First post, by Namrok
Update: This build is done! Here is the finished result.
Original: For years, I've had the itch to build a 486. However, as my stable of PCs grew, I always told myself I didn't need one. I have a K6-2+ that is very versatile. I have a P233 MMX that's no slouch either. I even have a NuXT. None the less, a 486 DX2 was my family's first PC, and holds a place of profound nostalgia for me. So, I finally caved to my impulse to build a 486.
I found a guy selling NOS 486 motherboards from god knows where, that typically wound up auctioning after a few days for $30-50. It was too good an opportunity to resist. I knew I wanted one with VLB, since my father bragging proudly that our family computer had a screaming fast VLB VGA card is among the few details I remember. Had no idea what that even meant back then. Wound up with an Amptron DX-6600, which seems to be an alternate brand for a PCChips M601? Mine appeared to come with some sort of AMD compatibility clock generator preinstalled, so decided to go with an AMD cpu to go with it. Would an Intel still work? I have no clue! The jumpers appeared preconfigured for a 33 Mhz FSB and a DX or DX2 processor.
Motherboard in hand, I rounded it out with 8 MB of 70ns 30-Pin SIMMs, a Cirrus Logic GD5428 VLB card, and the aforementioned AMD DX2.
I clipped off the Varta battery which had not yet leaked, and it seemed to POST alright with just the DX2, memory and VGA card installed.
The information available at The Retroweb seemed to indicate it needs a 6V external battery, so I connected a 4 AAA battery case to the appropriate pins, and it appears good.
Properly detects the 66 Mhz processor too.
I ordered a Gotek to go with it, and an ES1868 sound card. I already have a compact flash to IDE adapter, and this generic VLB multi IO card, although I haven't tested it yet. We'll see how getting DOS 6.22 installed goes, and then try some benchmarks. I have no expectation of pushing this system to any sort of limits. If I can get some nice average DX2 performance out of it, I'll be more than happy. I have other machines if I want more power.
I have something really exciting, and laborious, planned for the case. I'm really stoked to show it off if I ever get that far.
Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS