VOGONS


First post, by clownwolf

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I bought a new old stock socket 3 motherboard about a year ago. When it arrived, the board was in a plastic bubble wrap along with a manual.

I am not complaining about its OEM style, since retail packaging for motherboards probably only started during the late socket 7 era. In fact I think Slot 1s were the first motherboards I saw with a real box.

But if someone bought a 386/486 motherboard from a computer shop back then, would that mean they had to buy their own IDE cables, Floppy cables, and jumpers? How about diskettes or even CDs for drivers or utilities?

Reply 1 of 29, by kixs

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Usually 386 and early 486 didn't have anything on board. So cables would come with I/O controller card. Only later with more integrated boards cables would be part of the box. The same with drivers.

Requests are also possible... /msg kixs

Reply 2 of 29, by Rwolf

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My first homebuilt PC, a 386DX Gigabyte motherboard from 1991 did not have much onboard, only serial/parallel ports, with a couple of backpanel connector plates with cables, intended for either chassis mounting or to be place in unused ISA slot positions.
It did come with a nice printed manual, and all the jumpers needed onboard.

Front panel cables came with the chassis, and not the motherboard.

Floppy & harddisk controllers you had to get separately as ISA boards, it was not builtin.

Reply 3 of 29, by Azarien

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clownwolf wrote on 2023-06-07, 08:31:

I am not complaining about its OEM style, since retail packaging for motherboards probably only started during the late socket 7 era. In fact I think Slot 1s were the first motherboards I saw with a real box.

I have a real box of some dual Pentium Pro mainboard. I never had the mainboard or anything that came with it though, just the box.

Reply 4 of 29, by Jo22

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clownwolf wrote on 2023-06-07, 08:31:

How about diskettes or even CDs for drivers or utilities?

Yes. An 5,25" or 3,5" diskette with utilities.
Like cache check utilities, anti-virus program (as a companion to boot-sector protection in BIOS), external CMOS Setup utilities, etc. Little things like this.

Drivers in the common sense were not required yet, because 286/386/486 motherboards appeard more or less as generic PC hardware to software.

You could still switch HDDs between similar PCs and not require a new software installation (say Win31/95 or OS/2).

PCI-ISA bridges or EIDE controllers (on-board) on late 486 boards were among the exceptions here, I think.
You know, those 486 VIP (Vesa, ISA, PCI) boards of the time..

By that time, there were diskettes for Windows 95 and/or NT 3.5x included, with some *.INF files.
In case of EIDE controllers, a diskette had special drivers included,
for better performance on Windows or DOS.
DDOs to support larger drives were also on such a disk, maybe.

Motherboards with EISA or MCA bus required configuration diskettes, I think.

Some Compaq PCs had utilities or Setup utilities pre-installed in a hidden partition on HDD.
These partitions could be re-created with diskettes (about 3). Such disks were maybe part of the box, not sure.

Edit: Edited.

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Last edited by Jo22 on 2023-06-08, 19:46. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 5 of 29, by appiah4

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They usually came with a manual and a serial/parallel port breakout cable.

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

Reply 6 of 29, by rasz_pl

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Branded boxes are meant for retail, that means amateur upgrade/builder market. That more or less didnt exist pre 486. OEM boards usually came in bulk packaging bubble wrapped 5-10 at a time, or in plain white boxes with no labels. For example I dont remember ever seeing ZIDA or PCCHIPS box while working at national distributor in 98-00.

Reply 7 of 29, by dionb

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486 and serial/parallel cables? Onboard I/O was very much exception rather than rule (except on OEM LPX boards, which didn't need them because already on backplate).

In the past few years I found some NOS 486 boards and it was very minimal
- One Biostar MB-1433UCV I found recently had a manual and nothing else.
- a pile of 8 Morse KP486DX boards. Absolutely nothing in their antistatic bags other than the boards themselves (with dripping Varta barrels 🙁 )

Reply 8 of 29, by BitWrangler

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Think I only ever had 2 NIB back in the day, no onboard i/o so just board in pink bubblewrap bag, layer of foam in bottom of box, and manual. The "shovelware" thing of trial AV or other utils wasn't really a thing until 96ish.

