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AMD

ABIT KT7 With Built-In CPU Multiplier Adjustment 113

Peter H.S. writes: "Abit and Asus seems to release AMD K7/Duron motherboards, with adjustable cpu multipliers. No more 'golden fingers' hardware hacks. OC from the comfort of your BIOS. This is truly good news. Check [Insane Hardware] or Abit's homepage, etc." The actual scoop at Insane Hardware says, in part, "The KT7's SoftMenu III has special added features and functions that will allow the maximum performance and enhancement tweaks specifically for Athlon based CPUs, such as FSB settings from 100MHz to 183MHz in increments of 1 (84 settings). Moreover, ABIT has added CPU Multiplier Factor Adjustments, allowing the user to choose the proper multiplier factor."
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ABIT KT7 With Built-In CPU Multiplier Adjustment

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  • This news should have been about AMD's new cpus supporting alterable clock multipliers, not about Abit's motherboard. All of their boards with SoftMenu II or III have supported that for a long time. It reads like a glorified advertisement.
  • CMOS battery dies, and the defaults are loaded every time. That either means the CPU is detected and set to normal speed every time, or it does what a few old PII boards I saw did. They underclocked the processor all the way down to 100 somehow.

    BIOS with the options to set the CPU can also detect what CPU is installed and set parameters correctly. Why do you think it was ok to install a lower voltage CPU like a Celeron into a board with no jumpers that previously had a PII or similar?
  • I know it's a bit silly to answer to oneself, but
    I got annoyed too hastily.

    Abit KA7 has also SoftMenuIII and Slot A

    Something to consider to juice up 500MHz K7

    Yka
  • that's good enough for me. my work is finished here. hope you don't lose two points of karma over this. i would feel guilty or something.
  • by HKelle ( 72182 ) on Sunday July 09, 2000 @12:36AM (#948215) Homepage
    Intel has one very important thing AMD doesn't: Developer support. With that I mean that they provide optimized math and signal/image processing libraries and optimizing compilers. Using an Intel tuned BLAS library (standard number crunching library) instead of the reference implementation written in Fortran 77 is much much much faster. So while higher clock speeds might impress home users that play games that extra clock speed wont help in scientific computing if you can't use a good implementation of number crunching libraries. (I can't run the intel libs on my AMD K6).
  • Seriously though, when cmos data is lost the abit boards just run at 66mhz fsb with cpu default voltage and multiplier until you enter the settings yourself which then persist until the next cold boot.

    While I'm not sure about asus boards as I have yet to see what they do on losing CMOS data, I suspect they behave similarly.

    Of course, there is also the hybrid option that seems to be rather popular. MBs that can be set by either jumpers/switches or BIOS (though only one or the other at any given time of course). If the battery dies on one of those you can just fall back on the hardware if you aren't using it already.

    BIOS-based cpu settings are damn convenient yet dangerous in the hands of the inexperienced, true... but IMHO a warning about the dangers of overclocking and the voiding of warranty is sufficient. If joe average tries to overclock his cpu and reduces it to slag it's his own problem after all.

    Protective measures like making cpu settings jumper-only is a downward spiral (make something idiot proof, they make a better idiot). People don't need to be protected from themselves so much as they need to be educated.

    Smoking a cpu would be one hell of an expensive lesson, but they'll learn one way or the other. ;)
    ---
    Where can the word be found, where can the word resound? Not here, there is not enough silence.
  • Face it. Knowing how to use a Phillips screwdriver does not mean you are, or were ever, a hardware geek.

    A few examples of what might qualify you as a historical hardware geek:

    1. Using a propane torch to sweat soldered-in 256Kx1 DRAM chips out of scrapped non-PC memory boards so you can get all 640K on your motherboard for cheap.

    2. Salvaging ribbon cable connectors for reuse in new configurations. Extra points if the connectors originated on non-PC hardware.

    3. Recovering and reusing an old stepper-motor-indexed hard drive with a defective track-zero by gluing a little tab of metal onto the index wheel to offset physical track-zero in a bit on the platter. Extra points if this means you have to reduce the cylinder count by a few to get it to work.

    4. Getting a 720K 3-1/2 floppy drive to work with DOS 3.3 on your XT motherboard.

    5. Powering PC hardware with more than one linear-regulated power supply.

    6. Fitting a standard-spacing motherboard into a case that started out with a different motherboard with non-standard spacing for expansion cards.

    7. Overclocking a motherboard by actually replacing the quartz crystal (or clock module) on the motherboard itself.

    8. Using a null-modem cable (must be home-made) to transfer files from one computer architecture to another.

    There are certainly other examples that I can't think of, and can't remember having done in the past.
  • When I upgraded from a PII 266 to a Celeron 433, I had to get a new case because the slocket I was using wouldn't fit in the old one (power supply in the way). I know that's not a normal situation, and I wasn't changing manufacturers, but it shows there are a few instances when you would need to replace your case to get a new CPU.
  • Clocking from the soft menu inside the BIOS does not work so well with many VIA Athlon boards (KX/KT), this is shown by the ones that have both a Soft menu in the BIOS & dip switches on the board itself. With many of those boards it you have the dip switches all off (or sometimes all on, depending on the board), so the FSB defaults to the soft menu, one is only able to clock 'em up from 100mhz to about 108mhz, however when one uses the dipswitch to overclock the same system components one can often get up to arround 124mhz. Yet the multiplyer hasnt been touched. Check http://www.techphiles.net/reviews/asus-k7v/page3.h tml You'll see what I mean.
  • In the case of AMD there is NO remarking risk. Upon startup the cpu is queried for it's preferred multiplier which is then set using some of the pins. Instead of using the response from the cpu these abit boards let you interfere with this process and set your own multiplier..
  • This might not be news to all you guys, but Intel DOES make non clock locked PIIIs. I happen to have one and I can alter the clock multiplier from the "suggested" 6 - I had it running at 8*133 for a while, but I stuck the MB it's on in a small case, and cooling was an issue. (Where does one get one of these? Ask a friend who works for a company that gets ES chips from Intel.)

    PS: ES = Engineering sample. ;-)
  • Well, this is nothing new, but you didn't even have to crack anything open before. I figured this was something everyone already knew.

    I bought a MicroStar Motherboard and AMD (600) CPU back in March, and my BIOS allows me to simply "wheel" my clock speed up in very small incriments.

