VOGONS


First post, by Robhalfordfan

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Hello All

I have finally finished with this build as I started it back in 2020 (First Lockdown) and been tinkering, trying different parts, different configurations etc and after a long while of doing it on and off, I am happy enough with it and think it best it can be with hardware and era that I am aiming for 😀

Motherboard - Abit AB-PB4 Rev 1.3
PSU - 200w
Processor - Intel DX4 100 (SK051)
Ram - 32mb (EDO)
Graphic card - Diamond Muitmedia Stealth64 DRAM (2mb)
Sound Card - SoundBlaster 16 CT2830
Network - Intel Pro/100+ PCI
SCSI - Adaptec AHA-1520B

Drives
- 5.25 Floppy (360k - 1.2mb)
- 3.5 Floppy (720kb - 1.44mb)
- Seagate Medalist ST3660A - 545mb
- CF Card Adapter - 4gb
- Nakamichi MJ-5.16 5-disk CD-ROM (SCSI)

I/O Ports
- 2x DB-9 M Serial
- 1x DB-25 F Parallel
- 1x AT Keyboard Port
- 50 Pin External SCSI Connector
- Gameport/MIDI Port (On Soundblaster Card)
- 1x Ethernet Port (On Intel Netwrok Card)

Extras
- PS/2 Keyboard (AT to PS/2 Adapter)
- Serial Mouse
- Gravis Gamepad

Operating Systems
-MS DOS 6.22
-Windows For Workgroups 3.11

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Last edited by Robhalfordfan on 2022-05-09, 21:20. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 13, by chinny22

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Pretty standard build. Not in a bad way but in a good list of common parts that are known to do the job and do the job well.
I am Jealous of the case with the Mhz display though!

SCSI is bit different though, plus the CF AND spinning rust IDE.
What/why you got on all 3?

Reply 3 of 13, by Robhalfordfan

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chinny22 wrote on 2022-05-09, 15:54:
Pretty standard build. Not in a bad way but in a good list of common parts that are known to do the job and do the job well. I […]
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Pretty standard build. Not in a bad way but in a good list of common parts that are known to do the job and do the job well.
I am Jealous of the case with the Mhz display though!

SCSI is bit different though, plus the CF AND spinning rust IDE.
What/why you got on all 3?

thank you, i am aware how standard it is and common the parts are but it works well and it not too overkill

the case i got from a friend where it was his old pc and he was gonna throw it out and i grabbed off him but had to the original mobo as it has a barrel battery and it leaked.

scsi is use for the 5-cd changer cd rom drive as its one where is faster (16x) than original 2x speed cd-rom and also where other ide drives (4x - 8x) didn't really work well and thought scsi would open up something different for future ideas

the spinning ide drive came with pc case and still works well and also like the sounds when it reading and writing - more of a nostalgia sense and if it works no issues, why get rid of it till it does die

the cf card for games/ storage and easy transfer from modern pc to this pc etc etc

Reply 4 of 13, by Robhalfordfan

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Disruptor wrote on 2022-05-09, 16:10:

Well, I'd go for a PCI SCSI controller.
Since the Adaptec 1520 is a PIO adapter it doesn't even support DMA transfers.

i thought the same as but i found out that there no different between PCI SCSI and ISA SCSI and don't think this mobo supports dma transfers

Reply 6 of 13, by Robhalfordfan

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Disruptor wrote on 2022-05-09, 21:26:

Which PCI SCSI controller did you try?

i try two different scsi pci cards - adaptec aha-2920c and lsi logic symbios sym21002 - didn't see any different on the 486 which speeds

Reply 7 of 13, by Disruptor

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I recommend to use the 2920. Your NCR / Symbios / LSI is too good for that system.
You may see a difference in multitasking operating systems with proper driver support (WfW, Win95, WinNT) when accessing SCSI devices, because it heavily reduces CPU utilization during access to SCSI devices.
You may not notice a difference in DOS because your CD changer is rather a slow device.

Reply 8 of 13, by Robhalfordfan

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Disruptor wrote on 2022-05-10, 05:30:

I recommend to use the 2920. Your NCR / Symbios / LSI is too good for that system.
You may see a difference in multitasking operating systems with proper driver support (WfW, Win95, WinNT) when accessing SCSI devices, because it heavily reduces CPU utilization during access to SCSI devices.
You may not notice a difference in DOS because your CD changer is rather a slow device.

thank you and is there any benchmark software for wfw 3.11 so i can see a different in my previous test and messing around, i'll honestly noticed no real different between the adaptec cards on pci or isa and how do set the dma on the card itself as it appear to use dma (neither cards)

Reply 9 of 13, by Robhalfordfan

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Robhalfordfan wrote on 2022-05-10, 17:05:
Disruptor wrote on 2022-05-10, 05:30:

I recommend to use the 2920. Your NCR / Symbios / LSI is too good for that system.
You may see a difference in multitasking operating systems with proper driver support (WfW, Win95, WinNT) when accessing SCSI devices, because it heavily reduces CPU utilization during access to SCSI devices.
You may not notice a difference in DOS because your CD changer is rather a slow device.

thank you, i will give it a try and is there any benchmark software for wfw 3.11 so i can see a different in my previous test and messing around, i'll honestly noticed no real different between the adaptec cards on pci or isa

Reply 10 of 13, by Disruptor

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It uses PCI busmaster DMA. It does not use classic ISA DMA channels. So you don't need to setup a DMA channel.
Well, bus transfers from the controller to the RAM and vice versa are faster. And when it is done by DMA, the CPU can do other things in the same time.

You probably won't notice any difference in single tasking operating systems like DOS because the CDROM driver does nothing than wait for the DMA transfer to be finished.
But in multitasking systems side actions like network transfers at the same time or file copying will be faster.

Reply 11 of 13, by Robhalfordfan

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Disruptor wrote on 2022-05-10, 19:52:
It uses PCI busmaster DMA. It does not use classic ISA DMA channels. So you don't need to setup a DMA channel. Well, bus transfe […]
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It uses PCI busmaster DMA. It does not use classic ISA DMA channels. So you don't need to setup a DMA channel.
Well, bus transfers from the controller to the RAM and vice versa are faster. And when it is done by DMA, the CPU can do other things in the same time.

You probably won't notice any difference in single tasking operating systems like DOS because the CDROM driver does nothing than wait for the DMA transfer to be finished.
But in multitasking systems side actions like network transfers at the same time or file copying will be faster.

ok, so if look a system info software it wont appear in dma/irq number and what is using it

will be a different with playing games loading and reading in win311

Reply 12 of 13, by Disruptor

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Well, PCI cards will use an IRQ channel too.

No, that aren't tasks where you will face great differences.
Your CD changer has 16x speed, that is 2400 kB/s max. I expect your ISA controller may have a limit between 2000 kB/s and 3000 kB/s. - but the CPU usage will be at 100 % during this time. The PCI controller won't have a problem with 10000 kB/s.

Reply 13 of 13, by Robhalfordfan

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ok so basically in windows there will be slight increase in performance and no different in dos and i did try a full install of Ace Ventura pc (240mb ish) and i've noticed slight faster in with installing as before with isa card it took about 5-10 mins and with pci card it took about 4-5 mins, guess that an example of the different