Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

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Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby c0keb0ttle » 2017-6-18 @ 13:29

I have two 486 VLB motherboards, and need some advice (sanity check) on which I should keep and whoch I should sell to free up some funds and space.

Chicony CH-486-33/50P (of some revision) https://th99.bl4ckb0x.de/m/C-D/34280.htm
IMG_2102.JPG
Chicony


MSI MS-4137 (VLB 486 AL5) https://th99.bl4ckb0x.de/m/M-O/32216.htm
IMG_2101.JPG
MSI


I think the MSI one is better in most ways, but it also has some (neutralized and cleaned up) battery leakage damage. It seems to be working fine, I've had no problems when testing it. The Chicony has been working 100% flawlessly since I got it.

Any advice? Does it matter at all which one I keep?
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby Frasco » 2017-6-18 @ 15:46

I don't know...
People here talk good things about UMC, whereas ALI is a renegade.
Probably UMC is faster than ALI.
What I know my 486 board sports VIA chipset, no good :(.

Did you notice that empty socket? I'm pretty sure that will help performance if populated.
You don't need three VLB slots. I heard stories about instabilities when using 'em all.
You don't need 64MB of RAM. 32MB is fine.

On the other hand, MSI is newer, so better CPU upgradeability.
Just me. I hope someone comes in to correct me.

Note: Is jumper W3 at 1-2 (P23N/P23T) ?
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby c0keb0ttle » 2017-6-18 @ 15:59

Frasco wrote:I don't know...

Note: Is jumper W3 at 1-2 (P23N/P23T) ?

I don't know either... :(

Nah, W3 is at 2-3 for the DX33.
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby MERCURY127 » 2017-6-18 @ 16:37

I vote for msi - there can insert pentium overdrive...
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby Frasco » 2017-6-18 @ 16:50

You're right, looking closer I could see the pin 1 opened.
Make no mistake, use benchmarks to decide. They are evenly matched.

Heck, don't do it, cokebottle. You will become attached to it. :lol:
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby feipoa » 2017-6-18 @ 19:31

Benchmark them first, particularly with your target VLB cards. which CMOS and jumper settings work with which hardware can take some time to uncover. I am leaning towards the MSI board, it has a zif and 72-pin SIMMs.
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby Deksor » 2017-6-18 @ 19:33

Yeah and the bottom one has a regulator close to the socket so it's probably supporting 3.3V cpus !

The top one has UMC chipsets, but it looks to be munch older and simpler (the ram is only 30pins) while the ALI one has one more VLB, 72pins RAM, etc ...

I'm still looking for one of these but the only one I got that could satisfy me was a PCChips and suddently died :(
Though I still have my Aopen/Acer AP43 with a 5x86 but it's "only" a PCI/ISA motherboard so I can't use my VLB cards :(
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby kixs » 2017-6-18 @ 19:43

I'd keep both ;)

But if you must choose one, I'd good for the 2nd one. It's newer - has better CPU support and 72-pin SIMMs.
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby kanecvr » 2017-6-18 @ 20:25

When it comes to PCI chipsets ALi is a bit faster then UMC. When it comes to VLB chipsets, I have no ideea.
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby Karm » 2017-6-18 @ 21:53

I thought I wrote something earlier to this thread... well I try to recreate my post:
It will be a shorter Version I will just list the differences:
Both look like they support the Pentium Overdrive, so I won't list it.
The cache max is also 256 on both boards.

MSI vs. Chicony

RAM:
max: 64MB 32MB
pin: 72 30

CPUs supported:
AMD/Cyrix P23T(Intel 486 Overdrive)
3.3 V -

8 Bit ISA Slots: 2 1
16 Bit ISA Slots: 6 6
VLB Extensions: 3 2
Usable isa 16 slots (long cards) with heatsink: 5 3

So there is no so much which is a plus for the Chicony.
Except that it runs smoothly, which is a big plus.

So if you don't want to use a P23T use the MSI but make sure that it runs like it should for a longer period with more than one card attached.

greetz
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby Matth79 » 2017-6-18 @ 23:18

Looked up the "empty socket" that is for the 256k (B) configuration, using 2x 8k TAG instead of 1x 32k
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby nforce4max » 2017-6-18 @ 23:46

Being of those crazy people I would use both as it is more fun and you are left with a spare should one of the boards quit. Be sure to remove the barrels of cancer before they leak.
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby Frasco » 2017-6-19 @ 00:09

Matth79 wrote:Looked up the "empty socket" that is for the 256k (B) configuration, using 2x 8k TAG instead of 1x 32k

Sorry, my mistake.

And although we have a winner by a large margin, you seem to forget A) The mint condition of the Chicony working like a rock star B) Overdrive is fancy.
Never seen one before in the flesh. Not a practical solution.C) Guy wants to sell one board and soon. What makes you think 30pin slots will do any good for his intend ?
Not to mention it appears he got a plenty of 30 pin sticks and it's clear nobody over here likes 30pin slots + support for Pentium overdrive is a lovable thing to go into his list. :dead:

Ok...ok...72pin x 30pin, but listen, where is the numbers ? I bet the difference is too few to mention.
I want benchmarks !!! :evil:

We totally overlooked space constraint. The problem is I can't see any difference in relation to them. :confused:
Could you explain why having less space is not an onus ?
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby c0keb0ttle » 2017-6-19 @ 19:08

Thanks for the responses everyone. :-)

If either board had supported 3.3V CPUs the choice would have been easy, but unfortunately neither of them does as far as I can tell.

Oh well, it's a nice problem to have.
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Re: Which of these two 486 motherboards would you choose?

Postby chinny22 » 2017-6-19 @ 19:47

both boards work in your final setup?
Quite often back then it was a matter of while all the parts were fine (and new) they didn't all play nice together VLB IO and video cards especially.
Was more about finding a working combination as much as anything.
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