The first computer build of 2013 is a restoration project to create a retro computing device!
The donor PC appears to have been built in late 1995, however after upgrades this PC resembles more a 1996/1997-era machine.
The Pentium 200 CPU is the fastest processor supported by the motherboard as it predates MMX compatibility.
With the upgraded L2 Cache Memory this motherboard can now cache up to 64MB of RAM and it supports up to 128MB RAM.
Specifications at purchase:
- Modded Midi Tower AT Case with a 230W Power Supply
- Pentium 100 CPU SX963 without a CPU cooler
- Soyo SY-5TCS Motherboard
- BIOS: AWARD 08/10/95 - TRITON - 2A59CS2LC-00
- 256KB Cache (8x32KB DIP SRAM + TAG module)
- ODIN OEC12C887A RTC with a failed CMOS battery
- 40 MB (2x16MB, 2x8MB) Fast Page SIMM
- Quantum Fireball ST 3.2GB IDE Hard Disk Drive
- Quantum Fireball EX 3.2GB IDE Hard Disk Drive
- 1.44MB Floppy Drive
- NEC CDR-1600A 12x/16x IDE CDROM Drive
- Soundblaster AWE32 CT3980 ISA
- Symbios Logic SYM20403 SCSI Controller ISA
- Accton UK0022 NE2000 NIC ISA
Condition at purchase:
- The AT case was missing all main buttons and the previous owner drilled holes to replace the missing buttons.
- Only a large flip switch for power-on was still present.
- The housing was slightly bent.
- The 3.2GB Quantum Fireball ST Hard Disk failed immediately during testing.
- CMOS battery dead, motherboard does not have a coin cell style battery slot as the battery is integrated in the RTC module.
Components reactivated from stock:
- 3Com Etherlink XL 3C905-TX (10/100 Mbit) PCI
- Digital RT102 AZERTY Keyboard PS/2
- Microsoft IntelliMouse PS/2
ATX to AT Conversion:
- After testing both power supplies from the donor PC and from the replacement AT cases were found to be unreliable. In order to solve this issue a generic 20-pin ATX power supply was purchased together with an ATX to AT conversion kit.
- The conversion kit came with a replacement power button, which has been fitted to the AT case.
- Because the kit does not completely switch off power to the mainboard, it is recommended to turn off the physical switch on the PSU after use.
In December 2013 a 16GB KingSpec IDE SSD drive was added (using a 3.5" to 2.5" IDE converter). EZ-Drive is required to use the full capacity of the disk under Windows.
The generic LC Power LC420H-8 PSU installed in February 2013 was replaced with a more reliable Antec EA-380D Green. The Antec does not have a -5V rail though, so ISA cards such as the AWE32 do not work reliably. The LC420H-8 was causing random lockups and disk problems.
The -5V problem was solved by installing an ATX 20 PIN to AT P8/P9 Converter with -5V support.
Soyo 5TC References:
- 5tc2.pdf (Soyo 5TC Version 2.1 Edition July 1995 Manual, 343KB)
- SY-5TC2/C5 Motherboard Settings and Configuration (stason.org)
- 5TCS0201.ZIP (Soyo 5TC(S) February 1997 BIOS, 101KB)
BIOS Revision: 0201 for SOYO 5TC(S) Mainboard
Basic Features: Win95 PnP, PCI bus auto, NCR SDMS, IDE LBA mode (>520 MB), EIDE Mode (4 HDD), IDE block mode, IDE PIO mode auto (up to PIO mode 4), multi I/O on board functions, dark green mode support
Note: If you have problems using an AMD PR133/PR166 CPU and a new CD-ROM drive, upgrade to this new BIOS and try again.
Click here (inside, ports, speedsys)
to view a picture.