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386 motherboard recommendation

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Reply 20 of 39, by maxtherabbit

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dionb wrote:

It by no means reflects how the platforms were realistically used in the day.

I don't really care about that personally

Reply 21 of 39, by Bancho

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pan069 wrote:

I have one of these OPTi 495SLC boards. I only recently got it to work and I haven't done any performance tests yet so I'm not sure how the VLB performs. I have an Intel 386DX 33Mhz installed on it with 4 megs of ram. To me that seems period correct for 1992 if I remember correctly.

But, if you can find it, it might also be an option..

DXSLC_Brochure_1992.pdf

I have the exact same board, but yours appears to be a later revision than mine, but mine has an AMD 386 DX40 populated. Some time in the new near i'd like to sit down and have a play with this board.

bHUBHHHl.jpg

Reply 22 of 39, by pan069

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Bancho wrote:

I have the exact same board, but yours appears to be a later revision than mine, but mine has an AMD 386 DX40 populated. Some time in the new near i'd like to sit down and have a play with this board.

Nice one! Wouldn't you want to get rid of that battery and just use the external battery connector instead?

Reply 23 of 39, by Anonymous Coward

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I'll have to check out Forex...but you are kind of cheating by cranking up the ISA speed so high.
Not sure if Forex beats the baby screamer with VLSI chipset or not. I'd have to dig up the benchmark scores. You can try asking Feipoa. He might be willing to run all of the benchmarks again for a direct comparison.

The Baby Screamer has something similar to an OEM BIOS, so you can't adjust cache or memory timings. It's really basic.

"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 24 of 39, by alvaro84

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Bancho wrote:

I have the exact same board, but yours appears to be a later revision than mine, but mine has an AMD 386 DX40 populated. Some time in the new near i'd like to sit down and have a play with this board.

This is the second time I have one of these and I''m finally satisfied. For some reason I couldn't stabilize the previous one at the tightest timings, and 256k of cache was a no-go too. Perhaps it was my fault as I lately realized that I should use one big tag chip instead of two small ones. Yes, I should have RTFM...

Btw, having a VLB VGA is really nice for this 386 (mine has a DX-40 soldered too). It's the defining touch of this config which would be quite generic otherwise. Gives 18.8fps in 3DBench, and Wolfenstein runs much better than on another 386 with ISA too (36-ish FPS IIRC).

One more advantage is that the HDD controller can sit on a cozy conservative 8-MHz ISA bus while there's a very fast VGA in a VLB slot.

Config details:
OPTi 495SLC board
AMD 386DX-40, soldered QFP.
Cyrix FasMath 387
256k cache, runs at fastest settings
8*1MB 70ns SIMM, at fastest settings too. Could be more but I couldn't really see the point.
Trident TGUI9440/AGi VLB
Primax Altrasound 1MB (GUS w/ ICS mixer compatible)
SB16/CT2290, for a nice OPL3 sound
Conner 500-is MB HDD
1.2+1.44MB FDD for the good old floppy head ticking
MHz display showing 40 😁

Something's still up with the Turbo button but slowing works with CTRL+ALT++/-.

So, this board makes a nice base for a 386 build. Perhaps not the fastest at memory access but makes up for it with the VLB VGA.

Shame on us, doomed from the start
May God have mercy on our dirty little hearts

Reply 25 of 39, by appiah4

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In my experience 386 boards are not abundant enough to start looking for a recommended model or configuration.. Buy whatever looks to be in good shape and cheap, I'd say.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 26 of 39, by maxtherabbit

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appiah4 wrote:

In my experience 386DX boards are not abundant enough to start looking for a recommended model or configuration.. Buy whatever looks to be in good shape and cheap, I'd say.

fify, but yes I agree

Reply 27 of 39, by The Serpent Rider

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Late DX boards with integrated 40Mhz AMD 386DX are more common.

ALI M1429 386DX40 board.jpg
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Reply 28 of 39, by pan069

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Those late 386 boards are very nice. I have one as well, they all look very similar. To me, 386 is ISA, 486 is VLB or PCI.

Am386DX-40-OPTi-SiS.jpg
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Reply 29 of 39, by appiah4

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The only such 386 boards I have are 386SX (25/33.. I also have one that is 40MHz with L2 cache but I can't get it to POST 🙁 )

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 30 of 39, by maxtherabbit

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pan069 wrote:

Those late 386 boards are very nice. I have one as well, they all look very similar. To me, 386 is ISA, 486 is VLB or PCI.

Am386DX-40-OPTi-SiS.jpg

ironic that you'd make that statement and then post a picture of a 386 board containing a 486 chipset that has VLB support

Reply 31 of 39, by The Serpent Rider

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That's arguable, but I think all high end boards for 386DX are from "486 local bus" era.

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Reply 32 of 39, by stalk3r

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2019-12-25, 14:53:

Late DX boards with integrated 40Mhz AMD 386DX are more common.
ALI M1429 386DX40 board.jpg

Sorry the necroposting, but do you know the type/brand of this mainboard? I am about the buy one with the exact same layout except with a socketed CPU instead of a soldered one.

Reply 33 of 39, by The Serpent Rider

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https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/S/S … 86-386-AD3.html

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Reply 34 of 39, by appiah4

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appiah4 wrote on 2019-12-26, 10:59:

The only such 386 boards I have are 386SX (25/33.. I also have one that is 40MHz with L2 cache but I can't get it to POST 🙁 )

Well, since I posted this I actually came into possession of such a late DX40 board:

OPTi-495-SLC-Am386-DX-40.jpg

No idea what the make/model are either.. But it seems to be similar to this, in terms of layout etc: https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/U/U … SLC-386-WB.html

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 35 of 39, by pentiumspeed

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I once played with a PC that had 16MB and 386DX 25. Slow with a typical windows still even with quicker hard drive.

Yet this is perfect for DOS with demanding memory requirement, 16MB should be enough.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 37 of 39, by Horun

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I have a few 386 boards with cache (FIC 386sc, Asus ISA-386c, a DTK PEM and ALI C3404) but none have VLB. I do have one 386/486 board with Opti495 and VLB but never tried it with a 386. Not sure I would want too...
edit: add the picture

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Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 38 of 39, by Horun

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pan069 wrote on 2019-12-26, 10:51:

Those late 386 boards are very nice. I have one as well, they all look very similar. To me, 386 is ISA, 486 is VLB or PCI.

Am386DX-40-OPTi-SiS.jpg

I really like the mini AT 386 boards like yours and appiah4. Most have a soldered AMD 386DX-40.

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 39 of 39, by evasive

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Bancho wrote on 2019-12-24, 23:44:
I have the exact same board, but yours appears to be a later revision than mine, but mine has an AMD 386 DX40 populated. Some ti […]
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pan069 wrote:

I have one of these OPTi 495SLC boards. I only recently got it to work and I haven't done any performance tests yet so I'm not sure how the VLB performs. I have an Intel 386DX 33Mhz installed on it with 4 megs of ram. To me that seems period correct for 1992 if I remember correctly.

But, if you can find it, it might also be an option..

DXSLC_Brochure_1992.pdf

I have the exact same board, but yours appears to be a later revision than mine, but mine has an AMD 386 DX40 populated. Some time in the new near i'd like to sit down and have a play with this board.

bHUBHHHl.jpg

Both of you seem to have the DataExpert EXP3406:
https://th99.classic-computing.de/m/C-D/31975.htm