VOGONS


First post, by CoffeeOne

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Let me present my second 486 computer (the other one is the Compaq Prosignia Server).

It's built in a black big AT Tower from the German company Escom, also keyboard and serial 😁 mouse of the same design are there

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I have no idea, why I see the picture with keyboard and mouse twice, there is only one link in the post 😁

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Reply 1 of 10, by CoffeeOne

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The reason why I like that computer a lot is not the case, it's because of the mainboard:

It's a Micronics ASIC EISA full size AT board. 7 EISA slots
16 memory slots for 30pin SIMMs, fully equipped with 64 MB (maximum).
socket 2. There is a "Kingston Turbo Chip" inside, so a Am5x86-133 with included voltage adaptor.

Other components are not too bad either:
100 MBit NIC EISA from 3Com
ATI Mach32 2MB VRAM EISA, please note the picture with the windows screen with 1280x1024 😀
Adaptec 2742AT EISA
Soundblaster 16 ISA.

EDIT: The cache was original 64kB only with MT chips like the tag ram chips. I upgraded it to 256kB, which is maximum for the board.
But so it's no more made in USA, the cache chips are UMC 😁

Last edited by CoffeeOne on 2020-01-04, 18:53. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 10, by CoffeeOne

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Mainboard:

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Reply 3 of 10, by CoffeeOne

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OK, but now the question to the experts:

This board features a "Micronics local bus slot", it's the one on the bottom
Anyone heard of it???
Are there graphics cards for it?

EDIT: I wrote something about Windows screen, so here is the picture:

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Reply 4 of 10, by Grzyb

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CoffeeOne wrote on 2020-01-04, 18:44:

Am5x86-133

AMD processor, and the "Genuine Intel..." sticker on the case? Ugly 😜

EDIT: The cache was original 64kB only with MT chips like the tag ram chips. I upgraded it to 256kB, which is maximum for the board.

Let me guess: 64 KB was not enough to cache the entire 64 MB, but with 256 KB - no problem, right?

In general - yes, very nice machine, I want something like this, with only minor corrections.

Reply 5 of 10, by CoffeeOne

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Grzyb wrote on 2020-01-04, 19:06:

EDIT: The cache was original 64kB only with MT chips like the tag ram chips. I upgraded it to 256kB, which is maximum for the board.

Let me guess: 64 KB was not enough to cache the entire 64 MB, but with 256 KB - no problem, right?

In general - yes, very nice machine, I want something like this, with only minor corrections.

No I don't think so, the board could also cache 64MB with only 64kB Cache, it has 3 tag ram chips 😀
But not 100% sure, and NO I am not downgrading it to test it.

Reply 7 of 10, by OSkar000

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Can't help you with that much but I really like this computer. Early 486 computers are seriously cool 😀

I have a spare motherboard with 486 DX/33 and 7 EISA-slots that I should try to get running some day.

Reply 8 of 10, by NJRoadfan

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I had this board's successor model, the Micronics EISA/VL2. The biggest problem I had with it was the damned BIOS and memory controller. You couldn't run ROM BIOS shadowing with over 16MB of RAM installed due to how they implemented it on the board. With shadowing turned off, POSTing was stuck in a de-turboed state taking forever (even the floppy seeked in slow motion!).

Reply 9 of 10, by CoffeeOne

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NJRoadfan wrote on 2020-01-17, 02:19:

I had this board's successor model, the Micronics EISA/VL2. The biggest problem I had with it was the damned BIOS and memory controller. You couldn't run ROM BIOS shadowing with over 16MB of RAM installed due to how they implemented it on the board. With shadowing turned off, POSTing was stuck in a de-turboed state taking forever (even the floppy seeked in slow motion!).

True, I had to turn off shadowing, because 64MB are inside. What is the disadvantage? Maybe only in pure DOS(?) Under Windows 98 the machine seems to be reasonable fast.

About Turbo... That's only about counting up the memory, right? I agree it takes some time to count up to 64512k extended memory. I did not see a slowdown in floppy seek, so not really a problem for me.

Reply 10 of 10, by CoffeeOne

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I am now going to change the harddisks to wide scsi ones.
So I pulled a Seagate ST52160N (production date 1997?), IBM DCAS-34330 (production date 1998), IBM Type DFHS 4GB (production date 1995)
The last one is really fat

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So even the existing disks did not really fit to the production date of the mainboard, which is from 1992, but to my taste the new disks should be from the 90s.

Also removed the Adaptec 2742T.

Added: Nothing 😁

Strange thing for this monster case, that it has only space for 6 5.25" Drives, 3 are already taken (2 Floppys, CD ROM) so only place for 3 disks, and all disks need these adaptors ....
OK, so I will put in the Adaptec 2742W, that's for sure.

And then either 3 times IBM 9GB

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or 2 times Quantum Atlas IV 9GB

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So the IBM disks are from Jun 1999, the quantum also from 1999(?), I think I am going with the 3 IBMs. 27GB will be enough space for windows 98 and dos.
I will put the 2 quantums into my Compaq Prosignia Server later.