Bought these (retro) hardware today

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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Wolfus » 2019-6-24 @ 21:25

One of my bandmates arrived few minutes ago and said: I know you are computer rubbish freak, so here you go!
I was a bit sceptic at first, but then I opened tower she brought and inside was:
Dual Slot 1 motherboard (Tyan Tiger) with two P3-733 (and one ISA slot!)
512 MB RAM
Matrox G400
Matrox RT2000 video editing card
Some additional PCI IDE card (maybe some RAID solution?)
Bunch of hard drives
SB 128 (cheap PCI)

I gave her bottle of red wine and small bottle of home-made appricot brandy ;-)

So... what is the oldest system which can use two CPUs?
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby HanJammer » 2019-6-24 @ 22:20

Roman555 wrote:
Grzyb wrote:
HanJammer wrote:These odd graphic cards... I'm pretty sure they were designed for some sort of industrial machinery like CNC machine or something...

Ah, that mysterious card with no video RAM...
AGP was designed to allow use of the host RAM, but it was supposed only to be used for textures, to supplement the card's own RAM.
Does that card work in a regular motherboard?

Maybe RAM is on another side of PCB... IMHO the cards look like prototype desktop versions or versions for software driver developers. Because I saw CHIPS graphics only in laptops.


No, it's not. It's built into the chipset. I havn't tested it yet, but it was sold as working and seller showed some screens of it working... we will see.

Grzyb wrote:
Roman555 wrote:Maybe RAM is on another side of PCB...

Obviously it's this card - https://allegro.pl/oferta/absolutnie-un ... 8192192262
No RAM on the reverse side, either!
And looks like the seller got it to work, so I guess it does work with regular mobos.
Weird thing, indeed!

IMHO the cards look like prototype desktop versions or versions for software driver developers. Because I saw CHIPS graphics only in laptops.

I've seen CHIPS on regular cards, but they were mostly EGA and early VGA, for 8-bit ISA.


Yeah, that's this one ;)
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Grzyb » 2019-6-24 @ 22:50

Wolfus wrote:So... what is the oldest system which can use two CPUs?

Oh, such systems did exist long before Slot 1 era, see eg. Compaq SystemPro from 1989 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_Sy ... processing
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby luckybob » 2019-6-24 @ 23:39

Ahh! the Tyan S1834! Tyan boards are very solid.

Sounds like someone had a video editing system and a good credit card. ^.^
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Merovign » 2019-6-25 @ 04:30

Wolfus wrote:So... what is the oldest system which can use two CPUs?


Well, as far as *desktop* systems with discrete CPUs... umm, maybe the 1979 Intertec Superbrain? Dual Z80s.

Non-desktop probably earlier servers. The problem is I'd have to go back and dig through early Byte and Creative Computing magazines page by page. I searched, but as usual the results were irrelevant rubbish.

It's hard to say because most of the "computer history" that's codified is also really narrow and only mentions a few of hundreds of early systems. You could find it with enough time to spend.

There were a number of early multi-cpu systems in the 70s and 80s, some with 3-4 CPUs, sometimes different ones.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby luckybob » 2019-6-25 @ 05:11

If you have a wide selection of old and new hardware, you can see a massive progression in all aspects of the computer.

Old hard drives (the 10mb mfm kind) often have small cpu's on them.
old network cards used 8088 and 80186 processors
I have PCI IDE cards with 20mhz 286's on them

so a "multi-cpu" system is normal. :)

But I'd agree with Grzyb about the Compaq SystemPro. I've never heard of anything similar, earlier.

If you want a very early OBTAINABLE dual system, look at socket 5. I would call those systems high end workstations and not servers.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby dr.ido » 2019-6-25 @ 10:25

HanJammer wrote:These odd graphic cards... I'm pretty sure they were designed for some sort of industrial machinery like CNC machine or something...

Ah, that mysterious card with no video RAM...[/quote][/quote]

I've had CT65550 in laptops before, this is the first time I've seen one on an AGP card. I think it's a PCI chip, so it's probably just using the AGP slot as a PCI slot. It looks like there is 2MB VRAM on the card - does that make it the smallest AGP card ever? The odd connector on the bottom is LVDS panellink for driving pre-DVI LCD (or plasma) displays.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby dionb » 2019-6-25 @ 12:11

luckybob wrote:If you have a wide selection of old and new hardware, you can see a massive progression in all aspects of the computer.

Old hard drives (the 10mb mfm kind) often have small cpu's on them.

Old floppy drives too - Commodore 64 FDDs had more CPU power than their host system ;)
old network cards used 8088 and 80186 processors
I have PCI IDE cards with 20mhz 286's on them

so a "multi-cpu" system is normal. :)

I'd say the distinction is symmetric vs asymmetric. Asymmetric co-processing is the norm and indeed used to be commoner than today, back in the time that CPU cycles were very scarce and almost every bit of I/O needed to do it's own thing in hardware. Symmetrically dividing up core processes, now that's the 'new' bit, at least on the desktop.
But I'd agree with Grzyb about the Compaq SystemPro. I've never heard of anything similar, earlier.

If you want a very early OBTAINABLE dual system, look at socket 5. I would call those systems high end workstations and not servers.