    Of course the one bad thing about that it that very few of those speeds are actually stable.
  • Not to mention non-ACPI support on the K7M for Windows 2000. Every time I try to play a game, and move the mouse, and play a sound at the same time, the computer REBOOTS! Not even a blue screen!

    The device manager claims that every PCI device is using IRQ 9. Shit. No way to fix it, and no word out of Asus. Abit KT7, here I come!

    -Jeff
  • That's why /. posted it under the AMD logo, it's reeally news about AMD t-bird chips not so much the motherboards. But obviously hvaing an unlocked CPU is useless if mobos don't have manual multiplier selection possible
  • I'm speaking out of my nethers when I say that it's my belief that when they changed to the socket cpu design they introduced the abiltiy to control this from the mb and bios... no gold fingers.. just extra pins that do the same functions. This is just the first mb that has taken advantage of those options.

    They probably did this to enable jumperless configuration, but the ease with which overclocking can be done is a nice bonus for people who are so inclined. On Socket A processors, there are four pins that tell the motherboard what settings (multiplier, FSB, and voltage, IIRC) to use. The motherboard then generates signals that go to the processor on another pin to set it to a particular multiplier. Theoretically, the BIOS will only echo back whatever the processor told it to use. In practice, the BIOS can ignore what the processor says and set up the processor to run at whatever multiplier it wants. This is just the first motherboard to take advantage of that capability.

    (More details here [tomshardware.com], at Tom's Hardware.)

    I love AMD... I've used them since their K-6 series first came out and have used them ever since.

    Likewise...I'm running a K6-III-450, a K6-2-300, and a K6-200 here, and have never run into problems with any of them while running Win9x, NT4, Linux, or whatever (only thing I haven't tried on them yet is NetWare, and I have no reason to believe it wouldn't work). I see a K7 of some kind in my future...(most likely a Spitf^H^H^H^H^HDuron due to the lower price...)

    _/_
    / v \
    (IIGS( Scott Alfter (remove Voyager's hull # to send mail)
    \_^_/

  • How is it different from normal PC133 SDRAM? I could find anything on it in the usual places.
  • "Error correcing code" or "Error checking and correction", depending upon who you ask. more expensive and slightly slower than normal SDRAM, and it's mostly used in servers.
  • It seems to me that I remember that Tom's article stating that the *method* the AMD uses is overclocking friendly, not meant to be overclocking friendly. Since certain settings in the CPU are controlled by a responce from the MB, it allows VIA to add in features taking advantage of that. This hardly has to do with AMD itself.
  • 1. Using a propane torch to sweat soldered-in 256Kx1 DRAM chips out of scrapped non-PC memory boards so you can get all 640K on your motherboard for cheap.

    Even more fun - soldering memory chips on top of others to get lowercase support on old TRS-80's.

    2. Salvaging ribbon cable connectors for reuse in new configurations. Extra points if the connectors originated on non-PC hardware.

    Done it...

    3. Recovering and reusing an old stepper-motor-indexed hard drive with a defective track-zero by gluing a little tab of metal onto the index wheel to offset physical track-zero in a bit on the platter. Extra points if this means you have to reduce the cylinder count by a few to get it to work.

    All I can say is... huh? =]

    4. Getting a 720K 3-1/2 floppy drive to work with DOS 3.3 on your XT motherboard.

    Done that too... and using a strange Microsoft-made 8088->286 upgrade board (its biggest selling point was "Runs OS/2!") =]

    5. Powering PC hardware with more than one linear-regulated power supply.

    ::looks over at his linuxbox with 5 120mb-540mb IDE hard drives, 2 old 1x cdrom's and 2 powersupplies:: 'Nuf said.

    6. Fitting a standard-spacing motherboard into a case that started out with a different motherboard with non-standard spacing for expansion cards.

    Not only requires a screwdriver, but a hacksaw's good too, and a file is nice to have...

    7. Overclocking a motherboard by actually replacing the quartz crystal (or clock module) on the motherboard itself.

    Ah, the days of the original IBM AT...

    8. Using a null-modem cable (must be home-made) to transfer files from one computer architecture to another.

    PC->TRS-80... great stuff there too.

    Sometimes the old hardware can work just as well and is always a helluva lot less expensive... and of course you get the fun factor of hacking your case all to hell...

    BRTB
  • A 5? No way. Anyway, Intel and AMD have nothing to do with this directly. AMD locks thier chips as well--any company does. You should know that with pricing ladders, overclockinghurts business. Since processors go up in price almost exponetially as they climb the clock-ladder, overclocking removes tons of potential income. AMD is a business just like Intel, not a charity--if you think AMD is some gift from God to help consumers out, you're wrong. They're out to make money--just like any other company in the world.
  • "I'll take my 700-mhz Athlon at normal speed thanks. Tried the overclocking thing -- didn't like it. The money, time and effort is equivalent to buying a faster rated CPU. Plus, can we say chip burnout?"

    Old Athlons don't OC past 10% of their FSB. So you could only realistically get 770MHz at best out of it unless you used a Peltier, but I would still take the extra 70MHz.

    Burning out a chip is harder than you think, unless you do something really boneheaded without knowing what the cpu you use is at least theoretically capable of.

    I have no idea where you're getting your Overclocking How-To info from, but if you think overclocking is using water blocks, radiators or liquid nitrogen, then you're way off.

    Like many thousands of others, I run my Celeron 300A at 450MHz and have done so for the past 2 years. It was as simple as going into the bios at boot-up and uping the FSB from 66MHZ to 100MHz (in incremental steps!)... It didn't cost a dime and took about 10 minutes to do safely.

    Of course not all CPUs Overclock this well but that's the trick behind Overclocking; knowing what cpu to buy and what needs to be done to overclock it to a level you're comfortable with.

    These new boards form Abit and Asus make teh whole process even more fool proof.

  • If you get registered ECC, there's a neat buffering system that makes up for that speed loss. There was a long discussion a while back about the different boards that do/don't support registered mode...

    (running 512MB reg. ECC on a BH-6 - C300a@450. Rock solid in NT with this memory)
  • Bah.. Compaq used the same technology, licensed from Rambus, in their 5xxx Workstation. Using EDO ECC DRAM, (think SIMMs, on crack, from a SGI) 2 per bank in twinned banks, you only got a 40% speed increase. Maximum speed increase wasn't seen until all 4/8 banks were filled, and even then it topped at 65%
  • If you want a really stable machine, buying the next-grade hardware is a Good Thing.

