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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | System Case | Case LEDs ]

Speed Indicator LEDs

Some older PCs have a digital LED readout that shows the "speed" of the processor, usually comprised of several LEDs that taken together can form different combinations of numbers, like a digital wristwatch. These are obsolete today but they were quite popular for many years, especially in systems that used the turbo button--the speed indicator would change the system "speed" when the turbo button was changed. Why do I keep putting the word "speed" in quotes? Well, these speed indicators don't really measure anything. They are not connected to the processor or the motherboard at all.

These indicators are programmed in hardware (using jumpers inside the case that you can change) to show whatever value the person who assembled the case wanted them to say. There are usually two different values that can be displayed, one when the turbo button is pressed in and one when it is out. A reputable system vendor will make sure these values match those of the real processor inside the box. And a disreputable one? Well... Also, if you upgrade your processor to a faster model, these numbers will remain the same unless you change them yourself.

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