Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486/50N ?

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Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486/50N ?

Postby Pabloz » 2017-12-12 @ 20:09

I was reading interesting documentation about the HP Vectra 486 here:

http://www.hpmuseum.net/display_item.php?hw=740

My model is the HP Vectra 486/50N

And i wanted to know if any of you got that model and was able to upgrade its components:

1)
It comes with an integrated graphics card but it is very shortened on memory , i belive it only has 512k memory. It currently has win95 with 24mb of ram and you see the slowdown. It is upgradable because there are some ZIF slots on the motherboard for memory. i havent really searched for compatible video memory upgrade. So if you know what memory is compatible please let me know, else i might install an ISA videocard like a trident.

2)
The manual is kind of strange, i am not sure how HP was able to suck on the consumer wallet because they offered different models for this desktop, and each model according to their manuals has a very specific upgrade. Maybe limited by the BIOS? because upon boot it does a check and tells you what CPU you have and gives a pass or fail.

Lets say you have the dx2 50mhz model HP Vectra 486/50N and you want to upgrade , the manual does not say anywhere that it can be done with a DX2-66 CPU, they just tell you that the only upgrade is the OVERDRIVE/33 cpu.. Not like on other motherboard brands for example where you just pop another CPU and you are good

So im wondering, is that really true? the only upgrade this machine has is an overdrive33 ? or a regular dx2/66 cpu can be used? or even better....could it detect an Overdrive/100 ?

I kind of wand to upgrade it but don´t want to waste money and then install and it wont work or it will be broken.
Last edited by Pabloz on 2018-4-16 @ 15:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby blurks » 2017-12-12 @ 20:19

Pabloz wrote:1)
It comes with an integrated graphics card but it is very shortened on memory , i belive it only has 512k memory. It currently has win95 with 24mb of ram and you see the slowdown. It is upgradable because there are some ZIF slots on the motherboard for memory. i havent really searched for compatible video memory upgrade. So if you know what memory is compatible please let me know, else i might install an ISA videocard like a trident.

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=56539
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby r.cade » 2017-12-12 @ 20:19

Vectra's were not home PC's, they were targeted at business and generally were not upgraded or had a very specific upgrade path they supported that corporate IT would follow.
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby Deksor » 2017-12-12 @ 20:20

I have an HP vectra 486/33VL that I upgraded over time. It looks a bit different from yours, but I guess they all work kinda the same. On mine, the ZIF ram was 256*4bit per chip, which did 512KB in total that adds up to the onboard 512KB thus making 1MB of vram.

For the CPU, I did put a DX2/66 in mine (it was a DX 33 originally) and it worked perfectly. There should be a jumper to select the FSB, and enable/disable the FPU, but otherwise, there's nothing to really change. I think an 100MHz overdrive will work in it though I didn't test it.

Also, did you check if you had L2 cache ?
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby Pabloz » 2017-12-12 @ 20:54

I have not!, only saw that on boot it says 640k base, 384kb reserved , and then the extended ram.

But i will check if there is L2 when i get home, running Cachechk on DOS.

I might get an OVERDRIVE/100 CPU , i know someone that has one in my area.

And looking at the manual it does mention jumper settings

but for an overdrive 100.. i have to set the jumpers at 25mhz ? or 33mhz ?

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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2017-12-12 @ 21:09

33MHz FSB for the 100MHz OverDrive (33MHz x 3). I bought a used one on eBay for a good price for my Packard Bell Pack-Mate 28 Plus (had the dreaded SX2-50, then DX2-66 <-- not bad, but Doom ran too slow), and received the rest of the L2 cache I special ordered on mouser.com (512KB) and I got the 64k x 1 22-pin 15ns yesterday from eBay; installed it. My system uses the ZIP socket for the video RAM upgrade (up to 2MB) and it's a Cirrus Logic CL-GD5428 with a VESA connect feature for the MPEG decoder/encoder ISA card.
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby Samir » 2017-12-16 @ 20:32

bjwil1991 wrote:33MHz FSB for the 100MHz OverDrive (33MHz x 3). I bought a used one on eBay for a good price for my Packard Bell Pack-Mate 28 Plus (had the dreaded SX2-50, then DX2-66 <-- not bad, but Doom ran too slow), and received the rest of the L2 cache I special ordered on mouser.com (512KB) and I got the 64k x 1 22-pin 15ns yesterday from eBay; installed it. My system uses the ZIP socket for the video RAM upgrade (up to 2MB) and it's a Cirrus Logic CL-GD5428 with a VESA connect feature for the MPEG decoder/encoder ISA card.
That's a super-sweet set of upgrades. I'm sure it really woke it up! :cool:
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2017-12-19 @ 23:08

