Category Archives: 386

Getting Organized, Finally

After years of looking for a good storage solution for 386 chips, I accidentally stumbled upon it: This is a relatively modern CPU tray, designed for—I believe—Socket G processors, It turns out that old ceramic PGA 386s fit in the … Continue reading

Posted in 386, PC hardware | 10 Comments

Deskpro 386 at 30

30 years ago, in September 1986, Compaq announced the Deskpro 386, a PC as revolutionary as it was conservative. Compaq decided to forge its own path and not wait for IBM to introduce a 386-based PC. At the same time, Compaq … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Compaq, IBM, PC history, PC press | 17 Comments

Playing Football

The Super Bowl is long over and it’s time to look at different kind of football. In Winter 1986/1987, Microsoft initiated a small skunkworks project called “Football”. The objective was to take “Sizzle”, a development branch of proto-OS/2 that would eventually … Continue reading

Posted in 386, IBM, Microsoft, OS/2, PC history | 17 Comments

386 LOADALL

I recently came across hints suggesting that in the 1987 timeframe, Microsoft contemplated the use of the 386 LOADALL instruction in OS/2. As far as I know, no released version of OS/2 (including the SDK betas) utilized the 386 LOADALL. … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Undocumented | 25 Comments

More on the C&T Super386

Since last week’s post, more information about the Chips and Technologies C&T has come to light. It now appears that at least some 38605DX processors were made. Whether there is any surviving working system is still an open question (since … Continue reading

Posted in 386, C&T, Documentation | 26 Comments

The Forgotten 386

The CPUs that fit into a 386 socket are well known: Intel’s original, AMD’s exact copy, and Cyrix/TI upgrades. There is also IBM’s 386SLC which is close to a 386 but can’t be plugged into a standard 386 socket. The photo below … Continue reading

Posted in 386, C&T, PC history | 12 Comments

Fast Unaccelerated VGA?

For the purpose of comparing the relative real-world performance of various processors, it’s useful to run CPU and graphics-intensive benchmarks such as 3DBench or DOOM. To avoid benchmarking the graphics card instead, the VGA has to have enough headroom so … Continue reading

Posted in 386, ATi, S3, VGA | 17 Comments

The Nearly Ultimate 386 Board

Spurred by the acquisition of a 386 ZIF socket adapter, I revived the semi-mysterious 386 board acquired over a year ago. To recap, the board is unusual in that it has CPU frequency configurable via jumpers, but I had trouble getting anything … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Hardware Hacks, PC hardware | 9 Comments

386 ZIF Socket Adapter

After a long wait, I decided to bite the bullet and order a ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket adapter suitable for 386 CPUs through Digi-Key. The manufacturer is Aries Electronics and the part number is 196-PRS14001-12, as established some time … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Hardware Hacks, PC hardware | 11 Comments

Upcoming Fun

Finally got one of these: There are pluses and minuses. Detailed report later.

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