Re: thinking of the "ultimate" retro x86 PCs - what bits to seek/keep ?
barythrin at gmail.com
Fri Jun 3 00:32:15 CDT 2016
I'm a bit surprised at the recommendation of Dell but maybe they weren't playing all their proprietary games yet. I've seen where they rewired a nonstandard power connector so you'd fry it replacing it with a standard power supply or fry your other system using one of their power supplies but can't remember if that was at or atx.
Seen where they did something stupid and notched their ram so it had to be registered memory. So long ago i don't remember the details though. Not to mention weird custom firmware on parts they didn't build which caused driver and functionality nightmares for 3 sound blaster cards i bought (at a bargain) but had to return all 3 for various odd reasons.
Either way. They quickly became a vendor i lost trust in but maybe lots of vendors also did that and i just ended up working on their problems the most.
Mca and vlb cards are harder to come by and fetch a higher price range vs isa/Eisa or pci.
Definitely stay away from Cyrix processors. Most computer stores i knew in the 486 era wouldn't even sell them or take them as trade ins. Comparability issues and overheating seemed to be common features.
Interesting comments on parallel drives. They're nice for compatability on multiple systems but much slower than their scsi sisters. I did both but didn't realize the huge transfer speed difference until i had traded away my scsi version for a box o' gear then later traded some of that to get a parallel zip drive again. But on the bright side most of my systems could use it or share it over null modem.
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