Late VL-Bus card with unusual Alliance ProMotion 3210 chipset. Introduced in fall 1994. It is a 32bit design with 2MB DRAM and bank-interleaving setup similar to Tseng ET4000 w32i cards. It comes with a decent quality 130MHz RAMDAC. The main highlight of the chipset was built-in basic video acceleration (Video scaling and colour space conversion). [...]Continue reading "Miro Video 12PD VL"
This is a Zeos branded card based on an uncommon NCR 77C22E+ chipset. This is likely a 32bit GUI design with a 16bit host bus interface. A solution that is not dissimilar to Cirrus Logic GD542x VLB cards. The card likely only appeared in Zeos line of 486 PCs at the early days of the [...]Continue reading "Zeos NCR77C22E+ VLB card"
A very fast S3 Vision 864 based card. One of the best all-arounder VLB cards ever made. The performance in DOS is nearly identical to S3 Trio 64 based Diamond Stealth 64 DRAM T model which shares the same 2D core.Continue reading "Diamond Stealth 64 DRAM"
Not that many customers were buying ISA graphics cards in 1996. Thus this ought to be a special one.This might be the ISA graphics card with the most advanced VGA chip ever produced. The CL-GD5434 is a modern 64bit chip with EDO RAM support and a comprehensive acceleration feature set. Obviously, it is sitting on [...]Continue reading "Diamond Speedstar 64 ISA"
One of very few cards with S3 805i chipset that supports memory interleaving to improve performance. S3 86C805i-P VGA controller: Chrontel CH8391v RAMDAC. Drivers: S386C805Download Windows 3.1, S3 Flat Model Reference drivers VGA BIOS chip is soldered in onto the motherboard.Continue reading "Jaton VL 4l"
In 1991 Intel found itself in a relatively uncomfortable position, at least when it comes to the bottom end of the market. The main competitor - AMD has won a series of legal battles and was about to repeat what happened in 286 days -flood the market with cloned 386 chips which were cheaper and [...]Continue reading "The Slowest 486 vs Fastest 386"
I was wondering what would be the ultimate upgrade for my 386 motherboard. It has a 386 CPU soldered-in, an unpopulated 386 PGA socket and a socket for either 387 FPU or 486 PGA or (might take a Weitek as well - not quite sure) and even might have a soldered-in 486SX PQFP. Plenty of [...]Continue reading "Pentium on a 386 motherboard"
In mid-'90s buyers could find themselves having surprisingly many options when it comes to buying a Pentium-class CPU. The original Socket 4 60 and 66 MHz Pentiums were replaced by more efficient 90 and 100 MHz models for Socket 5, but some old stock was still available for some time. Shortly after that Intel introduced [...]Continue reading "The Perfect Pentium"
I've recently acquired an interesting motherboard with Intel 430FX Triton chipset. It has a feature I particularly wanted - sockets for asynchronous SRAM chips as well as a slot for COAST modules. Due to this, it allows for an interesting comparison of these two cache technologies. Test environment: Freetech 485F61 motherboard in different cache configurationsIntel [...]Continue reading "Intel 430FX Triton L2 Cache"
In this post, I am comparing several options from the first wave of Pentium chipsets. The subject of the test is loosely defined as Socket 4 and Socket 5 PCI chipsets from Intel and other vendors from the 1993-1995 period. Specifically the following chipsets will be compared: Intel 430LX (Mercury)Intel 430NX (Neptune)Intel 430FX (Triton)Intel 430HX [...]Continue reading "Early Pentium Chipsets"