Best 386 Motherboard?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2018-1-31 @ 13:21

SiS made a pretty good chip, but things started to change during the Socket 7 era. PCI killed off quite a few of the players in the chipset industry, and the Intel Triton chipset pretty much finished off whoever was left. I was surprised that SiS, ALi and VIA managed to hang in as long as they did. I suspect it was largely the Asian market (and AMD) keeping them afloat.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Radical Vision » 2018-1-31 @ 13:28

Then this board is good, bcuz when i did show it, at least 4 people did tell me it is good is from ASUS, but the chipset is total trash..
But good to hear other things, as the board is in really good condition , like brand new..


Not only chipsets, back in that era many brands did die, or changed direction to other type of products..


BTW your ultimate 386 link is broken, fix it, i was interesting to see the ultimate 386 build...
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2018-1-31 @ 14:47

Google killed Picasa...and along with it all of my photo comments. The photos are still available on google photo (which is a crap service). I migrated some of my stuff over to imgur, but at the moment the link escapes me.

I'm actually in the process of redesigning my Ultimate 386, and I'll create a new post when it's ready. What I can tell you is that it will most likely use an AMI Baby Screamer if the airport customs people don't confiscate it.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby feipoa » 2018-1-31 @ 18:57

Radical Vision wrote:Yeah i did saw it on my first look for it, but was not sure if that is the correct board..
Interesting to see the chipsets are SIS, that chipset brand is considered from many to be bad and not worthy..

The SiS Rabbit, SiS 471, and SiS 496 are generally well liked among 386/ISA, 486/VLB, and 486/PCI motherboards, respectively. I didn't really follow SiS much after that, though I've heard that the SiS-based socktet 4 board is faster than the intel-based counterpart. I did find the SiS 460 (ISA 386/486) to be disappointing performance wise.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby feipoa » 2018-1-31 @ 19:08

Google also killed my Picasa account. They migrated it over to Google+, but then all the picasa links I had didn't work, and google messed up all the photo categories. I had over 200 folders going back to 2003. Google+ was such junk in comparison, I elected not to pay my $5/year for storage and let it all go.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Jupiter-18 » 2018-1-31 @ 23:04

How about RAM in these systems? Anything I should know?
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby feipoa » 2018-1-31 @ 23:23

Some boards like to have all 8 SIMM slots filled. To avoid uncertainty and frustration, best to source 8x1MB sticks and 8x4MB sticks. Some systems do not like 2-chip (without parity) and 3-chip (with parity) modules. So, again, to avoid uncertainty, best to source 8-chip (without parity) or 9-chip (with parity). Seems to me that I haven't had trouble getting the fastest DRAM settings working with 70 ns modules, with the exception of one motherboard (UMC 481/482 when using MR BIOS), which only handles the fastest settings with particular 60 ns modules. To help reduce frusturation, it might be nice to source 60 ns DRAM.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2018-2-01 @ 00:35

I always use matched 60ns 9-chip SIMMs when available.
I'm hoping to have 32MB installed in my system, but more than 16MB can be problematic in many of the boards with earlier chipsets and BIOSes. Some 386 boards can take up to 64MB of RAM, but normally they don't cache all the RAM. The only board I had that cached all 64Mb used an ETEQ chipset, but it was kind of slow.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby feipoa » 2018-2-01 @ 01:08

The only benefit I can see with 64 MB on a "386" would be if using Windows NT 4.0. Will that OS run properly on a "386" with L1 cache and 486 instructions? Perhaps on a BL3 (DLC3) or TI 486SXL2?
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2018-2-01 @ 01:19

Maybe NT 3.x would run okay. I personally wouldn't want to use anything less than a 5x86-133 on NT4.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Radical Vision » 2018-2-01 @ 09:52

That damn boards does not want to post, but i have only x6 SIMM memory sticks, so i hope it is from the need of all slots to be filled with memory..
I have other 386 board with OPTI chipset and the board want all 4 slots to have memory on them in order to post, so i guess then that is the thing here..
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby feipoa » 2018-2-01 @ 09:57

I was under the impression that all 386 boards can only use 4 or 8 modules, and nothing in between.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Radical Vision » 2018-2-01 @ 10:10

Well the damn board wont post with 4 modules, or 2 modules or 6 modules, i did just try to see if it will post but nothing...
As my other OPTI board want all slots to be filled with memory (4 on the board) and then it will post, while with 2 sticks nothing..
But i don`t have more then 6 sticks of SIMM for now, so i can`t fill all 8 slots in order to see if this is the deal like on the smaller OPTI board i hope so, as the CPU is AMD DX...
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-2-01 @ 14:59

feipoa wrote:I was under the impression that all 386 boards can only use 4 or 8 modules, and nothing in between.


Aren't there some freak boards that break that rule?
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Jupiter-18 » 2018-2-01 @ 16:15

I usually see them with either 4 or 8 slots, I don't know if I've ever seen 6. I have seen 16 once or twice though.
FPM/EDO?
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby feipoa » 2018-2-01 @ 19:06

All are FPM as far as I know. The rarity would be 50 ns SIMMs.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Jupiter-18 » 2018-2-01 @ 23:48

When did EDO come onto the scene?
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby feipoa » 2018-2-02 @ 04:21

Pretty sure EDO came on the scene with 72-pin SIMMs. There were also some EDO 168-pin DIMM's.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Jupiter-18 » 2018-2-03 @ 04:16

Ah. That would put it in the 486 era.
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Re: Best 386 Motherboard?

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2018-2-03 @ 12:23

There are a few 386 boards that take FPM (not EDO) 72-pin SIMMs. Most of them are either PS/2s or OEM machines. I've seen a few relatively standard 386s with that configuration though. I don't know that there's any advantage of going that route unless it's difficult to get 4MB density 30-pin SIMMs.
There is one very small form factory 386 board I've seen that has four 30-pin SIMM slots and a single 72-pin SIMM slot. Supposedly it can go up to 128MB of DRAM, but unfortunately it only has 128kb cache, so you can only cache 16MB in writeback mode.
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