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Out with BIOS, in with UEFI.

Ever since the computer was born, there needed to be a program to tell the CPU where things are and how to use them. In 1981 the IBM 5150 introduced the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) to the IBM-PC market. The IBM 5150 had an 8088 16bit (16bit internal bus, 8bit external bus) processor, so the BIOS chip was limited to 16 bits and 1MB of memory space. Years went by and the CPU became more powerful, with a wider bus and more memory access. However, the BIOS remained the same, and retained it’s 16bit bus and 1MB memory limit, depending on the PC-AT hardware platform.

Enter EFI/UEFI (Extensible Firmware Interface/Unified Extensible Firmware Interface respectively). EFI was introduced in the mid-1990′s with the Intel-HP Itanium processor systems as the older BIOS was considered too limited for large server systems. In 2005 Intel dropped the EFI platform and handed it over to the Unified EFI Forum, which then became the UEFI.

There are several advantages to UEFI over the BIOS. UEFI boots faster, has the ability to boot from very large hard disks over 2TB, drops the MBR (master boot record) for the GUID Partition table, architecture and drivers are CPU-independent, an extensive GUI with mouse and network capabilities are possible, and ACPI and SMBIOS are also included as these are not dependent on the 16bit limitations of the older BIOS.

No overclock option in your BIOS? No Problem.

Overclocking your CPU can be risky business, however if done properly and with the proper amount of care, it can improve system performance anywhere from 5% to 50% depending on the CPU and how it is overclocked. In this article, I am going to discuss the various methods, benefits and downfalls of overclocking. Remember, ALL forms of overclocking beyond the manufacturers specifications voids the warranty and has the potential of “bricking” your CPU, Motherboard, or both. Therefore I take no responsibility what happens to your CPU/Motherboard if you attempt an overclock. If you are not technically inclined, or feel uncomfortable changing these settings, please give it to someone who is or just don’t try it.

Overclocking creates  extra heat, so it is a good idea to buy a good heat sink to dissipate the extra heat.

The safest and perhaps the easiest way to overclock your CPU is if you have that option in your BIOS’s setup. There are often times the BIOS will contain options to change the FSB (Front Side Bus) frequency or CPU clock multiplier. However, as this article is about overclocking without this feature, I will skip this step.

If your motherboard’s BIOS does not have an overclocking feature, do not worry, there are other options. The first option you have is to overclock using overclocking software. overclocking via software basically changes your FSB frequency or the clock multiplier in your CPU. In order for this method to work, you must have one of two things:

Success: NVIDIA GTX 580M SLI on Alienware M17x-R2 Laptop

With the release of Dell Alienware’s M18x laptop, many gamers and enthusiasts have been impressed by the performance seen with its dual NVIDIA GTX 580M SLI graphics cards. Owners of the M18x predecessor, the M17x-R2, upgraded their laptops from the 285M SLi configuration to that of the 580M SLI platform, thinking it would be an easy upgrade to make their laptop of equal value in comparison to the M18x. Unfortunately, while the 580M cards were installed correctly, SLI was not enabled in the driver as the graphics upgrade was not natively supported by Alienware or Dell, effectively only allowing the use of one GPU. Now, that’s no longer the case.

Anatolymik, author of HyperSLI, has developed a modified driver allowing M17x-R2 users to enable SLI on their laptop for the full graphics performance and experience. HyperSLI enables SLI with a click of the mouse on motherboards and chipsets normally considered to be “non-SLI” compatible. With the advent of HyperSLI and its wide range of success on a variety of systems, HyperSLI was adapted with the addition of a modified driver based off NVIDIA’s latest ForceWare version 290.53. By installing HyperSLI and the modified driver, users can have the same SLI capabilities that M18X owners currently have.

How does it work? – It’s pretty easy.

First, download the HyperSLI patch from here and run it. You will need to disable UAC and be running as Administrator in order to install the patch.
(For more information on HyperSLI for other systems, take a look here).