Iwill XA100 Plus II


Intoduction - Features - Set Up - BIOS Configuration
Testbed - AMD K62 Performance - Cyrix MII Performance
Intel Pentium Performance - Comments and Tips - Conclusion

After you have connected up all of the necessary connectors, it is time for the first boot to CMOS Set Up.  It is a good idea to load the setup defaults the first time you boot.

The main menu includes the following setup pages.

Allocates resources for hardware components
Load the manufacturer default setting into CMOS
Configure advanced features available through the BIOS
Specifies passwords
Specifies advanced features available through the chipset
Auto-detect the parameters of IDE disks
S pecifies power management features
HDD Low Level Format
If supported by your system, this provides a hard disk low level format utility.
Specifies Plug and Play and PCI features
Save current value to CMOS and exit setup
Specifies on-board controller features
Abandon all changes and exit setup

All in all, it seems pretty ordinary and other than an exceptionally wide array of choices in the Boot Sequence in BIOS Setup Features, it is.  That is until you come to the last item on the Chipset Features Screen.  I have listed the Chipset Features Setup options (along with their recommended settings in bold ) below...


Auto Configuration
When enabled, BIOS will divide all the memory into two categories: 50ns DRAM and 60ns DRAM.  A set of pre-defined values about DRAM timing will be used for each category. Then the user can  assign the correct timing easily. When disabled, user can specify the DRAM timing value and some  engineering knowledge is needed while handling it.   (Options Enabled Disabled)

The system uses tag bits to determine the status of data in the L2 cache. Set this field to match the specifications (8 or 10 bits) of the installed tag RAM chip. (Options 8 , 10.)

AT Bus Clock
You can set the speed of the AT bus in terms of a fraction of the CPU clock speed (PCLK2), or at the fixed speed of 7.16 MHz. (Options -  7.16 MHz, CLK2/2, CLK2/3, CLK2/4 , CLK2/5, and CLK2/6)

DRAM Timing
The value in this field depends on performance of the installed memory chips (DRAM). Do not change the value from the factory setting unless you install new memory that has a different performance rating than the original DRAMs. (Options -  Normal , Fast, Slow)

When synchronous DRAM is installed, the number of clock cycles of CAS latency depends on the DRAM timing. Do not reset field from the default value specified by the system designer. (Options -  2 , 3.)

Pipelined Function
When Enabled, the controller signals the CPU for a new memory address before all data transfers for the current cycles are complete, resulting in faster performance. (Options -   Enabled , Disabled)

Graphics Aperture Size
Select the size of the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) aperture. The aperture is a portion of the PCI memory address range dedicated for graphics memory address space. Host cycles that hit the aperture range are forwarded to the AGP without any translation. (Options - 16, 32, 64 , 128, 256)

SDRAM Burst X-1-1-1-1-1-1-1
This item allows you to enable or disable the function of SDRAM Burst X-1-1-1-1-1-1-1. (Options - Enabled , Disabled)

DRAM Data Integrity Mode
Select Parity or ECC (error-correcting code), according to the type of installed DRAM. (Options - Disabled , ECC, Parity)

Memory Hole At 15-16M
Reserve this area of system memory for ISA adapter ROM. When this area is reserved, it cannot be cached. The user information of peripherals that need to use this area of system memory usually discusses their memory requirements. (Options -  Enabled, Disabled )

Host Read DRAM Command Mode
Allows you to select the type of Host Read DRAM Command Mode. (Options - Syn , Bypass)

AGP Read Burst
Allows you to enable or disable the function of AGP Read Burst. (Options - Enabled , Disabled)

ISA Line Buffer
The PCI to ISA Bridge has an 8-byte bi-directional line buffer for ISA or DMA bus master memory reads from or writes to the PCI bus. When Enabled, an ISA or DMA bus master can prefetch two double words to the line buffer for a read cycle.(Options - Enabled , Disabled)

