First post, by appiah4
I got into this hobby two years ago (feels a lot longer than that..) and I have basically finished building all the systems I set out to - except my 486. Now that everything else has been built, installed and configured, it is now time to get to work on the unicorn. A bit of a back story here:
The 486 is the first IBM compatible PC I owned as my own computer. Back in 1989 we did own an 8086 as the home PC but within a year I got my parents to buy me an Amiga 500 so it was never something I really tinkered too much with aside from playing a few classic games like Prince of Persia, Leisure Suit Larry and Blockout.
So the 486 I got my parents to buy, in a last minute change of heart from getting them to buy an Amiga 1200, is my hardcore PC initiation platform. Between 1992 and 1997 I had two 486 systems, the first was a i486DX33/4MB/CL-GD5424VLB/SBPro in late 1993 (I can’t imagine how much it would have cost at the time, my dad must truly love me) and the second was an upgrade from this to an i486DX4-100/8MB/CL-GD5424VLB/SB16/CD-ROM in late 1995. These PCs are to this day my fondest memories of messing around with computers.
Anyway, now that I have the 1993+ period covered with my other builds (see sig) I was about to start building a 486 for 1990-1992 (again see sig) but then I decided – hold on, when I planned this I only had two 486 CPUs and one 486 motherboard; now I have a lot more, so why not make this more fun?
So I decided to get back to Vogons, and make this something we build together. I present to you the options, and you make your picks and give your reasons for those picks, we discuss it, and then go with what I ultimately decide on (sorry, someone has to decide, no?). I thought we could start out by deciding on a CPU. We can then move on to things like motherboard, RAM, graphics, sound, storage and software in that order.
Anyway, the i486DX33 is nostalgic to me, but I realize the SX33 is more of a classic budget choice.. I never heard of UMC until I set foot on Vogons but it is a compelling SX CPU as well. Conventional wisdom where I grew up was that your Cyrix 486 was doomed to burn down your house eventually. I never ever dabbled in DX2s, so that also has its charm, and a DX4 is probably great for WfW3.11 and Networking stuff but I feel it kind of steps on the Pentium 133 build’s toes a bit. The goal, as I previously stated, is to cover rather early PC games for a 486 from 1990-1992 so I doubt it has to be a powerhouse; actually playing Ultima 7 and 8 without going all wonky would be a plus for me.
Here is what I have (I also have an Am486DX4-100 with 8KB WB Cache on the way - I will add a photo of it when I get it):
So let's pick one 😎
Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.