First post, by leonardo
As the result of a recent salvage, I'm left with the question in the topic for a few computers that were headed to the dumpster.
In today's post I'm dealing mostly with a philosophical dilemma, as the computer is - in a way - perfect as it is:
- BTC 200W AT power supply
- MSI MS-4132G motherboard
- Intel 80486DX 33 MHz CPU
- ~4 MB of RAM
- multi-I/O-board with serial- and parallel-ports + IDE and floppy interface
- Trident TVGA8900D-R 1MB ISA video card
- 1.44 MB 3.5" floppy disk drive
- ~520 MB 3.5" IDE hard disk
- 16x IDE CD-ROM-drive
When the computer came to me it had been stripped of all storage devices, but I was lucky enough to have come into those without having to invest. The CD-ROM drive is perhaps newer than what one might expect, but it passes as it's not too over-the-top. The case is also fairly tidy so I only ended up having to fix the front-case LED (which incorrectly reported the CPU speed as 25 MHz / 50 MHz when toggled):
I also removed the barrel battery from the motherboard, as everyone knows should be done:
For the time being, booting up the system requires entering the date and time settings, as well as the hard disk parameters if unplugged from the wall outlet.
It's a nice clean early 486-system, but now I'm tempted to fix it up some more... Obvious possible upgrades include the following:
- A faster 80486DX2 or AMD clone, 50 or 66 MHz perhaps - I'm not clear exactly if the motherboard will support going over 50 MHz
- Increase RAM to 8 or 16 megabytes (I don't see much point going above this, even if supported).
- A sound card of some sort!
- An external CMOS-battery enclosure to keep the settings stored
- Ethernet adapter for easier file transfers or playing local area network games
I'm contemplating if I should do specific upgrades or go all out... or leave it as it is.
I'm concerned that if I go too far with the upgrades, the system will start to look more like an inferior version of what I've already got, rather than the timepiece it is now. Some upgrades clearly only make sense with others... for example I could do the sound card thing without other upgrades, but upgrading the CPU would just beg the memory and sound card upgrades as well...
I'm also not the kind of person to spend a hundred $ just to end up with a system that won't sell for the money I put in if I decide to let it go...
What would you do - or not do?