First post, by Paar
Hi everyone. I've managed to get my hands on this beautiful motherboard from Octek (don't mind the broken keyboard port, it was damaged due a battery leak and will be fixed properly in the future). I had high hopes for this one as UMC chipset is one of the better solutions for 486 motherboard (together with SiS chispet) and because of the fact that it is a late motherboard from 1994. It should be a mature design by then.
Unfortunately I had only bad experience with this one. First, I couldn't detect any HDD properly (tried SD to IDE adapter which works beautifuly on my Chicony CH-471B and real IDE Seagate 1,2GB) and I wasn't able to partition it and format it whatsever. After some tests with external I/O controller I assumed the integrated controller is bad but it started to work after some fiddling with jumpers.
Another problem is performance. Tested it with Intel 486 DX4 WB and it was sloooow. I have managed to obtain the latest BIOS from 1996 (impressive Octek supported the board for so long) and was able to turn on the WB L1 cache strategy, however the board was very unstable and I couldn't get it to work with ARK1000VL set to 0WS (again, this card works great with these settings on my CH-471B). For some time I couldn't get Norton Commander to work (it froze) and if I did, it froze again when trying to start Doom. So I changed the settings to 1WS and that helped with stability, unfortunately the performance took a drastic hit even though the performace loss on CH-471B is only minimal.
Everytime I start the board, the POST takes weirdly long and booting do DOS is somewhat delayed too (in comparison to Chicony). These are symptoms that I have experienced when I got some jumpers badly configured with different boards. I've used these jumper settings as reference but I am sure it's for different revision of the board as it mentions some jumpers that are not present on mine (my board is Rev. 1.01).
What are your experience with this board? And if you don't have any experience with this board, what is your experience with Octek boards in general? Are they performers?
I would be the most helpful if I could get my hands on a manual for this exact revision however I'm a bit sceptical that I will find one. It would be nice though so I'll keep looking 😀. I'll defenitily give it another shot then.