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L2 Cache / Modem

Posted on 1999-11-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
my SM56 Modem (softmodem by motorola, 56K) says it prefers the new pentium models or the amd k6-2 and up with at least 256K L2 cache. now i ran the wcpuid 2.6b (http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA002374/nrklv/e/wcpu.html) to determine if i have the L2 cache. it says none. my pc is k6-2 300Mhz 64Mb ram. do i need to buy L2 cache or i mean is it necessary? is it that important? pls help me.. im not very good in hardware part :/
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Question by:ibo
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by:bparnes
ID: 2188948
I suggest you just go ahead and install the modem and see if it works on your system as is. I wouldn't worry about this until you know for sure that it doesn't work.
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rbrumm earned 150 total points
ID: 2188980
the L2 cache is not located on this chip but is located on the motherboard. Unless the MB is very old it will have at least 256K or more likely 512. These win or soft modems use your cpu to do their work.
Sure, go ahead and install it ...it will work
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by:RoadWarrior
ID: 2189235
A lot of cache detection and speed test utilities, in fact every one I have ever tried, seem to have problems with non-intel chips, so with having an AMD chip, I would take the non detection of cache by that software not to mean a thing.

Motherboards often flash up the installed amount of cache in the configuration summary that appears just before the "starting windows 95/98" message.

The modem should work fine, just may have to re-request data if it loses it while the system is busy. To keep things smooth, I would try not to use more than 4 browser windows, and not to expect to watch higher bandwidth streamed video. If you tell any streaming applications your connection bandwidth, lie and say 28.8k then that should leave you CPU capacity to play them.

regards,

Road Warrior
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by:Otta
ID: 2190037
>: my SM56 Modem (softmodem by motorola, 56K)
> says it prefers the new pentium models
> or the amd k6-2 and up with at least 256K L2 cache.

Yeeooww!  I've used a "winmodem" on Intel 486DX33 computer, and it worked.

So, my thought is that any CPU faster
than a 486SX25, i.e., any Pentium,
will be sufficient "horsepower" to
operate such a modem.

As others have said, just try using it,
and "trouble-shoot" only if you need to.
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by:RoadWarrior
ID: 2190283
That puzzles me really, why these winmodems "need" really fast pentium chips, when the original 56k ones used to need a 486dx, I don't think they have reduced the hardware on them any more since the first crop really, so I fail to see why they are recommending such fast chips for them. Must be writing the drivers in pascal nowadays!
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by:ibo
ID: 2190834
well.. i dont really know whats the diff between win (windows?) / soft (software?) modems... (same banana?)
the SM56 modem i bought was realy supposed to be installed on my old AMD k5 computer but the driver installation aborts the process because it says "486 processor detected! aborting installation" :(. the documentation even says it doesnt support cyrix processors becoz of some floating point somethin.. im not familiar. btw this one is PCI internal modem. i havnt tried it yet in tcp/ip conn.. but ive already tried it on dialing to a BBS.. serial conn. :). and it worked. i heard winmodems affect cpu processing power, true?
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by:Otta
ID: 2193169
> i heard winmodems affect cpu processing power, true?

You heard correctly -- they use CPU-cycles to do the "signal-processing" that a "full" modem does "internally".  Winmodems have less hardware, and thus are cheaper to build, and (hopefully) lower-priced.

Recently, I've noticed that it's getting difficult to find a V.90 ISA modem which is *NOT* a "winmodem" (or "HSP" (host signal-processing)) modem,
and that the prices of the modems which I do find are 30% higher than two years ago.
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by:RoadWarrior
ID: 2193576
I noticed that too Otta, over the last few months real modems seem to have dropped out of all the parts listings I peruse, and when there is one it is darn expensive, winmodems seem to have gone up to the price of hardware modems now too. Also I notice that the fact that they are "win" "soft" or "HSP" modems is being made less of, you have to look at the small print sometimes.
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by:bparnes
ID: 2194192
A lot of that is the consequence of the amazing amount of excess computing capacity that is being sold to most users these days. A 500 mhz pentium III is overkill a thousand times over for most any modem-based application like getting your e-mail, or surfing the web.
However, I still try to get my clients to follow the rule that it is better to have a job done by hardware rather than software, all other things being equal.
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