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jmke 19th January 2006 20:50

HOWTO: install an AMD dual-core processor
<div class="postcolor">Many people claim to have issues with the X2s and dual-core Opterons, most of which are easily fixed through proper installation. Following these steps will also make sure that your 4400+ performs like TWO 3700+s instead of just one.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>IN ORDER:</span>

Physically install the CPU.
...unless you already have a CPU in the planned mainboard. If so, flash the BIOS first, then install the CPU.
It only fits one way. AMD has recently allowed the use of Arctic Silver 5 instead of the stuff found pre-placed on the bottom of your heatsink, so I highly suggest using it. Clean off the old stuff with rubbing alcohol if this is what you want to do. Don't use too much, maybe a half-pea sized amount in the center. Make sure the heatsink is secure.

Flash your mainboard BIOS to the latest version.
This is much easier if you are upgrading to an dual-core because you can do it in Windows with your old CPU. However, if the dual-core is the first thing in the board, you will have to flash the BIOS with a bootable CD or floppy. Latest revision BIOS also helps with making sure your new Opteron is detected properly.
Visit the website of your mainboard manufacturer to learn more about flashing BIOS. DFI-Street is a good place to go if you own a DFI board.

Reformat your Windows partition, or install Windows to a fresh partition.
Don't try to save all your FreeCell high scores, it is necessary to reinstall Windows to get the second core recognized.
I also highly recommend a program called nLite to make a custom-stripped version of Windows, which will help you to avoid the next two steps.

Install Service Pack 2 if not included on your Windows CD.
Does not help you directly with the dual-core issues, but it doesn't hurt either. Can be integrated to your non-SP2 copy of XP with nLite.

Perform a WindowsUpdate, or download some sort of update pack.
I prefer to integrate an update pack with nLite, such as RyanVM's Update Pack.

Install mainboard drivers.
Get the chipset drivers themselves (example: NForce4,, go to the manufacturer's website for a download, or if all else fails, use the CD that came with the board.

Install the X2 driver.
Here. This is necessary and often overlooked.

Finish driver/program installation.
I prefer from here to install video drivers, then sound drivers, then my programs, but this has nothing to do with dual-coreness.

Install the XP SP2 Dual-Core Hotfix
Download the hotfix here. After installing, restart.
Go to Start, Run. Type regedit and push OK. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager. Right-click Session Manager and do New, Key. Type Throttle for the name. Right-click New, DWORD Value. Type PerfEnablePackageIdle for the name. Right-click PerfEnablePackageIdle and click Modify. In the Value data box, enter '1' (without quotes, default is most likely '0'); make sure Hexadecimal is selected and push OK. Close the registry editor.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>POST-INSTALL:</span>

Verify dual-core action.
Right click My Computer, and click Properties. Click the Hardware tab, and then click the Device Manager button. Expand Processors... you should see not one, but two entries. This means everything is in order.

Set affinity for incompatible programs or personal preference.
For some older programs, it is best to have them run on only one core as this simulates a single-core environment. It is also user preference to have certain processes on certain cores. To do this, open Task Manager with [CTRL][ALT][Del]. Click the Processes tab. Right click the process you would like to modify, and select Set Affinity... (unfortunately one one at a time). Check the cores you would like the process to run on; by default both cores are checked meaning the process runs on both/either core. A process must run on at least one core. OK yourself out, and close Task Manager when finished. Settings must be reapplied after rebooting.

Hope this guide allows trouble-free multitasking on your new dualie!


teki 14th February 2006 14:16

Hmm why don't you put this in the How-To section on the homepage?

Could help a lot of users!

Cpt.Planet 14th February 2006 17:35

Wow. I didnt know about the hotfix. I am going to do that after class.

jmke 14th February 2006 17:40


Originally posted by teki
Hmm why don't you put this in the How-To section on the homepage?

it's under the HWFaq

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