    But I am also a long-time hardware hacker...longer than most of you. I got the money to upgrade to a 1200 baud modem doing 256K memory upgrades on the Atari 800 computers. That's back when you had to glue a bunch of chips "dead bug" onto the PC cards and solder jumper wires around to the address bus. Plus cut the extra voltage traces.

    My computer is a lot more powerful now, but it was a lot more fun back then. Everybody had the same basic machine (so the software was compatible), but the experts tweaked their machines in different ways.

    Within the limits of sanity, HW hacking is great fun.

  • ... do this?

    I understand that there is the remarking risk... but how bad is it?

    I think CPU's should handle the clock like the Dragonball... let the user set the PPL. If you are "silly" enough to run it at all-kinds-of-crazy-speeds then you deserve the "interesting" results... but to just run it a _little_ bit faster... that's okay. :-)

    Just a thought...

    later.
  • Sure you can argue with Moore's Law. It's not a law, it's an observation. Well, it was an observation when he made it ten or so years ago. Now it's a self-fulfilling prophesy. Chip manufacturers aim to double computing power every 18 months. It doesn't just happen automagically.
  • Very similar to Abits board, but unfortunately it has less expansion slots (1 AGP and 5 PCI, while the Abit has 1 AGP, 5 PCI, and a PCI/ISA combo).

    With the exception that ABit is using the older KX133, while ASUS is using the newer KT133 set. Same south bridge (686A), improved north bridge. ASUS drops one PCI and has the evil AMR crap (at least it's on the bottom), but the chipset improvements are worth it. They also toss in a bunch of extra USB ports *shrug* and, for you IDE freaks, have an option for an ATA-100 controller onboard (in addition to the ATA-66 that's part of the chipset).

    [ wow... never thought I'd pimp ASUS. ]
    __
    --
    "Never trust a Programmer who carries a Screwdriver."

  • So... tell me truthfully... ARE there REALLY any
    chipset combinations for mtoherboards that really
    ARE stable at fsb speeds higher than say...
    115mhz?????

    Yeah.. 180+mhz fsb would be nice.. but is there
    really any hardware that can take it?
    *sigh* Tired of the hype... *shrug*
  • It has to do with the 16 bit drivers used during the boot up, and don't forget when NT came out in 1996 8 gig was pretty big. Even the new pIII boxes that come with 20 gig drives have NT on a 1 gig boot partition, the rest of the disk is formatted after the install.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    the software ought to have a control-panel CPu speed slider, maked off with "reasonable," "unstable," and "Halt and Catch Fire."
  • Hehehe... didn't know that... musta missed it in
    all the frackas going on ;)
    Good to know though... hope they bring out more
    boards with these features...

    And I paid 60$ for my overclocking card ;) hehehe
    Worth every penny though...

    Thanx for the info ;)

  • Well.. slap him with a crowbar and call him
    stupid.. but I think the 20 minutes he spent
    reading my post just paid off. :)

  • The rough basics of the idea is that they (being Intel corp.)
    locked the multiplier on-chip.
    There's not been a way to change that from the mb
    if the feature is not present on the chip. This leaves bumping up the FSB as the only way to
    o/c your cpu.

    Amd has (for as long as I've followed the company)
    not locked the multiplier on their chips.
    In fact... they manufactured their slot-type chips
    with gold-fingers (contacts) that allow you to
    use an aftermarket or homemade device to change
    the voltage/multiplier on-chip.. without having
    to manipulate the fsb.. (fsb changes usually lead
    to instalbility)

    I'm speaking out of my nethers when I say that
    it's my belief that when they changed to the socket
    cpu design they introduced the abiltiy to control
    this from the mb and bios... no gold fingers..
    just extra pins that do the same functions.
    This is just the first mb that has taken advantage
    of those options.

    I love AMD... I've used them since their K-6 series
    first came out and have used them ever since.
    My athalon 500 runs peachy at 750mhz with no
    fsb changes and I couldn't be happier.

    Let's give another cheer to Amd for making this
    new motherboard possible.
  • The only way abit would have been able to
    implement that would have been to attach a dongle
    to the mb that you would attach to your
    athalon cpu after cracking the case open.

    With the slot technology there is no way to
    change the multiplier or voltage settings on the
    cpu from the contacts that are inserted into the
    mb proper. Only the addition of a tweaker board
    on the goldfingers, that (IMHO) were so gallantly
    designed and made available, are you able to overclock a slot athalon.

    It seems they've changed the story with the socket
    athalons and this is now possible to do from the bios.
    Besides... do YOU see anywhere on those socket
    athalon cpus that you can attack a goldfinger card??
    I know I missed it if it's there...
  • Since dad upgraded to this 600 mHz Athlon, my time online gives me more quality time than when we had the ol' dx2-66. It's a real screaming scroller and dad says he'll sell it to me cheap when my paper route grosses $1200 in a month. Talk about easy upgrading, and I won't have to worry about frying the cpu.
  • 1) jumperless processor tweaking (not new by itself)
    2) console-based chip multiplier changing
    3) Duron support, which is neat considering that Durons are brand new, and will have at least one speed-enhancing MoBo from a reputable company basically from launch.

    There are a lot of people who would like to play with overclocking but are too butterfingers to follow all the "Careful, this will void your warrantee" blowtorches-n-dremel tool directions of hardcore, "fine-line-between-treaking-and-destruction" insane overclockers. At least, I know there's at least one person in that category ;)

    timothy
  • Expansion cards would only makes performance/compatibility matters worse IMO. I think the real solution is a single chip with integrated CPU (possible multiple CPU's), RAM (L1, L2, + as much system memory as possible), North/South Bridge Controllers, LAN, Graphics controller, sound, etc... Yeah, that would pretty much mean that everyone's choices of computer configuration would dwindle down to a few combo models, but the tradeoff is well worth it IMO: The price would be lower (once we can get down to sub 0.1 micron BICMOS of course) there would be hardly any OS related hardware setup issues since every OS could have 100% support for every single Single-Chip-PC config available (since at the most, there would be maybe a dozen different ones available from different manufacturers), and the pesky memory bandwidth/speed issues of current systems would be all but gone, since everything would have direct access to memory and the CPU/GPU. Apparently AMD's Sledgehammer, which is supposed to eventually have multiple CPUs on the same die, will also integrate the North Bridge controller. This could be a case of trickle-up economics, as future high-end systems would be come more integrated like "low end" systems (I815 etc...) increasingly are today
  • Getting the entire PC on one chip is ludicrus at our current technology level, and may always be. The Thunderbird already has 22 million transistors, which generate tons of heat and suck lots of power. Adding 128 MB of RAM on chip would increase that transistor count by a VERY large factor, and the increased complexity will decrease yields.

