First post, by elianda

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this is not a build log, as the machine was already built.
But I recently used it and took the opportunity to take some pictures.

CPU: 386SX-16
FPU: None (I don't see a reason to plug one)
Memory: 4 MB as DIP, 4 MB as SIPP
Mainboard: Zymos Chipset
Controller: Standard AT Miniscribe Controller + generic Serial/Parallel controller
Graphics: Paradise PVGA1A with 256 kB
Sound: SoundBlaster Pro 2
Network: 3Com Etherlink III
OS: MS-DOS 6.22 german, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 with Win32S/TCP32
Drives: 3.5" HD FDD, 5.25" HD FDD
HDD: Quantum Bigfoot CY 2 GB using 540 MB through BIOS limitations.

No need to install an overlay, as 540 MB is enough for the 386SX-16.

The jumper block is for SRAM/DRAM selection.


BIOS front page.

BIOS configuration page. Note that I had not plugged the SIPPs when I took the screenshot.

CacheChk latency and memory throughput result.

Diagnostic menu of BIOS

With Turbo OFF

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Reply 1 of 8, by Tetrium

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SIPP was a really odd memory module. Iirc I only came across it twice. One was from a trashed PC which I did not bring home with me and the second was at some amateur PC repair guy who kept some modules as a curiosity.

I presume the 386SX is soldered to the board? And how are those old Quantum drives from that era? I remember still having some Pro Drives or something laying around, but I ended up never finding a use for them due to them having so little capacity and the slowest system I ever build supported at least 1GB HDDs

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Reply 2 of 8, by Anonymous Coward

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I can't speak for the Bigfoots, but during the early 90s Quantum 3.5" IDE drives were definitely the way to go. At least at that time, I always felt they were more performance oriented (but also reliable). Plus the silver tops were super sexy.

SIPP was already obsolete by the time I got into PCs, but I never felt that standard well established from day one. The only boards that had SIPP sockets were 286s which rarely had more than 640kb anyway (didn't use the SIPP slots) or early 386s which hardly anyone owned due to high price.
I remember my favourite used PC store in the mid 90s had a big jar full of SIPPs on the front desk.

"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 8, by Grzyb

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I would say SIPPs were pretty common in 286 machines, or at least more common than SIMMs
Such machines were usually equipped with 1 MB RAM, so 4 x 256 KB SIPP
1 MB SIPP modules are less common
4 MB SIPP modules I've never seen - if there are any boards that support them, they must be very rare

Reply 4 of 8, by Anonymous Coward

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SIPP *sockets* were very common on 286 boards, SIPP modules themselves not so much. Most 286 boards that could accept SIPP also accepted far more common DIP RAM. Almost every 1MB 286 I have seen used the DIP sockets and not SIPP.

"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 6 of 8, by therevisiona

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Grzyb wrote on 2020-05-15, 16:25:

That's right, on 286 boards the most common was DIP, second - SIPP, third - SIMM.

You can replace the SIPP sockets with 30-Pin SIMM Sockets.

Reply 7 of 8, by keropi

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or just plug the 30pin socket on the sip socket and then put a 30pin simm on it, also works

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Reply 8 of 8, by Intel486dx33

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Looks like LGR’s wood grain 486.