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I've had the Microsoft sound card for a good few years, used with my IBM 386sx for a good while. A pal in America sent it to me after finding it packed away in his office for years, knowing I liked old computer "junk". It works very well in windows 3.1 as you'd expect, and the soundblaster compatibility option for dos works OK letting you select standard IRQ, DMA etc. Nice thing about it is the Phono outputs on the card, nice to hook it straight into an amp with standard leads. I'd say it's a fair choice for a 386 or old 486 system, but I don't know much at all about soundcards in general, and frankly hate messing with the DOS drivers plug & play cards need. That's why I bought that Soundblaster 2.0, it's just a case of plugging in and adding the setblaster line, easy peasey! A lot of things I really love fiddling with on old PC's but sound card drivers are not one of them!
DXZeff - 2017-12-11 11:23 AM
@Brostenen; Somehow forgot to add lto my last post; I guess hooking the CD-ROM drive up to the same card as the hard drive wasn't so common at the time, there are some that can't see them properly or at all. The whole cached controller coming in slower, though, that's not what I'd expect at all, it's not missing a TSR or something is it? Could swear I've run into SCSI controllers like that before, you'd think the card's BIOS would handle it, but perhaps not.
I tried different IDE CD-Rom drivers with the drive, and different drives as well. And though it is an IDE controller, it behaves much like a SCSI in that way. It might be a timing issue between the actual drives, that this controller does not like or it might not support IDE CD Drives at all. Or it might be that controller prevents any drivers from communicating through the BIOS and CPU. What it is, I really don't know.
Regarding the SCSI thing. Yes. I have seen that as well. My Adaptech 1542 shure has this issue of needing a special TSR loaded before the actual CD driver being loaded. This will cause some issues down the road in pure Dos. So I am only loading the external CD-Drive, whenever I need to copy files to the harddrive. This however is a pure DOS issue, and I have no issues in other OS's like Win95, NT or Os/2. So my ISA SCSI setup is installed in my old Unisys 286 machine, alongside a 40mb 3200 Conner SCSI Drive. Wich is a huge upgrade from the original 20mb Miniscribe MFM drive.
I might try and test the Cached controller in a Win95 or Os/2 setup. This way I will see if I can get it to run a bit better.
I have a plan with that board I got from you. I have recieved that rechargeable coincell battery, and I am waiting for a clip-on cooler from USA. I have asked both of my children, if they are up to the challenge of trying to build a computer. My daughter is 9 years old, and my son will turn 7 in jan. They are both up to the task of trying to experience how a computer is being build from the ground up. Installation are of no interrest to them, only the assembling and then pure gaming. So in Januaery, I will be putting them through the process of building a computer the old way. And they will have a basic understanding of how it is put together. And to be honest. They will try something that only a select few children will ever experience today. Yeah... They are lucky. They have a grandfather who raises free range chickens, and my children have seen the slaughter of chickens each year. You know... Axe, boiling and plucking of 120 chickens by hand. They have a father (me) that are into technology. An uncle (my brother) who are into survival alone, in mountains, during the winther on skie in the middle of nowere. He is like a modern crossover, of a budist, liberal, socialist, redneck and hippie. The best of all five things combined. He eats averything eadable, respect everyone, are super calm, practice no religion and like to learn how to do everything on his own. And then a second grandfather who are into gardening, geography and history. Yeah... They are lucky.
It is actually really fun, that people say a 486dx33 can run without cooler. Personally I think that the chip is running too hot for me to trust. It might run without breaking/dying, yet if something gets too hot to touch, then I think it requires cooling. Better be on the safe side and have it running the next 10 years. And stability wise, a heatsink with fan never herd anyone.
Edited by Brostenen 2017-12-11 11:29 PM
|Recieved this little thing in the mail. Was still, is no more, factory sealed.... |
486-Cooler.jpg (609KB - 3 downloads)
Location: Hull, UK
|@CyrixInstead; The phono outputs would bother me if there wasn't a regular jack on it, though in this case there is one as far as I am aware - can't think what else they'd need that many for anyway - but that's only because my existing cabling is set up that way and my amp doesn't use those, it uses DIN. |
@Brostenen; I actually meant a TSR for the caching capability, wondering if perhaps it doesn't run as effectively otherwise. No idea, the only 'caching' controllers I've gone near are those large RAID cards with SDRAM slots and have no experience with these older ones at all.