Other boards sold at fairs I saw come from OEM master cases, just board in an antistatic bag.

edit: Oh once in a while the bigger manufacturers would have a little baggie with 4 standoffs and 4 spare jumpers or something.

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Reply 10 of 29, by dionb

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appiah4 wrote on 2023-06-08, 16:02:

Some 486 boards had IO. I even have a 286 board with IO.

Some did, but back then they were the exception, not the rule.

It wasn't until 1994 or so that it became commonplace.

Reply 11 of 29, by appiah4

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Yeah, Socket 5 was when they became standard. I did get a serial/parallel breakout cable with a recent NOS 486 PCI board though 😎

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

Reply 12 of 29, by Intel486dx33

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Nothing…. AT motherboards usually came in the usual Pizza size box with in an anti-static bag and manual. Controller card, serial cables and all other Cards were sold separately. The motherboards did come with cache however but NO Memory SIMMS or CPU. Unless you purchased a Combo CPU/Motherboard but those were usually AMD 5x86 CPU/Motherboard combo kits sold as upgrades for a 486 computer. Or it could have been some other inexpensive CPU like Cyrix. But Intel CPUs usually sold for a Premium price. AMD and Cyrix CPU were sold at discount prices.

Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2023-06-09, 02:16. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 13 of 29, by H3nrik V!

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dionb wrote on 2023-06-08, 16:28:
appiah4 wrote on 2023-06-08, 16:02:

Some 486 boards had IO. I even have a 286 board with IO.

Some did, but back then they were the exception, not the rule.

It wasn't until 1994 or so that it became commonplace.

Agreed, AFAIR, my own first 486 had serial and parallel ports on the VESA "super I/O board" which also had the IDE controller ...

Please use the "quote" option if asking questions to what I write - it will really up the chances of me noticing 😀

Reply 14 of 29, by pan069

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H3nrik V! wrote on 2023-06-08, 19:53:
dionb wrote on 2023-06-08, 16:28:
appiah4 wrote on 2023-06-08, 16:02:

Some 486 boards had IO. I even have a 286 board with IO.

Some did, but back then they were the exception, not the rule.

It wasn't until 1994 or so that it became commonplace.

Agreed, AFAIR, my own first 486 had serial and parallel ports on the VESA "super I/O board" which also had the IDE controller ...

286's were made well into the 90's. By that time they were cost reduced and integrated and mostly used for business purposes. A 20 or 25 Mhz 286 was good enough in those days to run WordPerfect and do a bit of Lotus 123 on a monochrome display.

Reply 15 of 29, by BitWrangler

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2023-06-08, 19:32:

But Intel CPUs usually sold for a Premium price. AMD and Cyrix CPU were sold at discount prices.

Though by 96, they were giving Intel SX33 away free with motherboard and DX33 were $5 extra, I think the DX2 held up $5 above an AMD or Cyrix one still though. It was only the DX4 that held a price somewhere close to P75.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 16 of 29, by Unknown_K

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486 boards were made for a long time starting with basic ISA slots, VLB, EISA if you were rich and needed a server, and finally PCI and some combinations.

ISA boards just came with a manual. Everything else needed came with the peripherals (cables, driver disks, etc).
EISA and PCI boards came with setup disks and driver disks since by the time 486 boards had PCI they also had built in IDE and I/O.

Collector of old computers, hardware, and software

Reply 17 of 29, by pentiumspeed

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Just a box, manual and antistatic bag back in the day. When motherboards started including super i/o and ATA connectors, that started the trend of including goodies.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 18 of 29, by sneeker

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I think my 486 was just a motherboard, an anti static bag, and a manual in a box, later I got a Vesa Isa and Pci board 2nd hand and I think it just had onboard ide. It wasnt until I got my pentium I had on board serial and parrallel, ide etc.