Which memory cards will my AST take?

January 6, 2012 at 09:35:45
Specs: Windows 98SE, 486 DX-4/100Mhz
AST Advantage! Adventure 4066d All-in-one Desktop Computer Upgrades
Which Ram cards will my older AST Desktop Computer, take made in 1995, is there a difference when I have installed the DX-4/100Mhz Intel OverDrive CPU and an ISA controller card (fits in the ISA slots residing within) into it? Merchant said it worked at 60ns but the "AST" Ram comes in two speeds, 70ns and 60ns, What would change it's ability to recognize the bigger Ram cards like a pair of 32 MB cards instead of a pair of 16 MB cards? My "All-In-One" is called so because of the CRT in the case with its motherboard held in a slide-out tray down below the CRT and sliding out from the rear of the computer-case. The motherboard has contacts towards the front that connect it to the CRT by way of some junction I haven't really looked at yet. Everything is inside of the case hence "All-In-One". Anyways, do I set the jumpers in a certain position for the size of the Ram cards that it will have? If so, can the jumpers be set for two 32MB Ram cards to be recognized by the computer? Does it need a newer Bios to do this? Will a newer Bios bring recognition to a bigger pair of Ram cards? I've heard a pair of 32 MB Ram cards are possible but haven't been able to "pin down" the evidence, yet, wanting to evade buying the wrong cards due to my "budget limitations".
Beautiful motherboard with a whole lot of choices.
To sum it all up--It's my project and I'm having fun!!
Besides, it's fun to spend my money sparingly, as layaway payments are available in a few good key places.

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January 6, 2012 at 11:12:22
Why do you keep asking about this outdated piece of junk?

The max amount of memory it can handle is 36MB. 4MB onboard + two 16MB FPM (Fast Page Memory) Non-Parity 72-Pin SIMMs. It is NOT worth spending your hard earned money on. What do you expect to do with it when you're done? Take it to the local electronics recycler & move on!

I find your comment about "budget limitations" on this "project" to be amusing. I have a shoebox full of 72-pin SIMMs, FPM & EDO, 4MB thru 32MB sticks. I collected them over the years from old systems that I've repaired, upgraded, or scrapped. They are almost completely worthless. If you pay more than $1 per stick, you're getting ripped off.

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January 6, 2012 at 11:52:03
Sentimental value is pretty high, lured by what I can do with it, as a teaching tool it really makes the grade, small and uncomplicated it fits anywhere in your home, put a big hard-drive in it, and load it full of part catalogs, DOS OS, tutorials for modding consoles, learning programs, schematics and blueprints, writing journals, stories. It'll have star charts and navigation charts, tutorials on everything that I want to study.
It'll have the older games that I am interested in and they will run better they ever did and sources for software made for it are easy to find in bulk at thrift stores across America, "Doom", "Quake", The expansive "Zork" series, any game or "study"
that I want to learn, now and all the stuff out there or on the internet costing a very small amount of dough. It also has a C.R.T. monitor that shows a perfect picture. Nice Printer hooked up to it, fast enough to be a perfect server for online gaming with my Sega Dreamcast and good for all the game save peripherals and also Internet surfing on a couch, bed, chair, anywhere and everywhere it being stable and wires and cables are easily kept to a minimum due to the "All-In-One" design.
Whaddya' think of that?....

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January 6, 2012 at 12:05:23
Whaddya' think of that?....

About the same as Rider,

Bear in mind that when this computer was built, 32 Mbs of memory would have been an enormous amount not to mention very expensive. It pre-dates even Windows 95.

A BIOS update, if you can find one, is unlikely to do anything about the maximum memory that can be installed. That is built into the hardware by the manufacturer. at design time.

There are times when you have to let go of the past on move on other wise you end up stuck in a rut and going nowhere. Believe me, when you reach my age you have to do a lot of letting go.


