A Reintroduction To American Megatrends (AMI)

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g00ey

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Back in the day, the AMI BIOS was something everyone hated. The preferred BIOSes came from Award. The Award BIOSes were easier to configure, and had more overclocking and unlocking features than AMI. I don't know how things stand today, now since UEFI has come along, but I still have that same sentiment towards AMI and those OEM BIOSes feel very awkward even today, especially those "Dell" BIOSes.
 
Neat article! Never was a fan of AMI. As others have stated here, AMI bios was one of the worst available in the custom PC world, but they had a big name in the prebuilt world as they were 'more secure'... or at least locked down properly.

Would love to see more articles like this on other old companies that we don't think of on a daily basis!
 

IInuyasha74

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I've not encountered any problems personally with AMI BIOSes. The older ones I have used were relatively limited, but those were typically from an OEM like Dell or HP and limited by choice of the OEM. It is possible that the issues that you have previously encountered with BIOSes from AMI were because the OEMs chose to use the basic firmware package to save costs, but I cannot say for certain.
 

IInuyasha74

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I am surprised you managed to find the original TH story where I got the picture, but you don't seem to know what SIMM modules are. Although they were used as system RAM at times in the 1980s, they were extensively used as L2 cache on motherboards using SDRAM for system RAM.

Also, this is not an overly positive puff piece, and doesn't come from the corporate profile. I had an interview with representatives from AMI and did additional research to write this article, and it is merely meant to discuss the various areas of business the company is involved in. I didn't review these products, nor say that we all need to go and use products with AMI firmware.
 

gadgety

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton, rather than just regurgitating AMI's presentation it would serve you and your readers well with a bit of analysis and perhaps wider contextual scope.
 

IInuyasha74

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I believe you may have missed the purpose of this article, but care to elaborate? What type of analysis do you feel would be useful here? A comparison of AMI's firmware to it's competitors? That would be a good article, but that is not the purpose of this one.
 

mctylr

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SIMM modules were used for system memory into the mid-1990s using both 30 and 72-pin connectors, until being displaced by DIMM modules after the introduction of the Pentium.

The COAST (or COASt) - cache on a stick - modules used a slightly larger 80-pin configuration, while SIMM modules used 72-pins (okay, early SIMM modules did use 30-pins).

In x86 systems, and I believe Macintosh systems, there was only a single COAST module slot, not four of them.

As far as I can remember all L2 cache for x86 was implemented using static RAM, not (S)DRAM.

Also, this is not an overly positive puff piece, and doesn't come from the corporate profile. I had an interview with representatives from AMI and did additional research to write this article, and it is merely meant to discuss the various areas of business the company is involved in. I didn't review these products, nor say that we all need to go and use products with AMI firmware.
Although not a review piece, you do fail to mention any of their competitors (e.g. Award, Phoenix), any market failures or consumer criticisms, or any legal or market controversy. In other words you don't mention anything remotely meh let alone negative about AMI.
 

IInuyasha74

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Yes, SIMMs were used as system RAM before, but they were frequently used as L2 cache also. L2 cache was at times soldered onto the motherboard instead, but that was not always the case.

I didn't mention any of their competitors, because this isn't about them. If this article was meant to discuss the major companies that produce firmware, then it would make since for me to discuss them, but it isn't. It is only to discuss the AIM, what areas of business they are in, and give an overview of the company. Like any company they have had a few problems over the years, but nothing particularly recent or worth mentioning. If this was a complete overview of the last 30+ years, then I would have mentioned those, but again, the idea is to reintroduce you to the company. A little info on the start of the company and how it started to grow, an achievement or two that was significant, and a look at current products. Going into more detail than that would only serve to make the article longer than most people would want to read, while providing no real useful or relevant information. Something which you would read and think "meh" isn't worth taking the time to write, and isn't worth asking our readers to take the time to read. Why would I write something that is so dull and uninteresting that the only thing the audience would have to say about it is "meh"?
 

Matthew_21

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I just bought a really nice fanless computer from Hystou (model i5-5250U). Very capable machine and has an AMI bios. It is by far the most ridiculously configurable bios that I've ever seen -- I think Hystou didn't bother with customization of the bios and just included every single option. However, I can't for the life of me get "Wake on USB" to work! There isn't a "Power" menu and it didn't come with a manual. Any suggestions on where to look for a manual/user's guide for the latest AMI bios'es with Broadwell support? Thanks
 

ebrain

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Well... thank you very much Michael Justin
this kind of articles are those for I started reading Tom's Hardware...

It´s nice to revive the feeling about those electronics that were part of history in Computer Science :D


Keep going ;)
 

Bret_2

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My 1st PC was American megatrends PC, dug around and found the spec sheet, this was 12/7/1996
Model - Ampsonic C-6X+ $1239.00
Motherboard – Biostar 9500TVX
CPU – Cyrix 6x86 – PR150+
Memory – 2x32 EDO 8MB
Hard Drive 1.3 Gb EIDE
Videocard 2Mb DRAM MPEG 1
Floppy Drive
Sound card Acer wavetable
Modem 33.6kbps
Windows 95
Pretty basic, but I learned a lot on that thing, sound card quit working and the drivers were in the OS the entire time, just had to find them... the beginning of the journey :)
 
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