View Full Version : 8 Slot VLB AMPTRON motherboard? WTF?!?

Anonymous Coward
March 19th, 2008, 06:18 PM
Is this thing for real?


I saw a picture of this on the internet once before, and I thought it was photoshopped. But, while looking on TH99 the other day I stumbled on it again. I know amptron isn't really known for producing quality products, but I am really curious to know if they made any provisions to actually use more than 3 VLB cards at a time.

March 19th, 2008, 10:25 PM
Every reference to that board shows 8 VLB, which is impossible to use them all. Look for one on ebay.

March 19th, 2008, 10:53 PM
I used to have a VLB board that had three VLB slots on it. For some reason, only two would acknowledge, though. Didn't matter which, but only two at a time, depending on address. I wonder if that's the same thing?

Anonymous Coward
March 20th, 2008, 12:38 AM
One time I heard it was possible to have more than one VLB "channel" on a 486 system...so I wonder if this board implements this, or if it's just a creative marketing ploy.

It must have been expensive to build a full length board with all of those VLB connectors. Amptron usually has a reputation for cheaping out on that sort of thing.

March 20th, 2008, 12:43 PM
I have several 486 boards with 3 VLB slots, but, I only have video cards and HD/FD multi-I/O cards available, so, I can't test to see if 3 cards work at once.

What else did they make in VLB? I've heard about SCSI cards, but also heard that they didn't work well at the best of times.

March 20th, 2008, 12:50 PM
I've seen Ethernet, Video, SCSI (only Adaptec SCSI cards worked well for me, Druid), F/H, F/H-I/O, and once, I saw an ESDI controller that was VLB (I think that's what it was, memory clouds a bit).

Anonymous Coward
March 20th, 2008, 04:05 PM
There was a Creative Labs 3D blaster for VLB. It was just the 3D component, so not a stand alone video card.

March 20th, 2008, 05:43 PM
I have never seen VLB ethernet, mostly it was video, SCSI, I/O+ IDE

March 20th, 2008, 07:19 PM
I saw one on fleaBay once. It was about 3 or 4 years ago or so. Only one I ever saw. It was 10/100 - probably one of the first, I would imagine.

Anonymous Coward
March 21st, 2008, 04:35 AM
Yes, I can confirm the 10/100 ethernet for VLB. Not only have I seen them on eBay, I've known a few people that had them. They use an AMD chip, and supposedly they're pretty good cards. Too bad I never seem to have enough leftover VLB slots to justify getting one.

March 21st, 2008, 02:18 PM
Any idea who made them? I will start looking for one to buy.

March 21st, 2008, 03:34 PM
No clue, been too long. But my search terms would probably be something like "VESA LAN ETHERNET VLB" - in any combination. I don't remember what I used that time, but the price scared me off anyway.

Anonymous Coward
March 21st, 2008, 04:12 PM
Have a look over on TH99. It looks like about 20 different companies made them:


June 8th, 2008, 09:21 AM
I managed to snag an EFA Info Express VLB ethernet card today on ebay (only 10Mb but its boxed). Kind of wondering how 3 VLB cards are going to behave in a 486 system.

June 17th, 2008, 07:25 AM
Is an old thread, but here is a picture of my VLB-Ethernet NIC. This card based on an AMD Chip.


It works fine with two other cards in my VLB-System: Adaptec SCSI 2842VL and a Cardex-W32P-VL graphics-card.

June 18th, 2008, 02:03 AM
Well finally got around to testing the VLB ethernet card in a 486/100 system with a nice 4MB VLB video card and a Promise 4030vl+ 16MB caching IDE controller. The setup was easy enough to do and the network seems much faster with no lag compared to the 3com ISA card I was using before.

Anonymous Coward
June 19th, 2008, 01:06 AM
Interesting. Which 3com ISA card were you using for comparison?

June 21st, 2008, 12:10 AM
It was on old one.

3com Etherlink II/16TP (3c503-16-tp)

I like keeping the older ones around because they can be switched to 8 bit mode for an XT (if I ever get one) and they are rarer then the ISA etherlink IIIs.

Anonymous Coward
June 21st, 2008, 06:05 AM
I think comparing VLB NIC with the AMD chip to an old 3com 3c503 is an unfair comparison. Maybe the 3c509B or that weird 10/100 card of theirs would be more proper. From what I've heard the AMD based cards are top notch.

I never really cared much for the 3c503. I currently have three of them not in use. For some reason I just keep getting them with other parts I order. A long time ago I attempted to get one going in an XT but could never manage to get it going. You'd probably be better off with an Intel card for an XT. Even the late model ISA intel NICs can be switched to 8 bit mode (at least that what I see in the documentation).

June 21st, 2008, 07:01 AM
I actually did end up with real 8 bit ISA network cards by 3com a little while ago so I am set. They are pre rj45 but I have a transiever to get them to be.

July 22nd, 2008, 10:20 AM
Yes I also had one it was an AUI and 10BaseT Coax. Infact I had a few cards like Extra Ram cards where you could add 30 pin sims never could get it to work . and a really nice SCSI card after years of connecting drives and never getting them to boot I discovered the needed ID 0. I was only about 13 at the time so PC's were behind my Atari ST 1024 and Amiga A1200. ;)

July 22nd, 2008, 04:13 PM
To the original question regarding the Amptron board VESA-bus slots, I'm wondering if the PCB traces are set up for slots in any location but only three are populated with sockets? It just seems like a logical thing to do if you had room on the board and were designing a generic version.

I had purchased an Amptron VLB board new in those days but had to return it 'cause someone had installed SIMs at one time and then ripped them out without releasing the metal clips first. Bought a Genoa instead.