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What's New Archives - 1998

The test results for the HP Kayak 2.04.0 and Vectra 2.04.2a drivers for NT4 with both service pack 3 and 4 are up here.

To be able to compare the new Waterfall Pro2 program with the programs I tested during the summer, I have been working on a way to regulate the temperature of the computer room.  With the help of a electric oil filled radiator and a few fans, I am now able to recreate summers 80° F room temps.  A few more days of testing and the results will be up.

It would seem that I feel the need to again apologize for the lack of updates recently.  Testing has been going on, but our household has become automotively challenged in the last month.  Replacing a cracked head in my wife's little hot rod has been taking up most of my "spare" time.  With this project about finished, I can again spend time writing.

The results of testing the Highpoint Tech XStore drivers for Win98 are up.

In response to the many email I have received concerning dual booting operating systems, I have put together a quick step-by-step of how I dual boot Win95 and Win98 with System Commander Deluxe.  I hope this is of some use.

In the works are the reviews of the HP UDMA drivers for NT4 (almost done) , including the latest version Vectra VL 6/XXX. (Thanks for the link, Dave.)

On the Cooler Program front, Leading Wintech has released a new version of Waterfall Pro.  Waterfall Pro2 and a new program, Amnhlt will be reviewed as soon as I can get to them.  The link for the Amnhlt program works at times....

As unimpressive as the results are, the comparison of NT4 SP3 and SP4 is up here.  I hope to have the NT HP Kayak driver review done in the next few days.

I received an interesting email yesterday.  A new cooler program by someone from a .ru domain.  No information, just a link that was down and a Zip file with a program named "Amnhlt."  After a quick scan to make sure that I wasn't about to catch the latest virus, I decided to give it a quick test.  The program consists of a batch file, a registry entry into services and a 6 kb virtual device driver.  After running the  batch file and rebooting, the cooler program was in place.  Idle cooling performance in a rather cool (70° F) room seemed to be on par with the latest batch of cooler programs.  Unfortunately, cooling during file transfers was less than spectacular with an immediate rise of about 9° F during a hard disk to hard disk transfer of only 80 megs.  Promising, but not competitive with the current programs....yet.  I hope to have more information on the program sometime in the near future.

Well, the new site is finally up... and maybe even works!  Thanks for stopping by.

New articles include the Celeron A cooling page and some heat sink reviews.  All of the pages from the previous site have been updated and streamlined for quicker loading.  Upcoming articles will include a UDMA comparison of NT4 Sp4 vs. Sp3, and some new UDMA drivers for both WinNT and Win98.  Also on the agenda is some new cooling information and possibly a software cooler program from a new source.

Sorry for the lack of updates lately.  Between a new job with the usual "first month learning curve," and my decision to give this site a permanent home, I've been busy.  I have applied for, and received my domain name - benchtest.com - and now it's just a matter or reworking the site to make it easier to navigate.  I've decided to do away with the frames format and reduce the graphics to make the pages load quicker.  I'm also reworking the tests to make them easier to follow.  A new section on Celeron cooling will be included.  I'm still a couple of weeks away from completion, but things are progressing quicker than I had expected.

On the news front, both CpuIdle and Waterfall Pro have new versions available.  CpuIdle is now at version 5.1 with a bug fix and the inclusion of a memory display.  Waterfall Pro 1.2 has also had some new code added to take care of some compatibility bugs and has some new modules available and upcoming.  On the UDMA driver scene, the long awaited release of SP4 for WinNT 4.0 has come and gone without the UDMA support we were looking for.  The new service pack does not improve the driver support much over SP3 levels.  On the other hand, HP is still breathing new life into Intel's NT UDMA drivers.  HP's version 2.04.0 looks to be very promising for those of you having trouble with forcing UDMA with the MS drivers or using EZ CD Creator with the older HP UDMA drivers.  Thanks go to Dave for this bit of information.

There are also a couple of new Win98 UDMA drivers available that I will soon test.

Well, that's it for now.  Back to writing HTML, and I hope to see you soon on the new site.

The test results of Waterfall Pro are finally up here.  I'm sorry for the delay and hope the review is worth the wait.  For those of you who haven't revisited Leading WinTech's site since downloading Waterfall Pro, be advised that there is an updated program available.  Waterfall Pro 1.01.

As many of you are no doubt aware, there is a new version of Waterfall out.  Waterfall Pro.  I had planned to have the test results up for the release, but my system upgrades and a few last minute additions to Waterfall Pro have set my time table back a little.  I hope to have the results up shortly.  In the mean time, you may download the program from Leading WinTech.

The tests on CpuIdle 5.0 are included in the CPU Cooler Tests, or if you want to start with 5.0, try here.  It turned out that the programs and the BH6 / Celeron 300A combination gave better results than I had expected.

While working on a modified PII heat sink for the Celery, I came across an interesting tweak that helped me drop a few degrees from the high end temperature of the CPU.  I hope to have that information up by early next week.

CpuIdle 5 has now been released.  It may be downloaded from Andi's page.  It will be a couple of days until I get around to running some tests on this new release, as I too have been bitten by the bug to inexpensively run at 450 MHz plus.  That's right, there's a veggie in my future!  If all goes well, I'll be upgrading to a Celeron 300A / Abit BH6 over the weekend.

