VOGONS


Reply 20 of 32, by jesolo

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gdjacobs wrote on 2020-04-30, 23:45:
jesolo wrote on 2020-04-30, 22:54:

Speaking from personal experience, I actually bought my very first computer towards the end of 1993 - earlier that year, as I recall, some factory in Taiwan burned down and memory prices went through the roof.

It was at Sumitomo Chemical in Japan.
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-19 … 0189-story.html

Yes, also found an article now (my location was a bit out)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/busine … 7-cf7588ea8641/

Reply 21 of 32, by gdjacobs

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jesolo wrote on 2020-04-30, 23:59:

Looking over the article, I would imagine the fire smelled absolutely awful.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 22 of 32, by appiah4

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A lot of very informative and insightful posts overnight, thanks to everyone who chimed in 😀

jesolo wrote on 2020-04-30, 19:03:

This might make for some interesting reading material: The Ultimate 486 Benchmark Comparison

Oh I know this great benchmark but thank you for reminding me once again!

jesolo wrote on 2020-04-30, 19:03:

I do agree that, for a 486, floating point performance should not really be a deciding factor.
From a gaming perspective, very few games (that could run satisfactory on a 486) made use of the FPU and would run just as well on any of these CPU's.
My choice is probably the AMD 5x86-133 (although, my plan is to actually build up 486 systems with all 3 CPU's, just for fun).

I won't be playing Quake on this PC at all so FPU will not be a factor at all, I would think. I doubt I'll ever install even Windows 95, at most I may install OS/2 Warp 3, and even that will happen if I don't install it on my PS/1 DX2-66, which is very likely to be honest as it would make a cool theme build.

jesolo wrote on 2020-04-30, 19:03:

EDIT: You didn't mention how much RAM your PC has. If you intend on running OS/2 Warp 3, make sure you have sufficient RAM.

Not set in stone but back in 1993 my DX-33 had 4MB and in 1995 my DX4-100 had 8MB RAM. RAM was EXPENSIVE back then, as noted above in this thread.

2Mourty wrote on 2020-04-30, 19:31:

I've always enjoyed my cyrix 5x86 120. I have one of the blue ibm ones. Doesn't need a buzzy little fan like the POD83, and I can defintley feel a difference from the dx2/66 that I had before it. Since you don't plan on installing win95 though I'm guessing all of those cpu's will feel pretty snappy.

My CPU is an IBM 100 as well but not the one with the blue heatsink..

IBM-5x86-C-5x86-3-V3100-GF.jpg

I am really curious about this chip so I may actually go with this just for the sake of building something more exotic 😀

Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-04-30, 21:34:
Back in 1993 computer companies where sell this build as a multimedia computer but it was under powered. 486dx-33 4mb ram 64kb. […]
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Back in 1993 computer companies where sell this build as a multimedia computer but it was under powered.
486dx-33
4mb ram
64kb. Cache.
ISA motherboard
Sound blaster 16 or Media Vision PAS16 sound card.
2x CD-ROM drive.
170mb hard-drive

This is almost the exact PC I bought in 1993, except mine was a VLB motherboard with a CL-GD542X video card, SB Pro 2.0 and no CD-ROM (I bought a Creative SB16/2x MM upgrade kit in 1994 IIRC) and a 213MB HDD.

Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-04-30, 22:01:

I usually chose a theme as a build.

All Intel or AMD or IBM.

So for IBM you should start with an IBM computer and then apply upgrades using IBM components.

I have an IBM PS/1 DX2-66 which I may repurpose for a Warp 3 build indeed, in which case this would turn into a DOS build, and to make it less cookie cutter the IBM/Cyrix CPU kind of feels appropriate.

On the other hand I wonder if the IBM PS/1 2155 motherboards can handle an IBM/Cyrix 5x86-100..

PC-Engineer wrote on 2020-04-30, 22:37:
All three CPUs are very close in their performance, depending on the application. The Am5x86 is the fastest of this three, but o […]
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All three CPUs are very close in their performance, depending on the application.
The Am5x86 is the fastest of this three, but only a simple 486 with a upgrade in cache (16kb WB)
The intel DX4 has some improvements over regular 486 like a better integer multiplier and a better compatibility for clock sensitive applications and the 16kB cahce
Both intel and AMD 486 take zero benefit of the L1 WB mode with 2nd level cache
The Cyrix 5x86 takes profit from L1 in WB and has a stronger FPU
In general with socket3 boards you have a high chance of DMA problems with L1 WB

The iDX4 arrived the market in early 1994 and was highend at its arival with nearly the same price as the Pentium
The Cyrix and AMD 5x86 arrived the market late in 1995 as a low budget competitor to the Pentium

In my experience the 20% overclocking of PCI to 40MHz causes sporadic instabilities with IDE and SCSI controller and in my case (Chaintech 486SPM) with a Diamond Monster (Voodoo1) behind a Diamond S3 968 (with applied memory remapping). For a 40MHz FSB i would recommend a VLB system.

This is the board I will be using, AFAIK it has no known stability problems with any of these chips:

Biostar-MB-8433-UUD-A.jpg

I do not plan to upgrade these venerable hardware, no need really.

jheronimus wrote on 2020-04-30, 22:38:
I'm playing around with an AMD 5x86@160 VLB system right now. I also have a quite nice VGA card for it (an ARK Logic ARK1000VL), […]
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I'm playing around with an AMD 5x86@160 VLB system right now. I also have a quite nice VGA card for it (an ARK Logic ARK1000VL), so it's kind of high-end (though lacking fancy storage at the moment).

For me it's the only platform where I think it's really fun to tweak the hardware on a fairly low level — e.g., messing with BIOS settings, trying various drivers/software enhancements/OS settings. So if this is what you're after, AMD is a performance option and Cyrix might be a more interesting option because it's more exotic.

But if I take your topic name at face value, there really is no such thing as a "high-end 1995 486 build". My build, for instance, is a pure 1995 machine, but really is more of a machine for someone who couldn't afford a Pentium, and thus, tried to squeeze everything out of an outdated platform. It's like calling Tualatin 1400 a "high-end 2001 Pentium 3" or AMD K6-3+ a "high-end 2000 Socket 7". Just doesn't make sense.

Like others said, a DX4 is the closest thing to a high-end 486. It existed alongside a much more expensive Socket 4 Pentium but could still beat it in most games. So technically, DX4 is still mid-range. The last high-end 486 would really be a DX2 😀

Otherwise, I think a 486 build is defined by your choice of motherboards more than anything. Do you want VLB or PCI? Which CPUs does your board support?

The ARK1000 is one of the cards I am considering for this build indeed!

Octek-Hercules-PVGA-1000.jpg

Another other is the MX86200

Elephant-M3-64-V-MX86200.jpg

Undecided as of yet.

Maybe my use of the word high end is inappropriate here, I merely meant to say "fast". 😀

My motherboard of choice is Biostar MB-8433UUD-A so this will be a PCI 486 build, and the motherboard is a fairly flexible and compatible one with pretty much everything out there..

jesolo wrote on 2020-04-30, 22:54:
I think the main reason why the 486DX-33 was more "mainstream" back in 1993 was purely because of price - as a matter of fact, […]
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I think the main reason why the 486DX-33 was more "mainstream" back in 1993 was purely because of price - as a matter of fact, by August 1995 (when Windows 95 was released), many people still had 386 systems. So much so that Microsoft stated that the minimum requirements to run Windows 95 was a 386 CPU with 4 MB of RAM.

Speaking from personal experience, I actually bought my very first computer towards the end of 1993 - earlier that year, as I recall, some factory in Taiwan burned down and memory prices went through the roof.
At that point, I had to choose between an Intel 486DX-33 or a Cyrix 486DLC-40 (with its math co-processor). Having very little information (no internet back those days), I went for the Cyrix, but in hindsight, should have gone for the Intel 486DX-33.
My computer only had 4 MB RAM, floppy, 16-bit Tseng Labs ET4000 ISA card and a 170 MB hard drive, but no CD-ROM and no sound card (the latter I could only afford a year later).

I also agree that the DX33 was the mainstream option in 1993 , when I bought mine in October 1993 for over $2000 a DX2-66 system offering from the same OEM cost around almost one grand more than that.

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

Reply 23 of 32, by Anonymous Coward

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gdjacobs wrote on 2020-04-30, 23:45:
jesolo wrote on 2020-04-30, 22:54:

Speaking from personal experience, I actually bought my very first computer towards the end of 1993 - earlier that year, as I recall, some factory in Taiwan burned down and memory prices went through the roof.

It was at Sumitomo Chemical in Japan.
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-19 … 0189-story.html

I actually did remember the name Sumitomo, but for some reason I could never bring up any relevant information when searching for it. I've heard people say the factory was in Taiwan and it was damaged in an earthquake. Obviously that was false. I also remember the speculation that it might have been a case of industrial sabotage, which the article confirms. I wonder if they ever determined for certain if that was the case.
Anyway, it was pretty bloody annoying. Shortly after the disaster my PC was upgraded from 4MB to 8MB at over $100 per megabyte. Because of the resin shortage, I could never afford the upgrade to 16MB. Because all memory slots were full of 1MB SIMMs, I would have had to replace them all at a cost of $1600! Remember, that was in 1990s real dollars, not 2020 funny money! That's a big part of the reason why Windows 95 sucked on a 486 (especially if using 30-pin SIMMs). I don't remember prices coming down to something reasonable until 1997.

Regarding the IBM 5x86C...almost all 100MHz parts can work at 120MHz, but they're all Stepping 0 Revision 5, which means branch prediction is not reliable at running 32-bit code (instability). As far as I know only the Cyrix flavour comes in S1R3, but it's basically impossible to know for sure which chips use that core until you run diagnostics on them. You can't tell just by looking at them. Branch prediction gives a nice speed boost if you can run it reliably.

"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 32, by PC-Engineer

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A Very nice Board. This Board will be a good partner to your IBM 5x86. I played with a Shuttle HOT433 with the same UMC chipset and a Cyrix 5x86 a long time without any quirks, also in L1 WB mode and mostly enabled Cyrix registers. But i highly recommend an upgrade of your cache to 256kB dual banked. With 15ns chips you should be able to set fastest timings at 33MHz FSB.

The link in my signature leads to some comparisions of high end socket3 CPUs and effects of cache strategy.

1994/1995 - Socket3 - ASUS SV2GX4 / POD 100MHz / 64MB / SCSI - Windows 95

Reply 25 of 32, by appiah4

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PC-Engineer wrote on 2020-05-01, 07:49:

A Very nice Board. This Board will be a good partner to your IBM 5x86. I played with a Shuttle HOT433 with the same UMC chipset and a Cyrix 5x86 a long time without any quirks, also in L1 WB mode and mostly enabled Cyrix registers. But i highly recommend an upgrade of your cache to 256kB dual banked. With 15ns chips you should be able to set fastest timings at 33MHz FSB.

The link in my signature leads to some comparisions of high end socket3 CPUs and effects of cache strategy.

I have already upgraded the cache after taking the photo, I also replaced the Dallas RTC.

I will check the link thank you!

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

Reply 26 of 32, by Anonymous Coward

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2Mourty wrote on 2020-04-30, 19:31:

I've always enjoyed my cyrix 5x86 120. I have one of the blue ibm ones.

Do you have a real IBM 5x86C-120, or is it a 100 overclocked to 120?

"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 27 of 32, by LewisRaz

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DX4-100 is actually called a 486 😉 Unlike your other 2 options.
Plus it leaves a nice gap from your p133.

Edit - I did not see page 2 sorry

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Reply 28 of 32, by jheronimus

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LewisRaz wrote on 2020-05-01, 13:48:

DX4-100 is actually called a 486 😉 Unlike your other 2 options.

Technically it's called Intel DX4 — says so on the chip and on the box. It was not branded as a 486. AMD did keep their DX4 under the AM486 name, though.

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Reply 30 of 32, by 2Mourty

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Anonymous Coward wrote on 2020-05-01, 13:11:
2Mourty wrote on 2020-04-30, 19:31:

I've always enjoyed my cyrix 5x86 120. I have one of the blue ibm ones.

Do you have a real IBM 5x86C-120, or is it a 100 overclocked to 120?

Honestly don't know. I got my cpu in one of those gainberry upgrade boxes. I guess I could take a look to find out for sure =)

Reply 31 of 32, by Anonymous Coward

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From what I've seen all of those 5x86Cs in the Gairbery upgrades are 100MHz parts overclocked to 120.

"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 32 of 32, by appiah4

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Trying to run my IBM 5x86 at 120MHz is a very enticing idea indeed..

Another board I am considering for the job is this PCPartner 486CV:

PC-Partner-486-CV.jpg

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