VOGONS


First post, by Irinikus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
My IBM 486-3.jpg
Filename
My IBM 486-3.jpg
File size
1.28 MiB
Views
881 views
File license
Public domain
My IBM 486 - cover removed left-2.jpg
Filename
My IBM 486 - cover removed left-2.jpg
File size
536.76 KiB
Views
881 views
File license
Public domain

The main board has the following specs: (Disregard the CPU specs given, as I got these specs off another site)

IMG_8133.PNG
Filename
IMG_8133.PNG
File size
132.21 KiB
Views
881 views
File license
Public domain

The machine features integrated graphics with 1MB of video ram, and only has 2x 16-bit ISA and 1x 32-bit VESA expansion slots available.

So the question is: Do I disable the onboard graphics and slot a DIAMOND STEALTH 64 DRAM VLB and slot one of these ISA SCSI cards (Perceptive Solutions Easycache SCSI B1 1200 ISA Card):

Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 19.28.42.png
Filename
Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 19.28.42.png
File size
1.05 MiB
Views
866 views
File license
Public domain

Or do I slot one of these: (Adaptec AHA-2842A VL SCSI Master VLB SCSI Floppy Controller)

s-l1600-278.jpg
Filename
s-l1600-278.jpg
File size
247.9 KiB
Views
881 views
File license
Public domain

And use the onboard graphics (I can maybe look at swapping out the 1MB chip for a 2MB, which would require solder work, as the chip isn't socketed.)

In your opinion which setup would offer better all round performance as far as drive and video performance go? (This machine will remain a 486 DX4 100, even though the board can accept a Pentium Overdrive chip)

The system currently doesn't have any external cache chips fitted, so I'll have to fit some!

YouTube

Reply 1 of 35, by pan069

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Irinikus wrote on 2024-02-05, 17:18:

The system currently doesn't have any external cache chips fitted, so I'll have to fit some!

That's probably the best upgrade you can do.

I assume that the onboard video is already vlb?

What are you using for a display? Many vlb video cards from this time only had interlaced video for higher res modes which typically don't work on an lcd display.

Reply 2 of 35, by progman.exe

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

[I can't figure out quoting a picture, so I'm making a mess 😀
quote=Irinikus post_id=1232089 time=1707153516 user_id=49693]
My%20IBM%20486-3.jpg

What's the thing above the IBM badge, with the purple sliding door? It is an ancient webcam? Does that big SCSI lead go to it?

I hope you are gonna get that thing working with a modern machine, so you can have by far the worst picture on corporate camera crapware.

Reply 3 of 35, by Irinikus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
pan069 wrote on 2024-02-05, 19:22:
That's probably the best upgrade you can do. […]
Show full quote
Irinikus wrote on 2024-02-05, 17:18:

The system currently doesn't have any external cache chips fitted, so I'll have to fit some!

That's probably the best upgrade you can do.

I assume that the onboard video is already vlb?

What are you using for a display? Many vlb video cards from this time only had interlaced video for higher res modes which typically don't work on an lcd display.

The onboard graphics is VLB

I am using an LCD display and it works perfectly.

YouTube

Reply 4 of 35, by Irinikus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
progman.exe wrote on 2024-02-05, 19:50:
[I can't figure out quoting a picture, so I'm making a mess :) quote=Irinikus post_id=1232089 time=1707153516 user_id=49693] htt […]
Show full quote

[I can't figure out quoting a picture, so I'm making a mess 😀
quote=Irinikus post_id=1232089 time=1707153516 user_id=49693]
My%20IBM%20486-3.jpg

What's the thing above the IBM badge, with the purple sliding door? It is an ancient webcam? Does that big SCSI lead go to it?

I hope you are gonna get that thing working with a modern machine, so you can have by far the worst picture on corporate camera crapware.

That's an SGI O2 CAM. (It's for the SGI O2 sitting next to this system.)

