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Thread: fast 486 vs. older Pentium

  1. #11

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    In DOSBox, you set the emulation speed, similar to other emulators such as Bochs or PCem.
    Especially PCem is very much period-correct. Try it on a modern computer.

    But then, even on a modern high-end CPU, DOSBox won't be able to do "fast 486" speeds.

  2. #12
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    Well, if you're just looking for a Pentium because eBay 486s are too expensive, perhaps I can fix that problem for you

    In the "fast PCI 486 vs. Socket 5 Pentium" debate though, I'd personally go with a Socket 5 system every time. To me, an ideal 486 system is a 486DX2-66 either all-ISA or VLB. A 486DX-33 is also often acceptable, depending on the intended use. I know "ideal" varies wildly from individual to individual! I always felt like a DX2 system with VLB graphics was the quintessential high end 486 box though. And, personally, I'd be running DOS 6.22 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11 if I wanted a Wintel box for games or DOS development or something.

  3. #13

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    I always found the idea of a PCI 486 system appealing because they were somewhat obscure "tweener" systems, and I never had one back in the day

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtherabbit View Post
    I always found the idea of a PCI 486 system appealing because they were somewhat obscure "tweener" systems, and I never had one back in the day
    Mine had the flakey onboard serial ports and per the advertising came with edo

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtherabbit View Post
    I always found the idea of a PCI 486 system appealing because they were somewhat obscure "tweener" systems, and I never had one back in the day
    486 boards with PCI are a mixed bag. Many newer PCI cards that have firmware on them (eg. video cards, disk controllers, etc.) won't work because the firmware was compiled against a Pentium and won't run on a 486 because of missing instructions. It's the same reason you can't run PCI cards designed for x86 on a PowerPC or vice versa.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    486 boards with PCI are a mixed bag. Many newer PCI cards that have firmware on them (eg. video cards, disk controllers, etc.) won't work because the firmware was compiled against a Pentium and won't run on a 486 because of missing instructions. It's the same reason you can't run PCI cards designed for x86 on a PowerPC or vice versa.
    Very good analogy and can save a lot of hair pulling.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  7. #17
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    Back in the day the 486 DX/2 66 VLB was the most popular DOS gaming machine around. The later 486 chips (especially the 133) were also popular with people who could not afford the new Pentium Machines.

    486 PCI is great for overclocking a 133 to 160 (still have mine) and much cheaper to get video and network cards for. I never found any problems with PCI video cards of that era on my motherboards, but later cards are probably a different story.

    I would think the very first VLB, PCI, EISA, AGP, USB chipsets and boards were somewhat flacky.

    PCI 1.0 was 5V while PCI 2.0 was 3.3 V and the slots were flipped. There are universal cards that work in either slot.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    486 PCI is great for overclocking a 133 to 160 (still have mine) and much cheaper to get video and network cards for.
    Not on the boards that ran PCI clock the same as the CPU FSB. PCI tends not to be very forgiving of overclocking in my experience and 40 MHz PCI slots usually cause issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    PCI 1.0 was 5V while PCI 2.0 was 3.3 V and the slots were flipped. There are universal cards that work in either slot.
    PCI 2.0 added 3.3v operation, while PCI 3.0 removed 5.0v completely. In practice, 3.3v slots were almost never used outside high end workstation and servers because of compatibility issues with existing cards on the market. The only mainstream machine I can think that uses at least one 3.3v slot is the Powermac G3 B&W.

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