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Thread: Professional Graphics Card questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Professional Graphics Card questions

    Just wondering if it's possible to have a PGA card co-exist with VGA in the same system. I currently have an 8 bit Paradise VGA card in my 5160. I was looking to populate the PGA card into my 5161 (along with a 3270 option). I just wanted to see if there would be any IRQ or IO conflicts.

    Second question - what monitors can be modified to work with the PGA? I don't have the original monitor it's supposed to be paired with.
    IBM Computers: 5150 (16-64K, 64-256K), 5160, 5161 expansion unit (several of these), 5170 (regular and Tempest) PS/2 Mods 30, 40SX, 50Z, 55SX, 60, 70, 77 (Lacuna & Bermuda), 80, 85, 90 XP.
    Vintage ThinkPads: 300, 360C/CE/CSE, 365X, 701C/CS, 720C, 730TE (tablet), 750C/P (color and tablet models), 755C/CE/CD/CDV/CX, 760ED, 770, 560/E, 600E/X.
    Vintage UNIX workstations: 2/120, 3/75, 3/60, SS 2/5/20, Ultra 2 Enterprise, HP 715/100, several RS/6000s ............And a bunch of other stuff

  2. #2

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    VGA cards tend to have a 32k BIOS ROM, and this would conflict with the PGC transfer buffer at C600:0000. If you can find a VGA card with a 16k BIOS ROM it should work. You'd also need to disable CGA emulation on the PGC.

    I've had PGC working with a Samsung SyncMaster 500s Plus (CRT monitor) and a Proview EM-150 (LCD monitor) - though in the latter case some of the display area was clipped IIRC.

  3. #3
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    Just curious why you need a vga in a box with the PGC.

    The pgc and it's clones are basically vga freqs with sync on green iirc.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I've always used VGA, because I haven't had a working CGA or MDA display in about 20 years.

    I wanted to install the PGA to show it off, like a younger member in our computer club (DFW retro computers) does at our quarterly GTGs. It takes him about 10 minutes to render the Windows XP image in 640x480, which is still pretty cool.

    But with his setup, he was running a triple framebuffer setup. MDA adapter, CGA, and then PGA, and he'd use the mode command to switch between CGA and MDA.

    On another note, I also ended up with one of these, new in an IBM sealed box.
    IBM Computers: 5150 (16-64K, 64-256K), 5160, 5161 expansion unit (several of these), 5170 (regular and Tempest) PS/2 Mods 30, 40SX, 50Z, 55SX, 60, 70, 77 (Lacuna & Bermuda), 80, 85, 90 XP.
    Vintage ThinkPads: 300, 360C/CE/CSE, 365X, 701C/CS, 720C, 730TE (tablet), 750C/P (color and tablet models), 755C/CE/CD/CDV/CX, 760ED, 770, 560/E, 600E/X.
    Vintage UNIX workstations: 2/120, 3/75, 3/60, SS 2/5/20, Ultra 2 Enterprise, HP 715/100, several RS/6000s ............And a bunch of other stuff

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tipc View Post
    Just curious why you need a vga in a box with the PGC.

    The pgc and it's clones are basically vga freqs with sync on green iirc.
    The PGC has RGB with a dedicated composite sync. A lot of regular VGA monitors are capable of displaying the picture from a PGC with a simple 9-15 pin adapter.

    But as mentioned, most VGA cards use a full 32KB for the BIOS extension. There are of course some exceptions, like IBMs own VGA card (having a 24KB extension, the maximum size without conflicting with the PGC).

  6. #6
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    Default

    Does the same go for LCDs? The only CRTs I have are some mono (TTL) and 1 CGA. I haven't had a VGA CRT in years. I do have a bunch of higher end NEC Multisync LCDs that support sync on green. I guess the question is, what specs would I be looking for to see if my monitor would work? And where would one get such a 9 to 15 pin DB adapter? Do the pins translate a particular way?
    IBM Computers: 5150 (16-64K, 64-256K), 5160, 5161 expansion unit (several of these), 5170 (regular and Tempest) PS/2 Mods 30, 40SX, 50Z, 55SX, 60, 70, 77 (Lacuna & Bermuda), 80, 85, 90 XP.
    Vintage ThinkPads: 300, 360C/CE/CSE, 365X, 701C/CS, 720C, 730TE (tablet), 750C/P (color and tablet models), 755C/CE/CD/CDV/CX, 760ED, 770, 560/E, 600E/X.
    Vintage UNIX workstations: 2/120, 3/75, 3/60, SS 2/5/20, Ultra 2 Enterprise, HP 715/100, several RS/6000s ............And a bunch of other stuff

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkhoury View Post
    Does the same go for LCDs? The only CRTs I have are some mono (TTL) and 1 CGA. I haven't had a VGA CRT in years. I do have a bunch of higher end NEC Multisync LCDs that support sync on green. I guess the question is, what specs would I be looking for to see if my monitor would work? And where would one get such a 9 to 15 pin DB adapter? Do the pins translate a particular way?
    It depens on the monitor, but have a look in the monitors manual. There's usually a technical spec section there with what sync types are supported. As mentioned, you're looking for "composite sync" and not "sync on green".

    The cable adapter is pretty standard. The 9-pin VGA pinout is almost exactly the same as the PGC, only differing in the number of sync lines. The adapters are plentifull and cheaply available from for example ebay.

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