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Compaq cds 524 - upgrade info [help]

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First post, by Retromania

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Hi you guys,

This is my first post! 😁

Recently ive bought a compaq cds 524 for only 25€ with the following specs:
486 dx2 66mhz
420 mb Hard Drive
8 MB of RAM
Cirus Logic 512K Video RAM - onboard
cd rom 2x
ess688 audio - onboard
Windows 95

Since its an all in one model, which parts can be upgraded?

By my research ive found i can use an intel overdrive to upgrade the original processor to a dx4 100 ou a pentium 60 or 80...

My Doubts:
- Whats the maximum hard drive size i can put in?
- Ram type? its property ram exclusive? or it supports other memory brands?
- Since it has 2 isa empty slots, what are they for? can i per example install an isa sound card like an awe64?
- Its possible to install a isa graphic card to overide the onboard one?

PHOTOS:

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thanks in advance,

Last edited by Retromania on 2015-11-08, 11:36. Edited 9 times in total.

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Reply 1 of 86, by Runicen

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I can't say anything specific to this Compaq model, but with regard to your question about installing an ISA graphics card, my guess is that the worst you'd be in for is changing a BIOS setting so that it doesn't default to the onboard graphics. If it's anything at all like more modern motherboards, you may even be able to disable the onboard graphics altogether if that was what you were after.

Reply 2 of 86, by Retromania

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Thanks for your reply Runicen, this all in one models from compaq doesnt have a bios on the motherboard, its by software on a hidden partition of the hard drive, personally i dont think that makes any sense, kind a weird actually.

Something like a simple bios not being installed on the motherboard itself, takes a completely different aproach, making me wonder we cant count so much on common sense, it might have a lot of upgrade limitations ...

Last edited by Retromania on 2015-11-04, 12:39. Edited 3 times in total.

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Reply 3 of 86, by brostenen

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Have no idea if this is the right manual. It states something about memory and other things.

http://www.manualslib.com/manual/275377/Hp-Co … esario-524.html

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

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Reply 4 of 86, by idspispopd

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486DX266 is *the* 486. If you want a faster machine I would just get a Pentium or similar. (I know that some people here try to build very fast 486 machines, but that's doing it for the sake of it.)

The machine should have a CL-GD5424 chip. That chip is VLB capable so it is quite likely that it is connected over VLB, which might make it potentially faster than any ISA card.
The benchmarks on http://thandor.net/object/645 are promising. (Please only regard the results for DX2/66.) CL-GD5424 is always faster than Diamond SpeedStar 24 which is based on Tseng ET4000, one of the fastest ISA chips. Some VLB cards are faster, but it does quite well.
I definitely wouldn't use an ISA video card. It might be possible to upgrade the video RAM, though. Are there any spare sockets?

I can't find any information about RAM, but my guess is that it isn't proprietary. 8MB is not a bad start, though - should be OK for many games suited for the system.

Hard drive: There is certainly a limit regarding the size, but usually this can be worked around with drive overlay software.

ISA slots: You should be able to install an ISA sound card. Keep in mind that AWE64 is a PnP card. The machine probably won't have a PnP BIOS so you'd have to use Creative's tools to initialize the card.
Also, if you want to use a separate sound card you should either disable the integrated sound in the BIOS (that won't happen automatically), or you have to set the separate sound card to other resources than the integrated and tell games to use those resources. It might also be possible to change the resources of the integrated sound (jumpers or BIOS setup) if you can't disable it which would be better because then you could use common values for the resources of the separate sound card.
Still, the ESS688 should be a good match for the machine, AWE64 sounds less like a true OPL3.
(Can''t see the photos. The forum you linked to doesn't seem to allow that.)

Reply 5 of 86, by brostenen

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Retromania wrote:

Thanks for your reply Runicen, this all in one models from compaq doesnt have a bios on the motherboard, its by software on a hidden partition of the hard drive, personally i dont think that makes any sense, kind a weird actually.

Something like a simple bios not being installed on the motherboard itself, which takes a completely different aproach, it sounds we cant count so much on common sense, it might have a lot of upgrade limitations ...

