VOGONS


Reply 21 of 43, by rmay635703

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darry wrote on 2020-09-03, 05:37:

I wonder if PC Chips ever made video cards or other types of expansion cards . It would have made sense, IMHO .

Yes they did

My guess is many a generic Hi-xxxxx branded ISA multi-io was made in their fabs alongside better known SIS video cards that came from them as well

Also amptron and Elite group were resellers of in some cases unique revisions of their boards

Reply 22 of 43, by jesolo

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Back in the day, my first Pentium PC was a 166 MMX paired with a PC Chips M558 (which had the VX Pro II aka Utron UT801x chipset). I wasn't impressed with the performance of that motherboard, even after I upgraded to a Pentium 233 MMX.
My brother bought a 200 MMX which he paired with a PC Chips M537DMA33 motherboard (which had the VX Pro+ aka VIA Apollo VPX (VT82C580VPX) chipset). That motherboard with its Pentium 200 MMX ran faster than my P233 MMX.

Despite the lackluster performance of the former, neither of the two motherboards gave us any issues. Over the years, I have managed to acquire two PC Chips M537DMA33 motherboards and my plan is to build up a Pentium 233MMX system soon with one of them.

Reply 23 of 43, by SPBHM

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I have a m538 and and a couple of m598LMRs, they all still fully work, and these were always paired with the cheapest possible PSUs
in terms of durability I think they were fine, it's just that... they never had the fastest or bug free experience, well that's more for the 598s, the 538 seems pretty solid and fast for what it is.

perhaps their motherboards from the 2000s were also less durable, the m925 that I have works but the audio, 1 usb and 1 ram slot seem to have issues, also it makes annoying noises under high load since when I got it (2007 or so), but it works, I also have an AG31 which I think works ok it gave me headaches at some point, but I tested it recently and had no issues.

but I don't think they ever targeted the highest quality standards, they were the cheap brand.

actually a 486dx2 that I have also is running with a PCchips I think and it works fine apart from the clock battery.

Reply 24 of 43, by RichB93

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DoutorHouse wrote on 2020-09-02, 12:25:
darry wrote on 2020-09-02, 04:15:
DoutorHouse wrote on 2020-09-02, 03:10:

Just got one of those M550 motherboards and i can't seem to connect anything to the usb ports. After digging around the internet, i found this:

http://th2chips.freeservers.com/m550/index.html#usb

Was wondering if you still have that board and can confirm any problems connecting anything to the usb ports... Thanks!

Unfortunately, the board is long gone and I never tried its USB ports .

Thanks for the quick reply! Yeah, i'm starting to think that's the reason this pc came with a pci usb adapter... Apparently the onboard usb hub is recognized but doesn't seem to work... Oh well...

I've got a 5.6 revision M550 and have the same issue as you - power to the USB device but that's about it - not picking up any devices in Windows. I've noticed a row of caps and resistors above the USB header; maybe there could be incorrect values here?

I was a bit annoyed at first but in all honesty, with 64MB being the optimal amount of RAM for these boards, Windows 95 is ideal, and there isn't much you can do with USB on 95 anyway. I can't think of anything I'd want to connect that's USB.

Reply 26 of 43, by LewisRaz

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I have a PC chips m507. it has fake cache on it but I have a coast module for it.

Besides the floppy controller no longer working it is fine and very stable..

My retro pc youtube channel

Reply 27 of 43, by DoutorHouse

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RichB93 wrote on 2020-09-23, 19:21:
DoutorHouse wrote on 2020-09-02, 12:25:
darry wrote on 2020-09-02, 04:15:

Unfortunately, the board is long gone and I never tried its USB ports .

Thanks for the quick reply! Yeah, i'm starting to think that's the reason this pc came with a pci usb adapter... Apparently the onboard usb hub is recognized but doesn't seem to work... Oh well...

I've got a 5.6 revision M550 and have the same issue as you - power to the USB device but that's about it - not picking up any devices in Windows. I've noticed a row of caps and resistors above the USB header; maybe there could be incorrect values here?

I was a bit annoyed at first but in all honesty, with 64MB being the optimal amount of RAM for these boards, Windows 95 is ideal, and there isn't much you can do with USB on 95 anyway. I can't think of anything I'd want to connect that's USB.