In the x86 world, but those So5 things were competing with pretty mature Sparc and PA-RISC solutions. I'd say 1992's SparcStation 10 was the first desktop SMP system. It - and particularly its successor, the 1994 SparcStation 20 - is still pretty easily obtainable.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby JidaiGeki » 2019-6-25 @ 12:39

dionb wrote:
luckybob wrote:If you have a wide selection of old and new hardware, you can see a massive progression in all aspects of the computer.

Old hard drives (the 10mb mfm kind) often have small cpu's on them.

Old floppy drives too - Commodore 64 FDDs had more CPU power than their host system ;)
old network cards used 8088 and 80186 processors
I have PCI IDE cards with 20mhz 286's on them

so a "multi-cpu" system is normal. :)

I'd say the distinction is symmetric vs asymmetric. Asymmetric co-processing is the norm and indeed used to be commoner than today, back in the time that CPU cycles were very scarce and almost every bit of I/O needed to do it's own thing in hardware. Symmetrically dividing up core processes, now that's the 'new' bit, at least on the desktop.
But I'd agree with Grzyb about the Compaq SystemPro. I've never heard of anything similar, earlier.

If you want a very early OBTAINABLE dual system, look at socket 5. I would call those systems high end workstations and not servers.

In the x86 world, but those So5 things were competing with pretty mature Sparc and PA-RISC solutions. I'd say 1992's SparcStation 10 was the first desktop SMP system. It - and particularly its successor, the 1994 SparcStation 20 - is still pretty easily obtainable.

I think Bob meant obtainable back in the day :wink: those Sparcs were out of reach of almost everyone - release base price in '92 was $19k in the US - though dual socket 5 wasn't consumer level cheap, it was quite a bit cheaper than SPARC gear
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Grzyb » 2019-6-25 @ 13:09

luckybob wrote:Old hard drives (the 10mb mfm kind) often have small cpu's on them.
old network cards used 8088 and 80186 processors
I have PCI IDE cards with 20mhz 286's on them

so a "multi-cpu" system is normal. :)

Hey, but they aren't "multi-cpu"!
CPU = Central Processing Unit
Sure, you can find processors (often in the form of microcontrollers) on various adapter cards, but then they aren't CENTRAL, they are PERIPHERAL.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby GigAHerZ » 2019-6-25 @ 13:22

The keyboard controller chip on motherboards (usually the biggest PDIP chip) is also a microcontroller as far as i remember. ;)
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby wiretap » 2019-6-26 @ 01:26

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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-6-26 @ 04:36

WOW! I'm surprised they sold it for that little.

I was watching that listing.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby henryVK » 2019-6-26 @ 05:58

dr.ido wrote:I've had CT65550 in laptops before, this is the first time I've seen one on an AGP card. I think it's a PCI chip, so it's probably just using the AGP slot as a PCI slot. It looks like there is 2MB VRAM on the card - does that make it the smallest AGP card ever? The odd connector on the bottom is LVDS panellink for driving pre-DVI LCD (or plasma) displays.


There's also a PCI version of these cards with an external (I think) 50-pin LVDS output. They are used to drive (and power) point-of-sale touchscreen displays. Siemens "Snikey" TFT monitors also use these "Plink" PCI cards as controller boards:

https://www.speedhelp.net/Bilder/Contro ... roller.jpg

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/sxcAAOSw ... -l1600.jpg
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby canthearu » 2019-6-26 @ 09:50

It never hurts to throw a low offer to begin with at a Best Offer on Ebay. Worst they can do is refuse it, but they will usually counter if they think it is too low.

I got half price on an ET4000 ISA card that way.

Occasionally you will meet a character that gets butthurt over the offering process, but you can always give them bad feedback or walk away from it (depending on if you end up buying the item or not)
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby wiretap » 2019-6-26 @ 10:19

cyclone3d wrote:WOW! I'm surprised they sold it for that little.

I was watching that listing.

I noticed there were no bids, and the seller had a bunch of other items for sale with no bids. I figured he would accept it. :lol:
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Jed118 » 2019-6-26 @ 10:50

canthearu wrote:It never hurts to throw a low offer to begin with at a Best Offer on Ebay. Worst they can do is refuse it, but they will usually counter if they think it is too low.

I got half price on an ET4000 ISA card that way.

Occasionally you will meet a character that gets butthurt over the offering process, but you can always give them bad feedback or walk away from it (depending on if you end up buying the item or not)


How would you give them negative feedback? They sold it at a low price...
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby canthearu » 2019-6-26 @ 12:11

Jed118 wrote:How would you give them negative feedback? They sold it at a low price...


Well, not this one particular seller. Completely ignored 2 offers (weren't even crazy lowballing) without saying a word then ignored a message asking if anything was up. I wanted it anyway so bought at the buy it now price.

Later on I left negative feedback indicating his poor communication as the reason, because damnit, if I ask a seller something or make an offer, don't ignore it. Maybe I took it a bit too personally and that makes me a bad person here, but I'd probably do it again if the same sequence played out.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-6-26 @ 12:26

I attempted to make 2 offers on a sealed sound card and got rejected after a second hitting the submit button.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby appiah4 » 2019-6-26 @ 12:43

bjwil1991 wrote:I attempted to make 2 offers on a sealed sound card and got rejected after a second hitting the submit button.


Seller must have a minimum Best Offer set, the system auto rejects offers below such.
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