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Breaking Through the BIOS Barrier: The Definitive BIOS Optimization Guide for PCs
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Breaking Through the BIOS Barrier: The Definitive BIOS Optimization Guide for PCs [Paperback]

Adrian Wong
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 6, 2004 0131455362 978-0131455368 1
What is a BIOS? BIOS, pronounced "bye-ose," is an acronym that standsfor Basic Input Output System. The BIOS is built-in software that determineswhat a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk. On PCs, theBIOS contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen,disk drives, serial communications, and a number of miscellaneous functions.Furthermore, The BIOS is responsible for booting your PC by providing abasic set of instructions. The BIOS performs all the necessary tasks that needto be initiated at start-up time: POST(Power-On Self Test, booting anoperating system from FDD or HDD). In essence, it is necessary to upgradethe BIOS on your PC in order to maintain or inevitably obtain compatibilitywith the PC industries latest hardware, software and operating systems.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Adrian Wong is one of the few really devoted scholars in the field of computer hardware. He applies a rare scientific rigorousness to his work that makes it stand out among the usual stuff on the net. He is a real asset to the PC enthusiast."

Jeremy Smith, ABIT Computer

"By far the best BIOS Guide there is."

Steven Lynch,

"The BIOS Optimization Guide is a one-of-a-kind resource that I refer to anybody who wants to tweak their computers to run the best. And I wouldn't refer others to something I wouldn't use myself. I've referred to the BOG countless times as I upgrade my BIOS or get a new motherboard. The in-depth explanations really let you know what each BIOS option means, and which settings these options yield the highest performance and stability."

Brandom Hum,

"Adrian knows more about tweaking a BIOS than Bill Gates knows about Windows. Short and sweet: If you own a computer you need to know about the BIOS; and Adrian is flat-out the authority when it comes to understanding, configuring, or tweaking a computer's BIOS."

Digital Dave,

"The BIOS is the basic input–output system of any computer that defines how the individual parts of the hardware are interacting with each other. Many of the parameters are completely transparent to the user; however, there are others that are user accessible and allow customizing the performance depending on the individual needs and the choice of components in the system. What was a myth-surrounded part of any computer only some 5 years ago has been largely decrypted by now, mostly due to efforts coming from enthusiasts. Any guide like this will offer invaluable help not only as a reference, but also for troubleshooting of personal computers."

Michael Schuette,

"If you ever wanted to know what you can do with your BIOS, Adrian has it covered. Being an admirer for more years than I can count, the BIOS Optimization Guide is a fantastic journey into the inner workings of a PC at the root level. It has taught me how to tweak my PC in a safe way and get the most out of my system. Period."

David Kroll,

"It is the one piece of the system that is powered continually—even when the computer is unplugged. It is the first program that runs on start-up. Without it, no operating system would install. It is the first component that requires configuration. It is the first feature that requires your attention. It is... THE SYSTEM BIOS. The very first procedure to be performed on a newly assembled computer system is to ensure that the system BIOS is up-to-date. This procedure in itself can be clouded in mystery and present some trepidation for the average user. Then comes the Black Art of BIOS configuration. Has the BIOS detected the hardware correctly? Is there some hardware that should remain disabled? What do each of the BIOS settings mean, and more importantly, what do they do? Whether you are planning to build a new system or merely upgrade an old one, it is advisable to have some knowledge of the system BIOS. The Definitive BIOS Guide from Rojak Pot represents one of the most complete resources for BIOS configuration currently available. Check it out!"

Thomas Monk,

"The BIOS Optimization Guide is a truly useful resource for those looking to get the most out of their systems. I often point people to the BOG to learn more about memory timings and what they mean."

Sean Sinha, OCZ Technology

"95% of all Bios optimizations that I now know I learned from Rojak Pot's guide. And so did everyone else. If they tell you different, they are not telling the you the truth or they read it on a site that stole the information from his."

Frank Trockel,

"Whether you are an overclocking uber geek or a first-time computer user, Adrian's BIOS Optimization Guide is a must. I can truthfully say that 90% of what I have learned about BIOS optimization has been through the use of Adrian's guide. Why else would I refer to him as 'The King of the BIOS'?"

Kevin Elliot,

"Adrian has done the tech community a great service by making this guide. It has personally saved me time on both repairs and evaluations. With BIOS options as numerous as they are today, it's wonderful to have a one-stop-source to decipher them all."

Nathan Warawa,

"You know, I couldn't count the amount of times I've referred people to your BIOS Guideelit's very informative, and saves me the time of explaining why people should disable Video BIOS Shadowing, why Fast Writes isn't such a big deal for today's games, and much more." "Just wanted to say thanks for saving me time and also helping me out. (I learned a lot from it, too!) Keep up the most excellent work."

