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Thread: IBM PC AT 286 to 486DX-2 or DX-4 Upgrade

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    Quote Originally Posted by mR_Slug View Post
    Yes it will fit.
    Decided on and bought another one that I made sure would fit. It also had 20 MB of RAM and a working processor already installed.

  2. #12

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    I have never seen a dingus to go from a 286 directly to a 168-pin 486, but I have seen modules that let you go from a 286 to a 386DX or 486DLC. In theory if you could remove the CPU, you could upgrade it further with something like a Cyrix DRx2 or a SXL2. There are also adapters that let you go from a 386 to a 486, but it's likely that using two of these adapters together wouldn't work, and it would be quite bulky.

    The best direct upgrade I've seen is the Evergreen modules that upgrade you to a 486SLC2-66, but I haven't been 100% successful getting mine to work properly.

    A board replacement is of course way easier, but also not nearly as fun.
    "Will the Highways on the internets become more few?"

    V'Ger XT

  3. #13
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    At this point I'm not sure if there's any reason to upgrade a PC AT with a 486 system board. You might as well just pick up a 486 system and leave the AT in its original configuration. If you don't want a 286 system at all you could probably trade the whole thing to someone for a 486 system.

    The 'upgraded' system won't work as well as a real 486 system, and its value as a 'vintage' or 'collector' computer will be diminished. I'm not sure why anyone would want to go down this path today. I could see doing this in 1994 maybe, but not today.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    At this point I'm not sure if there's any reason to upgrade a PC AT with a 486 system board.
    What if they like the way the AT looks? That's why I put a Super Socket 7 board in my PC XT case.

  5. #15

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    The IBM 5170 case is AT-style, this means that any AT or Baby-AT motherboard can fit into the case. Even some rare AT Socket 478 motherboards, such as Commate P4XB. But after the upgrade the IBM PC AT 5170 will no longer be an IBM 5170, it will be a some AT-compatible computer in the old IBM case.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire-Flare View Post
    What if they like the way the AT looks? That's why I put a Super Socket 7 board in my PC XT case.
    That's about the only reason I can see to do it. In that case you're better off doing this with a dead system, rather than parting out a good one.

    I used to do this kind of thing myself, cobbling systems together from whatever parts I could get my hands on, but this was decades ago when these things were relatively new and readily available. Now that they are becoming "vintage" we are less and less able with each passing year to justify breaking up a working system, especially if it's becoming rare.

    There was a time when it could be considered an "upgrade" to replace your AT system board because you were taking a system with very little value and at least making it useful for what were then considered "modern" applications. But today I think we're at the point where an IBM AT case with a clone motherboard is worth less to collectors compared to a still-intact IBM AT. In other words, today such an "upgrade" is actually a "downgrade".

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    But today I think we're at the point where an IBM AT case with a clone motherboard is worth less to collectors compared to a still-intact IBM AT. In other words, today such an "upgrade" is actually a "downgrade".
    I completely agree with this, but ....

    The 'upgraded' system won't work as well as a real 486 system, and its value as a 'vintage' or 'collector' computer will be diminished. I'm not sure why anyone would want to go down this path today. I could see doing this in 1994 maybe, but not today.
    An original system with an upgrade card is something else. I agree with you that it won't work as well but it still has some historical value. I have a 286 card that you stick in an ISA slot and then you have to replace the 8088 with a connector that on its turn is connected to this upgrade board with a band cable. Weird thing: the PC becomes twice (?) as fast but the card has only 512 KB of RAM on board, not expandable, so I ran into memory shortage some times. And sometimes a program wouldn't even work. But people who saw the system considered it as very cool!
    With kind regards / met vriendelijke groet, Ruud Baltissen

    www.baltissen.org

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobtohahn View Post
    Link to a motherboard that will fit in a 5170? All of them are ATX or for PS/1 systems.
    AT and Baby-AT mainboards were available until the Super Socket 7 (AMD K6-2) and even Slot 1 (Pentium II) era, they even had AGP V1 slot. On the other side, there were never ATX mainboards for 80486, ATX started with Socket 7 (Pentium MMX, AMD K6/K6, Cyrix 5x86) era. An 5170 with AMD K6-2-400 should be possible.

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