MUST first make a note of the original setting(s). You will not damage the operation of your system by changing a default setting PROVIDED you know the original. Returning to the original setting will then be very easy.

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Enable Video BIOS Shadowing

When Shadowing is enabled the BIOS ROM on the video card (slower) the routines are copied into RAM memory (faster) to improve performance of that ROM. The performance of often executed types of video ROM operations will be enhanced.

While the improvement is usually small, it will work on most systems.

Some systems may encounter lockups or other problems, and these should simply disable it (this may be a symptom of a wider problem with the motherboard or video card).

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

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