386 board that takes 64mb ram?

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Reply 20 of 27, by cyberluke

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2021-10-13, 16:08:
cyberluke wrote on 2021-10-13, 14:05:

I think PC Chips were quite good.


PC Chips not good? I was thinking it is sought after. Anyway I did not know there is 386 with 72-pin RAM, I might look for that. Thank you very much guys!

Im attaching picture of my current 386 build. My first computer was 486. It took me one year to collect all parts, including the case. I got the board by accident in bigger auction and first I hate it because I was looking for 486 and description was wrong. But then I found this machine plays Ducktales (and Gunboat) correctly which makes it very playable. Classsic tweaks include XT-IDE on 3com and SD card 32gb with multiple partitions to experiment with various OSes and System Commander supports it. The zip drive is 750mb acquired of USA E-Bay. I want have retro machine, but push it to up to date as much as possible. I even got industrial ISA card with USB, which allows flash memory and also additional bios rom from WCH.cn ...Im neeerd!


  • image.jpg
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    386DX with floppies
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Reply 21 of 27, by Deksor

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Nice case ! I love this design

Also yes PCChips is not reputable at all. Though they can still make a nice retro PC. Just be aware that they were scammers that tended to lie on stuff like cache and use really low quality components (thin PCB and cheap connectors).
The cache issues can be fixed on most (all ?) of their boards so I wouldn't complain too much unless you have a better motherboard. But it's not worth seeking for one if your PCChips works for your needs.

People talk a lot about them because of their quirks and also because their price at the time made them quite popular meaning there are still many around today 😀

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit The retro web - Project's thread The Retro Web project - a stason.org/TH99 alternative

Reply 22 of 27, by NScaleTransitModels

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For 386 boards that support 64mb, search for boards that use the Opti 495 chipset. Many support 64mb, but the challenge is identifying the mobo model and finding one with a socket rather than a soldered PQFP (if you're picky).

I'm currently running a HOT-317 with 4 16x9 modules, and it works without problems. 16x9 FPM is key; 386 boards will not support non-parity or EDO modules.
Sadly it only has 128kb cache, so 64mb memory causes noticeable slowdowns.


  • ECS FX-3000; 386DX-40@50; ET4000AX, ISA 1mb
  • Acer VI9; 486DLC-40; Mach32, VLB 2mb
  • Chicony CH-471A; CX486s-40; Mach32, VLB 2mb
  • Gateway 2000 P5-60; Pentium-60@66; S3 928, PCI 3mb
  • DTK PKM-0033S; AM5x86-133@160

Reply 23 of 27, by Anonymous Coward

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128kb cache can sometimes cache all 64MB, if they can accept a larger tag RAM.
You also have to consider write back cache. Typically boards that support it borrow a dirty bit from the tag RAM when enabled, so it reduces cacheable area by 50%.
Well designed 386 boards *may* have a separate dirty bit where this is not the case. Disabling write back to increase cacheable area will take a small performance hit.

For the record, my 495SX board does not accept 16MB density SIMMs. You'll need support in both the chipset and BIOS for this to work.
From what I remember, Compaq 386s can take an obscene amount of RAM using the CUPID bus, but you usually need their proprietary 64pin CUPID RAM.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 25 of 27, by dormcat

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cyberluke wrote on 2021-10-14, 08:46:

PC Chips not good? I was thinking it is sought after.

It's a Taiwanese shame (or lack thereof).

Problems with the L2 cache on my new PC Chips M919

M919 Fake Cache and a Reproduction L2 Cache Module

Replacing fake cache in the 486 build

bad mainboards

Reply 26 of 27, by cyberluke

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Ah, that is interesting with PC Chips. Because I have seen some auctions here in central Europe and it sold for 60 USD. While other brands sold for 30 USD. So I was thinking it is special, good quality 😁. Perfect, thank you very much! I will look for Opti 495 chipset and/or Shuttle HOT327.