Asus 486 System

I bought the motherboard in the late 2000's to use as a DOS gaming setup, but since moved most of that activity to Dosbox, and for hardware based Windows retro gaming, a suped-up Pentium IV.

Instead I kept the board around to host my various INMOS Transputer host cards, which really only work properly within DOS (there are various Linux drivers, but none [including my own] are really kept up to date).

In late 2020 I decided to rehouse the board in an old AT desktop case that I had stored for quite some time.

  • AT desktop case
  • 400W Corsair ATX power supply
  • ATX to AT power cable adapter
  • Repainted black from faded beige :)
  • Asus PVI-486-SP3 Partial manual - no complete online manual exists for this board
    • 3x PCI
    • 1x ISA/VESA Local Bus
    • 3x ISA
    • 2x 72pin SIMM
    • 2x IDE, 1x FDD, 2x Serial, 1x Parallel, 1x AT keyboard, 1x PS/2 mouse (header only)
  • AMD X5-133-ADW
    • Clock quadrupled 133MHz 486-class processor (4x 33MHz)
    • 16KB level 1 cache
    • +3.45v
  • 64MB 50ns Fast-Page-Mode 72pin SIMM
  • 512KB secondary cache

Keyboard Controller / Fuse

The keyboard controller chip (AMIKEY-2) was dead the last time I tried, so I had to desolder it and source a replacement. As well as that, the main 125v/3a fuse was blown - there was no continuity:

Removing and replacing the fuse:

Power on test after fuse was replaced; success!

  • Onboard PCI IDE controller
  • Front panel mounted CF reader
  • 3.5“ 1.44MB floppy drive
  • Voodoo 3 3000 PCI (16MB SGRAM)

  • Creative Labs Soundblaster AWE32 (CT2760) + NEC XR385 Wavetable
  • Gravis Ultrasound MAX 1MB

With those two TRAM carriers installed, that a maximum possible 15 Transputer processors (though I don't, as of November 2020, have enough Transputer TRAM modules to fit in all slots). With the other two ISA slots free, if I source another two TMB08 or INMOS B008 carriers, that's possibly another 20 Transputers, for a total of 35.

The case has an old-fashioned LCD 'speed' display. It reacts to the turbo button being pushed and displays one speed (or set of letters) in turbo mode, and another set in non-turbo mode.

The LCD display board is labelled as a SK-188, fortunately this is a relatively common board and a connection guide is available:

Configured as permanently enabled 133:

Full length ISA cards have a tendency to bend, so I fixed spacers on the ends of each of them so that even if the case is on its side they won't bend and short out on the card next to them.

  • blog/486_pvi_sp3.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/01/25 16:50
  • by john