First post, by havli
I have a new project here, this one was rather quick - only took about two months to build. The goal here was to build as small as possible DOS PC with good overal compatibility. So I started looking for some VIA based ITX boards in order to have chipset compatible with ESS Solo. Initially I planned to use Pico PSU... but later I found this nice Epia board that is powered directly by 12V power brick. Also I like the chipset heatsink design, that allows me to use right angle PCI extender and connect the ESS Solo and still keep the machine very flat.
Here are the specifications:
- VIA C3 1.0A GHz (533 - 1666 MHz)
- VIA Epia-TC 10000 (CLE266 + VT8235)
- 512 MB DDR
- S3 Unichrome IGP
- ESS Solo-1 + DreamBlaster S2 (will be replaced by X2GS later)
- Kingston 30 GB SSD
- Windows 98 SE + DOS 7.1
The CPU is Nemeniah-based. So quite good performance (similar to PIII at half clock), not very hot and power hungry and also unlocked multiplier. The lowest possible clock is 533 MHz (4x 133) which will be perfect for for most games. And it is possible to slow it down even more if needed. As it turned out, this CPU also overclocks very well. Even 1666 MHz (12.5x 133) is perfectly stable. Probably this is overkill, but might prove useful for some win98 games.
The integrated GPU is S3 based, so it should provide good compatibility with DOS games and also good performance for 2D Windows games. The 3D acceleration is there... but probably not very useful (I will build different PC for 3D anyway).
The sound card was very easy pick - for PCI bus it is hard to find something better than ESS Solo, especially when paired with VT8235 couthbridge. This particular piece is a cut-down model. Every non-essential component was missing. 😁 But I don't really need amplifier and such. The wavetable header was also missing - that bothered me a lot on the other hand. Fortunately soldering the 26-pin header was very easy. So now I can have good midi, yay 😀
And photos of the key components. In case you are wondering where the RAM slot is located on the MB - it is on the back side 😀
HW museum.cz - my collection of PC hardware