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An attempt to define/document lineage of x86-on-a-card type products for Apple machines


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@taddy

It might actually be BIOS incompatibility issues. The Cyrix 5x86 was an actual 5x86 class processor, not a glorified 486, and so it had more issues with board compatibility than the various other 486 DX4 (Intel, Cyrix, etc.) and 486 DX5 (AMD) options. You could try to snag one of the AMD 5x86 133 chips (which isn't a 5x86 class chip at all, it's a souped up 486, but because it overclocked better you could actually make a faster system out of it) and see if it works.

 

As an aside, if you end up not being able to get that Cyrix 5x86 to work out, I'll happily buy it off of you. I have an industrial SBC control board that I'd love to put it on.

Edited by Nathan_A
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Nathan_A


Thanks for reply.

Does that mean that the Cyrix 5x86 CPU information is not registered in the BIOS file included in the PCsetup 1.6.4 or 2.x control panel and cannot be started?
I see.

 

With the reply's control panel "DoM SetUP", which contains Cyrix 5x86 CPU information,I might be able to launch it.
At the moment, "DoM Setup" for 6100 DOS card can only be found in 1.1.1.

 

 

 

 


 

 

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On 3/27/2021 at 9:49 PM, Dezant said:

Thanks for the information. I bought a cocktail of upgrades based on some recent research into what would be possible on my single PCI slot 5500/275 to see how much I can max it out as an all in one PC / Mac / Console (S-Video input) battlestation.

 

I've decided to bypass the 7" PCI card size and single PCI slot limitation by adding an AVID Magma 7-slot PCI expander for pro video / audio use. This adds 7 more PCI slots in a rack mountable box which I can put in the audio rack under my desk while the 5500 all in one is up top. Hopefully the PCI cable is long enough to reach the top 4U slot under my desk.

 

You’re doing what I’ve wanted to do for years - the Magma 2/3/4/7 slot box with Magma PCI card in a TAM or other limited expansion Mac. Please post back if you have luck. I’ve had dreams of owning a PCI expansion box and filling it with good shit like 3DFX cards, sound cards. However, I can see bandwidth and compatibility issues in some picky Macs.

 

I’ve only ever seen one PCI expansion classic locally, and it was $50 but lacking the Magna card. Didn’t know enough about the brand then so didn’t get it.

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On 3/28/2021 at 6:14 AM, Byrd said:

 

You’re doing what I’ve wanted to do for years - the Magma 2/3/4/7 slot box with Magma PCI card in a TAM or other limited expansion Mac. Please post back if you have luck. I’ve had dreams of owning a PCI expansion box and filling it with good shit like 3DFX cards, sound cards. However, I can see bandwidth and compatibility issues in some picky Macs.

 

I’ve only ever seen one PCI expansion classic locally, and it was $50 but lacking the Magna card. Didn’t know enough about the brand then so didn’t get it.

 

Thanks, I will definitely report back with results. The Avid Magma is currently undergoing a total overhaul to reduce noise, so I'm changing the PSU out, swapping cooling fans to Arctic F8's, and adding sound dampening material to the exposed metal all around the inside of the chassis while waiting for a K6-III-400 super socket 7 upgrade to arrive from Japan for the OrangePC 550.

 

Powering the Magma on for the first time it sounded like a jet engine. Very relieved to see that you can swap in a modern / quiet ATX power supply and now it's nearly silent. :)

 

 

Edited by Dezant
550 not 660
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@Dezant I think you should definitely post a new thread about this with details/information about what you're doing and how.  I know there are a number of people here who would probably find it very interesting who might not find it in this thread :-)

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On 3/7/2021 at 8:20 AM, jeremywork said:

 

2139545358_ScreenShot2021-03-07at4_38_19PM.thumb.png.ffedc47e0e883ec98f663d3c30730527.png

 

 

 

Great post! I have the first card in the picture, so OrangePC 210, according to what you write - and this is already a discovery, since I was identifying it as a 200 or 220.


