VOGONS


First post, by Scoob

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Hello,

I found my old computers stuff and googled Matsonic so I ended up at this forum!
The info on the internet about Matsonic is pretty scarce to say the least. They were founded in 1995. That is it.
I was thinking about putting the computers back together again but if the build quality is unreliable maybe it is not worth the trouble?
Long story short I ended falling into the rabit's hole of Matsonic, PC chips, Amptron (and maybe PC Partner, I'm confused) rebranding habits and poor quality and now having second thoughts about sourcing some parts I think are missing. Can you explain the relation between this companies and advise me regarding starting this project? Many thanks.

Reply 1 of 15, by radiounix

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What you read is correct, Matsonic, Amptron .etc were made by PC Chips, and the quality is dubious. However, many of them are still quite popular in this community and people definitely do make builds with them. Part of their bad reputation is probably from the fact that since they were the cheapest option they were built up into a system of cheap parts all around. Cheap power supply with poor filtering, cheap video card with horrible drivers, generic RAM, maybe a Bigfoot or JTS hard disk. Plus, their peak reign was at the height of the Windows 95 era when plug and play was in its infancy and driver and system updates basically non-existent among general users.

I have no personal experience with their boards, but many do. Go look in the builds forum, you'll see some systems built around PC Chips boards.

Reply 3 of 15, by Horun

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Try finding the model numbers to the boards you have or post some good hi-res pictures of a few of them.
Yes....Matsonic, Eurone and Amptron sold Pcchips boards, they all were in bed together in Taipei,Taiwan back then.
Some of the boards are quite good as other mentioned, some were shite ! 😀
Actually Matsonics website still had good board support thru about 2013 iirc

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 4 of 15, by Scoob

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Hey thanks! I will look at the builds. The Matsonic MS8137C to start it is coupled with AMD Duron but it does not say the speed and TNT2 with 32MB, I remember playing Max Payne while in college! The other has a AMD Am386 DX-40MHz soldered to the board and the chipset says PC chips, but can't find board model anywhere, I used it for playing a lot of MS-DOS games until the newer games wouldn't run around 1996, I think, and then a long long time with Office 97 until I got the Matsonic for Christmas. Really excited with this!
mr8hfjpg.jpg

Reply 5 of 15, by Scoob

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Both computers behave normally all those years. I never thought about the motherboards inside and I used them like any other computer. I think that sometimes it's only when we start to look for trouble that we find them. Went trough some builds here on the forum with matsonic/pcchips and most of the time people say they nice things about them. Will put them together just for fun. Thank you all.

Reply 6 of 15, by Horun

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Scoob wrote on 2020-12-06, 22:53:

Hey thanks! I will look at the builds. The Matsonic MS8137C to start

Nice ! You may find this interesting:
http://web.archive.org/web/20030210082255/htt … com/ms8137c.htm
and the manual direct from their archived site:
http://web.archive.org/web/20030916210209/htt … ual/ms8137c.pdf
the BIOS files, if you choose to flash to a newer one, you will have to get from an archive site like www.infania.net

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 7 of 15, by dionb

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Scoob wrote on 2020-12-06, 22:53:
Hey thanks! I will look at the builds. The Matsonic MS8137C to start it is coupled with AMD Duron but it does not say the speed […]
Show full quote

Hey thanks! I will look at the builds. The Matsonic MS8137C to start it is coupled with AMD Duron but it does not say the speed and TNT2 with 32MB, I remember playing Max Payne while in college! The other has a AMD Am386 DX-40MHz soldered to the board and the chipset says PC chips, but can't find board model anywhere, I used it for playing a lot of MS-DOS games until the newer games wouldn't run around 1996, I think, and then a long long time with Office 97 until I got the Matsonic for Christmas. Really excited with this!
mr8hfjpg.jpg

This is a late board, after ECS/Elitegroup joined the party. This is some revision of the ECS K7VTA2 sold under a different name. There's lots of info on that one.

As for the 386, post a pic. It's undoubtedly a PC Chips board in any event. Could be good if there are no nasties like fake cache and soldered BIOS EPROM (to hide the fact).

Reply 8 of 15, by Scoob

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Horun wrote on 2020-12-07, 02:28:
Nice ! You may find this interesting: http://web.archive.org/web/20030210082255/htt … com/ms8137c.htm and the manual direct from […]
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Scoob wrote on 2020-12-06, 22:53:

Hey thanks! I will look at the builds. The Matsonic MS8137C to start

Nice ! You may find this interesting:
http://web.archive.org/web/20030210082255/htt … com/ms8137c.htm
and the manual direct from their archived site:
http://web.archive.org/web/20030916210209/htt … ual/ms8137c.pdf
the BIOS files, if you choose to flash to a newer one, you will have to get from an archive site like www.infania.net

Thank you for the links. "We are good, we pursue the best." Lol.

How do you guys know what model matches another?! That is amazing. Will take a look at the equivalent ECS model.

Reply 9 of 15, by Scoob

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It's a 900MHz Duron!
IMG-20201208-154841.jpg

I took a look at the other stuff, a pic of the motherboard, its a M321.
IMG-20201208-160813.jpg

A close up of the chips:
IMG-20201208-160931.jpg

Some parts:
IMG-20201208-161017.jpg

And the case, I don't like the way it's looking at me, seems mad to be woken or something:
IMG-20201208-163624.jpg

Reply 12 of 15, by Scoob

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Hello,

This weekend I was dreaming about getting all the parts together and start reassembling the two PCs. I will eventually be starting with the ATX because the 386 seems too complicated with all those jumpers and not having onboard floppy and hdd controller and all that. However while getting everything ready I stumbled upon this and now I'm kinfd of scared. It seem a lot of voltage!

static.jpg

Reply 13 of 15, by mr.cat

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Yep...everything you do, everywhere you go, it's a voltage here there and everywhere!
Just discharge yourself (by touching something well-earthed) before handling all those precious chips...or if you're paranoid you can get one of those bracelet things.

EDIT: A better search term for "the bracelet thing" is "ESD wrist strap". It looks like some versions even come with their own backplate.

Last edited by mr.cat on 2020-12-24, 17:29. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 14 of 15, by chrismeyer6

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If the humidity levels in your house are on the drier side you can always put a pot of water to simmer on the stove top that would help being up your humidity levels to help avoid building up a large charge. If you have a hot steam or cool mist humidifier you can use them to bring up your levels. I just did that this morning building a computer for my brother for Christmas.