VOGONS


First post, by kataniel

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Hello folks,

today I would like to present my socket 2 based vintage system. It was manufactered by Dell in 8/1995.
The system's full product name is Optiplex 4100/LE. It is a slimline desktop with two external 5.25 inch bays and one internal 3.5 inch bay for a hard drive.
I got this one in late 1999, three years after I sold my very first Dell System, a 425/sL (that I upgraded to a 466/L). I needed the money as I went to school then and could not afford to keep the system in parallel to the new one. Thinking back, this first machine was a little bit more "vintage" because of the case. I tried to get one again, but I had no luck. This kind of system is very rare in germany but this is the case for its successor (the one I present here) also.
So let's come to the system specifications:

CPU: Intel 486 DX4 Overdrive
Mainboard: Dell socket 2 OEM Board with VLSI chipset, Phoenix BIOS, Risers for 2x VLB and 1xISA, 2x 72pin FPM RAM sockets, onboard PS/2 for mouse and keyboard, one channel onboard ATAPI-IDE, pseudo-ATX power supply
Cache: 128KB in 4 modules
Memory: 2x 16 MB doublesided FPM (Nanya, 70ns)
Graphics (onboard, deactivated): CL-GD5429 with 1 MB memory (no possibility to upgrade)
Graphics: Miro Crystal 10SD VLB with S3 Trio chipset and 2 MB memory
Harddisk: Western Digital WDC2850 with 850 MB (at onboard IDE, MASTER)
CD-ROM: Mitsumi FX400 Atapi (at onboard IDE, SLAVE)
Floppy: Teac 1,44MB 3.5 inch
Sound: Shuttle HOT-235 (Opti 82c930) with Yamaha DB50XG daughterboard
LAN: 3Com Etherlink III 10MBit with RJ45 port
Power: 145W pseudoATX with 20pin cable for mainboard

I think the most interesting part of the system is the mainboard. There is little documentation about the VLSI chipset but I remember that I read somewhere that it supports interleaved memory access, if both memory slots are populated. The onboard IDE controller supports at least harddisks up to 8GB (I tried successfully), possibly more (did not try).
There is a jumper for external bus speed, but the only settings are 25 and 33 MHz.
A remarkable construction is the modular design of the riser cards. The system initially shipped with an ISA riser with 3 slots. I was finally able to find the addon VLB riser, a strange piece of hardware as it only carries the brown parts of an ordinary VLB slot that is pushed into the empty brown slot before the ISA riser in the mainboard to turn two of the ISA slots into VLB slots. This riser card also carries a jumper for 0/1 WS.
After having installed the VL addon riser, I was able to use a better video card. I decided to try the MIRO Crystal 10SD with 2MB onboard memory. Now I was able to run Windows in 1280x1024 resolution with 256 colors which is a nice thing. The onboard CL only delivered 16 colors in this resolution. The speed difference is remarkably low in DOS games and windows, I expected a little bit more. But I think, the DX4 CPU is the bottleneck here. 3DBench2 results increased from 58.0 to a little more of 60.6 fps.

The case is some kind of stylish when compared to many of the systems that were around these days. It's slim but wide in width and depth but this fact restricts the possibilities of upgrading a bit. The 5.25 inch drive bays are rail-based what makes it easy to install new drives. Screw the rails to them and then slide them in. Today, it's quite difficult (impossible) to find these rails on the market.

It took quite some time to find a soundcard that suits my needs. All SB16 cards I own, suffer from a DPS > 4.05, so no chance to use them with my DB50XG. I used an ESS1869 audiodrive for quite some time. It was a good card with better sound quality than my SB16 cards but with annoying drivers. I then found an OPTI82C930 based card, the Shuttle SOUND System 3D (HOT-235) that has a comparable audio quality (in my ears) and a better driver suite. Windows software also works quite well (basic player for CD, WAV and MIDI).

I run the system with MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows for Workgroups with TCP/IP stack and y2k compliance patch for winfile.exe. This allows me to attach it via LAN to my main workstation, a Core2 Duo with Windows XP x64 installed and makes it easy to transfer files onto the machine via network shares.
The main usage scenario of this system is playing DOS titles from the mid 90s. Especially Privateer, System shock and Dune 2. But the time to enjoy this pleasure becomes less from year to year.

Finally, there is no place left in the system to upgrade something. No slots empty, no bays remaining. Photos of this machine will be added soon.

Dell Optiplex GL5100 | Pentium 100 | S3 Trio64V+ 2MB onboard | 64MB EDO | WDAC2850 | FX810 | OPTi 82C929 + NEC XR385
Dell Optiplex 466LE | am486 DX5 133 | CL-GD5429 1MB onboard | 8MB FPM | WDAC2540 | FX400 | HOT-235 + DB50XG

Reply 1 of 10, by archsan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
kataniel wrote:

The case is some kind of stylish when compared to many of the systems that were around these days. It's slim but wide in width and depth but this fact restricts the possibilities of upgrading a bit.

Does your Optiplex look similar to this?

Reply 2 of 10, by kataniel

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Yes, that's exactly my machine. But I don't have the dual floppy. I had the dark grey dual floppy in my first 425/sL but I sold it with it. That was a bad choice, I know now.

Dell Optiplex GL5100 | Pentium 100 | S3 Trio64V+ 2MB onboard | 64MB EDO | WDAC2850 | FX810 | OPTi 82C929 + NEC XR385
Dell Optiplex 466LE | am486 DX5 133 | CL-GD5429 1MB onboard | 8MB FPM | WDAC2540 | FX400 | HOT-235 + DB50XG

Reply 3 of 10, by Standard Def Steve

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

That's an interesting machine. Definitely the first 486 I've heard of with a 20-pin power connector. Does it support soft-off and WOL, or is it mechanically controlled like an AT PS?

