386 Micronics or Other

Chuck Forsberg caf at omen.UUCP
Mon Oct 9 08:19:23 AEST 1989

I picked up a 33 mHz Micronics motherboard and 8 MB worth of
RAM chips not long ago (price ~ $3000).  News stories of
difficulties with the 486 provided impetus for this decision.

The Micronics 33 mHz is rather fast.  How fast depends on what
you do.  I made a modified siev.c with 200000 byte array,
compiled huge model.  This program runs in 24 seconds on the
Micronics, 66 seconds on an early 18 mHz Intel motherboard.
The large array was used to prevent the cache from attaining a
100 per cent hit rate which is not typical of normal Unix

I've run SCO Unix 3.2 on the Micronics for a short time.  It
really bangs the disks!  Unfortunately, the Micronics has a
choice of 11 and 8 mHz I/O bus speeds, and not all cards can
keep up with that.  I've now replaced the AST serial card on
the SCO system, and will put that back on the Micronics as
soon as I get the right size tower box to hold all the junk I
use on that system.

In the meantime the Micronics is fat and happy running ISC
2.01.  The difference in speed on ISC is not as visceral.  But
then the WrenII that runs ISC doesn't make any noise when

I would mention some disadvantages to the Micronics that may
or may not affect you.  It is too fast for some cards.  Some
other motherboards are more forgiving.  Micronics does not have
resident serial or parallel ports, which may cost you a board
slot or two.  The memory board takes up a board slot; with the
piggyback (for 16 MB) it *might* take up two.

Chuck Forsberg WA7KGX          ...!tektronix!reed!omen!caf 
Author of YMODEM, ZMODEM, Professional-YAM, ZCOMM, and DSZ
  Omen Technology Inc    "The High Reliability Software"
17505-V NW Sauvie IS RD   Portland OR 97231   503-621-3406
TeleGodzilla:621-3746 FAX:621-3735 CIS:70007,2304 Genie:CAF

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