    Integrating stuff like the core logic (northbridge/southbridge) makes sense... maybe even audio, IDE/SCSI, etc... but RAM... no. Too big and expensive. What you want can be found in a single board computer, which is basically a computer that fits into a PCI slot. They're used a lot in rackmounts and such, where space is at a premium.




    "Evil beware: I'm armed to the teeth and packing a hampster!"
  • But that wouldn't fix memory bandwidth and speed issues. That's the real crux of current computing. We have 1GHz chips but memory running at 133MHz... Most modern CPUs have a theoretical peak execution rate over 1 GFLOPS, but only enough memory bandwidth to do a small fraction of that.
    I didn't say that this was for tomorrow, and I totally agree that 128MB RAM would make the die way too big and hot in the foreseeable future. But, I never meant for all of the system memory to be on the die. A 16MB buffer on-die would be a big help for most applications.
    You can't argue with Moore's law, and in 6 years, fabrication processes WILL be down 4x, which is about 0.05 microns and from some of the research that I've read about technology exists that can achieve this. So I expect that in half a decade it will be perfected enough to be a viable mass market solution. If it doesn't happen in 5 years it will then in 10, but whatever the time frame I believe it will happen.
  • The newsbit says that you can O/C the duron motherboard bus speed up to 183 Mhz (or something like that)... I heard that you can only O/C the bus up to something like 130 Mhz before your video cards start to fail? Sorry i'm an O/C newbie (i got a Pentium 2 hehe)... If this is true, i'm getting a duron asap :)
  • Honestly, I think that VIA is the bane of AMD's existance. If you want an AMD CPU, you're pretty much forced into a VIA chipset, which IMHO give AMD a bad name. Incompatibility issues, stability problems. It's a shame.
  • He just did say that about SIMMs.

    --
  • Many non-technical users don't go into their BIOS. My room mate doesn't even know what a BIOS is or that it's there. When I was doing tech support, I'd tell my customers to reboot and get into their BIOS settings and almost every time I did, they'd ask me "How do I do that?" My answer was generally "See if the screen tells you. If it doesn't, try holding down delete or F1 immediately after you power on." Once entering the BIOS, I'd have several people go "I've never seen THIS screen before!"

    Combine that with BIG RED FLASHING warnings about how badly you could fuck up your system if you adjust these settings without knowing what you're doing, and MOST of the non-technical users will never touch them. They get worried when they see BIG RED FLASHING warnings and they steer clear of those settings.

  • >After all that time looking, I was getting nowhere...so I checked the BIOS settings and low and behold, his computer was overclocked...he had been told that it was normal & natural...no big deal. Except that this machine was crashing about every 20 minutes...

    Overclocking is like drinking. Know your limits. Do it responsibly. Don't judge all OCers by this one guy. He learned his lesson.

    >So before you get excited about this, I just wanted to point out that sometimes the better solution is to not try and get that extra 20% or get that extra 20% through distributed computing (e.g. Seti@home).

    I can't get increased frame rates in games through distributed computing.
  • I know dating back to the PII's and Celeron's chip companies have been "clock-locking" their cpu's to prevent overclocking and mislabeling, but I was under the impression that the lock was on the cpu rather than the motherboard. I was pretty sure that AMD did the same thing and that was the reason for needing golden hardware hacks. Is the restriction actually on the motherboard, and if so how come no motherboard manufacturer did this before?
  • Honestly, I think that VIA is the bane of AMD's existance. If you want an AMD CPU, you're pretty much forced into a VIA chipset, which IMHO give AMD a bad name. Incompatibility issues, stability problems.

    That's funny...I've never ran into problems with any of the VIA-based motherboards I've run across (except for the PCChips motherboards with relabeled VIA chipsets, but we all know what absolute pieces of sh*t PCChips products are). I have two FIC motherboards here (a PA-2007 (VP2) with K6-200 and a VA-503+ (MVP3) with K6-III-450) and have never run into hardware incompatibility problems. FWIW, all the motherboards that have given me trouble (other than the aforementioned PCChips boards, which I've had the good sense to not own myself) have been Intel-based boards. (In all fairness, their chipsets usually haven't been at fault...though I've seen some weirdness with configuring two IDE devices as primary-master and secondary-master on some i430?X-based boards. To get the system to work, you'd end up putting the hard drive and CD-ROM drive on the primary interface and leave the secondary interface empty, which is lame.)

    _/_
    / v \
    (IIGS( Scott Alfter (remove Voyager's hull # to send mail)
    \_^_/

  • Uhh... this has little to do with AMD. They don't even make the chipset on these boards; VIA does. ABIT "saves the day", just as they do for Intel-processor-based systems, by putting lots of fiddly timing options on the motherboard/in the BIOS setup.

    AMD does not multipler-lock their processors in the same way Intel does, though. Intel claims this is to deal with remarking, not to discourage overclocking, and I believe them. "All of the overclockers" is actually a fairly small community, and while they may be important as early adopters, they probably don't have much influence on revenue in the long run--except to vendors of cooling hardware :)

  • 1. Using a propane torch to sweat soldered-in 256Kx1 DRAM chips out of scrapped non-PC memory boards so you can get all 640K on your motherboard for cheap.

    256K? I've swiped 16K chips off of boards! (Used a solder sucker to pull 'em off an Atari 5200...haven't used them for anything yet, but they ought to be usable as spares for my Apple II+ if any of its memory goes tango-uniform.)

    6. Fitting a standard-spacing motherboard into a case that started out with a different motherboard with non-standard spacing for expansion cards.

