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Thread: My 486 Really Flies !

  1. #1

    Default My 486 Really Flies !

    I happened to use an old 486 today when I was down in the basement and needed to do some quick text processing.

    Man, does it boot fast compared to today's systems!

    I booted the machine, got into Windows 3.1, and then into Notepad quicker than my new 3.2 ghz machine with 1 gig RAM even boots into Windows XP SP2!

    This is a 486/66 DX-2 with 8 meg and Windows 3.1.

    Looks like software bloat has outpaced the speed of hardware improvements!

  2. #2

    Default

    Well, most of that is because of the silly graphical crap most people want these days but don't necessarily need. My 286 boots faster than most of these new vista boxes, and that's including the super-long memory count to 6144K.

    When Windows 3.1 loads, all it has to load as far as silly graphical garbage is the backdrop and the color scheme (generally). When XP loads, it has to pick the "interface theme", the color scheme, run Active Desktop (anyone remember how often we'd disable that waste of time in Windows 2000 and below?), fancy icons, icon shading, all the shadow effects for the arrow and icons, and all that other petty graphical jazz that looks cool but eats up even a bit of system memory, and all that on top of the two Win 3.1x has to pull up.

    The only slowing things for 3.1 I've found are if you are someone like me who pushes the 486 to it's limits. My 486 has 48MB of RAM, Windows For Workgroups 3.11, DOS 6.22, networked to the LAN via TCP/IP w/ DHCP, running at 800X600 @ 32 bit true color, with a TV Tuner, and Packard Bell Radio card to add to the mess of IRQ's, and even with 1MB Fort and Dr. Watson at boot, that thing loads faster than my PIII running Win 2K, and that's saying a lot because my Win2K setup is VERY fast. To slow the 486 down with a huge load of stuff, I usually wind up opening about 4-5 browser windows, IRC open (on #VC), plus my DOS graphics program idling in the background. For such an old computer, I still get a lot of use out of it.

  3. #3

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    Sometimes I really wish Microsoft would automatically check hardware on install & disable most of that sluggish crap on systems running w/ minimum requirements, check for hardware changes w/ each startup, then if true, do it again. Things would be so much faster for the average user...
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by atari2600a View Post
    Sometimes I really wish Microsoft would automatically check hardware on install & disable most of that sluggish crap on systems running w/ minimum requirements, check for hardware changes w/ each startup, then if true, do it again. Things would be so much faster for the average user...
    I think XP does this.

    On some slow systems on a clean install, no mouse shadow, no shadow period will occur, even with no font smoothing. On my Penitum 4, EVERYTHING is enabled.

  5. #5

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    I got a i486 DX4-100 w/ 64MBs of ram, SB awe32 and a 2mb mach32 vlb vid card, love the box, just put it together a few months ago, its become my retro gaming box. Got D622 and W311 installed. it runs everything as fast as could want / hope for.

    ... now to find that elusive 2mb mach64 vlb vid card... /want
    -JDT

    Wanted: IBM XT/286 Model 5162 <-!!!

  6. #6

    Default

    If you want that VLB Mach64 card, there is a seller in eBay stores that has about 20 of them for $10 each, but unfortunately with about $10 shipping. Good luck finding the 2MB VRAM module for it though. The VLB Mach64 is a nice card, and a good choice for an ultimate 486 system. If you want cards on the cheap, a PCI 486 is probably a better choice. VLB cards are getting expensive.

    I'm a big fan of the 486, and I think most of the software developed in the early to mid 90s is really wonderful. I'd like to be able to use that as an excuse for dumping so much money into my 486 system...but there's just no way to justify it to a sane person. It's just an obsession.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous Coward View Post
    If you want that VLB Mach64 card, there is a seller in eBay stores that has about 20 of them for $10 each, but unfortunately with about $10 shipping. Good luck finding the 2MB VRAM module for it though.
    Been looking on ebay and my local computer recycling place. Some sellers have them, but are asking WAY too much for a 15 year old peice of hardware.

    The VLB Mach64 is a nice card, and a good choice for an ultimate 486 system.
    I thought so too My mach32 was free though so I cant complain.

    If you want cards on the cheap, a PCI 486 is probably a better choice. VLB cards are getting expensive.
    486 + PCI = teh wrong

    I'm a big fan of the 486, and I think most of the software developed in the early to mid 90s is really wonderful. I'd like to be able to use that as an excuse for dumping so much money into my 486 system...but there's just no way to justify it to a sane person. It's just an obsession.
    Me too, and theres no way for me to explain my obsession to my poor wife whom has to suffer my collective impulses.
    -JDT

    Wanted: IBM XT/286 Model 5162 <-!!!

  8. #8

    Default

    Ha, you should feel no sympathy for your wife at all about your collective impulses. Women are infamous for collecting all kinds of useless shit, mainly dresses they never wear, shoes and holiday themed decorations. At least our stuff is cheap and generally stays in the basement (next to the boxes full of X-mas ornaments).

    Before I get moved to the "rants" section, I had better get back on topic. Yes, I tend to agree that PCI has no place on 486 systems. Because really, what's stopping you from dropping in a Geforce4 or a Voodoo5 or something. Since PCI cards are still being produced there's no challenge for creating an "ultimate" system.

    Anyway, good luck on your build. Please post some pictures.

  9. #9

    Default You guys have some cool 486s !

    Wow, really cool to read about some of the 486s you guys have built.

    I've got two 486s, but they're just old "stock" machines, one a 486/25, the other a 486/66, both only have 8 meg ram each. But they're great for my limited use, which is usually just writing & playing around.

    Mad-Mike -- when you're talking about 4-5 browser windows, you mean you're surfing the web on your 486 with all those windows open? How do you do it (I thought it would use up too much memory). Which browser do you use? I didn't really think it would be possible to do GUI web surfing using a 486.

    atari2600a -- I share your sentiments.... but MS *CAN'T* do that or they wouldn't be able to force you to upgrade and pay their fees. It amazes me to see what the 5 different editions of Vista cost retail versus what Windows 95 went for, but that's the power of monopoly. The name of their game is money and retaining their monopoly, above the interests of their users.

    BTW, does anyone remember what Windows 95 went for originally at retail from MS? I'd be really curious to get a real number to compare to those 5 Vista editions. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,129

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    Quote Originally Posted by benali72 View Post
    BTW, does anyone remember what Windows 95 went for originally at retail from MS? I'd be really curious to get a real number to compare to those 5 Vista editions.
    Someone else tried that comparison at http://www.neowin.net/index.php?act=view&id=37494

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