VOGONS


First post, by gladders

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Hey all,

I already have a Pentium III Windows 98 PC for all my high-performance DOS gaming and stuff. I'm planning on getting a 286 and a 386 PC separately at some time, all with their own period-correct OSes and software and stuff.

And in between I want to make a 486 PC with DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11, MAYBE Windows 95 if it works out.

I have a standard AT tower case and just shopping around for a motherboard, and there seem to be some very expensive, presumably highly sought after boards, and a bunch of cheap, presumably inferior boards too.

So if I were seeking to build something aimed primarily at running Doom, 6.22 and 3.11, and leaving more demanding stuff to my Win98 machine, would it really matter if I just got something like this as opposed to hunting down some hyper-specific optimal SIS or Opti chipset?

Thanks

Reply 1 of 9, by megatron-uk

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Motherboard is pretty important, probably more so with 486 than any other generation;

Early 486: ISA only, 30 pin SIMM slots

Mid-generation: ISA + VLB, 30 pin and/or 72 pin memory

Late gen: ISA + PCI, 72 pin memory, possibly PS/2 mouse.

There's such a gap between the early model boards and the last PCI boards that you might want to put some thought into what you want it to do; there's overlap with high end 386 at the bottom and low end Pentium at the top (especially with things like the AMD X5 and Cyrix 5x86).

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

Reply 2 of 9, by Thandor

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The one you link to in eBay doesn’t have VLB. For a decent 486 I’d recommend at least VLB since it greatly increases graphics performance in games. So if you’re going for an 386 system anyway I wouldn’t bother with an early 486 but go for at least a DX2/66 or higher.

thandor.net - hardware
And the rest of us would be carousing the aisles, stuffing baloney.

Reply 3 of 9, by BitWrangler

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Damn, prices aren't slowing down are they, if I didn't already have enough junk to keep me busy years, I'd have to take up a cheaper hobby, like racing vintage Ferraris.

I think you're going to have to hit up the car boot sales me old son. Also look out for ham radio flea markets, boot sales etc.

But yes, Doom etc is better in the upper half of the 486 performance bracket and VLB or PCI would be recommended, otherwise you can spend all the time/money you save just buying an ISA board, in finding an ISA graphics card that's fast enough to satisfy. The hard drive performance is going to be pretty weak too.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 4 of 9, by Intel486dx33

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For playing DOOM skip the 286.. 386. And 486.
They dont play DOOM well.
If you build a 1st gen Pentium computer you can play most DOS games well and programs.

Get an Intel 430TX motherboard with at least 256kb cache, 32mb RAM, and a Pentium 100 thru 233mhz CPU
Or AMD K5 if you prefer AMD.

S3 trio64 PCI video card
52x CDROM
Sound blaster AWE64

This will make for a good DOS gaming computer compatible with most DOS/Win-3.x games.

Reply 5 of 9, by megatron-uk

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2021-06-03, 01:04:

For playing DOOM skip the 286.. 386. And 486.

That's rubbish.

Doom has a frame limit of 35fps. There's plenty of evidence to show that the frame cap can be hit by a DX2-80 and a DX4-100 can consistently complete the timedemo benchmarks faster than the frames can be shown on-screen. Even 'just' a DX2-66 should get anywhere from 25-30fps in Doom.

You absolutely do not need a Pentium to play Doom.

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

Reply 6 of 9, by gladders

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Thanks for the advice, folks.

How about this board? It has ISA and PCI, 72-pin slots (looks like). It's unknown and without a processor but given the price, I'm tempted to give it a go. Could find a DX4 100 with the money I save.

Thoughts?

Reply 7 of 9, by BitWrangler

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Seems good, dallas chip almost guaranteed dead at this age though. Looks like a http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/4442 but could be wrong.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 8 of 9, by gladders

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-06-03, 18:09:

Seems good, dallas chip almost guaranteed dead at this age though. Looks like a http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/4442 but could be wrong.

Thanks, I notice it has what appears to be a spot next to the Dallas clock chip for a CMOS battery, so I could solder one in? Is that right?

Reply 9 of 9, by BitWrangler

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probably, might need a blocking diode or something added.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?