    I had to trim a memory-expansion card with a Dremel once to get it to fit...does this count? :-)

    _/_
    / v \
    (IIGS( Scott Alfter (remove Voyager's hull # to send mail)
    \_^_/

  • A trusty old K6-266, the historians among us could tell you about it's whopping 523 BogoMIPS. But since they probably are tired I tell you instead.
  • This is great for all of the overclockers out there. Just when other companies are taking steps against overclocking, AMD comes in and saves the day.
  • actually I have one of those here, I bought it as a PII233 but the multiplier is unlocked up to 4.5 so I can run it at ~340MHz. Now if only I had my BF6 2 years ago, damn I would've owned in Q2 ;-)
  • Way to go ASUS and ABit!

    Now we can tuck in our cheap Durons or expensive T-birds and overclock to our hearts content! According to Toms Hardware [tomshardware.com] the three Duron 700 and one Duron 650 they tested were all overclockable up to 950 MHz, and the T-bird 1000 to 1100, all at 1.85 V.

    Now all we need is motherboards with chipsets supporting DDR memory...

    /Dervak

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Those of you in North America may wish to use this link [abit-usa.com]... faster server, fewer pages to wade through...
  • by CBAS ( 167789 )
    I don't agree. Lots of people buy computers in stores where they put these annoying stickers on 'em so they can see if you opened the case (like on harddrives).
    So if you want your warranty you can't overclock (and put the clock back when you take it back to the store because it melted ;-))

    On the other hand, anyone who would just buy a computer in a store probably never even heard of overclocking ...
  • Since the days of running more than one brand of CPU on the same motherboard seem now to be in the rearview mirror, is it time for affordable standardized passive backplanes? Wouldn't it be nice not to have to replace motherboard and case just to do a processor upgrade or be tied to one CPU manufacturer?
  • by Shoeboy ( 16224 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @09:51PM (#948266) Homepage
    AMD is doing what Intel should have done. The problem with unlocked chips is that they get remarked. The rips off customers, pisses of resellers and makes the manufacturer look bad. So how do you fix it? One solution is to multiplier lock the chip so it can't be overclocked without OC'ing the FSB. This sucks. Increasing the FSB also overclocks the PCI and AGP ports. This can fuck a lot of older cards. The other approach is to allow easy identification of the processors rated speed. This stops the remarking and doesn't cost you the enthusiast market. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that this is the solution the market will reward. (all other things being equal - which they never are.)
    Back in the days of the P5, when remarking was at its height, Intel refused to release software (which it had developed) to identify the rated speed of a proc. Once this strategy started hitting them in the pocketbook (like I said, remarking is bad for everyone) they decided to stop overclocking (and thus remarking) by locking the CPU.
    Why? Because Intel is a heavy handed company that doesn't give a shit about the end user. This is why they're forcing Rambus down our throats. This is why they haven't produced a chipset that even approaches the 440bx. This is why they refused to admit that the i820 with MTH was flawed for months after they released the buggy thing. That's why the Celeron still runs at 66mhz fsb.
    Go AMD. Down with Intel.
    --Shoeboy
  • by zatz ( 37585 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @09:59PM (#948267) Homepage

    Why would you have to replace your case? Almost everything in the PC world is ATX now, and the only real case problems I have had in years involved deliberately nonstandard cases from large OEMs. PC housing still can't compare to the elegance of Sun cases, but sometimes you do get what you pay for....

    As for keeping your motherboard... well, the K7 and P2/3 have very different CPU/chipset interfaces (and Intel was trying for different memory interfaces, too, but they realized they can't force that down our throats). You could have PCI, IDE, or SCSI backplanes in your system... rackmounts often do.

    If you look at PC history, you will notice that even if you could keep your old motherboard when upgrading processors, you usually wouldn't want to, because they improve too. (Intel has yet to surpass the BX chipset, but I suppose eventually they will get their asses in gear on that. Is the 840 a reasonable successor?)

    Change is just inherent to computer hardware. The real uses for passive backplanes are rackmount and hotswap, not saving a few bucks on printed circuit boards.

  • This is my concern - overclocking is a great thing to play with if you know what you're doing and don't mind the risks involved. With the hype surrounding overclocking and tools like this, there will be more people who have bought into the "overclocking is more for free at no risk" hype. Some of who will be dissapointed when they do reduce the lifespan of components, start getting intermittent crashes, and so forth.

  • Ok, the motherboard I can understand, but why would you swap out your case? Damn near everyone uses ATX now.

    I guess the switch from AT to ATX would have required it, but unless you only upgrade your CPU once every decade or so, having to replacing your case shouldn't really be a problem.

    Not to mention a lot of the cost involved with motherboards is the bios and chipset which tends to be tied to the CPUs, so you really wouldn't be saving that much money considering the cost of motherboards nowadays.

    Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
  • I'd much rather have them fix existing products instead; especialy ASUS has atrocious enduser support and doesn't seem interested in fixing severe bux in their products.

    Examples?

    * P5A bios doesn't support harddisks > 32 GB (crash on boot). No released fix available. (there is a beta bios you can dig up if you look hard enough).

    * The IDE Busmaster NT drivers for K7M Board don't support harddisks > 8GB (NT only sees first 8GB). No fix available from asus.

    Guess how happy I am about buying a K7M board to replace the old P5A because I wanted to use a new big harddisk.

    * Have a look at their own discussion board [asusnetq.com.tw] - lots of user questions and bug reports, absolutely NO reaction from asus tech whatsoever.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dear moron,

    Please be informed that I have e-mailed the FBI and ATF about your activities here. You are urging people to use dangerous drugs and providing links to illegal information related to controlled substances. Be prepared to be raided soon.

    I sincerely hope you and your dope-fiend friends resist and they'll have to put you down.

  • Well, it's simple really. First, not all of us are (purely) software geeks. Some of us started out our computer geek days as hardware geeks, mostly because we where poor, or underfunded in any account (I happen to be naturally poor), and got mostly hand me downs or cheap ass gifts. So, when not satisfied with the power we had, we simply tweak the hardware as best we could. Anyone here remember the days of the 3-486? Ok, how many here remember trying to OC or, more likely, install that new hand me down CPU into your old MB, without any Jumper guide, or just the one printed on the PCB? A lot less I suspect, but you bet I did it. And so did the same sort of people who OC their Celerons and Durons and Thunderbird Athlons (or Classic Athons for that matter) today. Still, why do we continue with this insanity?

