VOGONS


New 486 Build

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First post, by rick12373

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I am a fan of LGR on YouTube (great channel). I am attempting to build something similar to what he does in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbjYkPKRm-8 .
I will need a case for this. I have looked on eBay and the right kind of cases seem to be a little pricey. I kind of live in the sticks so sourcing one from somewhere like Goodwill store is not easy for me. Does anybody on here have something suitable they are willing to sell for a reasonable price?

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 1 of 80, by firage

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The case is one of the hard parts. The nice ones have complete systems inside them; rarely come across just a vintage case for a reasonable price.

Last edited by firage on 2016-07-25, 22:47. Edited 1 time in total.

My big-red-switch 486

Reply 2 of 80, by rick12373

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Is it possible to adapt an ATX case?

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 3 of 80, by firage

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The three problem areas are the power supply and switch, the back I/O shield, and mobo mounting holes.

PS/2 Baby AT power supplies fit ATX cases but don't work with ATX power switches. You can get adapter wires to connect ATX power to the AT board.

You can leave out the I/O shield to make room for the AT type keyboard connector, or maybe eventually get a blank one and drill a hole.

ATX cases may or may not have provisions for mobo standoffs in the right positions, has to be checked. Apparently, sort of an adapter tray has sometimes been used.

My big-red-switch 486

Reply 4 of 80, by rick12373

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firage wrote:
The three problem areas are the power supply and switch, the back I/O shield, and mobo mounting holes. […]
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The three problem areas are the power supply and switch, the back I/O shield, and mobo mounting holes.

PS/2 Baby AT power supplies fit ATX cases but don't work with ATX power switches. You can get adapter wires to connect ATX power to the AT board.

You can leave out the I/O shield to make room for the AT type keyboard connector, or maybe eventually get a blank one and drill a hole.

ATX cases may or may not have provisions for mobo standoffs in the right positions, has to be checked. Apparently, sort of an adapter tray has sometimes been used.

I have an adapter to make a modern PSU work with an older board. It's the standoffs that might be the most difficult thing. Maybe I can adapt it.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 5 of 80, by clueless1

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rick12373 wrote:

Is it possible to adapt an ATX case?

Had a similar discussion in my thread:
Wading slowly into the 486 waters
I'm making it work (for now) without a backplate, and just using the power switch that comes with my ATX to AT adapter. My case happens to have AT mounting holes.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
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Reply 6 of 80, by orinoko

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I was wondering if Clint would inspire a few people to make their own 486 builds! Welcome!

As much as it pains me to say, *nice* AT cases are getting hard to find. There are kits available from ebay and the like to convert the wiring of an ATX PSU to AT:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/20P-ATX-to-2-Port- … VEAAOSwNSxVX3Xf

I personally have never used one, but I can imagine the lack of a -5V line would only cause issues with some systems. When I was a kid, I was able to power on a 486 board with just 12V and 5V, so you might have luck with this kind of thing.

As for the ATX IO shield, there are AT-style IO shields available, although to be fair this isn't as critical.

Mounting an AT style motherboard into an ATX case should be pretty straight forward. The mounting posts are generally the same.

Where you might have greater difficulty is sourcing things like a floppy drive and a hard driver, and maybe a cd-rom drive. The hdd and cd-rom generally have to be IDE (or SCSI if you want to go that route...).

VGA and IO Cards are troublesome but they can be found on ebay too.

Ultimately, it might take a little while to get all the parts, but it is great fun getting the stuff and trying it out and learning new things. And of course, Vogons, and Marvin specifically is a great place to ask questions and find useful files and so on.

Have fun!

Reply 7 of 80, by rick12373

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orinoko wrote:
I was wondering if Clint would inspire a few people to make their own 486 builds! Welcome! […]
Show full quote

I was wondering if Clint would inspire a few people to make their own 486 builds! Welcome!

As much as it pains me to say, *nice* AT cases are getting hard to find. There are kits available from ebay and the like to convert the wiring of an ATX PSU to AT:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/20P-ATX-to-2-Port- … VEAAOSwNSxVX3Xf

I personally have never used one, but I can imagine the lack of a -5V line would only cause issues with some systems. When I was a kid, I was able to power on a 486 board with just 12V and 5V, so you might have luck with this kind of thing.

As for the ATX IO shield, there are AT-style IO shields available, although to be fair this isn't as critical.

Mounting an AT style motherboard into an ATX case should be pretty straight forward. The mounting posts are generally the same.

Where you might have greater difficulty is sourcing things like a floppy drive and a hard driver, and maybe a cd-rom drive. The hdd and cd-rom generally have to be IDE (or SCSI if you want to go that route...).

VGA and IO Cards are troublesome but they can be found on ebay too.

Ultimately, it might take a little while to get all the parts, but it is great fun getting the stuff and trying it out and learning new things. And of course, Vogons, and Marvin specifically is a great place to ask questions and find useful files and so on.

Have fun!

I already have an old hard drive (Conner I think, 420MB) and I have several CD-ROMs to choose from. I also have the same video card that LGR used and a few floppy drives. I have some old Sound Blasters lying around as well, although I think my old Awe 32 was having issues last time I used it. I have RAM and several 486 CPUs to choose from. I built a 486 about 7 or 8 years ago but that was probably the only build from that era I have ever done before. As for ATX era I have probably built more than 100 builds in the past 10 years. I am the local computer guy for the county here. It is a very rural county so I would not count myself as a computer genius or anything. It is more a case of "in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king" 🤣. It's just that my knowledge of computer builds from that era is not so great. I own a Compaq Presario CDS 520 all in one unit, but that was pretty much already built, I just put a 486 DX4-100 overdrive in it.

