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Build A PC Like My Super PC


The table below shows the BIOS settings I am using on the ABIT KR7A-133 motherboard. My ABIT KR7A-133 BIOS version is B5, dated 10/3/2002. Italics indicate values that are not updateable, although they might be under different BIOS settings.

This BIOS optimization guide available from Adrian's Rojak Pot is an excellent general-purpose source for information on BIOS settings.

SoftMenu III Setup

CPU Operating Speed 1800+(133)  
CPU FSB Clock (MHz) 133  
Ratio (FSB:AGP:PCI) 4:2:1  
Multiplier Factor x11.5  
Speed Error Hold Disabled  
CPU Power Supply CPU Default  
Core Voltage 1.750v  
I/O Voltage 3.50v  
DDR Voltage 2.55v  
DQ Control Center DQ  
CPU Fast Command Decode Fast This setting will give a performance improvement over Normal and is safe with the high-quality components I'm using. The Ultra setting makes little performance difference and isn't worth the risk of causing instability.

Standard CMOS Features

IDE Primary Master IC35L080AVVA07-0 This is the IBM 120GXP 80GB hard drive. The hard drive and CD-ROM should not be on the same IDE since doing so will cause them both to run at the speed of the slower device. The CD-ROM is much slower than the hard drive. Placing them on separate IDEs allows them to both run at their maximum speeds.
 IDE Primary Master (sub-menu)
IDE Primary MasterAuto 
- Access ModeAuto 
IDE Primary Slave None  
IDE Secondary Master LTN525D This is the Lite-On 52x CD-ROM.
IDE Secondary Slave None  
Drive A 1.44M, 3.5 in This is the floppy drive.
Drive B None  
Floppy 3 Mode Support Disabled Floppy 3 is the Japanese standard floppy drive mode. It stores 1.2MB on a 3.5" diskette instead of 1.44MB.
Video EGA/VGA  
Halt On All, But Keyboard Halt on all errors except Keyboard Absent error. This enables the machine to boot without the keyboard plugged in.
Base Memory 640K DOS device drivers, TSRs and any programs to be run, plus their data.
Extended Memory 523264K Memory above 1 MB is known as extended memory, and is not normally usable under DOS.
Total Memory 524288K Base + Upper + Extended = Total Memory.

Advanced BIOS Features

Virus warning Disabled Symantec Norton Antivirus protects My Super PC.
CPU L2 Cache ECC Checking Enabled Improves stability and reliability with no real impact to performance.
Quick Power On Self Test Enabled Skip Power On Self-Tests for faster boot.
First Boot Device CDROM Normally this should be set to HDD-0 to boot directly from the hard drive, but set it to the CDROM for now since that's how we'll need it when we're ready for the step after configuring the BIOS parameters. When it's set to HDD-0 the computer does not look to see if there's a floppy disk in the floppy drive from which it should boot. Set this to Floppy for disaster recovery procedures.
Second Boot Device CDROM Normally this would be set to HDD-0 since the First Boot Device is the only boot device.
Third Boot Device CDROM Ditto.
Boot Other Device Disabled Gives the "ok" for the BIOS to try the Second Boot Device and Third Boot Device if the First Boot Device is a "no-go", but My Super PC just boots from the First Boot Device, which is the hard drive so - Disabled.
Swap Floppy Drive Disabled I've only got one floppy drive, so it's going to be A:.
Boot Up Floppy Seek Disabled Skipping this check makes the boot go a bit faster.
Boot Up NumLock Status Off This item is a matter of personal taste.
Typematic Rate Setting Enabled  
Typematic Rate (Chars/Sec) 30 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 24, 30
Typematic Delay (Msec) 250 250, 500, 750, 1000. This is the delay, in milliseconds, before the keyboard automatically repeats the keystroke that you have pressed continuously.
Security Option Setup If you have set a password, select whether the password is required every time the System boots, or only when you enter Setup. I don't even have a password set, so it's a moot point.
APIC Mode Disabled Setting to Enabled can cause instabilities. Once the operating system is installed, such as Windows XP in my case, this setting cannot be changed without reinstalling the operating system, regardless of whether the initial setting is Disabled or Enabled. The purpose of setting it to Enabled is to extend the number of IRQ's, which sounds like a real risky proposition. I'm not surprised to see the conclusion reached at APIC: Benefit or Trouble. The number of IRQ's should be fine without being extended, anyway.
MPS Version Control For OS 1.1 Not changeable with APIC Mode set to Disabled.
OS Select For DRAM > 64MB Non-OS2 IBM's relic.
Report No FDD For WIN 95 No When using Windows 95 without a floppy drive, set to Yes. Say - how many ABIT KR7A-133 motherboards do you suppose are out there running under Windows 95 without a floppy drive?
Video BIOS Shadow Disabled Your system will perform better with this setting at Disabled. As you can read in the MS Knowledge base, shadowing is not an advantage. Only enable this if you still use DOS mode a lot, where it can improve performance as it will speed up VGA BIOS (C0000-C7FFF) accesses.
Delay for IDE Initial (Secs) 0 Certain hard disk drives require some extra time to spin up in a cold boot. If the system does not start after the memory test, try adding time in this field.
Small Logo(EPA) Show Disabled  

