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PC-XT upgrades ()

JT64

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What upgrade option existed in the PC-XT era?
Link below there is a 8-bit upgrade card for XT.

http://cgi.ebay.it/AST-202160-002-H...250606184QQihZ014QQcategoryZ164QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/ORCHID-TINY-TUR...hash=item230299984563&_trksid=p3286.m63.l1177

Do anyone know more about them and similar products that existed.

Will they run out of box on an PC-XT? Did they have memory etc?

Do anyone have a "AST 202160-002" 286 hot shot or Tiny Turbo card laying around, are they expensive collector items?

JT
 

per

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It must be the last afterwave of the pre-PC era where micro-computers consisted of only a bus and extension-cards, ence they used a Processor-card instead of a on-board processor.

The original PC (and XT) architecture is based on those computers, with the difference that some of the required extension boards (CPU board, RAM-board, ROM-board, Casette and some other misc I/O functions like keyboard/speaker) are buildt into the motherboard, causing more free extension slots.

Another note, on the PC's and Xt's, the system bus is close to just an extension of the controll/I/O lines of the 8088 CPU, and the whole system is local (meaning no chipset). This is why those boards you reffer to will work, they just takes controll of the bus, just as the 8088 processor would have done (you will problably need to remove/deactivate the 8088/8087 processors to get them to work, though).

*Edit*
They WILL run right out of the box, if you set the jumpers right. For memory, it will use the standard system memory just like the normal 8088 does.
 
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kb2syd

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These were fairly common items. They were 286 upgrades for XT class machines. Typically, you pulled the CPU from the XT, plugged it into one of these cards, and then ran a cable from the card to the XT cpu socket.

Sofware then enabled the XT or 286 CPU.

I think they typically did not include RAM. They relied on the XT RAM. I had one of these for my Tandy 1000A back in the day. Made quite a difference in speed.
 

Terry Yager

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You're both right...sort of.

The first one is an upgrade for an AST computer. AST made some backplane computers, which were (very expensively) upgradable by buying a new (proprietary) CPU board. It isn't likely that this one will work in a standard XT or clone mb.

The second one (Tiny Turbo) is an accelerator for upgrading a standard MB, but is severely overpriced (IMHO). You shouldn't pay over a C-note for one, and they often sell for much lower prices. Somebody on these forums just sold one NIB for $50.00 a few days ago. (BTW, I'm going to be listing some stuff in the ForSale section in the next few days, including a similar '286 accelerator (not the Orchid, which is by far the most popular)).

You should also note that a '286 accelerator board doesn't turn your XT into a true '286, just makes it perform as a much faster XT.

--T
 

dongfeng

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I have an Orchid XTra 10MHz 286 card in my XT. It does make a noticable difference to the speed of the computer and 286/8088 mode is selected with a switch on the back.

I also have a second card with no ID on it at all, but this one is only a 286 - there is no switch or 8088 on it at all.

I haven't run any benchmarks to test the speed, but it does make Prince of Persia playable without the usual 8088 lag! :lol:
 

the xt guy

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Terry is correct, a 286 upgrade card merely turns an XT into a "faster XT". It will not be the equal of a 286 computer.

Most if not all 286 upgrade cards have no provision to add any memory. You will still have only 640K of RAM. You will still only have 8 bit expansion slots.

Most software that needs a 286 to run on will need at least a little extended RAM, which you will not be able to add. For example, Windows 3.1 will not run as it needs at least 256k of extended memory in addition to a 286 CPU.

I have several motherboards which are a functional equivalent of what these are. These motherboards have a 286 CPU, but only 8 bit expansion slots and only 640K of RAM with no possibility of adding more.

All the 286 specific software I have tried on them will not install. Also, the 286 CPU will not go into 'protected' mode, it only runs in 'real' mode.

They do run faster than even a 10 mhz. 8088 but that is about all.

A 286 CPU in real mode with only 640k of RAM is not going to expand your software horizons any more than what you get with an 8088, just faster within the 8088 realm.
 

per

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I have an Orchid XTra 10MHz 286 card in my XT. It does make a noticable difference to the speed of the computer and 286/8088 mode is selected with a switch on the back.

I also have a second card with no ID on it at all, but this one is only a 286 - there is no switch or 8088 on it at all.

