When I buy a computer, I'm the first that want to do the "Silly User", ie the average user who buys something and uses it happily, hoping that everything properly works, without speaking about BIOS, frequency, slots, overclocking, and so on .
Unfortunately, with all the efforts that Microsoft and hardware manufacturers do (not the ones into the bathroom, but those to establish common standards), 2009 to date we have not yet provided the convenience and the ease of access to the world of computers we are trying to achieve.
This is an extremely important task, because it allows you to permanently replace the concept of TV, and push the world towards electronics that counts more, the programmable one. I see a great future where programmable TV are always connected to the internet, as well as various PC from home ....
My happening should be one the most common: PC bought over the internet to obtain a decent price, email assistance, relationship with the seller, by definition, narrow and limited to the purchase.
PC obtained and what to do now? I Use it ... and here the problems begin.
After some weeks of use the PC resets by itself.
No specific information from within Windows Vista Ultimate 64 (just too many words, eh ...), only a think that in internet it's called "Hardware instability ".
A normal person would desperatly call a PC expert... I called myself, and then lonely and desperate, I started sending emails to all my "technicians" friends , including the PC seller, trying to understand the problem.
Well, if a PC and is unstable whe it's just purchased, the way is pretty simple: blame the motherboard.
There are several components in a PC, but the main ones are:
- The CPU (or processor)
- The RAM (o memory)
- The Hard Disks (or mass storage)
- The Video Card
- The Motherboard
Now think that the CPUs manufacturers are in 2: Intel and AMD, video cards are in the 2: RADEON and GeForce, Hard Disk are build by many, but they have a fairly simple standard. Missing someone? Yes, the RAM. Here, the RAM is build by 50, and every company with its versions, and every version with its technical specifications and restrictions.
If something doesn't go, assured that in 70% of cases its a problem between the motherboard and the RAM. The rest of cases I leave to the Video Cards.
Today, the frequencies of the electronic components are carried to the limit. Frequencies, latencies, Watt and overheating are factors to manage properly. Here the PC show their technological Achilles Heel ... if everything is not perfectly calibrated, there is a risk ... the "Hardware instability".
In my case, I managed through diagnosis of the machine (CPU-Z especially) to understand that if the motherboard does not know the components that are mounted above, can not even feed them properly (.. excuse me, but I would like to be a "silly user" for a while!).
In fact, motherboards are responsible for Volts, frequency and other parameters that the components require to work.
It's also logical to think that given that the processors are not so many, and given that the standard of hard disk are easy, or it's the video card or the RAM, when something doesn't work. Mixing all this concepts with tight physical limits to which it's submitted the electronic today, it's necessary that a motherboard perfectly supports (I prefer to say "knows") every particular component.
The only advice before returning back a new PC (which in the case of Internet shopping is even demoralizing) is trying to update the BIOS taking it from the homepage of the of the motherboard constructor. The BIOS is the brain of the motherboard, and contains tables that provide definitions of voltage, freqences and parameters of all the most used electrical components (the list is usually declared).
If the BIOS does not recognize your last bought supersonic RAM, you should update it or hope that the defaults values works properly.
Note: Updating the bios is a expert task, and the failure of this operation could in 70% of cases make unusable your motherboard! Be careful!! Prepare psychologically yourself little desperate one of the world :) !
In my case I managed to trace the differences between my PC with an old BIOS and a new one , upon my ASUS P5Q motherboard, and taking the automatic settings:
(Use eg Windows Windiff.exe comparing 2 LOG TXT format extractable from CPU-Z)
Old BIOS (1104 - 31/7/2008)
- Memory Frequency 438.1 MHz (3:4)
- Voltage sensor 0 0.92 Volts [0x73] (CPU VCORE)
- Voltage sensor 6 1.35 Volts [0xA9] (DRAM)
- DMI Memory Device / type DDR
- Memory Frequency 400.7 MHz (5:6)
- Voltage sensor 0 1.08 Volts [0x87] (CPU VCORE)
- Voltage sensor 6 1.46 Volts [0xB6] (DRAM)
- DMI Memory Device / type unknown
Knowing that now I have a stable PC (crossing fingers ... : O), one can see from this analysis, two things:
- my system was unstable for both the voltage and the frequency and taking all the rest in AUTO mode (auto means with standard settings) and verifying that the differences were simply these.
- The new BIOS still does not know well my RAMs ( unknown), but knows better than the previous Bios.
What do uou say about ? Should I hope that the next BIOS version knows my RAM or sould I live with low default values?
Here I give to you 4 more advises that I also consider basic rules:
- Do not update your BIOS if everything run correctly. The ones that periodically bios update is a sado-masochistic sicked one.
- Do not "overclock" anything never (ie, lead to physical limit the component). It's more useful a PC that lasts 20 years at 100 Km/h (use your fantasy...) than a PC that lasts 5 years at 130 km/h. The overclock beyond the limits of the components, after all,is a symptom of deeper ills within, considering that every PC, after a month, is already outdated. Do not care about this!!
- It's more important to have a stable PC that you can also use in summertime with 40° without having any fear, than a PC with open case, 30 fans that consume and create noise and the big fear that everything could burn, sending to smoke also important documents or breaking the deserved videogame enterntainment.
- It's very important a multimedia PC, interactive and enjoyable even if this costs a longer start-up time. Heavly uses these machines, and the world finally will understand what a PC is used for, and maybe, in a day far far away... I also understand this.
Hoping to have been more than helpful, I greet you all
PS: And update this f**ed bios if you are under warranty and you have the seller at a few steps from home... you will learn something more for your future! Will you not use that slow catorce for a lifetime : D !?!
Lord Hol Napult