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Old 08-18-2000, 10:25 AM
bstaley bstaley is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 314
Default IRQ Buffering to improve performance

There is a technique which some advanced users of Windows 9x are using to get increased performance from their systems. It's called "IRQ Buffering". The concept is that you allocate a set amount of RAM to a specific IRQ to improve performance of any device attached to that IRQ. You can check out an article describing it at http://www.speedguide.net/Cable_modems/cable_irq.shtml
The article is discussing network cards, but it says it can be applied to any card. I wonder if using this technique would help the stability of any users with the Via Chipsets, or Athlon systems. I have tried it on my PII 400 and have had no problems so far in about one week of using this technique. I wasn't having any problems to begin with though.

I tried buffering my Digi001 card and also my Harddisk Controller. I haven't noticed much of an improvement but I also haven't had time to compare settings.

I'd really like to upgrade my PII 400 to a fast Athlon system, but Digi seems to be dragging their feet on announcing any plans for Athlon compatibility. I know a few of you out there have Athlons and I'm wondering if this might help resolve some of the issues with that platform. If you try it, could you please post your findings here.

Here is an excert from another article I found discussing the subject:

<i>This acts in somewhat the same way a disk cache works to speed up access to your disk files. In some cases, the setting can also assist devices other than NICs, if they use an IRQ (interrupt request line). For example, a PCI-based network card may share an IRQ with other boards in your system.

By making more RAM available to the IRQ used by your network card, transfers can move in greater quantities. This improves throughput 10 percent or more in some cases. Web pages should display faster, and streaming video should be smoother.

The tweak can be especially helpful for PCs with 500MHz CPUs or slower, or with 128MB of RAM or less. This can add life to older machines that are primarily used to access Web sites.</i>

<b>Digi...do you think this would help the Via/Athlon issues? Have you tried it in your testing?</b>
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G.SKILL 1G(512X2) F1-3200DSU2-1GBLC
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