MSI K7D - I've got the Power(Now)! [Home]

| Home | Status | Usage howto | SBU |

Current BIOS patch revision: 0.09

Quick downloads:
191_MF.bin (rev 0.09)
191_MF bootdisk (rev 0.09)
All patches (rev 0.09)
Source code (rev 0.09)

What's all this about?

There are several dual socket-A board out there that support mobile CPUs running in SMP mode without modification. The K7D is not one of them, unfortunately. The chipset support is there, the board support is there, but the BIOS gets in the way. So, the solution is to fix the BIOS and get rid of this annoying restriction.

Why bother? Well, two reasons. The first is the 1337-ness (sorry) of being able to change multipliers on the fly, in a dual-CPU system, from within your OS of choice. AMD has never, and still doesn't, produce chips that are supposed to be able to do SMP and software multiplier changes (Opterons can't do Cool'n'Quiet). The second reason is more practical. Newer Athlon XP's have die-locked multipliers and run on FSBs of 166MHz or higher. Using these in a MPX system is a huge waste, as the FSB can usually only get into the 140 to 150MHz range, and you can't adjust the multiplier to compensate. By enabling PowerNow (and doing a few small bridge modifications), the normal speed (and then some :) ) of these chips can be used.

Currently the patch seems to be stable and not eating BIOSes in its basic form. The BIOSes with more advanced features (like keyboard undo and SBU) are still not functioning 100% correctly, though they are not eating BIOS chips either. For full details see the status page.