VOGONS


First post, by twilliamc

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With the recent acquisition of my childhood 486, I want to cut back on some of my existing setups. I have two cases (one with clockspeed display and one without) and four boards. I could use everyone's advice. Which boards should I keep for the two cases?

1. 471G

  • 486DX4 @ 120MHz
  • 128K cache
  • 16MB RAM (4x4MB)

2. P5T30-B4

  • Pentium-MMX
  • 512K cache
  • 48MB RAM (seems like an odd number, but that's what the board is reporting)

3. UMC v.3.4B/F

  • AMD5x86 @ 160MHz
  • 256K Cache
  • 32MB RAM

4. Aopen AP5VM

  • P54C 166MHz
  • 256K Cache
  • 64MB RAM

Thanks for reading! Have a great day. 😀

Unnamed: 486DX4 @ 120MHz, 16MB, 2GB, 2MB VGA, SBPro 2.0, DOS/W3.11, W95
PC-65:P3 @ 800MHz x2, 512MB, 128GB SSD, Voodoo3, SB Live!, Win98SE

Reply 1 of 16, by cyclone3d

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2 and 3

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Reply 4 of 16, by snickersnack

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Keep 2 and 4.

Lose the the 486 motherboards and keep your childhood machine special in capabilities. If they're similar but better hardware it may frustrate you when it comes time to pick a 486 for hobby activities.

Reply 5 of 16, by TheMobRules

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Keep 1 and 2, the 486 in the case with the MHz display.

Reason: #1, being the slowest of the bunch, will probably be the best choice for older games, especially if you have a case with turbo button. #2 is the fastest (you could up the memory to 64MB from one of the others). #3 is certainly faster than #1, but you already have the MMX for "speed" so there is no point in keeping that one, and #4 is basically a slightly slower version of #2 (depending on the clock speed of #2 which isn't specified).

Reply 6 of 16, by Intel486dx33

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I would just keep them all because you will just regret it later and and up purchasing even more computers for even more money as these old computers are becoming scarce.

Reply 7 of 16, by maxtherabbit

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Intel486dx33 wrote:

I would just keep them all because you will just regret it later and and up purchasing even more computers for even more money as these old computers are becoming scarce.

honestly yeah, the amount of space required to store a motherboard/CPU is trivial and prices on this stuff are going up like crazy

Reply 8 of 16, by chinny22

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Keep whichever is your childhood 486. When deciding if I want to use my my childhood dx2/66 or the 5x86 the dx2 wins 9 out of 10 times. Never underestimate Nostalgia.
You can always keep the CPU and swap between the dx4 or 5x86 depending on how you feel at the time.

And system 2, the 486 is your "slow" dos PC and the MMX can cover Late dos and early Win95 better then system 4

Reply 9 of 16, by ragefury32

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If it's purely considering the CPU, I'll pick 2 and 3 -

With an AMD 5x86 it's a better 486 processor that you "should" be able to underclock/turbo out for the stuff that came out in the 386DX33 / 486sx25 era, and it has enough grunt to cover most early/mid-range Pentium games, and since it's the cream of the 486 crop, compatibility with old titles shouldn't be an issue. For the MMX/P55C you get a bigger L1 cache (16k I/D cache compared to 8k I/D) for the original. It can cover more ground for the Win95/98 era.

You will also want to consider BIOS options. Some apps/games (like US Navy Fighters) want you to turn off BIOS shadowing so its memory manager will work, so take a look at the motherboard BIOS options and see which ones give you the most leverage over the hardware.

Reply 10 of 16, by Merovign

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Unless you have buyers for two motherboards and need the money, I'd just store the extra two. They take up little space, as has been observed.

For perspective: I have 82 computers and I'm planning on ditching 20+ of them before the end of the year. Could be as high as 40. But I'm also thinking of making a rig to hold a *bunch* of motherboards, kind of like one of those blueprint shelves. Because anything not tied to a particular case can be stored in minimal space.

*Too* *many* *things*!

Reply 11 of 16, by SirNickity

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If your childhood 486 is #1 on that list, then I would keep that one for certain. Novelty is way more important than specifications, as you have essentially unlimited performance available these days if you need it.

#2 is a definite keeper just for the sheer versatility of the MMX. #4 is a less capable #2, so it's a definite pass.

If your childhood 486 is some other computer not on this list at all, then #1 vs #3 gets more interesting. The 5x86 is certainly a character piece, but the DX4/120 is pretty great too. TBH, I'm leaning toward the advice of others here... If you can't justify keeping both motherboards (with one in storage), then consider picking the board you like best that can support either CPU, and keep both CPUs.

Reply 12 of 16, by Anonymous Coward

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Wow. Everyone wants #2. I'm kind of tired of the TX chipset and MMX to be honest. The P166 and VX is a better combo if you want a proper Pentium experience in my opinion. #1 is a good choice though. SiS 471 with the unusual 120MHz 486.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 13 of 16, by twilliamc

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Thank you all so very much for the advice and the motivation to get my hands dirty with these again.

I have placed #2 in mid-size AT case, posted it up, and prepped it for when I track down a working cd-rom, floppy disk drives, and sound card.

I suppose I buried the lead when I didn't mention my childhood PC and a board that no longer posts. Lets call those 5 and 6.

5. Childhood PC, HP Pavilion 5010

  • 486-dx4 100Mhz
  • unknown Cache
  • 12MB RAM

6. PC Chips m919 v1.4 - never posts (I populated the RAM slots in various configurations)

  • Intel 486-DX50
  • unknown Cache (256 I think? Looks to be real though, not fake write back)
  • No RAM atm

I got #1 built, posted up, and functioning properly in the baby-AT case w/clock speed display. VLB graphics card seemed to be working pretty well too. I tested it with doom and following a short run around the map, I started typing this post. I heard something fall, turned, and found that the heatsink had fallen off. Some ArtiClean later I found #1 is in fact an AM486 DX4-100, likely the same CPU in #5, my childhood dream PC. 😒

I am guessing my jumper settings are wrong and need reviewing. I didn't think it was possible to overclock a 486 by 20MHz like that...

Unnamed: 486DX4 @ 120MHz, 16MB, 2GB, 2MB VGA, SBPro 2.0, DOS/W3.11, W95
PC-65:P3 @ 800MHz x2, 512MB, 128GB SSD, Voodoo3, SB Live!, Win98SE

Reply 14 of 16, by SirNickity

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Sure it was. Quite possible it will even run forever with no stability issues. Sometimes the label etched into the CPU was just to have various price points for marketing purposes.

If it were me, I would bump that nostalgia box to 16MB, ditch the PC Chips, and sell off #1.

Reply 15 of 16, by Deksor

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PCChips M919 has fake cache, unless you have a COAST module installed. The traces just make loops and aren't connected anywhere.

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