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Full Version: BIOS support for 6-core Gulftown CPUs on TBGM01 (X58) motherboards
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  • Add BIOS support for W3690 CPU on my Packard Bell TBGM01 motherboard
  • (Image of my W3690 CPU in attachments)
Current setup: When I put the W3690 in with my current setup, the PC powers on but it doesn't do anything: no beep, no power to keyboard, black screen etc. A somewhat interesting thing happens the first time when the PC has been completely out of power: the PC tries to power on for a second but then powers off just to power on again. The end result is the same though so this isn't most likely important. I have tried to add 06C0, 06C1 and 06C2 microcodes to my BIOS but the end result is always the same.

Information I have found out about this subject:
  • X58 motherboards support Gulftown CPUs physically. The question seems to be whether the BIOS supports that.
  • Unluckily Packard Bell doesn't seem to have updated their TBGM01 BIOS.
  • A same BIOS has been reported to work interchangeably between Packard Bell and Gateway versions of the motherboard, but from what I have understood, Gateway TBGM01's BIOS doesn't support Gulftown either. (Fun fact: they are both subsidiaries of Acer.)
  • MSI added support for Gulftown CPUs on their X58 Pro motherboards:
My intention is to extract whatever MSI put in their BIOS and import it to my TBGM01 BIOS. However, I'm not sure if it's even possible to transfer this "CPU module" between BIOSes of different manufacturers. I'm hopeful since these seem to be the same type of AMI BIOSes.

Using MMTool v3.22, I looked at what was different between the MSI BIOS versions 8.9 and 8.A. The Gulftown "CPU module" update happened between those two versions. There were changes in the following modules:
  • P6 Micro Code (ID 11). I don't think my problem can be solved solely by adding microcodes so I didn't pay any more attention to this.
  • Multi Language (ID 21). This doesn't sound important.
  • Single Link Arch BIOS (ID 1B). I'm convinced that this is what I was looking for.
I found this toolset called ami_1b_utilz. With it I was able to split and combine parts of this "Single Link Arch BIOS" module. However, I don't know what exactly I should copy from there. Again I compared what had changed between the BIOS versions 8.9 and 8.A, this time using MD5 hashes of the files. These were the parts with changes in them:
  • I13P_CSEG
Now I'm lost.

Does someone know if this project is even possible? Could you help or even better, put this all together? Thanks.

If I forgot to tell something important, feel free to ask. Imgur album of the attachment images:
It's too difficult and too expensive work.
Thanks for answering. 

Still I'd like to ask a few things:
  • Have you heard of something like this being done?
  • Do you think that I'm on the right tracks in a sense that the problem relies in these "Single Link Arch BIOS" parts?
  • Do you know if these "Single Link Arch BIOS" parts have manufacturer-specific code in them? Meaning that importing them as a whole would be dangerous.
  • Do you think that if all the "CPU module" pieces were found, they would be suitable for the TBGM01 BIOS without modification?
  • No
  • Yes, it's the core of BIOS
  • It's different for all BIOS
  • I don't think so.