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German theme 486 computer.

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First post, by Intel486dx33

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I am going to attempt to build a German theme 486 computer with as many German components as I can find. No reason why, just to see what I end up with. But I like German engineering too.

Can you HELP with recommendations ?

Current list of components:
Motherboard - Contaq chipset motherboard
Memory - SIEMENS
Cache - ????
CPU - 486dx-33 ( Intel ) or Maybe AMD ???
Video card - VLB ????
Controller - VLB ?????
1st Sound Card - Terratec Base-1
2nd Sound card - Crystal chipset ?????
Case - ?????

Motherboards:
Atrend 4GPV3 486 VESA Motherboard
http://www.elhvb.com/webhq/models/486vlb2/4gpv3.html
( A.K.A. - VLB Galaxy 486V1 )
( A.K.A - MB-486-CONTAQ 012093 U4L2-0 )
( A.K.A. - Mecer B860 )
- BIOS ID string X0-0100-001117-00101111-060692-CTQ596-F
- 8-30 pin SIMM slots (1-128meg FPM DRAM)
- 2-32bit VESA Local Bus slots
- 8-16bit ISA slots
- 64-256k cache support in 8-28pin sockets + 1 TAG RAM sockets
- AMI/Award/MR Bios
- CONTAQ (German) 82C596 A Chipset
- Supports the following cpu's at 25/33/40/50/66MHz
INTEL 80486SX/80486DX/80486DX2, P24C, P24T
CYRIX CX486M6, CX486M7
AMD AM486DX/DX2
- Green PC Connector
- Manufactured by: Atrend Technology Co. Ltd. or VisionEx + CTL corp. USA 1993
Actually, This motherboard was branded by several USA companies including: Atrend, Mecer, and VisionEx.

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Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2021-05-01, 15:45. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 50, by Doornkaat

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The Terratec Maestro 32/96 would be a better sound card imho. The Base-1 really isn't good.
Highscreen cases would be really iconic to German 90s PCs. Especially if you can find one of the cases Luigi Colani (rest in peace) designed.
Targa or Peacock are also popular German PC brands of the 90s that have labelled cases
ELSA was a well known German brand for various cards, they made some pretty decent VLB graphics cards as well.
TI had at least IC fabrication in Germany in the 90s but I don't know wether they made any 486 chips there.

Reply 6 of 50, by Jo22

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You can also throw in parts from Robotron/VEB, if the theme includes former East Germany, too! 😁

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombinat_Robotron

https://www.robotrontechnik.de/index.htm?/htm … puter/a7150.htm
https://www.robotrontechnik.de/index.htm?/htm … uter/ec1834.htm

Seriously, though, their 16-Bit PCs didn't use ISA - Normally, the default bus system was MMS16, I believe.
https://www.robotrontechnik.de/html/standards/mms16.htm

Except for the export models of the ES1834, maybe, which used DIN 4162-96pin connectors (EBS-GO 4007).
The ES1834 bus was electrically like ISA, but had a mechanically different interface.

Anyway, at the core, the GDR version of DOS, the Disc Control Program (DCP), did run on any IBM PC compatible..
So if DOS v3.3 is good enough, you can still run that on your 486 PC. The language is very German, too! 😉

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 7 of 50, by Caluser2000

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What a wonderful thread which is totally able to be achieved by our resident 1990s Silicone Valley computer technician.

I'm sure it will be as successful as the "Made in USA PC" thread.

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 8 of 50, by PC-Engineer

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Graphics Card: Elsa / Spea / Miro
Sound Card: Terratec / Miro / Spea
RAM: Siemens
Housing: Escom / Vobis (Highscreen) / Peacock / Nixdorf
CPU: no german CPU, but would take AMD because their Fab in Dresden in late 199x
Board: i only know Nixdorf and Siemens for 486, but they had no standard AT boards, later would fit the brand Fujitsu
HDD and floppy: Don‘t know any made or developed in germany

In best case for 486 you take a complete Nixdorf PC, if you want to have the feeling of german engineering.

Last edited by PC-Engineer on 2021-05-02, 08:38. Edited 1 time in total.

1994/1995 - Socket3 - ASUS SV2GX4 / POD 100MHz / 64MB / SCSI - Windows 95

Reply 11 of 50, by Intel486dx33

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PC-Engineer wrote on 2021-05-02, 06:59:
Graphics Card: Elsa / Spea / Miro Sound Card: Terratec / Miro / Spea RAM: Siemens Housing: Escom / Vobis (Highscreen) / Peacock […]
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Graphics Card: Elsa / Spea / Miro
Sound Card: Terratec / Miro / Spea
RAM: Siemens
Housing: Escom / Vobis (Highscreen) / Peacock / Nixdorf
CPU: no german CPU, but would take AMD because their Fab in Dresden in late 199x
Board: i only know Nixdorf and Siemens for 486, but they had no standard AT boards, later would fit the brand Fujitsu
HDD and floppy: Don‘t know any made or developed in germany

In best case for 486 you take a complete Nixdorf PC, if you want to have the feeling of german engineering.

I think I am going to stick with components sold for computer builders.
I am not going to use German computer company refurbished components.

I will see what I can gather up.
But I may just use cards with the same chipsets as the German cards because its hard to find these
Components in USA and its expensive. What I really want is good gamer with German audio cards , Video cards and chipsets used.

Reply 12 of 50, by vad4r

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Spea was a german company but was overtake from V7 1993, so this is actually a US card:

SPEA V7-Mirage VL a.jpg
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SPEA V7-Mirage VL b.jpg
Filename
SPEA V7-Mirage VL b.jpg
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vae victis!

Reply 13 of 50, by Intel486dx33

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vad4r wrote on 2021-05-02, 12:04:

Spea was a german company but was overtake from V7 1993, so this is actually a US card:
SPEA V7-Mirage VL a.jpgSPEA V7-Mirage VL b.jpg

Yes, I remember seeing some of these components being sold in computer stores in Silicon Valley.

Reply 14 of 50, by imi

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miro has the more bautiful cards anyways ^^, their harsh contrast two-tone PCBs are gorgeous

if you want a german 486 board siemens is probably the only way to go.

for ram you could go Topless 😉

Reply 15 of 50, by Jo22

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imi wrote on 2021-05-02, 12:33:

if you want a german 486 board siemens is probably the only way to go.

Yes, Siemens produced some x86 chips..
My 286 PC had a Siemens 80286-12 CPU, for example.
And a Schneider BIOS, too. It was a Phoenix derivative.
- In the 1980s, there was Schneider Rundfunkwerke AG, which developed/produced computers at some point.
Well, maybe they made no chips themselves, but proprietary PCBs, PALs/GALs, PC cases and interfaces (like that floppy interface).

Not sure if they made ISA expansion cards, though.

imi wrote on 2021-05-02, 12:33:

[..] for ram you could go Topless 😉

RAM. Huge. Topless.
🤤

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 16 of 50, by matze79

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Topless is often bad ram, i would not purchase it.

The Plastic Blob slowly get loose from PCB so you can even see if it got Bad if there is a brighter Spot on Backside.

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 18 of 50, by Thandor

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2021-05-01, 15:28:

What about CPU ?
Should I use Intel or AMD ?

I'd say AMD despite that the 486 CPU's were made in Austin, Texas. Since '98 AMD is also located in Dresden so that makes a nice connection to a German themed PC.

thandor.net - hardware
And the rest of us would be carousing the aisles, stuffing baloney.

Reply 19 of 50, by Jo22

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There also was a German company named Triumph-Adler AG, which made bureau (office) equipment.
You likely remember it for their "Alphatronic PC".
The company also made IBM compatibles, however.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//