YouTube

Reply 5 of 35, by Irinikus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Here's a picture of the Motherboard form one of these systems:

65g4187-gigaherz-634d81cf26030819607334.jpg
Filename
65g4187-gigaherz-634d81cf26030819607334.jpg
File size
1.72 MiB
Views
817 views
File license
Public domain

These are the various jumper settings for the board:
046lOh9.png
wmNR1nT.png
CiO5yJy.png
7cXkhqb.png
OAD9QPU.png
QBoexFT.png

YouTube

Reply 6 of 35, by pan069

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Irinikus wrote on 2024-02-05, 19:56:
pan069 wrote on 2024-02-05, 19:22:
That's probably the best upgrade you can do. […]
Show full quote
Irinikus wrote on 2024-02-05, 17:18:

The system currently doesn't have any external cache chips fitted, so I'll have to fit some!

That's probably the best upgrade you can do.

I assume that the onboard video is already vlb?

What are you using for a display? Many vlb video cards from this time only had interlaced video for higher res modes which typically don't work on an lcd display.

I am using an LCD display and it works perfectly.

Understood. In your original post you're speaking of upgrading the video ram to 2mb. This would only make sense if you're planning on using hi-res svga, to which point, check what hi-res video modes are supported by the onboard graphics because if they are interlaced video modes and you don't have a display that supports it...

Reply 7 of 35, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

The CL-GD5430 is a pretty good chip and as you say it works perfectly so you don't gain anything in upgrading video.
Currently the system has no SCSI so by adding a SCSI card you do gain something.
Will it improve all round performance? probably not compared to using CF card or similar but that's not really the point is it?
VLB, SCSI, these were all cool expensive things that we wanted but couldn't afford back in the day that we can now try out for ourselves.

Reply 8 of 35, by CoffeeOne

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Irinikus wrote on 2024-02-05, 17:18:
My IBM 486-3.jpg […]
Show full quote

My IBM 486-3.jpg

My IBM 486 - cover removed left-2.jpg

The main board has the following specs: (Disregard the CPU specs given, as I got these specs off another site)

IMG_8133.PNG

The machine features integrated graphics with 1MB of video ram, and only has 2x 16-bit ISA and 1x 32-bit VESA expansion slots available.

So the question is: Do I disable the onboard graphics and slot a DIAMOND STEALTH 64 DRAM VLB and slot one of these ISA SCSI cards (Perceptive Solutions Easycache SCSI B1 1200 ISA Card):

Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 19.28.42.png

Or do I slot one of these: (Adaptec AHA-2842A VL SCSI Master VLB SCSI Floppy Controller)

s-l1600-278.jpg

And use the onboard graphics (I can maybe look at swapping out the 1MB chip for a 2MB, which would require solder work, as the chip isn't socketed.)

In your opinion which setup would offer better all round performance as far as drive and video performance go? (This machine will remain a 486 DX4 100, even though the board can accept a Pentium Overdrive chip)

The system currently doesn't have any external cache chips fitted, so I'll have to fit some!

Cirrus 5430 is somehow rare, but still the S3 with 864 will be a lot better in my opinion. But of course you need to upgrade the video memory to 2MB to give it its 64 bit bandwidth to the memory.
So I would definitely add the S3 VLB + the ISA SCSI card. Anyway the VLB SCSI card would not bring a lot of gain (if any) against the ISA card.
Filling the cache will give a good performance boost.

EDIT: And upgrade the RAM only to the maximum cacheable area of the board. But I don't know how big it is (when you have 256kB cache). But I am sure 128MB of RAM will be too much. I guess 32MB or 64MB, could depend also on the scheme WT or WB.

MORE EDIT: Does this board have 3 volts support?
If not than you have now a DX4-overdrive in it?

