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Thread: What is the vintage 286/386/486 market like these days?

  1. #1
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    Default What is the vintage 286/386/486 market like these days?

    I was wondering how the market for old AT class machines is doing.

    Spring is here and I should do some downsizing and was wondering if people pay a premium for complete systems these days or if parts are the best way to go. I have complete systems and also motherboards, cards, HDs, cases etc. No need for all the extras since the ones I use seem reliable enough (and I am out of space).

    The stuff I have been collecting lately is 2000 era so I don't know whats going on with the older stuff.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  2. #2
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    There doesn't seem to be a huge amount of interest in 286 systems as far as I can tell.

  3. #3
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    It depends on what the complete systems are. Clones, no-name brands, etc. probably worth parting out. Any name brands or systems in working and very good cosmetic condition should probably be left alone.

    If I weren't at capacity, I'd ask you what you have.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Documentation and original disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  4. #4
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    The reason I asked about complete systems is that while there are plenty of AT motherboards out there for say 386 and 486 systems there are very few cases and power supplies out there. Seems like unless you are gutting a dead system you already have or are stuffing an AT board into an early ATX case it would be hard to build a system these days without spending some cash.

    The supply of ISA and VLB video cards seems to have dried up as well.

    People seem to love an IBM AT 286 desktops but not clones I guess. To be honest some of the 286 desktop clones are nicer then IBMs systems and you can get boards that go up to 25mhz.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  5. #5
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    Well, you can blame skyrocketing shipping prices for the lack of larger system cases. Something might only be worth $50 but cost $100 to ship. I honestly don't understand why the economy does not just grind to a halt because moving things around is apparently just too hard these days.

    At any rate, I have seen interest on eBay in 386/486 type systems (and PILES of interest in a specific AMD 5x86 motherboard, grumble, grumble). Have not been keeping track of exact prices.

    Off hand I've seen the most interest in generic AT style cases and boards. A proprietary board that only fits a specific model of OEM case won't sell well.

    I'd think that any complete CPU unit with working motherboard and case that is in good cosmetic condition would get some interest. Perhaps $75 to $200 depending on what is installed such as hard drives, floppy drives, video card, sound cards, and so on.

    Something that is not in good cosmetic condition, yea, part it out. 5.25" floppy drives are selling easily for $50 these days (grumble, grumble, should have gotten some more a while back). Video and sound cards will always depend on what brand/model/chipset they are.

    So, anyway, a random clone can be hit or miss depending on what is in it, and how well a seller shows people what is in it.

    By all means, post more details about what you might want to offload.

  6. #6
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    I remember when the combo 3.5"/5.25" drivers were selling for $30 or so a piece.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  7. #7
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    386s and 486s are still reasonably priced when they show up locally (I got my Gateway 2000 486 tower for $50 and that included a keyboard, a mouse, and a box of assorted floppies and CDs) but eBay's hilarious. No-name 386s in horrible shape and they're trying to offload them for $200...meanwhile I've got a 386 and a 486 (OEM systems) that I'd be happy to offload locally for a reasonable price.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    I remember when the combo 3.5"/5.25" drivers were selling for $30 or so a piece.
    Why, what do they go for now? Are these the Epson combo units? (checks ebay) Oh wow, about $100. Glad I grabbed 3 when they were $20 apiece.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Documentation and original disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    I remember when the combo 3.5"/5.25" drivers were selling for $30 or so a piece.
    What are they selling for now?

  10. #10
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    Teac or Epson seem to be $100+ unless you get lucky and get one out of Ukraine for half that. Not an earth shattering sum but rising.

    I am kind of glad to see people still buying them since I figured everybody is going for Gotek emulator drives (unless they are just for period looks and not for use).
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

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