Yo Rabies!


Old fart on this board
Apr 15, 2001
Fin fuggen land
As you have more knowledge of computer hardware than me, I have a question(s) that I hope you could shed some light on.

If you were masochist enough to rad my novel in that other thread, you know that I have a new (internal) modem. It requires MMX compatible processor so it's one of those bloody software modems or whatever those are called, right?

How big is the difference between a 'regular' PCI modem and a soft modem? I mean, does one need more processor time or something? Does the difference show in use?

Does a PCI modem (soft or not) require anything special from the computer or is all this just a 'feature' of a certain manufacturer's modems?

I'll try to find out if that service dude has any other kind of modem models, preferably a one which work in my 'puter. If not, I'll just return that pice of crap and ask my money back
Oh ugh... You wanna get rid of that softmodem at all costs (also called winmodems).

They are the epitome of cheap-0 hardware junk.

They are bare essential modems - with little to no functions in order to keep the board cost down. It uses (and thus requires) the MMX technology on your microprocessor for any Digital Signal Processing functions. The controller chip functions are also completely handled by your microprocessor.

..basically, the company wanted to create an uber-cheap modem...so they cut all the chips off to control internall control anything and wrote the drivers to unload on your internal processor. Plus, since they require MMX support, they are not backward compatible with non-MMX software (DOS, LINUX, etx).

A full featured modem takes all the responsibility onto itself and does not cycle processor time. Here is a snippet of a potential major bottleneck/problem with MMX -type softmodem (yours):

Since MMX instructions are SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data), a noisy telephone line or bad overall connection can cause the instruction stream to be stuck in the microprocessor for abnormally long periods of time. Since these transactions take place on the PCI bus which runs at 33 MHz, your 350 MHz Pentium-II will appear to be reduced to the power of a 33 MHz 386. I have experienced this many times with different combinations of motherboards and SoftModems.

I'd get rid of it at all costs if I were you. These modems were created with the non-technical, non-computer literate, cheap consumer in mind.
Yeah, I'm getting rid of it 'cos I don't bloody have any 'kin MMX processor! I knew it was something like that, I just haven't been really up to date with these things for the last few years, too fast progression...

I think I'll go to the shop, that made this misery, next week and insist that they give me one that works dammit. They gotta have something better to offer than this.

Oh, and thanks Rabies. Now I have my own technical support... :lol:
You don't have an MMX processor? Holy crud? How old is your machine?

...You do know that all Pentium II and higher processors have the MMX instructions built in right?
How old?
Hmm let's see, I was on 8th when I got this....
So it was '96 when I got my machine, Pentium 75MHz, 8meg blabla, not the best at that time but almost, and the price was the best for me.

Last spring I changed the processor to Cyrix 166, although I had some problems finding the right jumper settings so it runs only a bit over 150MHz.

Yup I know, wasn't it 166MHz to 200MHz time when those MMX cpus came to market, although they were/are incompatible with 'normal' motherboards... First of them were Pentium models before Pentium II came to market, if I remember right.