Advanced Chipset Features

 DRAM Clock/Drive Control (sub-menu)
DRAM Clock133 MHz 
DRAM TimingManual 
DRAM CAS Latency2Although the memory is spec'd at 2.5, Crucial memory is high quality and will run at the faster 2 setting.
Bank Interleave4 bankFor best performance.
Precharge to Active(Trp)2T 
Active to Precharge(Tras)6TThis value is recommended for PC2100 memory to improve stability with no real loss of performance. A value of 5T is recommended for PC1600 memory and a value of 7T is recommended for PC2700 memory (which the ABIT KR7A-133 doesn't support anyway).
Active to CMD(Trcd)2T 
DDR DQS Input DelayAuto 
Input Delay Value24 
DDR DQS Output DelayAuto 
Ouput Delay Value40 
Command Drive StrengthHiSet this to Hi for added stability, especially with multiple DIMM's in use.
Rx6C OverWriteDisabledDefault value. Even ABIT technical support couldn't tell me what this does, so it's best to leave it alone.
OverWrite Rx6C00Ignored since Rx6C OverWrite, whatever that is, is disabled.
Rx6D OverWriteDisabledDefault value. Even ABIT technical support couldn't tell me what this does, so it's best to leave it alone.
OverWrite Rx6D0AIgnored since Rx6D OverWrite, whatever that is, is disabled.
DRAM Queue Depth4 levelFor best performance.
DRAM Command Rate2T CommandThe 1T Command setting is unstable and problematical.
DCLK Feedback Delay0 psThe only agreed safe value.
 AGP & P2P Bridge Control (sub-menu)
AGP Aperture Size64MBThe BIOS optimization guide reference from Adrian's Rojak Pot above provides a great description of how this should be set and why. A value of 64MB is best for most configurations.
AGP Mode4x 
AGP Driving ControlAutoSetting to Manual may destabilizes the video card.
AGP Driving ValueDANot changeable with AGP Driving Control set to Auto.
AGP Fast WriteEnabled 
AGP Read SynchronizationDisabledSetting to Enabled may cause instability.
AGP Master 1 WS WriteEnabledBy default, the AGP busmastering device waits for at least 2 wait states before it starts a write transaction. This option sets the delay to 1 wait state. This setting works fine with the motherboard and video card I have in My Super PC. But if you see anything strange with your graphics then set back to Disable and see if it clears up.
AGP Master 1 WS ReadEnabledDefault is at least 2 wait states. The Comments under AGP Master 1 WS Write apply.
 CPU & PCI Bus Control (sub-menu)
PCI Master Read CachingDisabledSetting to Enabled allows CPU L2 cache to be used for PCI master reads, but that leaves less CPU L2 cache for system memory which doesn't sound like a good trade, so I've set it to Disabled.
PCI Master Bus Time-OutDisabledDefault value. If a PCI device is troublesome, like crackling noises are coming from the PCI sound card, then changing this parameter may clear it up.
PCI Master Priority Rotation CoDisabledControls the CPU's access to the PCI . The default value is Disabled. As long as the PCI devices are performing properly it's fine to leave it disabled. By the way, it looks like the full name of the parameter was overwritten on the display by it's displayed value.
PCI1 Master 0 WS WriteEnabledPerformance is better when set to Enabled.
PCI2 Master 0 WS WriteEnabledDitto.
PCI1 Post WriteEnabledDitto.
PCI2 Post WriteEnabledDitto.
PCI Delay TransactionEnabledThis option should be enabled for better performance and to meet PCI 2.1 specifications. Disable it only if your PCI cards cannot work properly.
Master Delay TransactionDisabledDefault value. Even ABIT technical support couldn't tell me what this does, so it's best to leave it alone.
Memory Hole Disabled Some special ISA cards require this area of memory for them to work properly. Enabling this function reserves the memory area for the card's use. It will also prevent the system from accessing memory above 16MB. This means that if you enable this function, your OS can only use up to 15MB of RAM, irrespective of how much RAM your system actually has. So, always disable this function unless your ISA card absolutely requires this memory area to work properly.
System BIOS Cacheable Disabled This feature is only valid when the system BIOS (F0000-FFFFF) is shadowed. It greatly speeds up accesses to the system BIOS. However, this does not translate into much better system performance because the OS does not need to access the system BIOS much. As such, it would be a waste of L2 cache bandwidth to cache the system BIOS instead of data that are more critical to the system's performance. In addition, if any program writes into this memory area, it will result in a system crash.
Video RAM Cacheable Disabled Set to Disabled for all nVidia based cards.

