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Intel could have same timing problem as AMD

Confusion reigns after Microsoft's software glitch

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A problem with a software timing loop in Windows 95 has re-emerged but this time it is Intel, rather than AMD, which appears to have difficulties. Motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte, one of the most successful third party manufacturers for Intel, is stressing the fact that it is providing what it calls the Intel PIIX4 Patch Utility for Windows 95 with 370-pin Celeron motherboards it is supplying. A source close to the Taiwanese company said: "I think this is a problem with the software timing with Win95 but at speeds of 333MHz and 350MHz." Three weeks ago, Intel denied point blank it suffered from the problem, after rival AMD found itself in difficulties over $35 Microsoft wanted to charge dealers for the workaround. But a senior architect, who declined to be named, said the patches were unrelated. He said: "Not that it's not entirely possible that the same timing loop problem in Win95 affects Intel (and maybe Cyrix too) CPUs ...but the PIIX4 patch that I've seen fixes a different problem, one having to do with chipset IDE ports. "Briefly, Win32 uses keyed info in INF files as tokenized how-to info on accessing system resources. The Intel 430 HX and TX chipsets, with the PIIX3 and PIIX4 chips before, were released after Win95, so the OS doesn't recognize the chips with their secret signatures, assumes that there's default hardware on its motherboard, and misbehaves. "The patch consists largely of updated INF files describing the newer chipset hardware. Abit has also provided this info for their customers, and Intel still has the update on their website." A representative from Intel said he was unaware of such a problem. ®

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