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MS-98L9 V2.0 , a new 1151MB with an ISA slot

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First post, by Shagittarius

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Just saw this on Tom's and though there may be some interest here for Vintage purposes:

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/spectras-ne … -1992-pci-slots

If it had and AGP slot I would probably be interested, but then it would need compat Win98 drivers too which I'm sure it doesn't. I don't know if anything could be done with DOS for this, I guess you could since you have ISA...Maybe build the words fastest DOS machine?

Any Ideas?

Reply 1 of 72, by Kahenraz

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I read this article today and wanted to share it with everyone. Notice that it even has an ISA slot. No information if DMA is supported (for SoundBlaster 16, etc.) but FM synthesis and MPU401 should work fine.

It's not unusual to find modern chipsets with these vintage slots on industrial motherboards that crop up on eBay from time to time. But they often command a high price due to their intended market; and I suspect that's what this one is targeted at as well.

Spectra doesn't list a price for the MS-98L9 V2.0. If you're interested in the motherboard, you'll have to request a quote directly from the company.

Anyways. It's always fun to see these and I wanted to share.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-03-16, 23:28. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 72, by Tiido

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A friend showed it a moment ago and I tried to find more info but I was unable to. There's no good photos around so I could see what the ISA bridge chip is. There's a good chance it lacks working DMA and IRQs which makes the slot useless... but I am certainly excited to some level.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 3 of 72, by NautilusComputer

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As it's designed primarily for industrial applications, I doubt we'll ever see a public release, or good drivers, or a review, or anything. I hate it when stuff is "call for pricing and availability."

Reply 5 of 72, by MrSmiley381

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So this board has two onboard ethernet ports, onboard video, and enough slots to make anybody happy. Is there a use case where you could build a couple of VM's and pass hardware to them directly? One ethernet port, a PCI Voodoo card, and a PCI sound card is enough to play Diablo II in its best possible form. That's assuming everything works, despite how impractical that would be. With all those USB ports you could add a couple of mouse/keyboard setups and build a few more VM's with passthrough hardware. Does a CGA card require DMA?

Most of my VM experience is limited to server hardware so I'd love for someone to more practically explain the sort of shenanigans this board enables.

I spend my days fighting with clunky software so I can afford to spend my evenings fighting with clunky hardware.

Reply 6 of 72, by BinaryDemon

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I like the part where the article says something like: I'm surprised MSI didnt throw an AGP port in there as well.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 7 of 72, by ruthan

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Well we would need some guinea pig.. to get one MB through some big company contacts and after that we can try to make some Vogons bulk order, if it would be good:)

Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough raw HW.

Reply 8 of 72, by BreakPoint

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There are many areas where people still use legacy equipment for data acquisition or numerical control. I'm not joking. I'm selling a lot of legacy stuff on eBay and i frequently asked to find some 286/386/486/Pentuim parts for failed equipment.
So this board is nice find for someone who still using ISA boards.

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Reply 9 of 72, by xjas

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Yep, I've been in loads of labs that still had dinosaur PCs running specialized equipment via some convoluted multi-ISA card setup well into the 2010s. Data logged to tape or printed & a realtime display on an amber CRT with 30 years of screen burn... Weren't NASA still buying up 8086es for the space shuttles (RIP) right up until they stopped flying them?

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Reply 10 of 72, by Tiido

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Turns out this board has LPC to ISA bridge, same chip as one on my C2D board so it will be able to support at least some ISA sound cards ~
Southbirdge chip has no LDRQ signal on the LPC bus, so DMA is not possible even though the bridge chip can support DMA... bummer.

Last edited by Tiido on 2020-03-16, 22:28. Edited 1 time in total.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 11 of 72, by BinaryDemon

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Actually with 5 pci slots you could probably build a beastly Win98 rig assuming you replaced all the subsystems with Win98 compatible pci cards. Video could probably still stay on PCI-E, as long as you used a x850 or one of the hacked Nvidia drivers.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 12 of 72, by NautilusComputer

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xjas wrote on 2020-03-16, 19:50:

Yep, I've been in loads of labs that still had dinosaur PCs running specialized equipment via some convoluted multi-ISA card setup well into the 2010s. Data logged to tape or printed & a realtime display on an amber CRT with 30 years of screen burn... Weren't NASA still buying up 8086es for the space shuttles (RIP) right up until they stopped flying them?

Part of what got me here; I am now supporting an old CNC machine running a 486-66 with Win 95 and some other convoluted stuff (somehow it might have an NT partition too?).

Reply 14 of 72, by ynari

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MrSmiley381 wrote on 2020-03-16, 11:05:

So this board has two onboard ethernet ports, onboard video, and enough slots to make anybody happy. Is there a use case where you could build a couple of VM's and pass hardware to them directly? One ethernet port, a PCI Voodoo card, and a PCI sound card is enough to play Diablo II in its best possible form. That's assuming everything works, despite how impractical that would be. With all those USB ports you could add a couple of mouse/keyboard setups and build a few more VM's with passthrough hardware. Does a CGA card require DMA?

