VOGONS


My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Topic actions

First post, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I've been working on this system for what seems like forever. I've made a few small changes recently. Here's what I've got so far:

-Inwin H500 ATX Chassis
Converted to AT using an ebay kit. I previously used a huge full tower case, but I decided to downsize since I moved overseas. The Pentium that previously occupied this case was decommissioned.

Picture%20075.jpg

-Nice/Lion/MCCI SuperEISA V1.2 w/1024kb cache
My favourite 486 board. 8 EISA slots, 1 VLB. Supports up to 256mb RAM (fully cached???). I upgraded the three 64kx4 TAG rams to 12ns. This is a very fast board for such an old design.

DSC09722.JPG

Here's a closeup of the 128kx8 cache chips:

Picture%20029.jpg

-AMD 5x86-133ADW @160MHz
My ADZ didn't cut the mustard at 160MHz, but the ADW did. (Now running a 486DX5-16BGC with 2000 date code). It's currently sitting on a VRM, which sits on an interposer to force WT cache mode. I use a very nice industrial style clip on heatsink with a fan just to be safe. Here's a breakdown of all the components. Transposer + VRM + CPU + Bracket + Clip + Heatsink + Fan:

Picture%20077.jpg

This is the CPU after all the adapters are installed:

Picture%20076.jpg

-128MB 60ns FPM 30pin SIMM
I don't think this much memory is really necessary, but 16mb 30-pin SIMMs are niftyt. I would like to upgrade to 256MB if I ever find the modules at a low price.

-Hercules Dynamite Power VL w/2MB DRAM
I've tried just about every VLB card worth trying, and I always come back to the ET4000W32P. It's quite fast in DOS (but just so-so in Windows)....which is why I have a SuperMac Spectrum/24.

Dynamite%2520Power.jpg

-SuperMac Spectrum/24 w/3MB VRAM EISA
This card is an accelerator only, no VGA core. It connects to the VGA passthrough on the Hercules card (also needed to build a VGA terminator). It only does 24-bit colour modes, but for the the Windows programs that require 8-bit, I can still fall back to the Tseng just by changing the driver in windows setup.

Spectrum24.jpg

-Adaptec AHA-2742W Wide SCSI EISA
I didn't feel a caching controller was necessary as I already have so much main memory. Bus mastering on EISA is supposed to work pretty well.
IMG_0901.JPG
-STB ECP & 16550 I/O
STBIO.jpg
-3com 5c597TX 10/100mbps EISA
I still haven't really gotten much use out of this card, so I am not totally sure if it can get up to speed.
IMG_0902.JPG
-SoundBlaster Pro 2.0 (Now replaced with Yamaha YMF-719)
I sacrifice sound quality for good DOS game compatibility. I also considered SB16, AWE32 and AWE64 (which I have), and CS4232 +OPL3 (which I couldn't find)

IMG_1584.JPG

MPU-401AT + DB60XG
I finally got one of these damn Roland cards, which solves the hanging notes problem on creative cards, or in the case of the SB Pro the lack of MPU-401 header. I would have preferred LAPC-I, but I couldn't find it. For now this DB60XG seems to do what I need. Perhaps I can upgrade to Soundscape later.

MPU401.JPG

BAY1: 5.25" 1.2mb FDD
BAY2: Plextor PX-32CSI 32X SCSI Caddy loader
BAY3: Empty
BAY4: 3.5" 1.44mb FDD
BAY5: Empty
BAY6: Seagate Barracuda 2GB Wide SCSI HDD (loud as hell)

This is an older photo I had on file of the motherboard, before I installed the new cache chips and added the CPU fan. Last year "lamcsales" on eBay was selling a bunch of these boards, but they all had the Everex BIOS installed. Mine has the regular AMI 6/6/92 BIOS installed with all the bells and whistles:

IMG_1409.JPG

Last edited by Anonymous Coward on 2016-01-02, 00:43. Edited 8 times in total.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 3 of 91, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

It's hard to say how much it cost me, because I've been working on it for 7 years...but probably something like $400.

I'm running PC-DOS 2000 and WFW311.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 4 of 91, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

ah, pc-dos, the choise of win 😀 too bad 2000 does not have FAT32 support...
thanks for the pics too:)
so the transposer is just a bridge between 2 legs? is this fix specific to this mobo?

cT89QGt.gif Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 wanted , click me for AmiBay ad!

Reply 6 of 91, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Yeah. The socket4 motherboard developed some loose solder joints, and I just don't have the time to repair it.

The interposer in the photo fits in between the socket3 and the VRM. It's purpose is to hard wire write thru cache. It's not specific to this motherboard, but to the am5x86 chip. If you try to run WB mode on a board that only supports WT, it can cause DMA problems.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 7 of 91, by Mad-Lunatic

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Converted to AT using an ebay kit.