Sounds like a good plan to me, it's a simple enough board to be a good starting point and it should be clunky enough to be resilient to childish handling. Heat seems to vary greatly on which S-Spec is on the chip. SX419 gets extremely hot whereas SX810 does not, they're internally different and even report a different CPUID despite both being an Intel 486DX at 33MHz. Supposedly the older ones dump about 1.5 Watts more (Still barely 5 Watts) power as heat and also don't have the "SL Enhanced" power saving, not that this will make much difference without DOSIDLE installed anyway. Regardless, heatsinks are always good and can't hurt (well, unless they're made of something less thermally conductive than the CPU is, I guess, but that never seems to happen) so are worth installing even if it is just paranoia, just for peace of mind. Personally I always install one, even if it's only passive as is the case with my own DX-33, the U5S also has one despite running barely warmer than room temperature.
I once read that all microchips will run hotter over time due to electron-migration or some such, but I have no idea how true it is and doubt that such an effect would happen very quickly at such low power levels anyway, it would probably take longer than our lifetimes at any rate. That and every so often a P75 or even a P100 will show up with no heatsink on it that is still running, these older chips were quite tough and rated to fairly high temperatures.
|The caching stuff is all build into the card it self, acording to the manual. No need for any special TSR on this card. |
Though it is recommended by the manual, to disable caching when formatting any harddrive.
It does mention something about the card using something called "WD-1003 Protocol", what that is I do not know.
Regarding the model numbers on dx33's. I did notice that the older model that I have is running way more hot than
my 810 model. So you are right on that. I actually thought that my fingers played a trick on me regarding heat.
|WD-1003 was the ( my understanding anyway ) original IDE interface, in the 80's was commonly called the "Winchester Disk Interface". Pre- Enhanced IDE standards.|
Location: Hull, UK
|Yeah, or pre-ATAPI, hence the whole CD-ROM problem. |
Anyways, I tested the Chips 386 and...
Here it is versus a Cyrix 486DLC-40;
Impressive? Or maybe not, here it is versus an Intel 386DX-33;
As I had suspected, the motherboard appears to be a bottleneck likely due to the older VGA card and the ISA bus - mostly that peculiar VGA card as its weird timings seem to drag it down somewhat. This suits me fine as I still don't know the performance, but I do know the chip is working and besides, I might just have a solution to this that would see the CPU become the bottleneck instead in another board. On the down-side, the Shuttle HOT-307H I used to test it in here only detects the first 640K of RAM with the chip installed and I don't know if the other board I mentioned here will do the same, because it's a weird board, but I don't know that it's weird enough to work with this chip. So yeah, standard pinout for sure, but there's clearly a compatibility issue of some kind. A shame as I planned to leave it in the 307H permanently, namely because I knew the 486DLC was being wasted and the other board is much better for it. Seems this Chips 386 probably won't end up in permanent use then, but it will still be interesting to test properly and I still, honestly, feel quite honored to actually own one given its historical relevance.
BIOS updates for the 307H aren't really an option, if any even exist, because being a fairly late 386 board (around 1993) Shuttle cut costs by soldering the EPROM (yeah, so not even something I can flash in board, if the circuits existed in the first place) right onto the board. Here's hoping the AOpen has better luck with it, though as I said, that will be the new home for the 486DLC, so the HOT-307H will probably be scaled back to an Am386DX or something. I doubt that there are any updates for the VI9 if it also does not support the chip. Still, nothing blew up and that was my main concern here. Plus, at least for now, I like the actual performance of the chip remaining a mystery for a little while.
|I don't think a bios update would really make much, if any difference anyway.|
Edited by waybacktech 2017-12-16 11:45 PM
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