    Well, there are two answers. One, for those of us with well paying jobs/living at home with little-no rent and any job at all, it's partly old habit, partly to keep the old skills tuned up, or even advance them further. I remember back when I got my V3 2000 (before I had a job), I attached one of my old 486 cooling fans to it. It rocked! I was able to OC the damn thing another 16mhz on top of no cooling, for free! I still have that V3, still OCed, this time with an undercard fan solution, and clocked even higher. Also, there is the point that, yeah, if you've got the cash when your upgrading, you can go for the next speed up. All well and good, but what about when it's time to upgrade? Well, if you've got much OC experince, and a good CPU, or graphics card, or whatever (CPUs mostly, I'll admit), then you most likely spend the $20-50 to get some extra cooling and OC your CPU by 100-300mhz (for modern CPUs, Celeron, slower Coppermine, Duron, Athlon), rather than the $100-250+ for the new speed grade of CPU. This holds true even more highly for the OCers that are 1)unworking collage students, or 2) still living at home, for two reasons. One, if it's their own cash, they aren't likely to be getting more than what they've got right then anytime soon, and two, they can more easly justify smaller purchaces.

    So, before you go asking yourself why we complete nutters would go and roast perfectly good hardware, well, now you'll know. We are or where poor hardware geeks, and we love to get into our cases and try to fry shit.

  • I've never been able to figure out why people would strip the motherboard out of a case and turn it into just another bunch of hazardous waste. Buy a new case for the board, and sell the old system complete to a student or somebody. Or do what I've done for the past several generations, and just grow your home LAN by another machine every time you upgrade.

    It makes even less sense to do Processor upgrades without buying a new motherboard. And I'll admit that one of my cases has had everything from a 386dx to a PentiumMMX 233 in it, because I've had it that long... but I certainly don't spare out components needlessly when I can avoid it these days.

    My first 'IBM PC' was a standard 8088 motherboard (non-turbo) that I wedged into an old "Leading Edge" case at a swapmeet. The card brackets were spaced differently so had to be chopped out, and I used an original 63.5 Watt IBM supply that had to be stripped out of it's housing to fit in the case. Those were the days... only paid $70 for each of the two 5-1/4 floppy drives (360K of course) because they were surplus. So I know what recycling PC parts is all about. But these days it just seems pathetic to do such mangling.
  • Passive backplane systems are almost exclusively used in Industrial Control applications, and usually cost 2-10 times as much as commodity hardware. I don't see the point in buying high-reliability Industrial Control hardware at a considerable increase in cost just to make it easier to upgrade. Plus PCI-buss passive backplane designs are usually more proprietary than any standard hardware that seats in an AT or ATX footprint.

    Do what you like, though.
  • "Increasing the FSB also overclocks the PCI and AGP ports. This can fuck a lot of older cards."

    Can you expand on this a little. I'm having some trouble with a new (to me) S3 Virge that occasionally locks up (and ALWAYS locks up when I use xscreensaver/xlockmore).
    --
  • Yep. What a shame that yet another 3L337 activity is turned into something any dork can do.

    Wait-a-minute.... anything that only involves a phillips screwdriver is dork-work.

    The true elite have wire-wrap guns and soldering irons.
  • "Can you expand on this a little. I'm having some trouble with a new (to me) S3 Virge that occasionally locks up (and ALWAYS locks up when I use xscreensaver/xlockmore)."

    are you overclocking your CPU by increasing the FSB?

    the PCI bus is supposed to run at 33mhz and the AGP bus at 66mhz. for reasons unbeknownst to me, if you increase your FSB from 100 to something higher (or 66 to something higher, 133 to something higher, etc.), you end up overclocking the AGP and PCI buses, too, because they always run at some set fraction of the FSB, like 2/3 or 1/3. this is obviously risky because you're now running practically all of your components out of spec, not just the CPU.

    as an aside, this is why it's so nice that Celerons use a 66mhz FSB. overclockers can increase the FSB to 100mhz, which is a nice safe speed.

    this is probably not the best explanation--i suggest checking the message boards at a hardware enthusiast site like hardocp, arstechnica, anandtech, etc...

  • 115 millihertz?

    180+ millihertz? Yes, I think there's room for you to increase your settings a little there, dude. Maybe you can even replace that monkey with a knife switch with a quartz-based CPU clock.
  • "Why do AMD and Intel continue to pretend that CPUs are upgradeble ? It's been years since I have seen someone upgrade a computer by changing the CPU alone.

    slot 1 motherboards with the BX chipset have had long lives. you can run any pentium 2's, most pentium 3's, and all celerons. that's not bad at all.

    in my case, i have a socket 370 BX chipset motherboard, and with the help of a Neo S370 adapter, it's on its second CPU. adapters are inelegant, but hey, it works.

    i think that it may be a while before the PC world sees a chipset as versatile, powerful, and stable as the BX again, so ultimately i think you're right.

    "Am I the only person who thinks the 72 pin SIMM was the pinnacle of module design ?"

    ugh, you've got to be kidding! DIMMs are much easier to install. and even easier to take out. you certainly can't say that about SIMMs.

  • i'm sure you'll be able to get some sort of slocket adapter, provided that your chipset supports the newer Athlons and Durons.

    i agree that it does suck, though, especially with the high cost of Athlon motherboards.

  • The thing is, if you are doing a reasonable upgrade (like once every two years to get a 100% clock speed boost), it makes more sense to buy a new system. Realistically, you probably don't want the video card and hard drive from your PII-333 in your brand new PIII-700 system.

    But, certain people out of concern for penis envy or gaming performance or whatever upgrade far more often. These guys might have a GeForce2 and a DMA66 drive in their Celeron 300A @ 450, and when they upgrade to an AMD 800, it makes sense to move the parts over. At that point the old computer is pretty much worthless with no drive and no video, and it makes sense to recycle the case.
  • why not just buy a dual 600MHz asus board and stuff two 600mhz celerys in there with a slocket card ? it'll cost ya $300 or so but you get the same or better performance.
    im still waiting for amd to release dual cpu boards *sigh*.
  • Actually, the motherboard is connected to the goldenfingers. On the socket Athlons, there were pins on the datasheets that were marked reserved. When people started playing around with them, they realised that they were the same as the connector on the top of the slot Athlons. The motherboard and BIOS become the goldenfingers device.
  • I noticed that the Asus board link [asus.com] was omitted. Asus' board allows CPU external (FSB) frequency settings to be set in 1 MHz-increments or reduction.
    Very similar to Abits board, but unfortunately it has less expansion slots (1 AGP and 5 PCI, while the Abit has 1 AGP, 5 PCI, and a PCI/ISA combo).
  • Its silly to ever use manufactuer supplied drivers. Most often they are just nVidia's reference drivers with some cosmetic hacks. (And NVIDIA's default look is a lot nicer looking at that.) Additionally, the reference drivers tend to be much higher quality, and more importantly, they come out a month or two before the manufactuerers get it into their driver builds. I used to stick with standard drivers, but then realized I was eternally 2 or 3 driver builds behind. Thus, every possible driver on my computer is now reference.
  • the problem with just using the reference drivers is that all the extra features on the Asus 6600 deluxe aren't covered in the reference drivers.

