In normal cases, it is not possible to use or unlock any of those hidden cores because originally those cores were disabled: a technique called "chip harvesting" or "feature binning" used by AMD to sell parts with one or two defective cores which will cause system instability if not disabled. Energy efficiency[ edit ] One of the major focus of the chipset series is the energy efficiency of the chipsets. The need for energy-efficient chipsets have risen since chipsets starts including more features and more PCI Express lanes, to provide better system scalability by using PCI-E add-on cards. But one issue is that chipset circuitries were usually made on a larger fabrication process nodes compared with the latest CPU process node, making recent chipsets consume more and more power than their predecessors. Although the aforementioned figures may be small compared to the TDP figures of a performance CPU, there is a growing demand for computer systems with higher performance and lower power consumption. The HyperFlash memory card is inserted into the flash controller and then directly plugged into the motherboard ATA connector.

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Any halfway-decent motherboard BIOS has more than enough clock and voltage ranges for enthusiasts, and most go above and beyond what even truly extreme liquid-nitrogen-fueled overclockers might require. Few seem to have picked up on the fact that we also want our rigs to be as quiet as possible, though. The fan speed controls available in most modern BIOSes are basic at best and often laughably inadequate when compared to the frankly excessive overclocking options being offered.

I went off on a bit of a rant on the subject more than a year and a half ago, and little has changed since. Of the big three, only Asus has made real progress in improving BIOS-level fan speed controls, and it still has a long way to go to match what now-defunct mobo maker Abit was doing more than seven years ago. Motherboard manufacturers typically rely on SuperIO chips or other auxiliary silicon to adjust fan speeds based on system temperatures.

Putting this functionality in the chipset certainly makes sense, but has AMD implemented the sort of functionality enthusiasts might want? The microcontroller can manage fan speeds using three algorithms: step, linear, and non-linear. In step mode, fan speeds jump from one value to the next as temperatures rise. The linear algorithm smooths things out, allowing fan speeds to ramp, well, linearly between predefined minimum and maximum values.

This method drapes a string of linear slopes across multiple step points. This is TR. Non-linear mode is just as flexible, allowing users to configure as many slopes as they can steps. Single- vs. Source: AMD In addition to the three algorithms that determine how fan speeds respond to temperature changes, the SB series is governed by single- and dual-sensor policies that dictate how temperatures are interpreted. Single-sensor mode relies on only one temperature sensor, while the dual-sensor scheme takes in two inputs and will set the fan speed based on the higher of the two.

Dual-sensor mode is designed primarily for motherboards with passively cooled north-bridge chips that rely on airflow generated by the CPU fan. Why so many? Because the south bridge can monitor and power no fewer than five individual fans. Each one can have its own profile, and 3- and 4-pin fans are supported across the board. All this functionality is offered for free in every SBseries south bridge, with no additional hardware required.

Motherboard makers need only to connect fan and diode traces to the south bridge and implement the necessary BIOS hooks to give users access to fan control variables.

But none have. Props to Merrikh and AMD for incorporating such powerful fan control support in the south bridge, and shame on any motherboard maker that leaves this particular feature untapped in favor of alternative fan control mechanisms that offer less, well, control.


AMD’s SB800-series fan speed controller exposed



SimNow™ Simulator



NOTEBOOK EMACHINES D442 -V081 CHIPSET North Bridge: AMD RS880M South Bridge: AMD SB800/850



AMD 800 chipset series


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