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Low profile 486 motherboard; any idea what this is?


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#1 Laner OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2018 12:30 PM

I bought a truckload of old hardware from a guy on craigslist several months ago. I've sifted through it and either sold, discarded, or refurbished most of it.  But this motherboard has me scratching my head. It's not your typical ATX profile, and I haven't been able to Google up any info on it.  Any ideas?

 

 

 

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#2 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2018 12:34 PM

It's most likely something like a Packard Bell proprietary board. It looks very similar to my old Legend 2000 MultiMedia board, but with more RAM slots and a ZIF socket.

 

Unless I'm forgetting some old standard, I have a feeling that long slot in the middle is for a riser card of some kind. My computer had something that looked like that for that purpose.


Edited by spacecadet, Thu Mar 1, 2018 12:35 PM.


#3 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2018 12:40 PM

Google gives me a fair number of hits for FIC 486 GAC-2.

http://www.fic.com.t...os/486bios.aspx


Edited by carlsson, Thu Mar 1, 2018 12:41 PM.


#4 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2018 2:28 PM

This would be part of a low-end office machine, an "e-machine" styled system, a low cost home/family system. Maybe something from a Compaq. The riser card goes in the big slot, and it would play host to a soundcard and modem if those options were selected.

 

It's curious the socket cpu looks like a 486sx-25. That's a low-end 486, and those were usually soldered on at the factory. The socket would remain empty and provide the user a path to something like a DX2-50 or 66. There are jumpers to support such an upgrade. So perhaps the board was made toward the end of the 486's reign. When all the SX-25 chips were coming back in and a surplus built up.

 

There is also a socket for more video ram too. It comes with 512K now, but you can add another 512K for a total of 1MB. CL5429 was pretty much standard VGA chip back then, and it itself could support up to 2MB for higher resolutions - again supporting the idea it's a low-end consumer configuration. It's also 100% IBM VGA compatible and BIOS compatible. There is also what looks like the standard VESA feature connector for external mpeg decoders which were popular back then. And the chip is Vesa Local Bus.

 

The board also has all the standard interfaces of the time, 2x serial, 1x parallel, IDE and floppy controllers, clock, VIA chipset, standard memory. It's rather integrated with all this stuff on-board. While that could be an annoyance back then, it's a benefit today. It's all there!

 

Here's discussion about the COAST module, the socket by the 486.

https://www.vogons.o...hp?f=46&t=42083



#5 RodLightning OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2018 3:49 PM

I agree with previous posts that it's likely to be either a Packard Bell or Compaq board.  I have seen similar in low profile desktop cases and proprietary mid towers.  That big riser slot helps identify it.  Having a coin battery holder is a plus.  Some of them had those soldered on Varta rechargable CMOS batteries that tend to leak.



#6 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2018 4:56 PM

This is a highly desirable motherboard because it has real DIP-switches that will allow you to configure it for home or office use exclusively.

 

For office use you disable fun and set it to mono mode.

If you bought this for home and games, you enable fun and turn on color mode.



#7 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2018 6:05 PM

Did Compaq or Packard Bell buy their motherboards from the Taiwanese company First International Computers, instead of manufacturing their own motherboards?



#8 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2018 6:28 PM

yes every oem bought their motherboard and still do with the biggest supplier being ECS (Compaq and dell used ECS forever) , but FIC was a big 2-3rd tier supplier back in the day as well

 

this thing could be from any computer maker from that era that sold a half or 3/4 height desktop, there would have been a riser in the middle that had ISA slots on both sides 

 

the days of the actual company designing and sourcing their own gear died as soon as the PC clones took off like mad in the mid to late 80's 


Edited by Osgeld, Thu Mar 1, 2018 6:32 PM.


#9 discgolfer72 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 2, 2018 12:09 AM

almost looks like  a megatouch max motherboard but its not

what chipset does it use   might be  compatible

http://www.davemanut.com/maxxmb2.jpg

 

 

I have a big stack of the max /  diamond series motherboards here

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Edited by discgolfer72, Fri Mar 2, 2018 12:11 AM.


#10 Gamemoose OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 2, 2018 11:13 AM

 
It's curious the socket cpu looks like a 486sx-25. That's a low-end 486, and those were usually soldered on at the factory. The socket would remain empty and provide the user a path to something like a DX2-50 or 66. There are jumpers to support such an upgrade. So perhaps the board was made toward the end of the 486's reign. When all the SX-25 chips were coming back in and a surplus built up.
 


My second IBM-Compatible was a 486SX-25 Packard Bell and that processor was in a ZIF socket. That machine was a closeout sale at Sears between 1993 and 1994. It didn't have a co-processor socket.

I can't remember that far back what PCs Wal-Mart and Sears carried when I worked there in that decade. Wal-Mart were closing out of their 486's when I transferred to Electronics as the Pentium chip was rolling in. I think maybe a Compaq model was an all-in-one that was sold, but I don't think it was that slow-they mainly had DX's.




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