First post, by rgart
I purchased a full tower on eBay recently. The seller did a horrible job packing and it was delivered in a large box with a thin layer of bubble wrap. I opened the case to find the CPU hanging and a few of the pins bent, external battery smashed and a large chip out of the case - it could have been worse. Here is the damage from transit:
I found this hardware within.
Pro Audio Spectrum 16L
Octek Hippo IV 486 EP40048R21 Rev 2.1
Unfortunately the motherboard was damaged beyond my ability to repair from barrel battery acid and it wouldn't turn on. A good clean with vinegar and some gentle care didn't make any difference, I removed most of the acid but the motherboard still didn't boot.
Over the years I have been fortunate and picked up quite a bit of retro gear for free. I catalogued and tested eight 486 ISA/VLB motherboards I have packed away in static bags. I mainly wanted real cache, fast boot and responsive *feel* to the board, It would also have to play well with my Tekram 680C cache controller card. I had some idea as to the CPU I wanted to use, an Intel DX2-66MHz.
With such a classic CPU I had hoped to *keep it real* and use a board that had one of the newer 486 chipsets and bios dates without using a PCI based 486. So my PCI Socket 3 boards stayed out of this build.
I thought it was a no-brainer, the last two boards have ZIFF sockets, coin batteries, 72 pin RAM, WB/WT Jumpers, Voltage Jumpers, 50MHz FSB, 1993 DX Bios(mouse driven). Unfortunately both of them have fake cache despite the fact they boot faster than most of the other boards and *feel* incredibly responsive.
I ended up going with #2, the UMC based 486 ISA/VLB board.
*more to come*