Reply 9 of 35, by Disruptor

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Irinikus wrote on 2024-02-05, 20:00:

Here's a picture of the Motherboard form one of these systems:

These are the various jumper settings for the board:

Hi, the chipset documentation says it supports both L1 and L2 in write back mode.
Because write back becomes more important with higher clock multipliers, this is good when your DX4 supports write back.
(Please post the exact type of your DX4 when you have doubts - or a picture.)
The chipset should support 512k L2 cache too, but it looks like that may be supported in one-bank-configuration which is suboptimal when your desire is to have a 2-1-1-1 burst at 40 MHz.
However, if your system supports 128kx8, the jumper setting may be not documented yet.

Basically with 256 kB of L2 cache you should be aware that you may have the cacheable area at 32 MB (L2 in write back mode) or 64 MB (L2 in write through mode).

And it looks like you have a zero-VRM installed. So you probably will be locked to 5 Volt-CPUs. So a DX4 will not work, but a DX4-overdrive may succeed.

Last edited by Disruptor on 2024-02-06, 21:29. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 10 of 35, by Irinikus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Disruptor wrote on 2024-02-06, 11:46:

And it looks like you have a zero-VRM installed. So you probably will be locked to 5 Volt-CPUs. So a DX4 will not work, but a DX4-overdrive may succeed.

The system does have a VRM installed and it's currently running a DX4 100:

My IBM 486 - cover removed left-2 copy.jpg
Filename
My IBM 486 - cover removed left-2 copy.jpg
File size
742.37 KiB
Views
645 views
File license
Public domain

This is not my board, I just posted it to show the system's board layout:

65g4187-gigaherz-634d81cf26030819607334.jpg
Filename
65g4187-gigaherz-634d81cf26030819607334.jpg
File size
1.73 MiB
Views
644 views
File license
Public domain

YouTube

Reply 11 of 35, by Irinikus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
CoffeeOne wrote on 2024-02-06, 11:24:

So I would definitely add the S3 VLB + the ISA SCSI card. Anyway the VLB SCSI card would not bring a lot of gain (if any) against the ISA card.
Filling the cache will give a good performance boost.

I'm thinking the same thing!

Imagine slotting one of these little monsters in that VLB slot:

s-l1600-279.jpg
Filename
s-l1600-279.jpg
File size
269.11 KiB
Views
615 views
File license
Public domain

YouTube

Reply 12 of 35, by CoffeeOne

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Irinikus wrote on 2024-02-06, 19:43:
I'm thinking the same thing! […]
Show full quote
CoffeeOne wrote on 2024-02-06, 11:24:

So I would definitely add the S3 VLB + the ISA SCSI card. Anyway the VLB SCSI card would not bring a lot of gain (if any) against the ISA card.
Filling the cache will give a good performance boost.

I'm thinking the same thing!

Imagine slotting one of these little monsters in that VLB slot:

s-l1600-279.jpg

Yeah, S3 964 VRAM is even cooler. Dos performance should be similar to S3 864, but in Windows the 964 will win.
But this 964 you do not need to upgrade, because it has already 2MB, 4MB is propably not worth it, because the RAMDAC is only 135MHz.
I mean 135MHz is good for a VLB card, but not for a 4MB card 😀

EDIT: you have only 1vlb slot and 2 ISA? If you add a nice vlb graphics card and 1 ISA slot you need for the sound card, there is only one slot free 🙁
So maybe don't go the SCSI way here? Just mentioning, I like to have a NIC card always in my 486 machines. Not because, I want to access the internet, but I want to be able to transfer files via FTP, that is very convenient.
Just a remark.

Reply 13 of 35, by Irinikus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
190202153812_Perceptive 1200-2.jpg
Filename
190202153812_Perceptive 1200-2.jpg
File size
97.29 KiB
Views
549 views
File license
Public domain

Here's some documentation for this ISA SCSI card :

UJBICa9.png
jD6YSy2.png
GBF6WOZ.png
xpsB8QD.png

The seller said that he's unable to get a get an operating system on a 50-pin 10K RPM SCSI drive to boot o this card? (I don't think that he has this documentation though, so according to the documentation should it be possible to boot the system off this card?)

