First post, by jheronimus
As some of you may know, I've been particularly unlucky with my 5x86/VLB build. It's been a PITA to get it working and once I've got it semi-working, any additional change to the hardware resulted in yet another problem. I wanted that build to get a high-end "pure DOS" machine. Something a bit more "authentic" for early 90s games than my main Pentium Pro/Voodoo build. Also I wanted to play around with sound using the newly acquired Dreamblaster X2, Yamaha SW60XG and a MIDI2USB cable (for using Munt). However, for the last month I've been mostly playing with motherboard jumpers and IRQ, not sound.
And then it occured to me. What could be even more "high-end" in pre-Win95 era than any 486? Why, Pentium, of course! And I have just the thing:
This is Intel's Batman's Revenge. Socket 4 motherboard for the original Pentium. In my case — a Pentium 60. It comes with 430LX chipset, 256KB L2 cache, 3 PCI slots, 5 ISA slots and 4 EDO RAM slots (up to 128MB cacheable). Unfortunately, the passive heatsink is not removable, so I can't show the CPU. I got this motherboard as a gift more than a half year ago but never actually bothered to test it, since I had a bunch of Socket 7 motherboards with PMMX. To my surprise, not only does it work, but the ODIN battery is actually perfectly intact. It has AMIBIOS, but not the fun, "Windows-like" kind.
The layout of the motherboard is unlike anything I've seen on a Pentium motherboard. I like the location of the AT power connector and the arrangement of the RAM slots, though overall the Batman's Revenge is a bit of a tight fit for my case.
This motherboard does have its quirks. It doesn't have PS/2 pins but it also has a non-standard pinout for the COM ports (and I'd like to use a mouse). To make my life easier I decided to simply use a multi I/O:
It's an Iwill SIDE-2610 aka "LIGHTNING SPEED ISA I/O CONTROLLER". Can't beat that, can you?
Next up, a videocard. A Matrox Millenium:
Probably not the best card for this build, but I wanted to test it anyway. Might switch it for the S3 Trio/Virge or Cirrus Logic 5430 or 5446 later on.
Creative SoundBlaster 16 CT2700. It has DSP 4.11, so probably not the best companion for the DreamBlaster X2. However, none of my OPL3-enabled SoundBlasters are bug-free, so I wanted to start with this one and then probably switch to a Vibra or a Yamaha Audician.
Then, a Yamaha SW60XG:
I don't really need a CD drive in this build, so I'm using this 4x Creative just for looks (it has a peculiar loading mechanism):
It works, but it can't read any of my CD-R/CD-RW (as is expected).
To top all that off, I added 64 MB of EDO RAM in four sticks, a 1.6 GB Samsung HDD (has the nicest sound of all my HDDs) and a 3COM PCI NIC.
Most of my VLB stuff was made around 1994, so it came out almost at the same time as this Intel motherboard. And I must say that after all this experience I began to appreciate Pentium and PCI a lot more. Compared to a Socket 3, everything... just works. (I still want to revisit that build once I get a better motherboard)