Passive Release
When Enabled, CPU to PCI bus accesses is allowed during passive release. Otherwise, the arbiter only accepts another PCI master access to local DRAM. (Options - Enable , Disable)

Delay Transaction
The chipset has an embedded 32-bit posted write buffer to support delay transaction cycles. Select Enabled to support compliance with PCI specification version 2.1. (Options - Enable, Disabled )

Primary Frame Buffer
Select a size for the PCI frame buffer. The size of the buffer should not impinge on local memory. (Options -Disable, 1MB, 2MB, 4MB, 8MB, 16MB, ALL )

VGA Frame Buffer
When Enabled, a fixed VGA frame buffer from A000h to BFFFh and a CPU-to –PCI write buffer are implemented. (Options - - Enabled , Disabled)

Data Merge
This field controls the word-merge feature for frame buffer cycles. when Enabled, this controller checks the eight CPU Byte Enable signals to determine if data words read from the PCI bus by the CPU can be merged. (Options -Enabled, Disabled )

IO Recovery Period
This item allows you to determine the recovery time allowed for I/O. (Options are from 0us, 1us , 2us, 3us)

Auto Detect DIMM/PCI CLK
This item allows you to enable or disable the function of Auto Detect DIMM/PCI CLK. (Options - Enabled , Disabled)

CPU Clock Frequency
This item allows you to select CPU Clock Frequency. (Options - One Jumper , 66.8MHz, 68.5MHz, 75MHz, 83.3MHz, 95.2MHz, 100.2MHz, 105MHz, 110MHz, 115MHz, 120MHz, 125MHz, 130MHz, 135MHz, 140MHz)

Here is where it gets truly interesting and different.  The "One Jumper" setting sets the external frequency at the freq. you have pre-set in hardware configuration

CPU frequency selection by BIOS
Iwill’s 100MHz series motherboards also offer another way of CPU frequency selection. Through Software -- BIOS setting.
In case there is a special need for over-clocking, please …
a. Enter the BIOS CMOS Setup Utility
b. Select Chipset Features Setup
c. Select CPU External Clock
d. Use page down/page up key to choose 66/75/83/95/100/105/110/115/120/125/130/135/140 MHz CPU bus (default: One Jumper)
e. Press Save & Exit CMOS Setup to complete

Should your CPU fail to overclock - the screen could become blank, the system could hang or fail to boot completely. If this happens, Iwill has provided a fail-safe in the following process:
a. Power Off the system.
b. Hold the INSERT key then Power On the system again.
The system will re-start with 66 MHz external Frequency.
c. Go back into the Chipset Features Setup and select a lower frequency and try again.
Iwill's Warning: Overclocking is not guaranteed. They are provided to experienced engineers for testing purpose. Therefore, for general users (66 and 100 MHz are preferable), it will be more clear and easier to set for CPU frequency through the jumpers.

Testbed for Iwill XA100 Plus

Mainboard Iwill XA100 Plus
L2 Cache 512K
Processor(s) AMD K6-2 300
Cyrix MII 300
Intel P200MMX
Memory 64MB PC100
(CAS2, 7ns)
Hard Drive Quantum Bigfoot TS 19.2G
Ultra ATA
Graphics Accelerator(s) Diamond Viper 330 4MB AGP
(Win98 Drivers)
Diamond MonsterII 3D Voodoo˛ 8MB (3Dfx DX6 Drivers)
Operating System Windows 98

How I Tested:
The test scores reported here are averaged - in the case of Business Winstone 98, each score reflected the average of three runs of the benchmark at any given external clock speed.  With Graphics oriented benchmarks the scores reflect averages of five runs.  All of the graphics related tests were performed at a screen resolution of 640x480 with a color depth of 16bits.  The ALI AGP rev. 1.4 were used, as well as, ALI's IDE Bus Master Drivers rev 3.10.

AMD K6-2 Performance

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