Thursday, November 13, 2008

Turbocharged My Wind [Updated]

This post can be considered a dated post, it's no longer an excitement to other Wind lovers, though it might be another selling point of Wind for new potential buyers.

I should have done the "turbocharge installation" much earlier, but aiks, it's just hard to squeeze more time everyday especially if need to work even during night!

By the way, why I called it turbocharged? Yeah, in geek term, it's overclock or OC, but look at below...


MSI called the OC feature "turbo". Above is what you get when you press Fn F10 to activate the overclock or turbo feature. And this is what you get when you press Fn F10 again to turn off the turbo, provided MSI's SCM software is installed to see both onscreen displays...


Not only a logo on the screen, the power button at the top right above the keyboard also changes to orange color when turbo is on and revert to normal cooling blue when turbo is off...


Cool huh? ;) Yeah, it's the official BIOS update from MSI, not the leaked BIOS I talked about in the previous post.

Very simple to install this "turbo engine" onto your Wind. First, download the latest v1.09 BIOS from MSI download page. Second, follow this link to prepare a bootable USB drive, and finally follow the user manual attached in the BIOS file to complete your update.

Once done, boot into BIOS setting. Check if the version shows 109...


The OC feature can be enabled from the Advanced setting, you should always start from the lowest setting 8% before you gradually increase it to 24% to avoid hiccup or clash on your Wind...


Once enabled, boot into Windows, press Fn F10 to try the turbo. And yes, you must have power plugged in to enable the turbo function. On contrary, you will enable different ECO modes if you press Fn F10 when on battery.

Let's see if there is improvement with turbo on. This is the previous result with no turbo function when I blogged a comparison review on HP Mini 2133 and Wind...


This is the result with 8% turbo, meaning the CPU is running at 1.728GHz. Surprisingly, turbo at 15% made no difference with this 8%-turbo result...


Here's the result with 24% turbo, meaning the Atom CPU has been boasted from 1.6GHz to 1.984GHz!


I am running the display card driver from Windows Updates. I believe the Gaming Graphics section could be further improved if I update it with Intel's OEM driver.

[ADDED] By the way, what does 24% mean? Does turbo really "turbocharge" the Wind? Let's make a simple dummy comparison. Check out here and here before you proceed with the video below...


Before OC, an estimation of about 88 seconds for Vista to boot up. With OC, Wind's boot up time improved to roughly about 70 seconds, a +/-20% improvement. Not bad huh? [END]

Notice the yellow arrow pointing at AHCI Mode in the BIOS Advanced screen above? Let's see the result captured with AHCI disabled when I upgraded my harddisk...


A slight improvement of 0.1 on disk transfer rate after I enabled AHCI mode. You can read the wiki on what is all about AHCI. If you are running Vista on Wind, make sure you follow this article before you enable it.

I still can't find any netbook in the market that could beat Wind in term of performance, perhaps the closest contender is Asus Eee 1000 series. With so much improvement releases from MSI, I just feel my $$ is worthwhile with this investment. Of course there are many OC software can be used to achieve the similar, but it's similar to car modification, whether your car (OC) is street legal or it's not legal to be on the road. With official support from MSI, don't you feel more comfortable to OC?

So, ladies and gentlemen, start your "turbo" engine. ;)