Standard Def Rigs
Super P3: PIII-S @ 1.63 GHz/FSB155 | 2GB DDR-310 | 6800GT AGP | 500GB 7200 RPM
Super G4: 2x PowerPC 7455 @ 1.5 GHz | 2GB DDR-333 | 7800GS AGP | 300GB 10k RPM
Super G5: 4x PowerPC 970 @ 2.5 GHz | 16GB DDR2-533 | x1950XT PCIe | 512GB SSD

Reply 4 of 10, by kataniel

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

According to the manual this machine has a kind of soft-off:
"The power supply-on signal is an active-low signal that turns on (and off) all power supply outputs except the +5 VSP (volts standby power). The +5 VSP is on anytime the power supply is connected to an AC power source."
The system draws standby power from the coord, that's a fact. I haven't tried WOL, but the Phoenix-BIOS says nothing about it.

Dell Optiplex GL5100 | Pentium 100 | S3 Trio64V+ 2MB onboard | 64MB EDO | WDAC2850 | FX810 | OPTi 82C929 + NEC XR385
Dell Optiplex 466LE | am486 DX5 133 | CL-GD5429 1MB onboard | 8MB FPM | WDAC2540 | FX400 | HOT-235 + DB50XG

Reply 6 of 10, by kataniel

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Hello from 8 years and 1 month in the past!

A nice machine in very good condition you have there.
Yours also has the socket adapter for voltage regulation. I tried a 5x86 ADW 133, but it didn't want to boot with it.
Did you already make any upgrades to your machine?

For file transfer, I currently use Win3.11 with TCP/IP Stack Extension, so I can transfer files from my Windows 7 system over a network share on my Dell Optiplex.
Have fun with your machine 😀

Dell Optiplex GL5100 | Pentium 100 | S3 Trio64V+ 2MB onboard | 64MB EDO | WDAC2850 | FX810 | OPTi 82C929 + NEC XR385
Dell Optiplex 466LE | am486 DX5 133 | CL-GD5429 1MB onboard | 8MB FPM | WDAC2540 | FX400 | HOT-235 + DB50XG

Reply 7 of 10, by Tetrium

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
kataniel wrote on 2020-04-09, 06:20:
Hello from 8 years and 1 month in the past! […]
Show full quote

Hello from 8 years and 1 month in the past!

A nice machine in very good condition you have there.
Yours also has the socket adapter for voltage regulation. I tried a 5x86 ADW 133, but it didn't want to boot with it.
Did you already make any upgrades to your machine?

For file transfer, I currently use Win3.11 with TCP/IP Stack Extension, so I can transfer files from my Windows 7 system over a network share on my Dell Optiplex.
Have fun with your machine 😀

Could you please upload a pic of the board? And specifically of the CPU socket?
I wanna see the "Socket 2" writing on the socket. Btw, is it the proper white one or that odd blue socket with the weird lever?

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 8 of 10, by kataniel

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Hi Tetrium,
the socket has no writing at all. Additionally, it's no ZIF socket what makes changing the CPU a pain. I already had a PODPR83 (successfully) running on it.

Here's a picture that I made last year

IMG_4065.JPG
Filename
IMG_4065.JPG
File size
1.67 MiB
Views
254 views
File license
GPL-2.0-or-later

If you need more pictures, I have a spare board, I can take photos from.

Dell Optiplex GL5100 | Pentium 100 | S3 Trio64V+ 2MB onboard | 64MB EDO | WDAC2850 | FX810 | OPTi 82C929 + NEC XR385
Dell Optiplex 466LE | am486 DX5 133 | CL-GD5429 1MB onboard | 8MB FPM | WDAC2540 | FX400 | HOT-235 + DB50XG

Reply 9 of 10, by mbliss11

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I have a very similar computer - Optiplex GL5100

It is a socket 5 board

Have modified the crap out of it the last few months and having a blast tinkering and playing old games with it. If you need to enter the BIOS hit CTRL ALT Enter took me several months to figure that one out had to search the bowels of the web to find that. You can access it at anytime at a prompt which is cool and settings will adjust on the fly. I recently flashed the bios to the latest A20 version and have upgraded the CPU to a MMX 200 Overdrive, Voodoo1 and a few other PCI graphics cards on the way. It has 64megs of ram and the bios has a sinkhole option to drop it to 15 which is nice for a few old games that I wanted to run that are mem sensitive (Chaos Engine doesn't like more than 16 megs for example). CF card reader in the front for swapping out DOS and Win95 and a nice CD and Gotek Floppy Emulator in the same bay (got that inspiration from another member Tali on here at this post: A couple (or, perhaps, quite a bit more) rigs for all ages

IMG-1207.JPG
Filename
IMG-1207.JPG
File size
1.22 MiB
Views
219 views
File license
Public domain

Reply 10 of 10, by kataniel

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I also own an Optiplex GL5100 (see my signature). Be aware that the socket 5 does not support split voltage which is "required" for MMX CPUs to run within specifications. But I already tried a 233 MMX on my GL and it ran fine (for the time of testing). But as I only play old DOS games, I don't need the performance, so I went back to an IDT WinChip C6 200 which is slower than a Pentium 133 in doom -timedemo 😉

I'm glad to see that there are still several of these machines out there 😀

Dell Optiplex GL5100 | Pentium 100 | S3 Trio64V+ 2MB onboard | 64MB EDO | WDAC2850 | FX810 | OPTi 82C929 + NEC XR385
Dell Optiplex 466LE | am486 DX5 133 | CL-GD5429 1MB onboard | 8MB FPM | WDAC2540 | FX400 | HOT-235 + DB50XG