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January 6, 2012 at 12:07:05
I'd love to know what you have there, anyway you'd want to sell any of those memory sticks?
I'd love to know what you have there,
I can see the road that I'll take and it's looking good, when I'm finished with this it'll provide quite a bit of fun for a decade, the Novelty of it All can lead myself quite beyond memory sticks, Better drives, ribbon cables, modifications galore! It's the first of my Computers I've gotten serious about modifying and adding functionality. Taking out the CRT leads to some serious room inside the case. What would go there? It has an Ethernet adapter for the Internet, will have a Rom Drive that plays and burns any disc, whole lot of fun with a bigger hard drive to load anything I wanted to put inside of it.
Working with older game consoles such as the PS2, Xbox, Gamecube and every other game console that sprung up before those.
------ Would you sell those memory sticks? Set a price for them? I'm interested!!---I do have some uses for those in another project computer I have.

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January 6, 2012 at 13:50:50
You're kidding yourself. I don't know if you're new to PCs or what, but the machine you have is the type of rig I started out with almost 20 yrs ago. And I know there are other helpers in these forums that pre-date that. I've done my best to keep up with the times though & so have they.

"modifications galore!"

Really? How about a few "for instances"?

"put a big hard-drive in it"

How do you expect to pull that off? I suspect the size limitation is 504MB on that old rig. How do you propose working around that? Even if there is an updated BIOS or BIOS add-on card available, what do you think the chances are of finding it?



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January 6, 2012 at 14:34:29
I threw away a load of 72 pin memory sticks some time ago. Unless you were prepared to come and knock on my door, in which case I would have given them to you, it would have cost more to send them than they were worth.


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January 6, 2012 at 14:47:15
30-pin memory makes good keychains.

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January 6, 2012 at 15:10:22
30-pin memory makes good keychains.

I agree. 72 pins is just a tad to big but 30 pin is just about right.

Having said that a 486 CPU with hole drilled through and threaded through a chain makes an interesting necklace.


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January 6, 2012 at 18:01:02
While I wouldn't discourage you from learning more about hardware with that machine, there are some cold-hard facts you need to consider (and I had mentioned this on your previous post):

1. Parts availability
As you've already found out, finding 30-pin or 72-pin RAM that would work is becoming increasingly difficult as these systems age. Virtually no one manufactures these anymore, and (as with small-size hard drives), we're at the end of the "bathtub curve" on pricing of these components (i.e.---those who do have them can charge a premium price, since they're now becoming so rare). "Maxxing-out" such a machine can become very expensive, very quickly.

2. Reliability
As systems age, both power-supplies and electrolytic capacitors are prone to failure. Unless you're comfortable with component-level repairs, failures such as these can put a quick end to a system. If you have important data on such a machine, it could easily be lost to such failures. Backing up to optical-media would be virtually impossible, given the slowness of the system; and the rare tape-drives and Zip drives that could have worked are now notoriously unreliable as well. Yes, these machines may be fun to tinker with, but I'd never trust one with anything important.

3. Limitations
While I have over 100 machines that either pre-date or are approximately the same age as yours, the simple fact is that there is little that can be done with those systems, compared to those that have been available for the last 5 years or so---the oldest machine that I routinely use is an 866MHz Dell OptiPlex---now over 11 years old. The maximum memory your machine apparently can handle is 36MB. No BIOS update will allow it to do more (and even finding an update would also be near impossible, given that AST exited the market in 2001---years after being acquired by Samsung). MS-DOS wouldn't recognize anything more than 64MB, and after around 32MB, most DOS-based systems actually were negatively affected by more memory. A CPU upgrade would be possible (maybe even up to 133MHz), but given even that, the most recent version of a Microsoft-based OS that would run with any degree of speed would be Windows '95 (now almost 17-years old)---and even finding a CPU upgrade that would work would be tremendously more difficult than finding RAM. Most very old software is of little practical use, and there are work-arounds (such as DOSbox and VM) to implement most of them anyway.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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March 27, 2012 at 19:44:34
I have aquired a controller card for the harddrive conversion to IDE and have also found a nice DX4-100Mhz Intel Overdrive for it. The controller card also has software with it, new in the box. Planning on buying a 133, and adding roundwire cables for it. Giving it better airflow and data cable integrity. I am going ahead and buying a significantly larger hardrive after I record the measurements for the roundwire I will use instead of ribbon-wire. Will add an ethernet card to it, soundcard, possibly modify a video card to work for it and a good idea will be to construct an adapter card to route a video card to the 'in-the-case' monitor.

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