Building a 486 DOS PC with an ISA Single Board Computer

Wetenschap en technologie

Assembling a 100MHz Intel 486 DX4 system inside a neat little Baby AT computer case from the mid-90s! I've been wanting to build an MS-DOS PC around an ISA SBC for a long time now, so let's get to it and play some DOS games.
● LGR links:
● Specs of the finished machine:
100 megahertz Intel 486-DX4 CPU
IEI PICMG PCI-8S 8-slot Backplane
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM
512MB HyperDisk IDE Disk On Module (replaced with CF adapter)
Cirrus Logic CL-GD54M30 graphics chipset
Creative Sound Blaster 16 MCD ASP sound card
1.44MB Sony 3.5" diskette drive
360K Toshiba 5.25" floppy drive
48x Lite-On IDE CD-ROM drive
Generic beige Baby AT tower case
230W AT power supply
Music courtesy of:
#LGR #Computer #Build


  • da8429
    da84292 dagen geleden

    Mi piacciono i suoi video, ma di hardware e configurazioni questo tizio non capisce un cazzo. Si è reso conto solo ora che il suo merdo-pc woodgrain ha dei problemi alla scheda madre. Questo testimonia il fatto che si possano fare dei bei video pur essendo degli incompetenti.

  • AdrianuX
    AdrianuX2 dagen geleden

    Crazy Idea.. I'm curious if it will work with several SBCs as a cluster. OS: BSD or LINUX.

  • Giulio Severini
    Giulio Severini2 dagen geleden

    Hi LGR, I really love your videos. You'd deserve more views, mate!

  • OchaTime
    OchaTime2 dagen geleden

    JJ running fine on that SOB, nice! Makes me wanna give the 4X86 core on MiSTER another go, last time it wasn't entirely intuitive what I needed to do to make it, you know. Do things. But I didn't try very hard, either, and I'm sure it's running better now than it was when I tried a year or two ago

  • Also Not MatSix
    Also Not MatSix3 dagen geleden

    Do a marble vinyl wrap!!

  • Rinat Khabibiev
    Rinat Khabibiev4 dagen geleden

    Back in 90th I used to set up FidoNet on a PC with very similar system-on-ISA-board based on Intel's 386 CPU for my classmate. I was very suprised when I saw this 16-bit ISA board socketed into motherboard with ISA slots only and without any chips. Those CPU board was much bigger then yours, maybe even full-length.

  • Aaron Dervrak
    Aaron Dervrak4 dagen geleden

    It's funny how I have a computer sitting on my desk that would blow anything away I had in my youth (C64 and Tandy 1000 were my first computers) heck the computer in my I-Phone would blow away a supercomputer from that generation, yet there is still something about turning on an old DOS computer, fooling with himem and config setting for an hour to get some game or program running just right, then running it on the original machine it was meant to be run on. Guess it's the same reason people are into classic cars, yeah the cheapest 2021 Ford Focus is far superior to a Model T in every way imaginable, but there is just something about the old ways.

  • Delaggingsuffer
    Delaggingsuffer5 dagen geleden

    Are my 486 is enough for hl2?

  • Jan Jacobs
    Jan Jacobs5 dagen geleden

    Couldn’t you make a 486 laptop with one of those?

  • Jan Jacobs
    Jan Jacobs5 dagen geleden

    I just scavenged one of those from an old Molding Machine! Can’t wait to start my project!

  • VlogZat
    VlogZat6 dagen geleden

    Golden era for computers The era that every new piece of hardware has its own taste Nowadays we are more than used with large ram numbers and extremely fast evolution

  • Christopher P.
    Christopher P.6 dagen geleden

    I just wanted to know if you spend time cleaning the contact pins on different boards and memory modules. If so, it would be nice to add that to the videos. Nice video.

  • Andy Boa
    Andy Boa7 dagen geleden

    Since Pentium hit the market, 486 has been falling in prices. But should I buy it or wait for Pentium to be more affordable? Certainly Duke calls for Pentium but I play Doom II mostly.

  • asherael
    asherael8 dagen geleden

    lol, "FOOD" why??