Thanks for your information! Yeah, i installed Windows 98SE on my build and everything works great... I have 96megs of ram and an ATI All-In-Wonder 128 PCI card and most games work fine (this card is opengl 1.2 compatible so it can actually play Escape From Monkey Island on OpenGl, which my Voodoo3 can't do so good). USB is still not working but now i'm starting to think maybe there is no irq left for the controller to use, or maybe it would work if i had installed win95 instead... I think i also tried another usb cable (one i had used on another motherboard, an Asus PI-P55T2P4 and worked on its USB header) but none of my pendrives work. On the Asus they work just fine... I think that if usb works fine on my Asus motherboard from around the same time, it should work on the PCChips too...
Like you said, maybe it has to do with the caps and resistors but that's beyond my skills and knowledge...

Reply 28 of 43, by PD2JK

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DoutorHouse wrote on 2020-09-02, 23:37:
PD2JK wrote on 2020-09-02, 20:53:

My Highscreen Pentium 200 MMX has a PC Chips board I think. Going stable at 233MHz after years.
Just my 2 cents.

My PC Chips M550 motherboard has been working since 1998 or so... Never had an issue. First and only problem I had started some days ago, when i decided to finally try the onboard USB connector on Windows 98SE and it didn't detect any devices...

Double checked what motherboard I have, it's a PCPartner with on-board SB Vibra 16. Oh well, rock stable anyway. 😀

Highscreen AT: Pentium 60@66 MHz
Highscreen ATX: Athlon Classic 1 GHz

Reply 29 of 43, by thepirategamerboy12

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I have a Pentium 166MMX machine with a M537DMA33 PC Chips motherboard in it. I've had it for over a year and after patching the BIOS I haven't had a single major issue with it except that for some reason it won't boot unless the optical drive and hard drive are on the same IDE channel. It seems to perform just fine, and I also ran a CPU-Z benchmark on it where it compares almost exactly the same to the P166MMX reference it comes with.

Reply 30 of 43, by NScaleTransitModels

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Interesting to see people have had luck w/ both newer and older PCChips boards...
My rule of thumb is: Pentium and above = good; 486 and below (especially if SARC/PCChips' own chipset) = avoid like the plague!
I've owned 4 PCChips mobos, so here we go:

  1. M575, S7, TXPro chipset which is rebranded SIS5591. Rock solid, as long as you DON'T use the 83mhz setting. Ran Windows 98-XP without issues, and the lower voltage settings are really nice. Also taking higher-capacity DIMMs and having 1mb L2 cache makes it one of the top-notch non-SS7 S7 boards IMO. Currently running a K6-2 500 @ 450 mhz
  2. M537, S7, VXPro chipset. Also rock solid, but again don't use 83mhz FSB. I got it by accident and thought it was nothing special, so I mostly used it as a test bench. It's been through a slew of cases, powered by all kinds of CPU's, SIMMs/DIMMs... it's just always worked and never threw a fit when installing Windows. Performance also seems good; it's currently running a P-MMX 233 @ 262 mhz and feels as fast as my PII 233.
  3. M601, 486/VLB, Toshiba chipset which is probably a SARC/PCChips with a sticker on top. (I've seen plenty of M326's, SARC chipsets but some have Toshiba labels) It was one of "those" motherboards, even at only 33 mhz. Everything worked fine in DOS, and the first portion of Win95/98 setup, but would freeze as soon as it hit the boot splash. Finally got the install to finish when I went back to ISA-everything, then it hard-locked randomly at the desktop. I checked the timings and BIOS settings I may have missed, and also tried different clock dividers, but nope... into the trees outside my window 486-through-LGA775-boards-that-POST-but-randomly-freeze pile 🤣 Swapped back a FX-3000 (ISA-only) board, using the same cards, CPU, SIMMs etc: ran like a dream.
  4. M326, late 386, SARC/PCChips chipset. Was fine when it worked, and I liked the unique BIOS setup. But it was picky on SIMMs and hated Cirrus Logic cards. Not sure if it slowly killed my Winbond multi I/O controller (I've had problems w/ Winbond controllers on other systems, but this controller seemed fine), but after using it for a while in this board it'd only run at 40/6 divider, then not at all. Not long after swapping a different controller, the M326 suddenly died.

Reply 32 of 43, by megatron-uk

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A lot of earlier PC-Chips stuff (286/386/486) actually uses rebranded chipsets from other manufacturers, but they go to a lot of trouble to obfuscate what it is.

The trouble seems to stem from the low quality of the supporting components; dirt cheap unbranded capacitors, and similar.