Nice rig!

Where did you find this kit, how is/was it called ?
I see lots of kits to convert Power Supplies, but I can't seem to track down a kit to convert an ATX case. Would be fun to get a reference.

http://homenet.gnu-linux.net/ -- My computer collection, past and present

Reply 8 of 91, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

My understanding is that the mounting points in ATX cases should still line up with AT motherboards. However, I have only ever used Inwin cases, so perhaps they were designed with AT boards in mind. Try mounting an AT board into a random ATX case and see how it goes. If it fits, all you need is the power adapter cable and one of these:

http://store.thirtyday.com/atioshbaplal.html

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 9 of 91, by retro games 100

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Anonymous Coward, I would love to see some benchmarks for this incredible looking machine. If possible:

Speedsys, 3DBench (1.0 and 1.0c), PcpBench, Shiny "CPU/Video Gamers Performance Test v1.4" benchmark program, Quake timedemo demo1 [full screen], Doom -timedemo demo3 [full screen], WinTune 2 [for Windows 3.whatever], and anything else you can think of.

Thanks a lot if possible.

Reply 10 of 91, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I won't have access to the machine until June. But I'd be more than happy to do this for you.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 11 of 91, by WolverineDK

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Anonymous Coward: since you mentioned. That you took a Soundblaster Pro 2.0

What about making a midi box like Silent Loon made in his thread in his thread ?

my little Midi box

Since I seriously doubt you want to buy miditemps expensive DoXintheBox "box".

Reply 12 of 91, by sliderider

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Anonymous Coward wrote:

Yeah. The socket4 motherboard developed some loose solder joints, and I just don't have the time to repair it.

The interposer in the photo fits in between the socket3 and the VRM. It's purpose is to hard wire write thru cache. It's not specific to this motherboard, but to the am5x86 chip. If you try to run WB mode on a board that only supports WT, it can cause DMA problems.

I've never seen a socket 4 motherboard. Any pics?

Reply 13 of 91, by DonutKing

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
sliderider wrote:
Anonymous Coward wrote:

Yeah. The socket4 motherboard developed some loose solder joints, and I just don't have the time to repair it.

The interposer in the photo fits in between the socket3 and the VRM. It's purpose is to hard wire write thru cache. It's not specific to this motherboard, but to the am5x86 chip. If you try to run WB mode on a board that only supports WT, it can cause DMA problems.

I've never seen a socket 4 motherboard. Any pics?

There's a thread about socket 4 here Socket 4 Pentium

Reply 14 of 91, by sliderider

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
DonutKing wrote:
sliderider wrote:
Anonymous Coward wrote:

Yeah. The socket4 motherboard developed some loose solder joints, and I just don't have the time to repair it.

The interposer in the photo fits in between the socket3 and the VRM. It's purpose is to hard wire write thru cache. It's not specific to this motherboard, but to the am5x86 chip. If you try to run WB mode on a board that only supports WT, it can cause DMA problems.

I've never seen a socket 4 motherboard. Any pics?

There's a thread about socket 4 here Socket 4 Pentium

I realized after I posted that I was thinking about Socket 6 and not Socket 4. I've seen the P60/66 motherboards before. Wikipedia says Socket 6 was a very late update to the Socket 3 for 486's.

Reply 15 of 91, by Tetrium

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I don't think Socket 6 was ever produced. Wouldn't be very sensible, Socket 3 was already capable of supporting virtually all Socket 3 class cpu's ever made and 486 was nearing the end of it's life anyway.

Iirc Socket 6 would've been 3.3v only?

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

Reply 16 of 91, by SavantStrike

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Can you elaborate more on that ATX conversion?

How does this work exactly. I'm guessing the screw holes line up for the standoffs to work internally, but AT/baby AT had 8 expansion slots, and ATX has 7. Does your case have 8 slots, or is the first or last slot just not available to put cards in?

Reply 18 of 91, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I have some speedsys results for those interested. I didn't test the HDD, because it's slow as hell. I'd really like to get a Cyrix 5x86-120 working in this system, but it just isn't cooperating.

speedsys.jpg

Also, sorry about my slow reply to your question about ATX. The case has 7 slots, and the 8th slot is not available (externally at least). Here's what it looks like at the back (this is an older picture with a different guts in the same case)

Picture%252520031.jpg

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 19 of 91, by Amigaz

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

@Anonymous Coward

Might be time to throw in a modern, fast and silent 68p SCSI HDD like a nice 10k rpm of faster 18gig drive...they are quite cheap nowdays and the last one's made are quite silent
Another idea is top use an IDE drive with an acard SCSI->IDE adapter

Still haven't got around using my Everex version of your mobo, 🤣

1607787.png

1607975.png