    So I am often trying the refernce drivers, until the proper asus drivers make the scene. But using the reference drivers renders those special features useless or worse.

    As for Linux support, well, yeah right- always a joke. I guess it works fine, but I really play all my games in winXX so I haven't seen the accelerator features and openGL in action. Anyone have comments on that?

    Haven't installed BeOS since I got the new card though, so I have to wonder how the support is there. I will look in to it today.
  • by DevTopics ( 150455 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @10:12PM (#948287) Homepage
    This will give every user the chance to overclock his/her CPU and complain about the instability of the software without too much effort... Now you can even crash Linux...
  • You are right. The real news is, that AMD might release Durons without multiplier locks. I don't know if AMD really will do this, though the Abit press release seems to imply this.
    I submitted the story, and looking back, I can see it was a really sloppy submission:
    It was really unclear whether AMD really was going to remove the multiplier lock on new Durons. Without AMD doing this, the story becomes a non-story. (Even my old bx-board support adjustable multipliers.
    The focus became skewed toward a particular MB manufacturer's rather tame, (and perhaps misleading?) press release.
    All in all: a sloppy, underresearched, skewed and speculative submission from my side.
    Not good.
  • Actually the 9-3 drivers have been released by NVIDIA, and they are actually pretty stable. BeOS doesnt support GeForce-based cards as NVIDIA refuses to give them specs. You can get color VESA support, but that's about it. (And yes, I do support NVIDIA's desicion to not give BeOS drivers. Kind of senseless to try to support and OS that actually has less users than Linux. Also, the BeOS driver model is quite a bit different from Linux or Windows, so I suspect that they really don't want to go to the trouble to make real BeOS drivers. However, I do question their judgement on not giving BeOS the specs under NDA. Since all NVIDIA cards have a similar driver interface (courtesy of the universal NVIDIA driver architecture) it should be short work for Be to cook up drivers based on the existing TNT driver source.
  • by yka ( 64654 )
    Six monts after I bought my Athlon 500 with
    Slot A connection they now have invented a new totally different Socket A

    This sucks

    Yka
  • That sort of thing is why I suggested passive backplane systems, to avoid being victimized by proprietary hardware designs any more than absoulutely necessary.
  • You just take the battery out and put it back in. I've done this a couple times getting my Pentium III 550 up past 616 mhz (5.5 x 112 fsb). It immediately works again after you put it back in.
  • I overclock my computer for the fact that I can't stand having something I own not working its hardest. Same with my car. I replace its stock parts to make it run better (Grand Am SE). Not because I'm broke (I'm not, but I'm not rich either). Its just when I shop I see this ->
    AMD Duron 700 (950 mhz if I tweak it), Celeron 366 (sweet mother of god overclockable and cheap).... etc.

    Why settle for what you paid for?

    Its like installing (insert linux dist here) and keeping the user settings that come with it.
    TWEAK PEOPLE TWEAK!!
  • Why is this news? Abit have been making jumperless motherboards with BIOS control for years now, with SoftMenu I/II/III, for just about every type of cpu out there (I swear by them). Is it because it's a non-Intel cpu? If so, why didn't the KA7 (Abit's Slot A board will all of the features of the KT7) or the KA7-100 make the same news when they came out several months ago? You are truly odd in what you decide to post, Slashdot. :)
  • well....

    as far as i read, it actually does have somthing to do with AMD. AMD made these chips so that the multiplier could be controled, some of the pins are just for exactly that.

    it's mentioned in the toms hardware article... here [tomshardware.com].

    -------

  • by TheDweller ( 209133 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @11:54PM (#948296)
    I have never actually owned an Abit motherboard but you have to appreciate what they do with their spare time (read: dual celeron BP6, etc).
    The cool thing about some of their motherboards is the Winbond Hardware monitoring chip that they use in some. The lm_sensors package allows linux users full use of the hardware monitoring features. Use it in conjunction with frontends like KLM or GnoLM.
    Also, the "one MHz step" thing that they have can be used from inside linux. I mean, you can change the FSB from inside linux (in one MHz steps) because of the clock generator that they use.
    Im not knocking other manufacturers, but I have found Abit to be a linux overclocker's best friend.

    Useful Links:
    FSB Utility for Linux [uni-rostock.de]
    The lm_sensors Homepage [lm-sensors.nu]

    ----------
    o/c da world!
  • by pen ( 7191 )
    OC from the comfort of your BIOS.

    So... what happens when the CMOS battery dies? This isn't a troll, I honestly want to know.

    Personally, I think that the best solution is to add a few jumpers and do it that way. Anyone who doesn't know how to open the box up and set a jumper or two should not be overclocking. This isn't eliticism, IMHO, it's for the user's own good.

    --

  • ...ASUS has atrocious enduser support...

    I made the mistake of going Asus for my last upgrade. got their p2b and a GeForce v6600 (both chosen per Tom Pabst's reviews, btw).

    As it turns out, the motherboard is ok, if limited, with poor overclocking controls (jumpers under cables) and a mere 3 dimm slots.

    But I don't even bother hoping for good video card drivers out of Asus anymore. They designed their own board, with great ntsc and a built in DVD decoder, but the software is for windows and the drivers rarely update, usually 6 mos. behind the reference drivers for win2k. I definately should have gone for one of the reference board models...

    HEY IF ANY OF YOU ASUS GUYS ARE OUT THERE, I WANT MY MONEY BACK!

