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For the PC users that got stranded here

You may have noticed by now that chips are not only used in PC but that the PC market is only a fraction of the actual chip market.

There are only a few chip categories of the chips that especially designed for PC's:

Some chips are not designed especially for PC's but their development is driven by PC sales:

The rest of the estimated 1.6 million different chips are designed for general or other purposes.

Some tips

About finding drivers

I can't help you with this. First try to find the manufacturer on the WWW. Who is the manufacturer? This often confusing to determine. In the case of modem* chips (for example but it's similar in other cases) the chip manufacturer has done most of the design work of the PC board end product including providing software. Mostly Asian companies or big computer manufacturers will then buy a licence and reproduce the board on a massive scale and market it using their installed base of distributors and users. Have you ever bought a modem* from Rockwell? No, not directly, but indirectly you have...
So to find more documentation about a product or the newest drivers it's good to look at the chips on the board. However the drivers that the chip makers provide may not also work because the final manufacturer changed something to the standard design to make it more 'his own product' and to make our lives more miserable of course.

You can also try independent driver sites:

etc. (This list needs to be checked).

About upgrading your CPU*

I get sometimes a request for only one or two CPU*'s, but I really can't help with this, because I don't have stock of CPU*'s (which would be very foolish when you consider how quickly it drops in value). Even regular chip brokers won't handle CPU*'s en PC memory, for this and other reasons. To get a good deal on a CPU* go to a local computer store and first compare some prices. The margins in the PC business are very low (about 25%) compared to most branches (50..100% for most retailers).

Finding motherboard specific information

See under Motherboard in this chip directory. There a couple of sites on the Internet specialized on motherboard and BIOS issues. When you consider buying a new motherboard first check the WWW site of the manufacturer and see if it's reachable at a pretty busy moment and if the service documentation is what you'd later expect to find. My latest motherboard was from AOpen and workes great. Other good ones are from ASUS and Chaintech (and Intel of course). Ask your dealer: He knows for a couple of brands how many come back with problems and how the manufacturer handles this.

About adding 'missing' chips to an PC board

On 19990330 someone wrote me:
I am looking for an Adaptec AIC6360 for a Zeus motherboard. The reason I am looking for the chip is that I just purchased the motherboard that uses that chip and the board did not have one on it so I was wanting to restore it to its original specs.

Usually new boards are developed many months before the actual sales start so there are insecurities about what features will sell the board. In certain circumstances it's wise to design in a chip that may or may not be used later on, depending on the market situation.

I'd be very hesitant to solder such a chip in later, since it's use may not been tested, will not be supported etc. I'd first check in newsgroups or on mailing lists if anyone else has already done it before (and why it would be useful...;-)

Reminds me of all the stuff I blew up being young and exploring things... ;-)

Greetz,
Jaap


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page modified: 19990410
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