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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

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There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

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Why do no modern-day accelerators exist for the PC?

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    #16
    The Inboard 386/PC is a wonderful accelerator. I’ve got one in one of my 5150s, and I will never part with it
    Compaq - It simply works better

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      #17
      I have an Inboard 386/PC too, as well as a Cyrix 486DRx2 16/32 to go with it. I recently bought a 5150 to put it in. Can't wait to pick it up! I just wish I could get one of those 1/2/4MB piggyback boards. Sometime, I might try mapping the pinout of the expansion connector and maybe make my own board that works with 72 pin SIMMs, but I've got a lot of learning to do before that can happen. If only someone with the proper knowledge and experience could do it. I've also been trying to find a suitable 386-486 upgrade for my decked-out PS/2 model 80. It's got 25MHz 386DX & 64KB L2 Cache, 16MB RAM, SCSI/A w/ 2MB Cache, 8514 w/ 1.5MB & 8514 display, Sound Blaster Pro 2 MCV, and 2x CD-ROM. I really wish I picked up one of those Reply power boards when they were on eBay. It was a bit pricey at $300, but if it were still listed I'd probably still buy it. I also missed a Kingston McMaster 486 for $50 simply because I forgot to bid on it. I'm pretty sure someone else on the forums bought it :P. I've also got this PS/2 486SLC upgrade for the models 50 and 60. I'd like to try it out in an AT, but I need to create a socket adaptor for it first. Luckily, that requires no components, only traces, so it should be easy to design. Worst come to worst, I'll just use it as it was intended in my Model 60.

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        #18
        Originally posted by Agent Orange View Post
        Lots of truth to that. While working for the feds, we always had money for repairs and upgrades but new purchases were normally "budgeted" items (except if you were the boss).
        We have done things both ways. Sometimes there was "capital" budget and we could buy new machines, but might end up parting them for spares because it was easier than building a new machine. More often we had money for spares so we bought extra and built new machines, especially stuff like PDP-11's, from them
        Dave
        G4UGM

        Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals.

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          #19
          I find it hard to see how you could make an accelerator card for a modern PC. These processors run really fast. The boards are tuned to get maximum speed from the RAM. Anything that would be faster would be a complete new board and not something that could be tacked on. The only thing I can think of is specialized FPGAs for such things as bit mining or video processing.
          It would be difficult to share the resources of today's boards without decreasing the performance, rather then increasing.
          Dwight

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            #20
            Originally posted by Dwight Elvey View Post
            I find it hard to see how you could make an accelerator card for a modern PC. These processors run really fast. The boards are tuned to get maximum speed from the RAM. Anything that would be faster would be a complete new board and not something that could be tacked on. The only thing I can think of is specialized FPGAs for such things as bit mining or video processing.
            It would be difficult to share the resources of today's boards without decreasing the performance, rather then increasing.
            Dwight
            Like these FPGA boards?

            https://www.xilinx.com/products/boar...tor-cards.html

            in any case in general it is rare to max out the CPU on many modern boxes. It normally the Disk that is the bottleneck, so I guess the current equivalent of of the old accelerator boards is your SSD
            Dave
            G4UGM

            Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals.

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              #21
              Things like data base searches can be significantly enhanced by cards such as Dave has pointed to. CPU's are particularly poor at that.
              Dwight

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                #22
                This brings back some memories for me, because I had a stack of old PC Mags when I was little, and I remember seeing ads for things like the Inboard/386 and the Maynard Surprise! and thinking they were *so cool*. Of course, by the time we got a "real" PC in 1993, XTs were pretty obsolete and 486 Madness was in full effect.

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by willmurray461 View Post
                  the PC is the most successful platform of them all. I understand that the difference between the PC and the Amiga, for example, is that you can easily and affordably buy a much more powerful PC to replace your old one, but powerful Amiga's are much harder to find and much more expensive.
                  You answered your own question.

                  However, is it incorrect to assume that there is still a large market which would be interested in early x86 processor upgrades?
                  Back then, we called that "get a better PC". Moving to newer architecture provided a faster bus, which meant faster RAM and faster access to peripherals, something a simple chip-only accelerator couldn't address. For most people currently in the hobby, the same still stands. I love my AT&T PC 6300 to death, but if I want to run Windows 3.1, I pull out a 486.

                  That said, there was someone a few years ago who replaced his PCjr's 8088 with an FPGA-based 8088 clone, and the effective speedup was funny to see because all instructions effectively ran in 1 cycle (including MUL/DIV). So the CPU became effectively memory-bound for all operations. It was a substantial speedup, but it wasn't 486-levels IIRC.
                  Last edited by Trixter; August 8, 2019, 01:21 PM.
                  Offering a bounty for:
                  - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                  - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

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