    I will pobably go Abit next time. just waitin' on that 815e, baby!
  • Even the classic Athlons could be set to the "proper" multiplier. The only catch was that you had to open the CPU casing [205.177.229.20] and attach a goofy widget. You can see a review of Athlon GoldFinger devices (GFD) here [athlonoc.com], or if you're a DIY kind of person, the specs are here [tomshardware.com].
  • why does it have clock multiplier, if the cpu doesn't support it?

    doesn't seem to make any sense to me...

    -------

  • Standardizing the interface is a nice idea, but when new a mb is only a 100 dollars, I just don't see the point. Why go to all that work and increased cost, when new motherboards are cheap? Besides, it would probably just make it harder to make newer and faster busses. On a side note, BX motherboards have had pretty good longevity. from the old 300 Mhz days to now. Not too bad. Yes it would be nice to have a standardized interface, but if our new P3s and Athlons were running through a bus interface designed in the 486 era, we would all be bitching.
  • maybe so, but i'm not gonna knock them for it for one reason.

    there are only a very few motherboards that will have this feature. asus, abit, and maybe epox. there's still conflicting info on the epox board.

    anyhow, only reason i know this crap is that, while my linux box is just dandy, i'm really wanting a gaming machine. and well, the duron, and easy overclocking.... just to good to pass up. so, i've been reading as much as i can...

    -------

  • Thats there from I believe the BH6. Certain chips around the 350-400 range could have the multiplier changed. But they were rare at the time, and probably next to impossible to find now.
  • Both Slot connections were just Intel and AMDs way of packing cache chips on a special connection to the CPU. Now that they've both got on-die, full speed cache, it's just not necessary anymore, and I suppose having one more PCB/case/larger heatsink in the slot design adds $5+ to its cost.

    With AMD, at least, you can still get their newest CPUs in slot or socket form, though, so you don't have too much to complain about.

    To the people who want a "common backplane" - great, but whose? K7 based chips and PIII based chips use totally different bus designs now. Someone would have to heavily retool their chip designs to make them work on common motherboards.
  • I know most of this forum is real big into OCing, but for the majority of users it is definitely the wrong thing to do.

    A couple weekends ago, I spent four or five hours looking at someone's computer to solve the frequent crashing problem he had. After all that time looking, I was getting nowhere...so I checked the BIOS settings and low and behold, his computer was overclocked...he had been told that it was normal & natural...no big deal. Except that this machine was crashing about every 20 minutes, and he had no need for the extra speed.

    So before you get excited about this, I just wanted to point out that sometimes the better solution is to not try and get that extra 20% or get that extra 20% through distributed computing (e.g. Seti@home).
  • AMD's new socket-A interface is used by Duron, Thunderbird (i.e. new Athlon) and will also be used by their Mustang due out later this year.

    If you buy a socket-A Duron or Athlon now, you'd also have the option of upgrading to a dual SMP 760-MP DDR based mobo later this year.
  • Do you happen to know where GnoLM can be found? The original maintainer/author has moved his page, and it's not there (although some other Linux projects can be found there), so one can't get it from freshmeat. I've tried both an ftpsearch and google for the tarball and can't find it.
  • Ok, the motherboard I can understand, but why would you swap out your case? Damn near everyone uses ATX now.

    I guess I'm not "everyone"...my fastest box is in a full-tower AT case. (It's a 450-MHz K6-III with 256 megs of PC133 SDRAM on an FIC VA-503+. (No, the motherboard I have now doesn't take full advantage of the memory speed...I only bought the memory a few months ago with the intent to move it to some kind of K7 box.)) ATX cases used to cost substantially more than AT cases, which is why I've stuck with AT cases for so long. Now that you can get ATX cases for about what AT cases used to cost, it's not as big a hassle. (Also, I don't think anybody is making any AT cases anymore, and I've not heard of any Slot/Socket A AT motherboards.)

    With all that said, the specs on Abit's new board [abit-usa.com] look pretty sweet. Six PCI slots, an ISA slot, and no AMR header to waste space that'd be better occupied by a PCI or ISA slot. (Epox also has an AMR-free K7 board (the EP-8KTA [epox.com]) that comes close, but includes on-board audio (isn't the on-board audio on VIA-chipset motherboards kinda difficult to get running under Linux? I'll stick with my Ensoniq AudioPCI...).) The KT7 hasn't found its way to the Price Watch vendors [pricewatch.com], though...yet.

    _/_
    / v \
    (IIGS( Scott Alfter (remove Voyager's hull # to send mail)
    \_^_/

  • I sent an email to Abit tech support when the Athlon first came out suggesting that they implement an onboard multiplier modifier function, but they said they had no intentions of supporting the Athlon at the time. I wish I still had that mail. Abit, if you are listening, please reply to this and I'll give you the address for the check.
  • by Forge ( 2456 ) <kevinforge@nospAm.gmail.com> on Saturday July 08, 2000 @10:38PM (#948319) Homepage Journal
    but for the wrong reason. You see VIA at one point released a chipset designed to put sound, video, modem, etc... on a Super 7 motherboard.

    The actual chipset sucked. Or at leased seamed to suck because the motherboards that ran with it sucked. However it still holds the record for the coolest chipset name I have seen.

    It was called 'GRA'. Since it was made by 'VIA' the label on the board read VIAGRA. The fact that Socket 7 was old and near impotent at the time didn't help matters much :).

    On to CPU sockets and Slots.

    Why do AMD and Intel continue to pretend that CPUs are upgradeble ? It's been years since I have seen someone upgrade a computer by changing the CPU alone.

    This is not a coincidence. Whenever new chips come out the older motherboards don't support them properly for one reason or another. This has even happened with Motherboards that had clock settings up to the higher speeds.

    Typically a motherboard is limited to the fastest CPU currently on the market at the time it is released. If you save money by buying that board with a slower chip when it comes time to upgrade you generally find it prudent to simply skip the highest chip the board dose support and get a new CPU and board. Along with new RAM in some cases.

    And speaking of RAM. Am I the only person who thinks the 72 pin SIMM was the pinnacle of module design ? Somehow the DIMM sockets we are all so fund of these days feel like they were designed to break easily. Having to push straight down with great force ( relative to what a SIMM requires ) doesn't help much.

    It all feels like a scam but at least I can fondly remember those cheerful days when you could look a customer straight in the face and calmly recommend that he get viagra for his aging PC.

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