Most of my VM experience is limited to server hardware so I'd love for someone to more practically explain the sort of shenanigans this board enables.

The basic answer is that it's a Pain In The Arse, you'd be better using real or emulated hardware.

I wouldn't bet on being able to pass ISA through to any VM. Typically all PCI cards need to be passed through to the same VM as they share the same upsteam root port. PCI-e cards are constrained by which root ports they share (on a decent motherboard they can be passed through individually).

USB is awkward - onboard USB does not tend to pass through in a predictable manner, say if there's a six ports it may be in a 1/5 split. Add on USB cards either pass through the entire card, or if they work (the multi controller cards) they're expensive (150 UK pounds for a decent one..).

Then there's whether the OS drivers work well. Some cards are limited by design (Nvidia doesn't like you passing through consumer cards. The fact the OS is virtualised needs to be hidden in this case), others simply by poor drivers. Virtualised hardware is really only moderately similar to real hardware.

Reply 15 of 72, by OMORES

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IMHO, @188E it's not that expensive for a full ATX board with 2xGB LAN, not to mention the `ISA solution`.
msi_isa.png

But this one from DFI with 2xISA/4 PCI -socket 1151 (H310) is even more desirable...
dfi_hd620-h310.jpg

Reply 16 of 72, by LSS10999

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OMORES wrote on 2020-06-04, 18:22:

But this one from DFI with 2xISA/4 PCI -socket 1151 (H310) is even more desirable...

A late bump on this. Just noticed it and took some time reading the manuals. From the official photos the new DFI board seems to use ITE's PCI/ISA bridge so natively there would be no DMA support.

However, DFI seems to provide a proprietary solution for using ISA devices on the board. I'm yet to know how exactly it works under the hood and whether or not it really supports DMA scenarios (sound cards), even though the official ATX boards overview page mentioned something like "For legacy peripherals or devices with the ISA interface (eg. modem or sound card) ...".

From the "ISA Card User Guide" manual the proprietary solution appears to be a specialized Ubuntu host image with a modified QEMU/KVM. There's this note in the manual stating that:

"The online update function of host image (Ubuntu) is default turned off. Please do not turns on this function to prevent online update modify the KVM library. "

The rest of the manual is mainly about how to install a WinXP VM (provided by the user) and to configure passthrough to give the ISA devices (and maybe some other stuffs) to the VM. The manual doesn't mention anything about DMA nor about ISA PnP so nothing can be known about these capabilities for now. It used a non-PnP ISA card that only uses I/O and IRQ (no DMA) as an example, which works with PCI/ISA. ISA PnP also works for PCI/ISA as far as I know, it's just ISA DMA would not work, so for sound cards you can at best use its FM synth.

Reply 17 of 72, by banane

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Hello all,

also a late reply, but I would make myself available as a test person, so I would order one of the boards. They cost all around 200€, am already in contact with sellers.

I could go for:

  • MS-98L9
  • MS-98L9 V2.0
  • CS620-H310

This is just a gimmick, currently I use separate (old) systems for my use cases.

My adapted uses cases are:

  • Up2date Arch Linux as the Host system with QEMU, Dosbox
  • VM / Emulator XP Maschine with parallel Port access to the host system (/dev/parport0), the VM should see the 'standard ' address 378h. My All11 eprom programmer.
  • DOS Maschine with access to ISA-card SAC-201 to http://matthieu.benoit.free.fr/all03/source.htm. My ALL03 eprom programmer
  • RS232 equally to the parallel port for other systems (e.g. Fluke 9010A)

Which one should I get ?

Use Case 2 I already tested on one of my thinkpads. QEMU can have direct access to /dev/parportO and an XP-VM sees it via 378h. For the new board I just would neet to get an PCI (not PCI-E !!) parallel port adapter card with customizable I/O ports, I guess (no parallel port on all of the boards).

From the last post of @LSS10999 I understand, that for the ISA slots on the CS620-H310 they play around with a VM Host System (Ubuntu ?) and a customized kernel for KVM/quemu.
As my first use case is to have an up to date system this already, this rules this board out, right ? Or even is this especially for DMA ? I think I won't need DMA for my ISA-Adapter....

For the MS-98L9 V2.0 one of the sellers states ' With Intel Skylake processors, this can still run Windows 7. For Windows XP we recommend this board MS-98A9'. What does that mean ? Is there no Skylake CPU support for XP, or is there some other thingy that would prevent from running windows XP ?

Best Regards from Germany,
Banane

Reply 19 of 72, by Kahenraz

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Another issue that might appear is that even if there is DMA (which there probably is not), I wonder if the manufacturer will have made a connection to -5V on the ISA bus since this is no longer part of the ATX standard.

Does anyone have a modern industrial motherboard to test this? I'm very curious.