IBM and Commodore used to do this on some models of their machines way back in the 80's
Some (not shure if all) Amiga-3000's had it's KickRom installed on the HDD.
Or was it the 1000 or 2000, can't clearly remember, not shure that the 1000 had any HDD at all.

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.

Reply 6 of 86, by Retromania

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idspispopd wrote:

I definitely wouldn't use an ISA video card. It might be possible to upgrade the video RAM, though. Are there any spare sockets?

I cant answer to that right now, im going to check it, if it has spare sockets that would be great! that way i can upgrade the video memory 😁

idspispopd wrote:

ISA slots: You should be able to install an ISA sound card. Keep in mind that AWE64 is a PnP card. The machine probably won't have a PnP BIOS so you'd have to use Creative's tools to initialize the card.
Also, if you want to use a separate sound card you should either disable the integrated sound in the BIOS (that won't happen automatically), or you have to set the separate sound card to other resources than the integrated and tell games to use those resources. It might also be possible to change the resources of the integrated sound (jumpers or BIOS setup) if you can't disable it which would be better because then you could use common values for the resources of the separate sound card.
Still, the ESS688 should be a good match for the machine, AWE64 sounds less like a true OPL3.

Thank you so much for all the info regarding the sound card! 😉

idspispopd wrote:

(Can''t see the photos. The forum you linked to doesn't seem to allow that.)

Thats weird im seeing the 2 photos right now displaying on the topic.

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Reply 7 of 86, by idspispopd

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Retromania wrote:
idspispopd wrote:

(Can''t see the photos. The forum you linked to doesn't seem to allow that.)

Thats weird im seeing the 2 photos right now displaying on the topic.

Are you perhaps logged in into that other forum?

Reply 8 of 86, by Retromania

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idspispopd wrote:

Are you perhaps logged in into that other forum?

yep i was, thats why i could see them and others couldnt, ups sorry... 😅
Photos link updated on the original post, thanks for the info 😉

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Reply 9 of 86, by Retromania

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Ive just found that this model originally had a 8.4 GB drive limitation issue, but like idspispopd said it can be worked around with drive overlay software.

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Reply 12 of 86, by elianda

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I also have a CDS 520, pics are here ftp://78.46.141.148/pictures/hardware/compaq_ … resario_cds520/
Keep in mind that the DOS is also compaq branded. Try MODE /? for example and check the options to set the system speeds (aka soft turbo).

My machine has a 2 GB HDD and a 486SX2-66.
I upgraded to 52 MB RAM and usually plug a 3com etherlink iii and a GUS ACE to the ISA slots.
(The pics are older and still show the orchid).

Can't complain much about the system, just runs...

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Reply 13 of 86, by Retromania

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@elianda
Thank you for the pics from the machines inside, i really appreciate it 😉
BTW what type of ram can i install on this machine?

Your hard drive upgrade was plug n play? or you had to do something for the computers could recognize it?

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Reply 14 of 86, by brostenen

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Retromania wrote:
@elianda Thank you for the pics from the machines inside, i really appreciate it ;) BTW what type of ram can i install on this m […]
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@elianda
Thank you for the pics from the machines inside, i really appreciate it 😉
BTW what type of ram can i install on this machine?

Your hard drive upgrade was plug n play? or you had to do something for the computers could recognize it?

The manual I listed a link for! Did it not say anything about memory?

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.

Reply 16 of 86, by brostenen

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Retromania wrote:

its only a list of parts references, it doesnt specifies the necessary info about the ram type 😢

Page 4... 70ns memory, and even the size.
I bet that they are just 72-pin just like these:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trk … memory&_sacat=0

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.

Reply 17 of 86, by Retromania

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ive noticed that, but it doesnt state the full specifications, ive to be 100% sure which type is before i buy it, to avoid surprises...

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Reply 18 of 86, by elianda

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I just used some normal PS/2 SIMMs without parity. Nothing special there...

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Reply 19 of 86, by brostenen

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elianda wrote:

I just used some normal PS/2 SIMMs without parity. Nothing special there...

Just as I suspected. 72-pin 70ns are after all, just 72-pin 70ns.
The only special thing, should (as far as I remember) in fact just be Parity or No-Parity in these type of consumer oriented machines.
When using SD-Ram, then it all becomes a broader knowledge.

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.