I had no success so far in having it recognized by any software tool in my IIci, nor to find the correct software version to make it work, even if some OrangePc drivers are available through the internet archive. I will see if there is something specific to the 210 model, and if this could make some difference. Any hint is super welcome, and here are other threads on the forum where we were discussing this:

 

 

 

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On 4/4/2021 at 5:55 PM, micheledipaola said:

 

Great post! I have the first card in the picture, so OrangePC 210, according to what you write - and this is already a discovery, since I was identifying it as a 200 or 220.


I had no success so far in having it recognized by any software tool in my IIci, nor to find the correct software version to make it work, even if some OrangePc drivers are available through the internet archive. I will see if there is something specific to the 210 model, and if this could make some difference. Any hint is super welcome, and here are other threads on the forum where we were discussing this:

...

 

Glad it could help!

 

Try the download for "orange_micro_pc.sit" here: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/orange-pc

Use the files within the "200" folder and see if you have any luck.

 

I'm also not sure the power draw requirements for the 200 series. Towers like the Quadra 900 and 950 had extra power available for the Nubus, but perhaps on a IIci or other II series it requires more than its share of power. Are your two other slots populated as well?

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I tried it in a IIci as the only card, and it did not show up in tattletech. I could plug the molex for powering the cpu fan, but nothing more.

Maybe I will try again in a Quadra 700, I guess that is the most up-to-date nuBus machine I could use. I really don't like beige PPC and so my collection jumps from there to a black and white G3 - the only other chance I could have being a DuoDock for Powerbook Duos.

 

There is also a block of jumpers to set on the card, the settings should be in one of the websites you linked but again no luck in different configurations.

now I have something more to try! :D

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On 4/5/2021 at 9:21 AM, micheledipaola said:

I tried it in a IIci as the only card, and it did not show up in tattletech. I could plug the molex for powering the cpu fan, but nothing more.

Maybe I will try again in a Quadra 700, I guess that is the most up-to-date nuBus machine I could use. I really don't like beige PPC and so my collection jumps from there to a black and white G3 - the only other chance I could have being a DuoDock for Powerbook Duos.

 

There is also a block of jumpers to set on the card, the settings should be in one of the websites you linked but again no luck in different configurations.

now I have something more to try! :D

It's possible the Q700 will make a difference with its early Nubus '90, but being the only card should provide plenty of power in the IIci. too.

 

I'd also scrutinize the tantalum capacitors on the backside of the board. I've got a 290 which actually caused visual artifacts on the Quadra built-in video; upon closer inspection one of the caps had been cracked by a prior impact.

 

For your jumper block I'd start here: http://www.telusplanet.net/public/mcpheej/orangepc_old.html

I don't know with absolute certainty but I'd imagine the jumpers would be identical for all 200 series cards, perhaps abridged when the DX4 VRM is missing.

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On 4/5/2021 at 7:32 PM, jeremywork said:

I'd also scrutinize the tantalum capacitors on the backside of the board. I've got a 290 which actually caused visual artifacts on the Quadra built-in video; upon closer inspection one of the caps had been cracked by a prior impact.

 

Do the visual artifacts look anything like the ones I posted in this thread @jeremywork? Mine is a 250. I looked at pics of my card's back and do not see any broken caps, but perhaps there are ones that have partly detached or I'm missing something. Here's some photos of mine.

 

I wonder if various caps & resistors are different between the versions. I wasn't able to get a DX4 Overdrive working in the card regardless of what jumper settings I selected (maybe BIOS issue?). Note mine has a small bodge wire right behind the nubus slot, and a small scratch on the back near C88 by the PCMCIA slot.

 

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20 hours ago, nickpunt said:

 

Do the visual artifacts look anything like the ones I posted in this thread @jeremywork? Mine is a 250. I looked at pics of my card's back and do not see any broken caps, but perhaps there are ones that have partly detached or I'm missing something. Here's some photos of mine.

