VOGONS

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First post, by Shagittarius

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Just saw this on Tom's and though there may be some interest here for Vintage purposes:

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/spectras-ne … -1992-pci-slots

If it had and AGP slot I would probably be interested, but then it would need compat Win98 drivers too which I'm sure it doesn't. I don't know if anything could be done with DOS for this, I guess you could since you have ISA...Maybe build the words fastest DOS machine?

Any Ideas?

Reply 1 of 15, by Kahenraz

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I read this article today and wanted to share it with everyone. Notice that it even has an ISA slot. No information if DMA is supported (for SoundBlaster 16, etc.) but FM synthesis and MPU401 should work fine.

It's not unusual to find modern chipsets with these vintage slots on industrial motherboards that crop up on eBay from time to time. But they often command a high price due to their intended market; and I suspect that's what this one is targeted at as well.

Spectra doesn't list a price for the MS-98L9 V2.0. If you're interested in the motherboard, you'll have to request a quote directly from the company.

Anyways. It's always fun to see these and I wanted to share.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-03-16, 23:28. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 15, by Tiido

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A friend showed it a moment ago and I tried to find more info but I was unable to. There's no good photos around so I could see what the ISA bridge chip is. There's a good chance it lacks working DMA and IRQs which makes the slot useless... but I am certainly excited to some level.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 3 of 15, by NautilusComputer

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As it's designed primarily for industrial applications, I doubt we'll ever see a public release, or good drivers, or a review, or anything. I hate it when stuff is "call for pricing and availability."

Reply 5 of 15, by MrSmiley381

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So this board has two onboard ethernet ports, onboard video, and enough slots to make anybody happy. Is there a use case where you could build a couple of VM's and pass hardware to them directly? One ethernet port, a PCI Voodoo card, and a PCI sound card is enough to play Diablo II in its best possible form. That's assuming everything works, despite how impractical that would be. With all those USB ports you could add a couple of mouse/keyboard setups and build a few more VM's with passthrough hardware. Does a CGA card require DMA?

Most of my VM experience is limited to server hardware so I'd love for someone to more practically explain the sort of shenanigans this board enables.

I spend my days fighting with clunky software so I can afford to spend my evenings fighting with clunky hardware.

Reply 6 of 15, by BinaryDemon

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I like the part where the article says something like: I'm surprised MSI didnt throw an AGP port in there as well.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 7 of 15, by ruthan

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Well we would need some guinea pig.. to get one MB through some big company contacts and after that we can try to make some Vogons bulk order, if it would be good:)

Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough raw HW.

Reply 8 of 15, by BreakPoint

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There are many areas where people still use legacy equipment for data acquisition or numerical control. I'm not joking. I'm selling a lot of legacy stuff on eBay and i frequently asked to find some 286/386/486/Pentuim parts for failed equipment.
So this board is nice find for someone who still using ISA boards.

My CPU collection - http://cpu.f5soft.com

Reply 9 of 15, by xjas

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Yep, I've been in loads of labs that still had dinosaur PCs running specialized equipment via some convoluted multi-ISA card setup well into the 2010s. Data logged to tape or printed & a realtime display on an amber CRT with 30 years of screen burn... Weren't NASA still buying up 8086es for the space shuttles (RIP) right up until they stopped flying them?

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 10 of 15, by Tiido

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Turns out this board has LPC to ISA bridge, same chip as one on my C2D board so it will be able to support at least some ISA sound cards ~
Southbirdge chip has no LDRQ signal on the LPC bus, so DMA is not possible even though the bridge chip can support DMA... bummer.

Last edited by Tiido on 2020-03-16, 22:28. Edited 1 time in total.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 11 of 15, by BinaryDemon

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Actually with 5 pci slots you could probably build a beastly Win98 rig assuming you replaced all the subsystems with Win98 compatible pci cards. Video could probably still stay on PCI-E, as long as you used a x850 or one of the hacked Nvidia drivers.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 12 of 15, by NautilusComputer

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xjas wrote on 2020-03-16, 19:50:

Yep, I've been in loads of labs that still had dinosaur PCs running specialized equipment via some convoluted multi-ISA card setup well into the 2010s. Data logged to tape or printed & a realtime display on an amber CRT with 30 years of screen burn... Weren't NASA still buying up 8086es for the space shuttles (RIP) right up until they stopped flying them?

Part of what got me here; I am now supporting an old CNC machine running a 486-66 with Win 95 and some other convoluted stuff (somehow it might have an NT partition too?).

Reply 14 of 15, by ynari

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MrSmiley381 wrote on 2020-03-16, 11:05:

So this board has two onboard ethernet ports, onboard video, and enough slots to make anybody happy. Is there a use case where you could build a couple of VM's and pass hardware to them directly? One ethernet port, a PCI Voodoo card, and a PCI sound card is enough to play Diablo II in its best possible form. That's assuming everything works, despite how impractical that would be. With all those USB ports you could add a couple of mouse/keyboard setups and build a few more VM's with passthrough hardware. Does a CGA card require DMA?

Most of my VM experience is limited to server hardware so I'd love for someone to more practically explain the sort of shenanigans this board enables.

The basic answer is that it's a Pain In The Arse, you'd be better using real or emulated hardware.

I wouldn't bet on being able to pass ISA through to any VM. Typically all PCI cards need to be passed through to the same VM as they share the same upsteam root port. PCI-e cards are constrained by which root ports they share (on a decent motherboard they can be passed through individually).

USB is awkward - onboard USB does not tend to pass through in a predictable manner, say if there's a six ports it may be in a 1/5 split. Add on USB cards either pass through the entire card, or if they work (the multi controller cards) they're expensive (150 UK pounds for a decent one..).

Then there's whether the OS drivers work well. Some cards are limited by design (Nvidia doesn't like you passing through consumer cards. The fact the OS is virtualised needs to be hidden in this case), others simply by poor drivers. Virtualised hardware is really only moderately similar to real hardware.