I've done quite a bit of reading on this combination recently at the Abit newsgroup and the BXboard.  I have noticed that some of the people posting their results, when overclocked, are listing what seem like some very high motherboard temperatures.  In my testing of the overclocked K6-233 with a standard heat sink, board (case) temperatures in excess of 90° F resulted in processor temperatures near the danger point.  (See the test at the bottom of this page.)  I suspect that the same holds true for the Celeron, but I should be able to furnish some numbers soon.  Until then, if you are overclocking the Celeron, I suggest that you consider some form of additional case cooling and a good heat sink -- with dual heat sinks being even a better idea. There's a good article on dual heat sinks here.

I have received some test results for the Intel BMIDE 3.02 drivers for Win95A.  The results may be found here.

The case cooling article is up here.

July and August 1998
CpuIdle 4.0 has removed the non-working (in my system) "Run as a Windows Service."  See the update for the file date.

I've finally finished the text of the case fan project.  I'm waiting to receive the pictures back from the photo shop.  (No, I still don't have a digital camera!)  Look for the article Monday or Tuesday.

I have spent some time repairing outdated links and adding new links where information has changed.  I hope this takes care of all the dead links.

The fan testing is finally done and the article is about finished.  I am quite pleased with the results, but there ended up being a lot more to test than I had originally planned on.

It has been a busy few days in the shop.  With the help of some friends, I have been working hard on my new fan arrangement.  There seems to be a lot more to fan placement than first meets the eye. Hopefully, I'll have this testing and the article finished in a few days.

In the mean time, I have come across a great comparison of some PII heat sink / fan combinations.  The author, Charlie, has some nice test equipment and has done a super job of putting the facts together.  Check it out here.

Finally.  I had the opportunity to play around on a box running NT4 - SP4.  It is interesting to note that on this system, the long awaited native UDMA driver had to be forced to work using "0X2" in the atapi / parameters registry key after running DMA Check.  Whether this is normal or not, I don't know.  Interesting.

The test of CpuIdle 4.0 and retests of Rain 1.0 and Waterfall 1.23 are up starting here.  The test of CpuIdle 4.0 didn't go quite as smoothly as I had imagined it would.  More on that in the review.

This was the first batch of tests that I've run with the new heat sink.  I'm happy to say that it has made quite a difference in the CPU temperature.

What's up next?  I've reversed the flow of the power supply and auxiliary fans and need to compile the information into something that can be read by someone other than me.  The difference of the power supply exhausting, rather than bringing air into the case was not as great as I would have imagined.  However, with my computer room's temperature in the mid 80s in the late afternoon / evening, I'll take every little advantage I can get.

I had planned on uploading the CpuIdle 4.0 review on Sunday night, but I still have some unresolved questions on running it "as a Windows service" and a compatibility issue with Qemm97.  I have been in contact with Andi, the author of CpuIdle, and hope to have the questions answered by tomorrow.

On the "What's New" front... Leading WinTech is now in the process of beta testing Waterfall Pro.  While I have agreed not to reveal any details, I can tell you that there are many new features in this version.  My thanks to Phil at Brotherhood of the CPU for the opportunity to play with the advance copy of Waterfall Pro.  I'll let you know more about this new program as I am able to.

CpuIdle 4.0 is now available from Andreas Goetez's site.  This release is being listed as a major update.  As I stated in the last cooler program update, my system configuration and test equipment have changed.  This means it's now time for me to re-test the most recent versions of CpuIdle, Rain, and Waterfall.  There are quite a few benchmarks to perform, so this will take a few days.

I've been playing with different fan configurations for my case.  As seems to be usual for me, the results are not quite what I expected.  On nice surprise was how easy it was to change the power supply fan in my Inwin A500 case to exhaust air rather than take it in.  Does it make a big difference?  I don't know yet.

For some extreme cooling, check out Mike's Water Cooled CPU site.  This link and others are on the new Cooling Links page.

I'm in the process of playing with some different case cooling ideas.  To get started on this project, I needed a thermometer  to measure the processor temperature.  This requirement lead me to realizing I needed another heat sink.   Now that I've gotten these two items out of the way, I can start on cooling my case.  Look for another update in about a week.

I thought I'd never see the day that I tested another Triones UDMA driver.  I was wrong.  How did they work this time?  Check it out here.

The results for CpuIdle 3.02 are up.  You can find them here.  Another solid program with a couple improvements added.

Thanks to those of you who have written concerning problems with the changes in this site.  Hopefully all is now OK.  Let me know, please. :^)

I'm in the process of updating the site.  It should work ok, but one never knows.

I have a couple of projects in the works.

First, how does monitoring the actual temperature of the processor and ambient room temp for around $20 sound?  I modify a Radio Shack Dual Thermometer to do just that.

Next, need more cooling?  Dissatisfied with the current heat sink / fan combos?  I assemble a monster.  Weighing in at over 12 ounces for the sink alone, this thing gets rid of some heat.  It's massive and ugly, but effective!

CpuIdle 3.02 is now available from Andreas Goetz's Site.  He has introduced it as a "minor update."  Tests will be done shortly.

I've been sent a more recent copy of some Triones drivers for Win95 (Thanks, Dirk).  This is version 370B.  The last version (360) I tested didn't agree with my system.  We'll see how these do.

Look for some new pages in a week or so.


Unfortunately, the eariler stuff (Febuary, 1997 to July, 1998) got lost in a Windoze crash -- bummer.