 

I wonder if various caps & resistors are different between the versions. I wasn't able to get a DX4 Overdrive working in the card regardless of what jumper settings I selected (maybe BIOS issue?). Note mine has a small bodge wire right behind the nubus slot, and a small scratch on the back near C88 by the PCMCIA slot.

 

IMG_7100.jpeg

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Looks like yours was mostly working- having this one inserted would cause the checkered startup screen to be dark gray, the Mac OS window to be a deep mustard yellow with purple text, before it would freeze. Something was deeply wrong, but seeing this on the back can't help. Haven't spent the time to fix this yet but I'll be curious to see if that's the only cause.

 

2091710402_Photoon3-23-21at3_22AM.jpg.b1b0b851e37f27afcfd03b8c692ac360.jpg

 

P.S.

Upon closer examination of those pictures, it looks like perhaps the VRM was moved to the lower part of the PCB for that 200 series design. There are two different base PCBs for the 200 series and I've seen both used for some overlapping model numbers. Maybe this indicates a revision, instead of a model difference.

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The card looks rather good to me - I wouldn't imagine the scratch at C88 would be detrimental.  Regarding the video artefacts, have you tried different Windows WDC video drivers to what is provided - does the card produce any graphical glitches under DOS games, higher resolutions?

 

Unrelated but confirming the Pentium Overdrive POD83 won't work in Apple DOS compatible cards (from 610, 630, 6100) - it requires a 236, 237 pin Socket- physically larger than the 168/169 pin Socket these cards have.  One day I'll find a home for the Overdrive - it's a bit of an oddball upgrade being fairly limited in what you can install it into.

Edited by Byrd
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On 4/10/2021 at 9:55 PM, jeremywork said:

Upon closer examination of those pictures, it looks like perhaps the VRM was moved to the lower part of the PCB for that 200 series design. There are two different base PCBs for the 200 series and I've seen both used for some overlapping model numbers. Maybe this indicates a revision, instead of a model difference.

 

@jeremywork yeah I think you're right about two distinct 2xx series PCBs and that likely being a revision.

 

Mine has a 250-9405-0283 hand drawn in the lower corner of the PCB. This is probably the serial #, with '250' being the model, but I wonder if it also encodes a board rev. Other numbers of note on there:

AB2984767 - AmiBIOS revision

4342 21 - silkscreen on backside of board near ram

(c) OrangePC 1994 silkscreen on backside of board

90 ACT 01020 REV N/C - the sticker atop one of the chips

 

@Byrd good suggestion! I haven't tried any alternate drivers, and I don't remember if I tried pure DOS games. Its in storage so it'll take many months to get at this again unfortunately.

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How did I not see this thread?! ;) 

 

Here are some high res scans (imgur links) of the Pentium 100 12" Apple card

yviXTws.jpg  3OgL9Zz.jpeg 

 

I didn't get any scans of the 166 Mhz Pentium I have, mainly because I didn't want to remove and re-adhere the *heatsinks on the Opti chips (that's a mod I recommend, BTW, because they get f'ing HOT). Here's a shot comparing the reverse of the 100 and 166 (pentium) cards:

sHp5IyC.jpg

 

think I made an offer on one of the Cyrix 166PR (133 686) cards a while back, but not knowing if it worked or not, I didn't go all out. I can't find the listing images on worthpoint or ebay or the wayback, but my recollection is that it was a Pentium 166 board which was heavily modified (i.e. hand patch wired) in various spots, but was otherwise the same. Again, per my recollection... the main difference is it will have socketed VRAM expansion, vs the Pentium's soldered full 2 MB... so I think I was putting "it looks like the 166 Pentium, but has socketed VRAM of the 100" in my brain

 

*Here's how the clearance is when I had them in my 4400 (with Rage128 in the slot above) though I might've went back on this after deciding that all three of them needed a heatsink:
UGs50TO.jpg

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