An HP Vectra 486 is a very different (EISA) system with proprietary cards compared to your Vectra 486/50N. You should edit the title of your topic.
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby Pabloz » 2018-3-26 @ 17:00

bjwil1991 wrote:33MHz FSB for the 100MHz OverDrive (33MHz x 3). I bought a used one on eBay for a good price for my Packard Bell Pack-Mate 28 Plus (had the dreaded SX2-50, then DX2-66 <-- not bad, but Doom ran too slow), and received the rest of the L2 cache I special ordered on mouser.com (512KB) and I got the 64k x 1 22-pin 15ns yesterday from eBay; installed it. My system uses the ZIP socket for the video RAM upgrade (up to 2MB) and it's a Cirrus Logic CL-GD5428 with a VESA connect feature for the MPEG decoder/encoder ISA card.


i was not aware of any cache chips on this motherboard of my vectra 486 50mhz. I wonder if i am blind or you have a different board that is more updated. Can you share the link of the specific L2 cache chips that you have ordered online?
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-3-26 @ 18:15

The sad thing is, when I attempted to install the l2 cache on my Packard Bell, it would lock up at the BIOS screen, and nothing would boot or run (memory errors according to the Windows 95 installation or the OS present on the HDD). Mine were either a hit and miss, or the system's BIOS has a big bug in it.
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby Samir » 2018-3-28 @ 01:25

bjwil1991 wrote:The sad thing is, when I attempted to install the l2 cache on my Packard Bell, it would lock up at the BIOS screen, and nothing would boot or run (memory errors according to the Windows 95 installation or the OS present on the HDD). Mine were either a hit and miss, or the system's BIOS has a big bug in it.
Back in the day, individual chip upgrades (even memory upgrades) were very hit or miss due to the lack of standards. Generally, you'd buy a 486 board with the 256k or 512k you wanted installed on the board and wouldn't touch it afterwards.
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby amadeus777999 » 2018-3-28 @ 16:57

bjwil1991 wrote:The sad thing is, when I attempted to install the l2 cache on my Packard Bell, it would lock up at the BIOS screen, and nothing would boot or run (memory errors according to the Windows 95 installation or the OS present on the HDD). Mine were either a hit and miss, or the system's BIOS has a big bug in it.


Did you use "genuine" srams?
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-3-28 @ 17:01

Yes, I did use genuine SRAMs. Might be because of the write-back cache on the CPU causing it, which there's no option in the BIOS to disable the write-back cache at all (wish I can find MR-BIOS for my machine to get out of the HDD limitation and have more features to disable/enable).
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486 ?

Postby Pabloz » 2018-4-16 @ 15:50

hello all !

i need your help regarding HP Vectra 486/50N ZIP memory.

I have zero knowledge about rams and specs.

Can anyone send me an ebay link with the zip memory i need to buy? a relative is traveling to USA for 2 weeks and i need to buy it on ebay as soon as possible.

How many sticks?
please share an ebay link

thankyou!!
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486/50N ?

Postby PCBONEZ » 2018-4-16 @ 16:51

According to the tech docs in the link in your first post you need 4pc of 128k at 60ns.
I took a quick look but I and didn't see any.
These are where you need to look.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=R ... acat=12576
https://www.ebay.com/sch/Computers-Tabl ... kw=RAM+zip
If you play with the search terms you might have better luck than I did.
.
Also check electronics distributors. RS Components, Newark One, Digikey, Mouser
.
Last edited by PCBONEZ on 2018-4-16 @ 18:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486/50N ?

Postby Deksor » 2018-4-16 @ 17:54

On my HP vectra, I used 4 256K4bit words chips and that worked
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486/50N ?

Postby Samir » 2018-4-16 @ 20:30

If someone is going to be coming here to buy them and you don't want a mess up, I'd go with the electronics distributors since those would be new and under warranty. They might be more expensive, but it would be worth it since you wouldn't really be able to come back to the seller for an exchange.
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486/50N ?

Postby Pabloz » 2018-4-16 @ 22:57

this should work then?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MSM514256C-70Z ... SwEeFVNCL-

5dollars for 2 pieces, i can spend 10 dollars then.


since you all know about memories, can anyone give me a link on ebay on what type of memory this card needs to be expanded?
i know this type of memory expansion was common in the 90s, but i dont know what type it is nor the latency speed nor amount

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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486/50N ?

Postby PCBONEZ » 2018-4-16 @ 23:43


The -70Z (Specifically the -70) on the end of the part number means it is 70ns which is slower than the 60ns your docs call for.
It would probably work anyway but that's a guess, not a promise.
Your looking for -60 (sometimes given as one digit as -6) or less.
If you see -10 that is NOT 10ns that is 100ns which is really slow.
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Re: Anyone ever upgraded an HP Vectra 486/50N ?

Postby PCBONEZ » 2018-4-16 @ 23:59

Deksor wrote:On my HP vectra, I used 4 256K4bit words chips and that worked

I've had similar experiences with other branded 486's but I've never worked on a Vectra N/NI series.
There were several different Vectra 486's. What works on one model might not on another.

That sort of thing happens all the time with PCs and memory. (Even today.)
What happens is they finalize the design and validate the various RAM and then print up the manuals.
A little later the next size up RAM comes into the market (was not available yet during validation) but they don't validate the new size or update the docs on the by then 'old news' system.
I think they are hoping you'll buy a new one rather than upgrade your old one.
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