I will probably be asking questions on here about it in the near future!

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 8 of 80, by keenmaster486

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Where in Idaho are you? I might have something you're looking for, or you might come into the computer shop where I work, sometimes we get dead AT computers that get put in the recycle pile for a month or two until they go to computer heaven 🙁 It would be nice to send one of those to a home instead of killing it.
I live in Twin Falls area.

World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 9 of 80, by rick12373

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keenmaster486 wrote:

Where in Idaho are you? I might have something you're looking for, or you might come into the computer shop where I work, sometimes we get dead AT computers that get put in the recycle pile for a month or two until they go to computer heaven 🙁 It would be nice to send one of those to a home instead of killing it.
I live in Twin Falls area.

I am in Montpellier. Will be in Idaho Falls on Thursday for a checkup with my Neurologist. I had surgery a month ago but all went well thankfully. Still quite a way from where you are though. I would pay the shipping if you have anything useful though.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 10 of 80, by gdjacobs

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rick12373 wrote:

I have an adapter to make a modern PSU work with an older board. It's the standoffs that might be the most difficult thing. Maybe I can adapt it.

Place the board as desired then use a center punch. Remove the board and drill.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 11 of 80, by rick12373

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gdjacobs wrote:
rick12373 wrote:

I have an adapter to make a modern PSU work with an older board. It's the standoffs that might be the most difficult thing. Maybe I can adapt it.

Place the board as desired then use a center punch. Remove the board and drill.

Good idea.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 12 of 80, by jheronimus

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rick12373 wrote:

I am a fan of LGR on YouTube (great channel). I am attempting to build something similar to what he does in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbjYkPKRm-8 .
I will need a case for this. I have looked on eBay and the right kind of cases seem to be a little pricey. I kind of live in the sticks so sourcing one from somewhere like Goodwill store is not easy for me. Does anybody on here have something suitable they are willing to sell for a reasonable price?

Could it be easier to just find a complete system and build upon it?

For instance, in my city the empty AT cases are pretty rare and usually are missing mounts/wires/disk caddies. People just don't have any reason to keep an empty case around, anyways.

MR BIOS catalog
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Reply 13 of 80, by nforce4max

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Whatever you do just don't give up as 386/486 are wonderfully fun to build and totally worth it but sadly it does take time. There are NOS cases but most are missing the psu and they are not cheap ofting being around $120 shipped.

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 14 of 80, by rick12373

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nforce4max wrote:

Whatever you do just don't give up as 386/486 are wonderfully fun to build and totally worth it but sadly it does take time. There are NOS cases but most are missing the psu and they are not cheap ofting being around $120 shipped.

They are fun to build and use. I built one a few years back. I think it died due to hardware failure and I have moved several times since then. I don't know what happened to it. I have my 486 Compaq (see signature) which is great, but I would like to make one more which is not an all in one unit with the screen like the Compaq. I really started building my own around Windows 98 era so when it comes to building this older system I need help (thankfully VOGONS is a thing!).

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 15 of 80, by rick12373

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jheronimus wrote:
rick12373 wrote:

I am a fan of LGR on YouTube (great channel). I am attempting to build something similar to what he does in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbjYkPKRm-8 .
I will need a case for this. I have looked on eBay and the right kind of cases seem to be a little pricey. I kind of live in the sticks so sourcing one from somewhere like Goodwill store is not easy for me. Does anybody on here have something suitable they are willing to sell for a reasonable price?

Could it be easier to just find a complete system and build upon it?

For instance, in my city the empty AT cases are pretty rare and usually are missing mounts/wires/disk caddies. People just don't have any reason to keep an empty case around, anyways.

Well, maybe. Where I am located it is hard to find anything without driving for at least 90 minutes. If I do find something it is hard for me to find the time to travel that far right now. Most of the time in the charity stores in Idaho/Utah you do not find computers this old. I have looked on Craig's List and there is also nothing from this era. This is probably partly due to my location on the country. I am so close to being able to do the build right now as I have almost everything.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 16 of 80, by rick12373

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So I have got the same motherboard that LGR has. Should I go for 16MB or 32MB RAM? Do they have to be in pairs? I have a few RAM chips to choose from although just by looking at them it is hard to figure out what the capacity of some of them are. I have confirmed that I have two 8MB chips and two 32MB chips. I have some more but I am not sure what their capacity is at the moment.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 17 of 80, by TheMobRules

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You have the Acer/AOpen Vi15g right?

Each 72pin SIMM slot on that board is an entire bank, so it's not necessary to install SIMMs in pairs.

Regarding the amount of memory, either 16 or 32 MB will be fine if you are running MS-DOS games and applications. Assuming you have 256KB of cache, 32MB should be the max cacheable RAM in Write-Back mode.

Reply 18 of 80, by rick12373

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TheMobRules wrote:

You have the Acer/AOpen Vi15g right?

Each 72pin SIMM slot on that board is an entire bank, so it's not necessary to install SIMMs in pairs.

Regarding the amount of memory, either 16 or 32 MB will be fine if you are running MS-DOS games and applications. Assuming you have 256KB of cache, 32MB should be the max cacheable RAM in Write-Back mode.

Yes that board. I think it has the cache not sure how much. I have attached a picture of the board. I will be switching that CPU, I have several options for that. I have an AMD DX4-100. Will that work on that board? If I have the cache would 32MB be the best option?

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486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 19 of 80, by clueless1

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I have heard that there are some (maybe only a couple) of older games that do not like more than 16MB of ram. Truth be told, when 486s were new, they were selling with 4 or 8MB usually. So I would say either 8 or maximum of 16 would be more than enough for anything you would run on it.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks