VOGONS


First post, by Swiego

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This post won’t be of interest to more than a small handful of people who own this computer, but I have been exchanging PMs with a few people who own one. Since there’s so little information out there, I figured a thread that compiles everything known about this system could be useful to anyone who stumbles across one down the road. Note, this is a work in progress for the next few hours.

Introduction
The Deskpro XE 560 is one of the early Pentium PCs offered by one of the first-to-market manufacturers. It wasn’t Compaq’s first Pentium system, as the very rare Deskpro 5/60M and 5/66M models arrived a few months earlier. They were replaced relatively quickly by the Deskpro XL and XE series. The XE series was primarily a 486 line in a chassis similar to the Prolinea and Deskpro/I--but included a single Pentium 60 model. Some key strengths and weaknesses:
+ One of the earliest Pentium machines
+ High likelihood of getting a FDIV bugged P60 (I did!)
+ Quiet and incredibly robust chassis that stands the test of time
+ QVision 1280 on-board video has good DOS performance using a proprietary local bus
+ 128-bit bus between CPU, RAM and cache means this is one of the faster stock Pentium 60 systems
- Terrible expansion - 4 ISA slots, no PCI, EISA or VLB
- On-board IDE controller does not appear to be on a local bus resulting in middling performance
- No on-board cache by default… a 256kb cache module was available but nigh-impossible to find
- On-board video has 1MB VRAM… the optional 1MB VRAM expansion module also is hard to find

Key Links
Quick reference guide: https://web.archive.org/web/19961226054359/ht … lume2/dpxe.html
Memory upgrade chart: https://web.archive.org/web/19961226052115/ht … emory/dpxe.html
CPU Upgrade options (no useful information for the XE560): https://web.archive.org/web/19970605111034/ht … e2/appgtoc.html

Unknowns / Investigations
- Locating QVision 1280/I VRAM expansion modules
- Locating the 256KB L2 processor cache module
- Is the system upgradable with the Pentium 120/133 overdrive?

SoftPAQs

Latest ROM - v. 94.11.02 (released 4/10/1995) - SP2165

Filename
sp2165.exe
File size
1.35 MiB
Downloads
2 downloads
File comment
Compaq SP2165 Deskpro XE560 ROM
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

F10 Setup - SP1363 (v10.06E 12-October-1995)

Filename
sp1363.exe
File size
704.07 KiB
Downloads
3 downloads
File comment
Compaq SP1363 Deskpro XE560 F10 Setup
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

DOS Support - SP0518 (08-July-1993)

Filename
SP0518.EXE
File size
1.06 MiB
Downloads
2 downloads
File comment
Compaq SP0518 Deskpro XE560 DOS Support
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Windows 95 drivers - SP3317 (13-June-1997) and SP9542 (v1.92B 18-February-1999)

Filename
SP3317.EXE
File size
452.97 KiB
Downloads
3 downloads
File comment
Compaq SP3317 Deskpro XE560 W95 Video Drivers
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Filename
sp9542.exe
File size
372.23 KiB
Downloads
4 downloads
File comment
Compaq SP9542 Deskpro XE560 W95 Video Drivers
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Last edited by Swiego on 2020-08-15, 17:34. Edited 5 times in total.

Reply 1 of 6, by Swiego

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Diagnostics for Windows - SP3623 (09-July-1997) and SP16160 (v3.02A 18-January-2001)

Filename
sp16160.exe
File size
4.3 MiB
Downloads
5 downloads
File comment
Compaq SP16160 Deskpro XE560 Windows Diags
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Filename
SP3623.EXE
File size
693.14 KiB
Downloads
6 downloads
File comment
Compaq SP3623 Deskpro XE560 Windows Diags
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Diagnostics for DOS - SP16085 (v10.40A 07-December-2000)

Filename
sp16085.exe
File size
1.32 MiB
Downloads
4 downloads
File comment
Compaq SP16160 Deskpro XE560 Diags
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 2 of 6, by Swiego

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Only known images of the 256KB cache module (courtesy of user stuvize, posted to Vogons circa 2015)

Part no. 002748 / 142821-001

(Question: does 003560 / 194380-001, listed in the quick reference guide, work with the XE560?)

2FB87C79-3635-4005-B87C-2BDA3ED5901A.jpeg
Filename
2FB87C79-3635-4005-B87C-2BDA3ED5901A.jpeg
File size
151.91 KiB
Views
176 views
File comment
Deskpro XE cache
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
20382FD2-D54C-45EB-BE1C-3B04F0326183.jpeg
Filename
20382FD2-D54C-45EB-BE1C-3B04F0326183.jpeg
File size
153.42 KiB
Views
176 views
File comment
Deskpro XE cache
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

I found this picture of 003560 that suggests it's NOT the right module for this computer:

Attachments

Last edited by Swiego on 2020-06-14, 23:05. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 3 of 6, by Swiego

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And here’s my guy:

54AC3081-B538-49CD-93C4-80C27AD69B16.jpeg
Filename
54AC3081-B538-49CD-93C4-80C27AD69B16.jpeg
File size
974.77 KiB
Views
154 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

Currently tricked out with 136MB RAM, an AWE64 Gold, an Adaptec 1542CF connected to an Atlas 10k.4 which seemed to be the best balance of performance and temperature. I tried several ISA video cards (ET4000’s mainly) but none could compete with QVision on a local bus. The ODD is connected to the onboard IDE.

5EAD4439-D1E3-4A69-B20C-AECF2783824F.jpeg
Filename
5EAD4439-D1E3-4A69-B20C-AECF2783824F.jpeg
File size
1.9 MiB
Views
154 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

The processor looks upgradeable. Here is the cache module slot. Will I ever find one? 😜

8D47E779-B399-40A0-B3A8-44E333661EE1.jpeg
Filename
8D47E779-B399-40A0-B3A8-44E333661EE1.jpeg
File size
1.41 MiB
Views
154 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

Reply 4 of 6, by stuvize

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I will take some shots of mine in next day or 2 but remembered finding this old article on the XE560 and some the other Pentium machines of the time

https://books.google.com/books?id=BjsEAAAAMBA … 20world&f=false

Reply 5 of 6, by Swiego

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Some performance metrics regarding the video system, using Phil's benchmark tools, comparing the onboard video (Qvision 1280/i) against a Tseng ET4000 ISA. This is my fastest ISA video card until I can find a Cirrus Logic CD-GL5434 card. Based on this difference, I think the integrated video is by far the best possible option for anyone who owns this PC. Yay - one slot saved 😉

Image 6-20-20 at 12.11 AM.jpg
Filename
Image 6-20-20 at 12.11 AM.jpg
File size
45.37 KiB
Views
101 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

Open to advice on how to do inline textual tables on this forum, if anyone has ideas.

Reply 6 of 6, by Swiego

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An update! I saw on eBay what was advertised as a 1MB upgrade for the QVision 1024/I, part number 139169-001. From what I was able to dig up, this seems to be an upgrade part for later Presario systems. However, looking at the posted pics, the connector looked a lot like the on-board connector for the XE560's QVision 1280 on-board so I decided to buy it. As it turns out, it works perfectly on the XE560 and the system now has the full 2MB frame buffer. No observable change to performance, but 1024x768x16bit color works fine in Windows 98, albeit VERY SLOW.

s-l1600-2.jpg
Filename
s-l1600-2.jpg
File size
639.06 KiB
Views
66 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0
s-l1600.jpg
Filename
s-l1600.jpg
File size
580.21 KiB
Views
66 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0