VOGONS


First post, by pete8475

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Long time lurker, first time poster.

I've been looking at all the late model socket 3 stuff on here with envy for years and finally decided to jump in and bought some hardware on ebay.

I found a combo of an LS-486, 32mb of fastpage ram and an AMD 5X86 133mhz. It took several months to arrive but I have it up and running today in an old AT case I found locally. I'm using an ATX to AT adapter also purchased on ebay with a several year old Coolermaster 460watt power supply. I also picked up 2 more 16mb modules of fastpage ram locally while waiting for the MB/CPU to arrive.

I mounted a couple of IDE to compactflash adapters in a 5.25" plastic drive bay thing I had and I've put 2 8GB cards in there and I have those connected to a Promise Ultra 133 TX2. The DVD drive in the top bay is not connected and only the 3.5" floppy is connected as I can't find a floppy cable with 2 drive connectors and I also haven't quite figured out how to use the floppy drive emulator. Ultimately I'd like both to be connected and working.

I'm stuck running an ancient ISA ATI VGA wonder at the moment, none of the PCI video cards I have work with this motherboard (Geforce 6200, Matrox G450) I was really hoping the Matrox card would as the 2d image quality is tremendous. I've ordered an S3 Virge DX and an ATI Rage XL on ebay, hopefully one of those two will work.

I've got a Sound Blaster 64 and a 100 megabit 3com ISA NIC I plan to install. I doubt I'll have it connected to my network, I just find the idea of a 100 megabit isa network card kind of funny.

I just finished up installing windows 98SE and plan to mostly play some old DOS games from my childhood.

Anyway I've attached a couple of pics of the system, it's a bit of a mess right now and I'll try and tidy it up a bit more once the proper video card arrives.

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Reply 1 of 17, by chinny22

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Beginnings of a nice PC indeed.
Good choice of video cards, you can also try out their own 3d Acceleration implementation, even though the 586 may be a bit slow, the games are more a curiosity to play round with then get back to the games you love anyway.
3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)

Don't be so quick to dismiss the network though. It's still the most convenient way of getting files onto the PC and well worth the day or so to get working, plus, network games 😀

Reply 2 of 17, by amadeus777999

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Nice system! These LuckyStar boards are a fine alternative to the late, UMC based, 486 speed kings.
I also have CT4520 and I REALLY like it because of its compactness and great sound... I'm not a sound connoisseur so a card like this is high end for me.

Your more recent PCI cards require a newer PCI "protocol" so the screen stays black. You may read Feipoa's Modern graphics on a 486 which clears things up.

Reply 3 of 17, by pete8475

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chinny22 wrote:
Beginnings of a nice PC indeed. Good choice of video cards, you can also try out their own 3d Acceleration implementation, even […]
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Beginnings of a nice PC indeed.
Good choice of video cards, you can also try out their own 3d Acceleration implementation, even though the 586 may be a bit slow, the games are more a curiosity to play round with then get back to the games you love anyway.
3D Accelerated Games List (Proprietary APIs - No 3DFX/Direct3D)

Don't be so quick to dismiss the network though. It's still the most convenient way of getting files onto the PC and well worth the day or so to get working, plus, network games 😀

Yeah I might play around with the network a bit, but for now I've been using the 2nd compactflash card to transfer files from my main desktop.

Both video cards showed up today, hopefully one of the two is compatible.

amadeus777999 wrote:

Nice system! These LuckyStar boards are a fine alternative to the late, UMC based, 486 speed kings.
I also have CT4520 and I REALLY like it because of its compactness and great sound... I'm not a sound connoisseur so a card like this is high end for me.

Your more recent PCI cards require a newer PCI "protocol" so the screen stays black. You may read Feipoa's Modern graphics on a 486 which clears things up.

Glad to hear it's a good soundcard, and I'll definitely check out that thread.

EDIT - No post with the Rage XL but the S3 card is working nicely.

Reply 4 of 17, by pete8475

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One step forward and another back, S3 Virge is working well, big improvements in various DOS benchmarks from philscomputerlab.com

But the machine randomly freezes in Windows after installing the AWE64. Freezing happens in all 3 ISA slots.

EDIT - this is in Windows 98, same thing is happening with a Vibra16 in all 3 ISA slots.

EDIT 2 - just to make sure the ATI card is functional I put it in a Core i5 system and it posts just fine. I think I'm going to order a PCI G200 and an ISA Yamaha soundcard to see what happens with those.

Reply 5 of 17, by appiah4

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pete8475 wrote:
One step forward and another back, S3 Virge is working well, big improvements in various DOS benchmarks from philscomputerlab.co […]
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One step forward and another back, S3 Virge is working well, big improvements in various DOS benchmarks from philscomputerlab.com

But the machine randomly freezes in Windows after installing the AWE64. Freezing happens in all 3 ISA slots.

EDIT - this is in Windows 98, same thing is happening with a Vibra16 in all 3 ISA slots.

EDIT 2 - just to make sure the ATI card is functional I put it in a Core i5 system and it posts just fine. I think I'm going to order a PCI G200 and an ISA Yamaha soundcard to see what happens with those.

On a hunch, check to make sure the RAM you have in the system is FPM not EDO..

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 6 of 17, by pete8475

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appiah4 wrote:

On a hunch, check to make sure the RAM you have in the system is FPM not EDO..

Is there a utility I can run to make sure?

When I google part #'s from the chips I seem to get results saying fast page. I'll post pics of the ram sticks in a few minutes.

EDIT - pics attached. I'm going to try just one pair and then the other and see if the crashing follows either set.

EDIT 2 - same crashing with either set of ram and either soundcard. Also locks up when I put in the 3com NIC.

