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Thread: Xtreme Terminology

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  1. #1
    Xtreme Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Xtreme Terminology

    This thread is for all the newbies that join to XS to learn a little bit more about computers and how to overclock them.

    All the terminology used here at XS related to overclocking will be explained here on this thread.

    I'll start with the basics and I ask to all of the members of XS to help me complete this task so that the newbies can understand what the hell we are talking about.

    Here we go:

    Motherboard related

    AGP - Accelerated Graphics Port, an interface specification developed by Intel Corporation. AGP is based on PCI, but is designed especially for the throughput demands of 3-D graphics. Rather than using the PCI bus for graphics data, AGP introduces a dedicated point-to-point channel so that the graphics controller can directly access main memory. The AGP channel is 32 bits wide and runs at 66 MHz. This translates into a total bandwidth of 266 MBps, as opposed to the PCI bandwidth of 133 MBps. AGP also supports two optional faster modes, with throughputs of 533 MBps and 1.07 GBps. In addition, AGP allows 3-D textures to be stored in main memory rather than video memory.
    AGP has a couple important system requirements:

    The chipset must support AGP.
    The motherboard must be equipped with an AGP bus slot or must have an integrated AGP graphics system.
    The operating system must be the OSR 2.1 version of Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0. And currently, many professional Macintoshes support AGP.
    AGP-enabled computers and graphics accelerators hit the market in August, 1997. However, there are several different levels of AGP compliance. The following features are considered optional:

    Texturing: Also called Direct Memory Execute mode, allows textures to be stored in main memory.
    Throughput: Various levels of throughput are offered: 1X is 266 MBps, 2X is 533 MBps; and 4X provides 1.07 GBps.
    Sideband Addressing: Speeds up data transfers by sending command instructions in a separate, parallel channel.
    Pipelining: Enables the graphics card to send several instructions together instead of sending one at a time.

    BIOS - Basic Input/Output System -the built-in software that determines what a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk. On PCs, the BIOS contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial communications, and a number of miscellaneous functions.
    The BIOS is typically placed in a ROM chip that comes with the computer (it is often called a ROM BIOS). This ensures that the BIOS will always be available and will not be damaged by disk failures. It also makes it possible for a computer to boot itself. Because RAM is faster than ROM, though, many computer manufacturers design systems so that the BIOS is copied from ROM to RAM each time the computer is booted. This is known as shadowing.

    Many modern PCs have a flash BIOS, which means that the BIOS has been recorded on a flash memory chip, which can be updated if necessary.

    The PC BIOS is fairly standardized, so all PCs are similar at this level (although there are different BIOS versions). Additional DOS functions are usually added through software modules. This means you can upgrade to a newer version of DOS without changing the BIOS.

    PC BIOSes that can handle Plug-and-Play (PnP) devices are known as PnP BIOSes, or PnP-aware BIOSes. These BIOSes are always implemented with flash memory rather than ROM.

    Chipset - Motherboard's hardware controller - It controls the flow of information and data from one point to another. It can be separated in two chips (Northbrige and Southbridge) or it can be a single chip (Nvidia based chipsets NF3 and NF4)

    CMOS - Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor - CMOS is a widely used type of semiconductor. CMOS semiconductors use both NMOS (negative polarity) and PMOS (positive polarity) circuits. Since only one of the circuit types is on at any given time, CMOS chips require less power than chips using just one type of transistor. This makes them particularly attractive for use in battery-powered devices, such as portable computers. Personal computers also contain a small amount of battery-powered CMOS memory to hold the date, time, and system setup parameters.

    CPU socket - It's where you insert your cpu (It can be a ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket or a LGA (Land Grid Array) socket

    Dimm slot - The place where the memory modules are inserted

    FSB - Front side bus -The bus that connects the CPU to main memory on the motherboard. I/O buses, which connect the CPU with the systems other components, branch off of the system bus.The frontside bus is also called the system bus, memory bus, local bus, or host.

    HTT - Hypertransport - Communications pathway between the cpu and the expansion slots (PCI, PCI-Express, AGP). Found only on AMD's A64 CPU based computers.

    Northbrigde - The motherboard controller that acts like a brige between the CPU and the memory slots.

    Southbridge - The motherboard controller that acts like a brige between the CPU and the expansion slots.

    Alright, some memory related words here (thanks to moddolicious and D_o_S)

    CAS Latency
    The CAS latency is the delay, in clock cycles, between sending a READ command and the moment the first pice of data is available on the outputs.

    tWR - Write Recovery Time:
    tWR is the number of clock cycles taken between writing data and issuing the precharge command. tWR is necessary to guarantee that all data in the write buffer can be safely written to the memory core.

    tRAS - Row Active Time:
    tRAS is the number of clock cycles taken between a bank active command and issuing the precharge command.

    tRC - Row Cycle Time:
    The minimum time interval between successive ACTIVE commands to the same bank is defined by tRC.
    tRC = tRAS + tRP

    tRCD - Row Address to Column Address Delay:
    tRCD is the number of clock cycles taken between the issuing of the active command and the read/write command. In this time the internal row signal settles enough for the charge sensor to amplify it.

    tRP - Row Precharge Time:
    tRP is the number of clock cycles taken between the issuing of the precharge command and the active command. In this time the sense amps charge and the bank is activated.

    tRRD - Row Active to Row Active Delay:
    The minimum time interval between successive ACTIVE commands to the different banks is defined by tRRD.

    tCCD - Column Address to Column Address Delay

    tRD - Active to Read Delay ?:

    tWTR - Internal Write to Read Command Delay:
    tWTR is the delay that has to be inserted after sending the last data from a write operation to the memory and issuing a read command.

    tRDA - Read Delay Adjust
    (got it from here

    update (little more info)

    Max Asynce lantency= 00.0-15.0 in 1.0 incements.
    I would suggest trying 5.0-10.0 depending on your ram. 5ns will problobly not allow much overclocking, and 7-8ns is usually the optimal

    Read Preamble time= 02.0-09.5 nano sec, in 0.5 increments.

    I would suggest 4.0-7.0 depending on ram. 4ns will probobly not allow for much overclocking, and 5-6ns is usually the optimal
    Last edited by Waxman; 04-18-2005 at 03:52 PM.

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