Matt Burris,

"...this isn't so much a Knowledge base but a labor of love. Not only has this guide had a place in both Titch's and My Favorites for many years, but I'm really excited to see it still going after many, many years. Well done, Adrian. Keep up the excellent work."

JohnL, The

"Adrian Wong of Adrian's Rojak Pot has been building up his BIOS Guide since late 1999. Today, he hit version 6.0, and the guide is now comprehensive in its scope. It comes highly recommended from me due to the fact that BIOS optimizations can yield positive results in performance and compatibility for everyone. Adrian also goes into far greater detail than even your best motherboard manual and even debunks some "myths" that some manufacturers still propagate."

Ryu Connor,

"This is one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly guides I have found to date. I was able to do various tweaks with my mem/cpu that increased my overall system performance by about 15%. Many of the BIOS tweaks will depend on your mobo and whether certain options are even available in your BIOS menu. However, I do recommend that even ppl that aren't familiar with working with the BIOS give it a go with this guide... Really helps to answer all your questions."


"Some bookmarks occupy space in my Favorites folder just in case I need such a resource in the future, but others are frequent visits. I can easily see this one being a resource to which I refer often. This site contains very good explanations of the numerous configuration options you see in the BIOS. ...this truly is a link you'll want to keep around. This one is already sync'ed to my iPaq!"

"This is the most comprehensive BIOS Guide available. Just about every option in a modern BIOS is explained. The best performance setting is usually pointed out, and the explanations are easy to follow. A must for any overclocker wanna-be."

Tim B.,

"I'd like to congratulate the author of the BIOS Optimization Guide. This is absolutely marvelous. I was looking specifically for advanced information on the AGP Aperture Size setting, and you guys have got TEN paragraphs on it."

Sherman, Microsoft Support Services

The first authoritative guide to optimizing your PC's BIOS

Your PC's BIOS enables your software and hardware to work together. But they can work together better—way better. If you want the best possible PC performance and stability, this book shows you exactly what to tweak, and how to tweak it.

Until now, most BIOS information was terse, incomprehensible...practically useless. Not anymore! Breaking Through the BIOS Barrier: The Definitive BIOS Optimization Guide for PCs reveals the secrets behind 200 of today's most important BIOS settings. You won't just learn what they're for: You'll learn exactly how to use them in both optimization and troubleshooting.

Author Adrian Wong created the Web's #1 BIOS resource: the BIOS Optimization Guide at Adrian's Rojak Pot. Nobody knows more about your PC's BIOS... and no other book delivers this much accurate, usable information!

Learn about:

  • The BIOS—what it really is, what it does, and how to optimize it safely
  • All the different BIOS features and how to optimize them
  • Optimizing your system memory, CPU, PCI bus, AGP port, USB ports, hard disks, and more
  • Customizing the boot sequence and accelerating the bootup process
  • Maximizing system security and stability
  • Restoring your BIOS in any emergency, step by step
  • Myths and misconceptions surrounding the BIOS—and the truth

If you're a gamer, PC enthusiast, or tech support professional... if you care about PC performance and reliability... if you're passionate about what goes on under the hood... this is the book you've been searching for!

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

About the Author

About the Author

Adrian Wong has been part of the online hardware community since 1996 when he first set up Adrian's Rojak Pot. Since then, the author has written many authoritative articles and guides on computers.

Here's a short list of some of his previous works:

    The Motherboard BIOS Flashing Guide

    The Video BIOS Flashing Guide

    The Hot Flashing Guide

    Hard Disk Myths Debunked!

    The Definitive Swapfile Optimization Guide

    The Definitive Battery Extender Guide

    The Compression Comparison Guide

    The Definitive Maxtor Silent Store Guide

    The Windows 2000 Hints & Tips Guide

    The Definitive Disk Cache Optimization Guide

    The Definitive Chunksize Optimization Guide

    The Definitive IDE Block Mode Guide

    The Definitive Video RAM Caching Guide

Adrian's articles and guides are considered reference material by the computer hardware community. In fact, the author regularly receives accolades from both peers and members of the industry.

Adrian currently divides his time between medical school and Adrian's Rojak Pot in Melaka, Malaysia.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR; 1 edition (September 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131455362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131455368
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,774,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated February 12, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unimpressive. I bought this to help with overclocking an Asus P5B Deluxe motherboard (launched mid 2006) and it didn't even mention most of the BIOS options I wanted to know about. The book advertises that it gives you 3 months access to the online Bios guide that is supposedly updated, but when I went online to activate that, it said the "promotion had expired". It's a dictionary of bios terms, not a guide. And the items covered are more pertinent to motherboards of 2004, not those made in 2007. One could use google or wikipedia and get the same or better explanations as those in this book.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explaining the Arcane September 27, 2004
When you are starting your computer if you hold down F8, or the DELETE key or perhaps some other key, you get into the BIOS setup routines. When you look at these screens you are presented with a bewildering array of optional settings. They are all, of course, clearly identified with some kind of gibberish like AGP to DRAM Prefetch.