He said that it has a throughput of 5MB per second (This is without any cache RAM slotted)

Last edited by Irinikus on 2024-02-07, 19:28. Edited 1 time in total.

YouTube

Reply 14 of 35, by Intel486dx33

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

For best performance I would leave it alone. Its only running a 486dx4-100
16mb of Memory is Good enough.
64kb of motherboard Cache is good enough
Cirrus logic 5430 is a very good video chip for a 486
Sound blaster 16 is good enough
My IBM PS/1 computers came with Sound blaster CT 2950

For better performance do this:
Upgrade the CPU to Intel Pentium Overdrive is the Best upgrade for this computer
Maybe upgrade hard drive to CF card or SSD

Anything else will not gain you much performance if any as it’s a 486 computer.

This was a budget computer probably released around 1994 designed for low budget Win95
It’s a Very Good Win-3x computer.

Maybe add a 3com 3c509b network card and US Robotics modem.
IBM Hard drives are Very good reliable.

Reply 15 of 35, by CoffeeOne

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Irinikus wrote on 2024-02-07, 18:40:
190202153812_Perceptive 1200-2.jpg […]
Show full quote

190202153812_Perceptive 1200-2.jpg

Here's some documentation for this ISA SCSI card :

UJBICa9.png
jD6YSy2.png
GBF6WOZ.png
xpsB8QD.png

The seller said that he's unable to get a get an operating system on a 50-pin 10K RPM SCSI drive to boot o this card? (I don't think that he has this documentation though, so according to the documentation should it be possible to boot the system off this card?)

He said that it has a throughput of 5MB per second (This is without any cache RAM slotted)

I found this:
https://jeffpar.github.io/kbarchive/kb/142/Q142256/
I assume you want to use (beside DOS) Windows 9x.
I would say this controller is out then (?)

Reply 16 of 35, by Irinikus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
CoffeeOne wrote on 2024-02-07, 19:32:
I found this: https://jeffpar.github.io/kbarchive/kb/142/Q142256/ I assume you want to use (beside DOS) Windows 9x. I would say […]
Show full quote

I found this:
https://jeffpar.github.io/kbarchive/kb/142/Q142256/
I assume you want to use (beside DOS) Windows 9x.
I would say this controller is out then (?)

Thanks very much for the info! 😀

YouTube

Reply 17 of 35, by Irinikus

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Intel486dx33 wrote on 2024-02-07, 19:26:
For best performance I would leave it alone. Its only running a 486dx4-100 16mb of Memory is Good enough. 64kb of motherboard Ca […]
Show full quote

For best performance I would leave it alone. Its only running a 486dx4-100
16mb of Memory is Good enough.
64kb of motherboard Cache is good enough
Cirrus logic 5430 is a very good video chip for a 486
Sound blaster 16 is good enough
My IBM PS/1 computers came with Sound blaster CT 2950

For better performance do this:
Upgrade the CPU to Intel Pentium Overdrive is the Best upgrade for this computer
Maybe upgrade hard drive to CF card or SSD

Anything else will not gain you much performance if any as it’s a 486 computer.

This was a budget computer probably released around 1994 designed for low budget Win95
It’s a Very Good Win-3x computer.

Maybe add a 3com 3c509b network card and US Robotics modem.
IBM Hard drives are Very good reliable.

Thanks for the advice I’ll consider a Pentium overdrive then, but I’d still like to take a look at the Diamond Stealth 64 VLB though.

YouTube

Reply 19 of 35, by TheMobRules

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
CoffeeOne wrote on 2024-02-07, 20:08:

I am curious: For what purpose you would add the US Robotics modem?

Just look at that user's post history and you will quickly realize that there isn't any "purpose" to those suggestions. It's almost AI/chatbot level stuff.