I haven't run any benchmarks to test the speed, but it does make Prince of Persia playable without the usual 8088 lag! :lol:

Do you have to unplug the 8088 processor to get it working? or do you got a socket-to-card cable with the card?
 

Anonymous Coward

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I believe the Intel Inboard/286 allows you to add extra memory, but I don't believe it comes with any out of the box. It takes proprietary upgrade modules that are hard to find. I think at least one of the other cards also uses a proprietary memory daughter board, but I can't recall which one.

Another downside to these 8088-->80286 upgrade boards is that they often don't work in the the faster XTs.
If you are interested in a faster XT, I highly recommend looking for a 10MHz 8086 board and upgrading to V30. Performance is similar to an 8-10MHz 286.
 

Terry Yager

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I dragged out my only XT-type computer (IBM 5155) to test a few boards, but ran into a snag -- no keyboard function. If you want the '286 board I have available, untested, drop me an offer via pm (beer money works).

It's made by PCSG, called 'Breakthrough 286', and is a 12MHz, with onboard cache and a socket for '287 co-processor, and yes, it has a cable to jack-in at the 8088 socket. Sorry, that's all I know about it (of course, goggle came up with snake-eyes).

--T
 

Chuck(G)

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There were also 386 upgrades for the XT and PC. Expensive--about $600 to over $1000; I recall the Intel InBoard 386/PC (there was also one for the AT called the 386/AT). AST also had one called something like the 386/XT.

Neither would run 386-enhanced mode Windows.

One of the problems was that you still had all of your PC/XT peripherals--and you couldn't add any of the 16-bit AT peripherals. I think you could put up to 4MB on the Inboard. The 5150 PSU was pretty limp (65 watts) and the case limited you to 5 slots, unless you had an external expansion box, which had its own problems.

I looked at the 286 Inboard for my 5150 mobo and decided to just build a new system. I picked up a surplus Faraday A-Tease 286 mobo and a cheap Taiwanexe AT case and a new hard disk+floppy controller. The A Tease had comm and printer already on the mobo.

There was at least one 8086 daughterboard that plugged into the 8088 socket on an XT for a very modest speedup.
 

Micom 2000

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I have a PC 5150 with an Intel 386-Inboard. I haven't checked it out for some time, but I remember no problems running Windows on a VGA monitor. Perhaps I was just unaware it wasn't runnng in enhanced mode. There was also a daughter card which I thirsted after and was discussed extensively on the forum about a year ago. Should be in the archives.

I just forwarded the drivers to a down-under collector who acquired a board on E-Pay quite inexpensively. It was mssng a necessary cable tho which he was going to make himself.

Lawrence
 

Chuck(G)

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I have a PC 5150 with an Intel 386-Inboard. I haven't checked it out for some time, but I remember no problems running Windows on a VGA monitor. Perhaps I was just unaware it wasn't runnng in enhanced mode. There was also a daughter card which I thirsted after and was discussed extensively on the forum about a year ago. Should be in the archives.

Found the archive post

There was a version of Windows 2.x made just for the Inboard 386 PC, that I recall with drivers from Intel. And the Intel-adjusted version of 3.0 could be run in standard and real mode (but not 386 enhanced mode). M$ is pretty blunt about 3.1 and the Inboard PC with this support bulletin.

Not that it couldn't be done--you'd just need to cook up some appropriate drivers for 3.1, but you'd be restricted to standard mode, because 3.1 doesn't support real mode and enhanced mode won't work with the Inboard 386 PC.
 

saifbadri

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Found the archive post

There was a version of Windows 2.x made just for the Inboard 386 PC, that I recall with drivers from Intel. And the Intel-adjusted version of 3.0 could be run in standard and real mode (but not 386 enhanced mode). M$ is pretty blunt about 3.1 and the Inboard PC with this support bulletin.

Not that it couldn't be done--you'd just need to cook up some appropriate drivers for 3.1, but you'd be restricted to standard mode, because 3.1 doesn't support real mode and enhanced mode won't work with the Inboard 386 PC.
Question about these old vcfed links which show 404, is there a trick to find these links nowadays? I ran across many of these links which all show 404. such as this one

Found the archive post
 

acgs

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Or because you're living in the past? No, we all are here...

Or because you and the link are both very, very old? :eek: No, that can't be it, it would work for most of us then...

Or because you're Chuck(G)? :)
 
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