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Raven
July 13th, 2010, 12:13 PM
I recently acquired a 5170 and just today finished getting it all set up to my liking. It has:

- 286 6mhz
- 512K RAM
- Priam MFM/FDD controller
- 68MB MFM disk
- 1.2MB FDD
- 1.44MB FDD
- Parallel/Serial/Gameport card (takes two slots for additional backet)
- FM Radio Card
- Soundblaster 16
- Oak Technologies VGA card (might replace with TGUI 9440 [first svga card ever])

I have one 16-bit slot left, and would like to fit a memory expansion into it for use with games of the era that require EMS, such as Monster Bash (in which you can't get SB sound without some EMS). I had a BocaRAM AT, which I sold because I didn't think I'd end up having a 5170, but on the bright side, this means I now have the opportunity to pick my expansion card.

So, with all that information in mind, what is the best RAM expansion for the 5170?

Maverick1978
July 13th, 2010, 02:10 PM
This may sound cursory (and I don't mean it to be so), but how much RAM are you wanting to put in it?

If I had my choice, I would go with a card that was SIMM compatible, as I've boatloads of old SIMMS, but few DRAMs to upgrade an unpopulated card. From what I've seen in researching the capabilities of the AST Sixpack Mega Plus that came in my 5160, something like an AST SixPack/286 would be where I'd go, as it gives me 4 SIMM slots and supports up to 4MB of EMS while also supplying me a serial and parallel port expansion (though that's inconsequential to me; I've plenty of Multi-I/O cards).

Anonymous Coward
July 13th, 2010, 03:00 PM
I use the BocaRAM/AT Plus board. It holds eight 1mb SIMMs. This is not the best card you can get, but they're more common than some of the others. I believe Kingston and Acculogic both make similar cards that hold up to 16mb in four 4mb SIMMs. However, the best solution that I am currently aware of is the Orchid RAMquest 8/16. This holds up to 32mb using 4mb SIMMs in 8 slots. That will give you 16mb in extended, and another 16mb in expanded. Believe it or not, you can use more than one of those cards in the same system.

Honestly though, you will never need more than 2mb of RAM in a 286. So in theory just about any extended memory board should work great. I recommend one that supports LIM 4.0 EMS memory.

southbird
July 13th, 2010, 03:17 PM
AC: *points* (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?21224-Need-Bocaram-AT-Plus-driver&goto=newpost)

I need the driver, I'm dyin' man!

Anonymous Coward
July 13th, 2010, 03:29 PM
I do have the install disks for the BocaRAM AT Plus, but the problem is that it is in Missouri, and I am in Toronto. Remind me again in 2 months when I will be back in MO.

Floppies_only
July 13th, 2010, 07:28 PM
Honestly though, you will never need more than 2mb of RAM in a 286.

I had a 286 with 8 megs of RAM and it ran Works for Windows version 2 quite nicely. It just needed a few extra seconds to load things from the hard disk.

Sean

southbird
July 13th, 2010, 08:14 PM
I had a 286 with 8 megs of RAM and it ran Works for Windows version 2 quite nicely. It just needed a few extra seconds to load things from the hard disk.

Sean

Of course, the operative was "need." You COULD have a 286 with 16MB of RAM and probably never run out while running 286 programs with normal use...

Raven
July 14th, 2010, 03:35 PM
Thank you all for your input. Does anybody have a good board for sale, ideally an Orchid RAMQuest (those sound really nice) or something that supports both EMS and XMS for maximum versatility? If you have a less versatile board, feel free to mention anyway - if it's not expensive I may jump on it instead.