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First post, by Cobra42898

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So I got this new toy, and I'm trying to decide what to do with it.

Specs:
486DX/33mhz
20mb ram
270mb hdd
s3 vision864
ethernet card
and for unknown reasons, what appears to be a fairly fresh copy of win95 (original release)

i had to open up pin#9 on the vga connector, and it started working fine.

whoever last used this had a copy of the 1993 version of MS flight simulator. i didnt know the controls very well, but it does work!

The only downside is it doesn't have a cdrom drive. I think I'll have to add one. Still has the cover over the bay!

I'm thinking of win 3.11 and dos 6.22, maybe dos 5.0, or even going weird with some dr-dos.
it could be a fun machine to run older games like Wolfenstein 3d , and my suite of old Tandy Deskmate on.

Are there 3.11 drivers for the S3 video? That could be the only hard part.
What else can i do with it?

Searching for Epson Actiontower 3000 486 PC.

Reply 1 of 7, by Cobra42898

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I meant to ask: is this win95 installation worth having? or should I wipe it out and start fresh?
or could I install win 3.11 also, and use both? HDD space may become a problem, though I have some smaller HDDs if I need it.

the win95 seems okay to navigate, though boot time seems long. shuts down fast though.

Searching for Epson Actiontower 3000 486 PC.

Reply 2 of 7, by chublord

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I have a similar system and have been using it for Win 9x apps. Do you have another HDD? The system will hold 4 IDE drives and I think anything up to 8.4 GB will work.

IBM Valuepoint 486 DX4-100, Opti 802G, 50 MHz FSB, Voodoo1+S3 864, Quantum Fireball EX 4.0 GB, Seagate Medalist 1.6 GB, 128 MB FPM, 256k L2

Reply 3 of 7, by chinny22

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I've actually removed the CD drive from 2 of my 486's that only have the 1 IDE channel.
As long as you have large hard drives and networking setup you wont miss it, Most games that need a CD are better off on something a bit faster.
but of course if you have the space then why not!

You'll be doing all your gaming in dos no matter which Windows you use.
Win95 is nice for system maintenance things like creating/copying/deleting files networking. etc. It's usable but not fast.
Win3.11 on what will really be a gaming PC is pretty useless, but can used to do the same tasks as above and much faster on a 486.

Looking around it would seems likely your motherboard wont support 3.3v CPU's maxing you out with a Pentium Overdrive 83 or DX2 50.
But post your motherboard part number so this can be double checked.

According to Wikipedia the DX/SP has the S3 on the VL-Bus, very nice, for many thats one of the key components that make a 486 special.

Dos 6.22/Win3.11 would have been the typical setup back when it was new and yes drivers exist for the S3

Reply 4 of 7, by Cobra42898

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I'm hoping it hits a sweet spot of not being slow on 3.11, but not being too fast for some dos games. I think i can turn off the cache if that is an issue. I'll try to get some pictures of the numbers on it.

Searching for Epson Actiontower 3000 486 PC.

Reply 5 of 7, by Cobra42898

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theres a printed tag on the MB, does that help further identify this machine?

also looks like video ram and cache slots are empty, ill have to see what options I have there.

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Searching for Epson Actiontower 3000 486 PC.

Reply 6 of 7, by chinny22

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Info seems to be pretty thin on motherboard specifics but all signs point to 3.3v only
https://psref.lenovo.com/syspool/Sys/PDF/with … book/vpbook.pdf

Cache chips are usually easy to buy, Video is a pain. You need to match the ram type (Looks to be DRAM in this case) and only source these days is pulling off other video cards.
Most likely you wont miss it on a dos gaming PC. Only time you would have needed it is to run the windows desktop at higher res/colour depth
http://www.danielsevo.com/bocg/bocg_screenres.htm

Reply 7 of 7, by dionb

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Cobra42898 wrote on 2020-08-27, 13:45:

I meant to ask: is this win95 installation worth having? or should I wipe it out and start fresh?
or could I install win 3.11 also, and use both? HDD space may become a problem, though I have some smaller HDDs if I need it.

the win95 seems okay to navigate, though boot time seems long. shuts down fast though.

Win95 on a DX33 with sufficient RAM will itself run happily (I had to suffer Win95 on DX33 with 4MB as a student - that was another matter 😦 ), but a DX33 is hardly going to be able to run any demanding Win9x games, so I'd say unless you want to run Office and MS paint on this that DOS and Win3.1(1) would make more sense -and save HDD space.

As for cache and video, I'd say the exact opposite of chinny: VGA is simple, cache can be a headache.

Those chips are invariably 4Mb (512kB) SOJ DRAM chips, and can indeed be harvested from just about any PCI video card, so long as the latency (last digit after the dash on the chip) is at most equal to the existing chips. Given that the 864 was one of the first to use SOJ chips, pretty much anything else will be rated faster so work fine. You won't notice any difference in DOS (the current 1MB onboard is more than enough for any VESA mode actually used by games), but in Windows it will increase resolution and/or colour depth - now you are limited to 1024x768 with 8bit colour (256) or 800x600 with 16bit colour (65k). With 2MB you could do 1024x768 with 16b colour or 800x600 with 24b colour (16.7M). In both cases I'd recommend 16b colour as the sweet spot, looking much better than 8b, but getting higher resolution than 24b.

Cache on the other hand means figuring out what config the board wants and how to set jumpers accordingly... the specs indicate you need 15ns SRAM DIPs with 256kb (32kB) per chip, but doesn't list organization or pin count. That said, adding cache to a cacheless system will seriously improve performance, so this is very much a recommended upgrade.