Integrated Peripherals

 VIA OnChip IDE Device (sub-menu)
IDE Prefetch ModeEnabledFor best performance.
Onboard IDE-1 ControllerEnabledThese are the ATA/133 IDE controllers.
Onboard IDE-2 ControllerEnabledThese are the ATA/133 IDE controllers.
- Master Drive PIO ModeAutoSet all of these to Auto and let the BIOS determine if each drive is capable of DMA support, and its respective PIO mode.
- Slave Drive PIO modeAutoDitto.
- Master Drive Ultra DMAAutoDitto.
- Slave Drive Ultra DMAAutoDitto.
 SuperIO Device (sub-menu)
Onboard FDD ControllerEnabledI do have floppy.
Onboard Serial Port 13F8/IRQ4Standard.
Onboard Serial Port 22F8/IRQ3Standard.
- Onboard IR FunctionDisabledNo Infra-Red devices.
- RxD , TxD ActiveHi,LoNot applicable since IR is disabled.
- IR Transmission DelayEnabledNot applicable since IR is disabled.
- IR Function DuplexHalfNot applicable since IR is disabled.
- Use IR PinsIR-Rx2Tx2Not applicable since IR is disabled.
Onboard Parallel Port378/IRQ7Standard.
- Parallel Port TypeSPPSet this to SPP unless you have a device or printer that specifically requires use of ECP/EPP modes such as a parallel port scanner, zip drive, etc."
- EPP Type SelectEPP1.9Not changeable since Parallel Port Type is set to SPP.
- ECP Mode Use DMA3Ditto.
Init Display First AGP Set to AGP if your primary display is your AGP adapter, or to PCI if the primary display is a PCI video card.
USB Controller All Enabled  
- USB Keyboard Support BIOS  

Power Management Setup

ACPI Suspend Type S1(POS)  
Power Management Option User Define My Super PC does not use the Suspend power saving mode.
HDD Power Down Disable Ditto.
Suspend Mode Disable Ditto.
Video Off Option Suspend -> Off Screen off when system is in SUSPEND mode, which it never is, in my case.
Video Off Method DPMS Support Use this setting if you have a PnP capable monitor.
Modem Use IRQ NA Manually assigning the IRQ is not needed.
Soft-Off By PWRBTN Instant-Off You don't want slow death.
State After Power Failure Off  
 IRQ/Event Activity Detect (sub-menu)
PS2KB Wakeup from S3/S4/S5DisabledMy Super PC awakens on pushing the power button only. Just so you know, PS2KB is the PS/2 keyboard and S3/S4/S5 are sleep states
PS2MS Wakeup from S3/S4/S5Disabled.PS2MS is the PS/2 mouse.
PCI MasterOFF 
PowerOn by PCI CardDisabled 
Modem Ring ResumeDisabled 
RTC Alarm ResumeDisabled 
Date (of Month)0Not applicable with RTC Alarm Resume Disabled.
Resume Time (hh:mm:ss)23 :0 : 0Not applicable with RTC Alarm Resume Disabled.
 IRQs Activity Monitoring (sub-menu)
All interrupt EventOffDisable IRQ's from having any effect on power management.

PnP/PCI Configurations

PNP OS Installed Yes If you're using Windows (and who isn't?), set this to Yes.
Force Update ESCD Disabled Normally leave this Disabled. But if, for example, you add a new card and the subsequent system reconfiguration causes a serious conflict of resources (maybe the OS won't boot) then setting this to Enabled is a solution to be considered.
Resources Controlled By Auto (ESCD) Let the BIOS figure out IRQ's and DMA channels.
PCI/VGA Palette Snoop Disabled The VGA "palette" is the set of colors that are in use by the videocard when it is in 256-color mode. Since there are thousands of colors and only 256 can be used in that mode, a palette containing the current colors is used. Some special VGA cards, high-end hardware MPEG decoders, etc. need to be able to look at the video card's VGA palette to determine what colors are currently in use. Enabling this feature turns on this palette "snoop". This option is only very rarely needed. It should be left at "Disabled" unless a video device specifically requires the setting enabled upon installation.
Assign IRQ for VGA Enabled Set to Yes if you are using an AGP video card.
Assign IRQ for USB Enabled Set to Yes if you are using an USB device.
PIRQ_0 Use IRQ No. Auto The more the BIOS automatically figures out the IRQ settings the better I like it.
PIRQ_1 Use IRQ No. Auto Ditto.
PIRQ_2 Use IRQ No. Auto Ditto.
PIRQ_3 Use IRQ No. Auto Ditto.

PC Health Status

Temperature Warning Disabled  
CPU Shutdown Temperature Disabled  
Shutdown when CPUFAN Fail Disabled  
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