In the Forums...
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Posted: February 25, 2000
Tweak Programs Cont.
PCIInfo - A freeware utility written by the person that wrote TweakBIOS, this little program will list specific details about devices on your PCI and AGP bus. This will list the vendor's name, type of device, what IRQ it takes, if it supports 66 MHz bus, if it can use AGP 2X, the latency timer set for it, whether or not it is capable of bus mastering, and what type of bus it is using. It is definitely a valuable program for a person looking to tweak their system or a person looking for detailed information. Read more about it here, or download it here.
PowerTweak - PowerTweak is an excellent program that will optimize your processor and chipset. This program does wonders for most machines, and can boost performance across the charts. Read more about it here.
Hmonitor - Hardware sensors monitor is another program nobody should be without. This program is one of the best free hardware sensor programs that allows you to check the temperature of any component on your computer with a sensor. It also has alarms that can be set when the temperature goes too high and even has built in software cooling. (Uses idle CPU cycles to decrease utilization; which really works to decrease the heat) You can even set the software cooling to automatically start when a certain temperature is reached. Read more about it here or download the latest version here.
CpuIdle - CpuIdle is a fairly good program that allows the CPU to cool down in between idle cycles. I have seen this program work well in some cases, poorly in others. Either way, it's worth a shot as a free cooling solution. Read more at the page here or download the program here.
SoftFSB - As far as overclocking programs go, nothing even comes close to SoftFSB. This free program allows you to change your FSB (front side bus) speed on the fly from Windows. Yes, change your clock speed from Windows at any time! Not all motherboards support this program, but many do, and work very well. Download the program here.
WCPUID - This program was written by the same author as SoftFSB. The program gives all the information about your CPU, such as clock speed, family #, L2 cache size, and much, much more. Download the program here.
System Studio - At the point of this writing, this program is still in beta, but from what I've seen, it is turning into a really cool product. And even better, it is hosted here at Tweak3D. Find out more information here.
What do you do if something simply didn't work? Well, if you didn't do any permanent damage (overclocking concern mostly), all you need to do is reset your BIOS to its defaults. Another option would be to just go back and manually reset everything you changed one at a time. And if you are really having trouble, you can always "short-circuit" the BIOS battery (there is a jumper for it) and fix it that way.
Tweaking your CPU and BIOS is one of the best ways to squeeze that extra speed out of your system, and it is definitely worth the time spent on it. Enjoy, and feel free to contact me with your comments and questions.