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Reply 7 of 17, by amadeus777999

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If your board is a C2 revision then you can use EDO(not all later revisions allow EDO though - F does not for example).
Just stick in the ram into an old 486 board which features 72 pin simms - if it starts up the ram is FPM.
Another option is reading the numeric code on the modules - if it ends with 0 then it is most likely a FPM one.

e.g.: HY51V17400BJ-60 -> FPM, HY51V17404BJ-60 -> EDO

According to this method, your Panasonic modules seem to be EDO and the other FPM.

Reply 8 of 17, by pete8475

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amadeus777999 wrote:
If your board is a C2 revision then you can use EDO(not all later revisions allow EDO though - F does not for example). Just sti […]
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If your board is a C2 revision then you can use EDO(not all later revisions allow EDO though - F does not for example).
Just stick in the ram into an old 486 board which features 72 pin simms - if it starts up the ram is FPM.
Another option is reading the numeric code on the modules - if it ends with 0 then it is most likely a FPM one.

e.g.: HY51V17400BJ-60 -> FPM, HY51V17404BJ-60 -> EDO

According to this method, your Panasonic modules seem to be EDO and the other FPM.

Interesting, I wish I could test them in another board but I don't have anything else that takes 72 pin simms.

I think it is a C2 revision and using the ram with Toshiba chips it still freezes as soon as any sound plays in windows on either sound card I have or as soon as I install the drivers for the 3com ISA network card. Interestingly the old ATI VGA Wonder ISA video card I have works fine.

I have ordered a Yamaha sound card on ebay so I'm hoping that will work with this board so I can have more than pc speaker noises.

Reply 9 of 17, by Intel486dx33

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With Windows-95c I would use an S3-trio64 PCI video card or an Cirrus Logic PCI video card.
WIll work vanilla with Windows 95c. Windows 95c should auto detect and load the drivers from the Win95c CDROM.

Reply 10 of 17, by pete8475

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Intel486dx33 wrote:

With Windows-95c I would use an S3-trio64 PCI video card or an Cirrus Logic PCI video card.
WIll work vanilla with Windows 95c. Windows 95c should auto detect and load the drivers from the Win95c CDROM.

Interesting suggestions, however I have none of those things.

Reply 11 of 17, by pete8475

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I found an 8mb Matrox G200 locally for $20 and I was hoping it would work in this system but unfortunately it does not 😵 . So I've ordered up an ATI Rage Pro Turbo 8MB card from ebay. Also I found a thread on here with another guy that kept having ISA soundcard issues in this board so I've gone ahead and ordered a PCI Yamaha soundcard.

LuckyStar LS486E rev.C2 and Cyrix 5x86@133

I'm also waiting for another Promise Ultra133 to come in, the one I was testing in this machine has gone back to it's home in my Tualatin modded Asus CUBX machine. That one is a Tualatin 1.3ghz Celeron (running at 1.49ghz) with 1gb of sd-ram and a Geforce 6200 pci video card. I76 runs like a dream on that machine.

Reply 12 of 17, by pete8475

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I received the ebay promise ultra 133 today and interestingly it does NOT work in my LS-486E motherboard, but it does work in my CUBX so I took that promise card out and put it back in here and both systems are up and running. Both cards have the same bios revision and look identical except for a slightly lighter green color pcb on the new one.

Gotta love 486 motherboards!

Reply 13 of 17, by pete8475

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Minor upgrade today, I replaced the Lite-On DVD drive that wasn't actually connected to anything with a 2x CD-ROM and an ISA controller card. Cost was $5. 😎

EDIT - To test the CD-ROM I threw in a Windows XP Home OEM SP2 disk and ran the system compatibility test. Seems this old dog isn't compatible. 🤣

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Reply 14 of 17, by pete8475

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Video card upgrade today, ordered an ATI Rage Pro "Turbo" 8MB PCI card last week and it came in today.

HUGE 2d image quality improvements over the S3 Virge that was in there and some gains in some of the DOS benchmarks I have.

The last thing I need to address is the sound, still waiting for my Yamaha card to come in, I hope it makes it here before the weekend.

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Last edited by pete8475 on 2019-04-14, 17:44. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 16 of 17, by pete8475

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dirkmirk wrote:

Whats the gains in the benchmarks? In all my testing the S3Virge is as good as any other video card.

I'll re-run all the benchmarks tonight with both cards and get you actual numbers.

EDIT - I'll be busy tonight so I made some coffee and got to work straight away. My "feeling" at the time of that post was that the ATI card was faster, in reality in most benchmarks performance was identical with the S3 card. However the image quality is far superior on the LCD I'm using versus the S3 which has some "noise" for lack of a better description. Anyway numbers:

Program ATI S3
3dbench 1.0 slow 76.9fps 76.6fps
3dbench 1.0 fast 72.3fps 72.3fps
Chris 3d 50.2fps 50.2fps
Chris 3d 640x480 14.6fps 14.6fps
PC Player 320x200 14.9fps 14.9fps
PC Player 640x480 6.6fps 6.6fps
Quake 11.5fps 11.5fps
Landmark 13466.3chr/ms 11702.86chr/ms (just the video section has different scores)
Topbench 281 205

So it's really only those last two programs that are faster on the ATI card. Turns out actual data is much better than "feelings" 🤣

I used the DOS benchmark pack from philscomputerlab for this stuff, I skipped over the Doom tests and most Quake tests after getting identical numbers in the first 6 programs.

Reply 17 of 17, by pete8475

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The PCI soundcard finally arrived today! It'll be fun to experiment with tonight after dinner. Supposedly this Yamaha chip has great DOS compatibility.

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