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Smallest Socket 7 Motherboard

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First post, by King_Corduroy

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Hi guys, I was just wondering what is the smallest socket 7 or socket 5 motherboard available? I would like to make a very SFF computer and make it a Windows 95 machine but I think a regular baby AT motherboard would be too big honestly. Does anyone know if there were anything equivalent to the ITX boards we have today where the slots were just cut down to make it smaller?

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Reply 2 of 43, by GeorgeMan

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Better chance to find an old desktop board with everything integrated.
Or some el cheapo of the past 😁

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Reply 3 of 43, by ODwilly

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There are some SS7 matx boards. I have one out of an old ibm aptiva with 2 isa slots, 1 pci, onboard usb, onboard audio, and even ATI Rage Turbo graphics. Makes for a nice little integrates 9x box.

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Reply 5 of 43, by Ozzuneoj

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Dani-01 wrote:

This is the smallest I could find after a quick look. Finding one is bound to be difficult though even without taking the price into account.

Sadly you'd also need one with at least some of its cables and accessories, since it has onboard video and audio and only one PCI slot, but has no actual ports on the board itself.

I must say, one of those boards, complete, with all of the appropriate ports and such, could make for a really cool motherboard mod for some tiny old computer... I'm picturing one in something the size of a Commodore 64 or something. No cards needed, great DOS compatibility with the VGA and Audio and great CPU flexibility with a K6-2. 😀

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 6 of 43, by Dani-01

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Ozzuneoj wrote:
Dani-01 wrote:

This is the smallest I could find after a quick look. Finding one is bound to be difficult though even without taking the price into account.

Sadly you'd also need one with at least some of its cables and accessories, since it has onboard video and audio and only one PCI slot, but has no actual ports on the board itself.

I must say, one of those boards, complete, with all of the appropriate ports and such, could make for a really cool motherboard mod for some tiny old computer... I'm picturing one in something the size of a Commodore 64 or something. No cards needed, great DOS compatibility with the VGA and Audio and great CPU flexibility with a K6-2. 😀

Agreed. Not only that, but if the integrated VGA is a SiS solution as well, then DOS performance wouldn't be too good either from my experience. Still, if only size mattered alone, it'd be perfect. 🤣

From a price/performance/availability standpoint, the best option would indeed be one of those mATX boards that ODwilly mentioned a few posts back. 😀

Reply 7 of 43, by dionb

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Dani-01 wrote:
Ozzuneoj wrote:

Sadly you'd also need one with at least some of its cables and accessories, since it has onboard video and audio and only one PCI slot, but has no actual ports on the board itself.

I must say, one of those boards, complete, with all of the appropriate ports and such, could make for a really cool motherboard mod for some tiny old computer... I'm picturing one in something the size of a Commodore 64 or something. No cards needed, great DOS compatibility with the VGA and Audio and great CPU flexibility with a K6-2. 😀

Agreed. Not only that, but if the integrated VGA is a SiS solution as well, then DOS performance wouldn't be too good either from my experience. Still, if only size mattered alone, it'd be perfect. 🤣

Looking at the pic, it's a Chips&Technologies VGA chip, possibly the B65554, although that last digit looks different. C&T chips were common in laptops in those days, and compatibility was above average (see https://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS/ ), although performance less so.

Note that the system chipset is the SiS 5571. IMHO one of the most underrated So7 chipsets, beat the pants off comparable Intel chipsets in 1996, with the performance and flexibility of the i430HX for less than the price of the i430FX. But it's still a 1996 chipset, rated for 66MHz FSB and sometimes stable up to 75MHz (not alway), but no further. So not the ideal CPU flexibility.

From a price/performance/availability standpoint, the best option would indeed be one of those mATX boards that ODwilly mentioned a few posts back. 😀

Depending on your I/O requirements (do you need PCI?) an ISA SBC card might be a better choice. If you get one with VGA and LAN onboard, you only need to add a sound card, which can be done with a minimalist ISA riser (or just wiring ISA-to-ISA if you're really gung-ho and don't want the riser in your case 😜

This sort of thing:
PEAK-555V-715696374L-113209.jpg?width=400
(of course, this one does have a SiS530 chipset, so neither compatibility nor performance to write home about - but there's not that much choice in this segment, so if you want extremely small, you'll have to live with SiS or Via integrated VGA)

Reply 8 of 43, by adalbert

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Ozzuneoj wrote:

Sadly you'd also need one with at least some of its cables and accessories, since it has onboard video and audio and only one PCI slot, but has no actual ports on the board itself.

