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Old 06-17-2019, 04:12 AM   #1
Uranium-235
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Default Considering building a retro system

The friends of my best friend sent over three boxes of computer stuff they wanted me to look at. One thing I found was a LIKE NEW AT motherboard. With a 486sx. No IDE, just 5 pin din on the back. 16 bit isa videos card found too. I'm tempted to build an old dos box, even get doom on it.

At psus are available new on newegg but cases are not

Guess I need a sound card and an ide/floppy isa card too

It does have three vesa expansion ports
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

visa? sx cpu? that is old.
got cache chips on it, or empty sockets? that will make a huge performance difference
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

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Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
Guess I need a sound card and an ide/floppy isa card too
If you truly want to stay "vintage", I may still have a PAS-16 that you could have... (I've already tossed my GUS MAX's)
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

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If you truly want to stay "vintage"
I like to try and mix 'em up a little.... I tend to not go back that far with age of systems.... Pentium classic is about as far back as I go for functional pieces, they'll play a lot of the classic games yet staying on relatively 'authentic' hardware. FOr retro games, 486's (with the exception of the DX4 100) were pretty useless for old games.... For the older pieces, which are pretty much nothing but conversation pieces, I'll try to keep them more 'original', just because they won't be doing anything but sitting there collecting dust....but its kinda neat to see a P-classic 233mmx running modern sata HDD's. There are many sata1 & sata2 controllers that will play nice with hardware of this era. Pci compliance & drivers are the biggest hurdle.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

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For the older pieces, which are pretty much nothing but conversation pieces, I'll try to keep them more 'original', just because they won't be doing anything but sitting there collecting dust....
Ah, in my case, I keep old machines primarily to support old (expensive) peripherals or software packages (to support clients). E.g., I keep a Deskpro Portable 386 for the ISA bus (I have the 2 slot expansion chassis bolted on back) that supports a coprocessor card that runs a proprietary UN*X with some EDA applications. Even if I could run DOS in a VM on more modern hardware, the coprocessor card (and its special interface to DOS) wouldn't be supported.

Likewise, I run a Chimera II card in one of my Solaris workstations to support some old W95 applications (EDA applications are notorious for not being forward or backwards compatible with earlier or later releases of THE SAME SOFTWARE!).

My only "nostalgia" machine is a Sun Voyager which is just too cool to discard!

https://hiveminer.com/Tags/sunos%2Cvoyager
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

It has one chip missing

there were a few dx and sx chips in a bag too. I should have taken those

is that missing chip a floating point coprocessor?
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

the space is for a soldered in cpu, forget that.
at the bottom is more interesting, 4 cache chips and 4 sockets that may allow another 4 - download a manual.
and if it supports it, get a dx4-133
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

unfortunately, I have yet to find a model number

you can see the cpu support by the jumpers by the cpu. it supports a DX2, says nothing about a 4
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:35 PM   #9
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unfortunately, I have yet to find a model number

you can see the cpu support by the jumpers by the cpu. it supports a DX2, says nothing about a 4
Try using google's photo search (though you may still end up with a gazillion "close but no cigar" hits...
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

If you want a rip-assing 486, I found in my parts pile today a bootable adaptec ISA 50-pin SCSI adapter. Its BNIB. I don't remember the model off the top of my head.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

Still have a 486 with a DX4/100 m/b (likewise VLB) somewhere. RAM is a problem, it has two 72-pin and four 30-pin SIMMs. I don't have enough dense SIMMs to do much with it.
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Old Yesterday, 03:25 AM   #12
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

the biggest 72pin ram i'v seen is 256k
i had a load for SGI machines
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Old Yesterday, 09:40 AM   #13
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the biggest 72pin ram i'v seen is 256k
i had a load for SGI machines
Am I to assume you meant 256M? I've got some 128M SIMM's in a couple of my P-classic retro's. 256M isn't supported by their chipsets (HX), I did try them....they'd always hang @ the mem count.
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Old Yesterday, 11:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

luckily I found a small box with a buttload of 30 pin simms. that was included

hmm I do have several scsi 50 pin drives. Before such a thing I need to test the board itself
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Old Yesterday, 11:52 AM   #15
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

you may get the board i.d. from the boot message.
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Old Yesterday, 12:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

I think I have an AT full tower around here somewhere too.... A local shop also dumped off a box full of AT PSU's on me as well.
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Old Yesterday, 04:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Considering building a retro system

Hmm... I have an Adaptec 1542 and a 1522s somewhere, but I have a feeling that both will be clobbered by the VLB IDE controller I have for this 486, at least as far as I recall.

I don't have any VLB video cards, however...

Since ISA was mostly removed from latest Linux plus memory limitations, haven't really done anything with it except use it for DOS testing if at all.

(I was luckily able to fleabay away a stack of 256K 30-pin SIMMs. Hooray...)
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Old Yesterday, 06:50 PM   #18
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I think I have an AT full tower around here somewhere too.... A local shop also dumped off a box full of AT PSU's on me as well.
very nice,
AT psu's are like gold for testing non-pc stuff or building/fixing big arcade machines.
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Old Yesterday, 06:53 PM   #19
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(I was luckily able to fleabay away a stack of 256K 30-pin SIMMs. Hooray...)
you really want a bunch of 1meg or even 4meg sims.
4meg was high-end - so wont be cheap - specially if the amiga/st crowd see them!!
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Old Yesterday, 10:05 PM   #20
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very nice,
AT psu's are like gold for testing non-pc stuff or building/fixing big arcade machines.
I've used them to test audio equipment (mainly head units) because they tend to have beefy +12v rails. You're 100% correct that AT PSU's are very useful outside the PC world!
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