Of course, the fake cache of the mid 90's did nothing to improve their reputation.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net

Reply 33 of 43, by Jed118

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I recently sold a 25 MHz 386 with some kind of PC Chips board - the thing looked ancient for its age, full length board too with proprietary memory expansion on two extended ISA bus-like connectors. Apparently don't fill both banks up and put a 16 bit video card in any of those two last slots or it'll only read the first bank's worth of RAM.

It was a beautiful board to look at, but it seemed, for its age, outdated and convoluted. Worked just fine, never had any issues for the year or so I owned that 386.

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 34 of 43, by evasive

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Jed118 wrote on 2021-05-03, 03:28:

Apparently don't fill both banks up and put a 16 bit video card in any of those two last slots or it'll only read the first bank's worth of RAM.

Oh, so that is normal operation? In my book that is insufficient power i.e. skimped too much on the capacitors and the power planes.

I had an M321 that would work but freeze at random times and another that would spontaneously reboot at random times. I have thrown in literally any brand/model of RAM/video card/IO-card available to me at time to get it to work. During burn-in 24 hours, some 20% would fail and be sent back to the supplier. You have to realize the boards you have are already from a selected bunch that made it through the first test at the supplier. If you then still have issues, guess how much was rejected back to the factory.

it is those little quirks like needing to snip a resistor to make your serial ports working that is making me wonder if they actually had a QA department in the first place.

I think the last bit of credibility was lost with the M810xxx series of boards. Contrary to what you think, they were not Intel i810 boards but SiS730 and they were slow as $^$%^$ and unreliable as &$#@^%&^$.

Reply 35 of 43, by evasive

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kolderman wrote on 2020-09-03, 07:00:

They are pretty crummy but I haven't had one die on me yet.

They don't die, they just get on your nerves. I don't know what is worse.

Reply 36 of 43, by PcBytes

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I have an Totem TM-S730LMR (which is a rebranded Matsonic MS-8308EP, which in turn is a M810L rev 8 green PCB) that surprisingly didn't barf any of its caps (G-Luxon and Teapo all around, O H B O Y) and works fine with a Duron - this is only as far as the POST screen and BIOS, as I haven't wandered further.

I might set it up for a 98SE machine just to laugh at how horrible PCChips went, especially after my M577 killed itself (NPN transistor went poof near the CPU, surprisingly didn't kill the CPU) after not POSTing ever since I bought it. That, or instead get decent performance because it's a Matsonic, and those usually were better built than PCChips' original boards - kinda around ECS levels of good (if you didn't mind some of their absolutely abysmal boards.) but not quite there.

Anyways, anyone know SiS 730/730S boards that might suit the PCChips board? I figure it's doable since the BIOS chip is socketed, and I've already had success running my K7VZA (KT133A I think?) with a Chaintech branded BIOS (CT-7AJA2) which is coded MILES better than the original ECS BIOS.

Main PC: i5 3470, GB B75M-D3H, 16GB RAM, 2x1TB
98SE : P3 650, Soyo SY-6BA+IV, 384MB RAM, 80GB
Milennium : P2 266, Zida LX-98AT, 256MB RAM, 10GB+20GB
2k: Duron 750, Totem TM-S730LMR, 256MB RAM, 40GB

Reply 37 of 43, by betamax80

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The TX-Pro II boards M571 were very solid performers (SiS 5598 chipset) for standard socket 7 (upto say a Cyrix MII 333 at max).
I can testify that the SX-Pro M598 (SiS 530) was very ropey and not a well through-through board - while current 1 over-voltaged and I got a warranty replacement.

https://hardwaresecrets.com/chipset-aliases-t … -vx-pro-and-co/

Reply 38 of 43, by Jed118

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evasive wrote on 2021-05-03, 08:19:
Jed118 wrote on 2021-05-03, 03:28:

Apparently don't fill both banks up and put a 16 bit video card in any of those two last slots or it'll only read the first bank's worth of RAM.

Oh, so that is normal operation? In my book that is insufficient power i.e. skimped too much on the capacitors and the power planes.

Ah, not a PC CHIPS but CHIPS (and Technologies) - My bad.

(SOLVED) EC&T 386 DX 25 not recognizing more than 4Mb RAM of 30 pin SIMMs when 8Mb is inserted.

Still kind of a shitty design flaw.

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 39 of 43, by evasive

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Can you please scan the manual, make a straight on top picture and a bios dump of that Soyo SY-013 board? We are missing a few bits & pieces here:
http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/4638