You can always buy some pin crimp connectors and make your own cables 😉

I have a small S7 mainboard, not as small as those industrial PCs, but fully featured - AGP, PCI and ISA. I made a small case for it, installed Voodoo Banshee and K6-2.

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Here are some details: Miniature SS7 K6-2 + Voodoo Banshee PC

That mainboard uses MVP3 chipset, it doesn't have any logos or brand names on it. BIOS string is MVP3-586B8661-2A5LEV31C-00. Here is user manual I managed to find: http://support.pcpartner.com/support/man/via/895400.pdf

SW-SSG wrote:

I think it'd be hard to top the PC Partner VIB878DS, as described at Red Hill.

Mine mainboard is similar, it doesn't have the same name (well, It doesn't have any names at all), but a manual is present on PC Partner's website, so it's the same manufacturer. But there are some subtle differences, like capacitor positions.

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Reply 10 of 43, by King_Corduroy

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Hmm yeah I think I'm going to go for one of those industrial ones. Has anyone directly attached a soundblaster to one to see that it would work? I'm thinking of making a very very small Win95 machine.

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Reply 12 of 43, by cyclone3d

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Moogle! wrote:

Just remember industrial boards do not support AGP, or at least I have not seen one that does.

There are some that do support AGP... good like getting a full set together though.
www.ewayco.com/26-Backplanes-PCI-ISA-PI ... S2(R).html

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Reply 13 of 43, by dionb

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cyclone3d wrote:
There are some that do support AGP... good like getting a full set together though. http://www.ewayco.com/26-Backplanes-PCI-ISA- […]
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Moogle! wrote:

Just remember industrial boards do not support AGP, or at least I have not seen one that does.

There are some that do support AGP... good like getting a full set together though.
www.ewayco.com/26-Backplanes-PCI-ISA-PI ... S2(R).html

PCIAGP-13S2(R)_500.jpg

Of course, that one's not exactly in the running for the "smallest anything board" prize 😉

Reply 14 of 43, by gdjacobs

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But it might work for the "anything board" prize. That's a lot of expansion slots.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 15 of 43, by Moogle!

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That AGP board is interesting.

As for the thread topic, I've seen a socket seven about this size. Most of the last gen boards for any socket were this size. I think the absolute most narrow I've seen was a turbo XT board.

Here's a Zida I bought. Nice board, but no option for AT bus waitstates, which messes up the OPL on some cards when playing old games that expect something like an Adlib. Ultima 6 has this problem.

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Reply 16 of 43, by King_Corduroy

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Moogle! wrote:

Just remember industrial boards do not support AGP, or at least I have not seen one that does.

I wouldn't want AGP anyhow, my nostalgia lies in Pentium 1 machines usually socket 7 that have PCI and ISA. By the time I finally got a computer with AGP or better I was already 18. 🤣

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Reply 17 of 43, by King_Corduroy

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Moogle! wrote:

That AGP board is interesting.

As for the thread topic, I've seen a socket seven about this size. Most of the last gen boards for any socket were this size. I think the absolute most narrow I've seen was a turbo XT board.

Here's a Zida I bought. Nice board, but no option for AT bus waitstates, which messes up the OPL on some cards when playing old games that expect something like an Adlib. Ultima 6 has this problem.

Wow! Nice I'd have to look around for one of these!

Check me out at Transcendental Airwaves on Youtube! Also wtf, why are whoppers so good?!

Reply 18 of 43, by Windows9566

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the Intel Advanced/ML is pretty small compared to my other socket 7 boards in my possession, my AG430HX and AN430TX boards are bigger than that one, it's the smallest ATX socket 7 board that i have.

(don't have a camera so it's not my board, just found some images of the boards i have)

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Marl
Intel-Advanced-ML-MARL-ATX-Motherboard-82430HX-Chipset-w.jpg

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intel-aa672839-307-socket-7-p1-system-board-an430tx-1.18__13255.1490258236.jpg?c=2?imbypass=on