This book is organized so that inside the front and back covers are a listing of the BIOS options. Looking up AGP to DRAM Prefetch you are told that there is a Quick Review on Page 40 and a Detailed Description on Page 169. And after a little reading you will understand what this option does, and why you probably want it enabled. About 250 BIOS options are explained in this manner. There have been many times in the past when having such a book would have been invaluable. It is clearly written using words that will make sense to the computer literate and those maybe one step above novice.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Outdated Glossary with Some Recommendations. March 19, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is little more than a glossary of BIOS entries which may or may not match the ones in your computer. If you purchased a computer within the last year, this book will be of no help. It does not cover PCIE cards or dual video-card platforms. The terms rarely match up to specific BIOS terms, so you have to read through to find what you are looking for. What's worse this book is organized alphabetically. This is just the glossary to a book that was never written. There is no logical layout that will let you know what you need. For example, why not group all of the topics that affect RAM in one? Discuss RAM and how your BIOS interacts with it? No, instead you have to look through until you can find the entry for the BIOS menu. If I had the exact BIOS Mr. Wong had when he wrote this, it would be useful. However, I don't. I have a more recent BIOS and without a guide to how the thing works and why, this glossary is useless. I got more out of the guide posted on Tom's Hardware than this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is amazing July 27, 2005
Inside it you will find everything you want and need to know about the BIOS. If you're an overclocker, it's indispensible. If you're just curious about what all those settings do, it's great. The author's website is well-known in the enthusiast community and for good reason. Buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bios Bonanza July 27, 2005
By Flopper
This guy knows his stuff. Plenty of information that can be practically applied. Recomended for anyone who is interested in tweaking or checking their Bios settings.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Definitions for Abit MB November 1, 2005
This is a keeper and Adrian is always updating his web site, some of the definitions and recommendations do bleed over into other MB BIOs. This is an over clockers book for sure. Of all my computer books I go to this one most often. What was that PCI VGA bus set at, and did I disable that dam spread spectrum? Adrian rally does try very hard to stay up to date and he get the job done, sooner of later.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great read, but needs updating... August 23, 2006
By ivo
Well described, easy to follow, but doesn't cover the newer features that are a part of many of todays BIOS... didn't really give me what I was looking for. Put together very well, though. No-nonsense reading.
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16 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only for the advanced user. January 24, 2005
This book is for advanced user's only and not for the curious. If you don't know how to get into the BIOS on your computer, and what BIOS stands for then this isn't the book for you and should be left well enough alone. It is true that Adrian makes it sound simple but if you don't fully understand the changes your making you could seriously screw-up your computer, and the reason why companies like Dell make it harder to accidently access the BIOS on startup(crtl+alt+del) and not the freindly one key press on enthusiasts systems. I know that most of the people buying this book know this already but after reading the first review I felt a little caution should be excercised and not make it sound like it's as easy as operating a microwave.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exactly as described - shipped fast!
Published 10 months ago by KAM
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
no problems, just as ordered
Published 16 months ago by derphi912
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
old times
Published 18 months ago by Claudio J. Miranda
3.0 out of 5 stars hmmm
not quite what I expected but it is more of an explanation of what these codes mean than a how to....maybe im just a little computer illiterate.
Published on September 30, 2013 by clocker3171
5.0 out of 5 stars Bios Tuning
Most comprehensive information on tweaking any computer's BIOS.
A great help in speeding Start-up time and booting to the Op system. Read more
Published on March 21, 2010 by Jerry Kuczala
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bios Barrier
The author of this book is the best known person on the working of the bios. This book the proof of it. It is easy to understand and to find what you are looking for.
Published on February 27, 2009 by John H. Parton
5.0 out of 5 stars ok
Again, I got lucky. The book came in a bag envelope. No real damage to book. But, thank you all. I use to work in the post office, and I can tell everyone first hand that we all... Read more
Published on October 15, 2008 by R. Aparicio
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the only one.
This book may not cover every setting available on your motherboard but there is no other book that I know of that does. Read more
Published on January 18, 2007 by Vick Ferrari
5.0 out of 5 stars This is it!
If you are tired of spending hours trying to figure out what all those different BIOS settings do this is your book. Read more
Published on July 26, 2006 by Paul T. Heuston
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