Lowering your CAS Latency:
One of the biggest things you can do to boost your overall
system performance is to tune your system memory. When your computer is POSTing
(when your memory is being counted) you have to get into your BIOS, usually it's
as simple as pressing the "Delete" key, on some motherboards you have to press
After you're in the BIOS you want to go to your "Advanced
Chipset Features". Inside that sub menu's look for "DRAM Timing" or "DRAM
Control". Once you find that, look for "CAS Latency" or "CL". On the safe side
this is usually set to "SPD" (Serial Presence Detect) but you'll find if you can
adjust the value to "2" your overall system performance would go up approx.
Basically what this tweak does is, it forces your memory
to run a little more aggressively. It no longer waits as long when addressing
and transferring data between the bus, CPU, or other peripherals. You should
notice the biggest performance differences in games or anything that heavily
taxes your system.
Clean out the Dust Bunnies:
It's quite amusing, most people take care of their
computers via software but more often then not, they neglect the actual
hardware. Computers are dust and dirt magnets, and cleaning them out can often
increase their life span quite a bit in the later years.
Simply remove the cover and remove all the dust bunnies,
you can even use your vacuum cleaner to help out (be sure to unplug the power
first). You want to regularly clean out your computer because all the dirt and
dust that collects in a computer is electronically conductive. If the dust
shorts out your computer (which was the case for my friend) it can cost you more
money in the long run to pay the computer technician to clean it out for you!
Fans too noisy?
Computer these days are getting faster and faster, and
they're also producing more and more heat. Properly cooling the "hot spots" is
getting more difficult so we often use higher speed fans, or even groups of
them. The problem with more fans is obviously more noise.
One of my good friends recently told me a way I can lower
the whine those 60mm delta's can produce. What you have to do is, get some
400-600 grit wet/dry sand paper and sand down the edge of the fan blades. This
lowers the resistance and allows for air to move a bit easier. This also
supposedly lowers the whine the fans produce by quite a bit!
Special thanks to my boy CygnusX1 for this tip!
Today we're going to be dealing with the touchy subject of
Let's face it, most of the time even the fastest computer
is not "fast enough" and that is why people "overclock" computers. Just how do
you overclock a CPU?
There are two simple ways; you can raise the clock
multiplier and/or raise the bus speed. Multiply the clock multiplier (inside the
CPU) with the bus speed and that gives you the CPU speed. Here's an example... A
Pentium 4 1.6 GHz has a multiplier of 16x and the bus of the processor is 100
MHz or 16 x 100 MHz = 1.6 GHz.
Since most modern processors are locked by default,
raising the multiplier is often not an option. That only leaves overclocking via
What you want to do is go into the BIOS and find your way
to the "Frequency Control" section if it is supported (not all computes have
this). There you should see either "Bus Speed" or "FSB" written. It's most
likely set at 66 MHz, 100 MHz or 133 MHz. What you want to do is raise it a bit.
For instance if you're running a Pentium 4 1.6A Northwood, upping the FSB to 133
MHz will makes your processor run at 2.13 GHz.
If you find that your computer is less stable at these
higher speeds, you may want to up the voltage a bit. Setting higher voltages
stabilizes things because the signals are now stronger. To be safe, if you're a
novice overclocker don't raise voltages past 10%. Upping the voltage and running
faster usually means higher temperatures. For modern processors you don't really
want to be running pass 60 degrees Celsius so if you're above that mark, slow
down the computer until you get better cooling.
Since programs usually benefit from higher clock speeds,
having a processor run faster is usually beneficial. However running components
beyond their rated specifications voids warranties . So you
have to be careful. If your computer is a bit old and you want to make it run a
bit faster, perhaps overclocking is your answer.
With computers producing more heat then ever before people
are equipping their computers with bigger heatsinks, and more powerful fans. The
big negative effect is the increase in noise that comes with this extra cooling.
I've made a decision to change my ways, and so gone are the days of using a
7000RPM Delta fan which screams like a vacuum. I just can't stand the noise
anymore. When I recently moved my system from AMD to P4, I was amazed at how
quiet my computer had become but I was still not satisfied. I was determined to
quiet it down even more!
There are plenty of sound absorbing products on the market
like this and this, but what I wanted to try a
trick and keep things cheap. What I did to try and "quiet" down my computer was
tape some antistatic Polyester foam to the inside panels of my case. Polyester
(this black foam comes in most retail motherboard packages for cushioning).
While Polyester foam isn't the most technically engineered sound absorbing
material, it's readily available at your local computer retailer and will most
likely be free!
After doing this quick little trick I found that my
computer was a few decibels quieter and some occasional rattling from the side
panels (I have an 3 year old Lian Li PC-70 Aluminum case) had stopped! My
computer is a little bit quieter, and I think we can all agree that is a good
thing. If you think your computer noise is unbearable this little mod might be
worth a try.