  • Enji Bkk
    Enji Bkk8 dagen geleden

    Sorry I must be missing the obvious here but... what is the benefit of putting the whole computer on an isa board plugged on not-a-motherboard back plate thingies which takes up the place of the motherboard anyway ? Can you put several of them in the case and... not sure what that would achieve?

  • Rhett Baldwin
    Rhett Baldwin10 dagen geleden

    Hydrogen Peroxide and some UV light will brighten up that yellowed plastic and get it to look white/beige again.

  • T0mB1ll
    T0mB1ll10 dagen geleden

    my first pc was 486, and it didn't had cooler installed... it was cold anyway :D I mean, still have mbo, cpu, ram, sound card and some weird card that you plug in mice...

  • Franc Mittelo
    Franc Mittelo10 dagen geleden

    21:05 Why do you have a dildo just sitting on your desktop speaker in plain view?

  • Detecting Retro
    Detecting Retro10 dagen geleden

    Good job. I wouldn’t know where to start!

  • CrippleX89
    CrippleX8912 dagen geleden

    Lol, is that manufacturer of the original motherboard for that case (Pine) the same Pine that's the parent company of XFX?

  • Pierre Lucas
    Pierre Lucas12 dagen geleden

    Ali was basical low cost as card but this one sounds up quality I knew. It was period of Ad Lib sound cards were same range of quality and often in compatible computers with an basis configuration.

  • Paul Freedman
    Paul Freedman13 dagen geleden

    Oh, the hours I spent playing D3D on my 486DX4-100. Even played it over modem connection with a mate of mine.

  • Seweryn Rawacki
    Seweryn Rawacki13 dagen geleden

    First time im happy to see lags

  • Ανδρέας Κατσιγιάννης
    Ανδρέας Κατσιγιάννης13 dagen geleden

    Nice one!! since you dive into industrial designs & SBCs, is it possible to make a video about an ISA bus expansion system with a backplane? I believe it would interest a lot of retro PC fans.

  • Salvatore Russo
    Salvatore Russo13 dagen geleden

    This is EXACTLY the same case of my first PC, a 100 MHz 486 DX4 too, in 1996!

  • jpocho80
    jpocho8014 dagen geleden

    Didnt quake have a nail gun? I seem to remember NIN being on the side of some of the ammo boxes.

  • rikomagic mk
    rikomagic mk14 dagen geleden

    I don't think switching of graphics on the same bus (integrated / dedicated) would bring any change in Duke3D or Quake since both were run in software mode.

  • David Eubank
    David Eubank15 dagen geleden

    i played xargon so much as a kid but completely forgot about it. so many years ago, its a crazy feeling when all those memories just flood back into your head!!

  • Frank Coffey
    Frank Coffey15 dagen geleden

    I started my career in IT with a Computerland brand 286 back in the mid 80s. It was passive backplane with an ISA single board computer. I upgraded it to 2 meg of RAM so I could run Lotus Symphony, QModem, and Symantec Q&A. Used Quarterdeck DESQView so I could run all 3 at once! Also had an IRMA 3270 terminal card I could access by pressing both shift keys at once, same to switch back to PC. That gave me mainframe access. So I was able to do 4 things at once on a 286!

  • El Ess Toy
    El Ess Toy16 dagen geleden


  • J Martin
    J Martin16 dagen geleden

    the PLED solution was a boss idea, lol. Never would of thought to use an empty header for the ground/lead.

  • Christopher G
    Christopher G16 dagen geleden

    I love your trips in the (not-so) Way Back machine. My first computer was a 486-DX33 with 8 MB of RAM and a 250 MB hard drive. It was about $2,300 and I still had to buy a 14.4 modem and a CD-ROM drive. The price DID include a roomy (for the day) 15" monitor. Now, I'm shopping for a laptop with a minimum of 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB drive and QHD display for around $1,500. It's crazy. Keep up the good work.

  • Elvio De Silvestri
    Elvio De Silvestri17 dagen geleden

    You can take the yellow layer away from that front panel as well as everything plastic yellowed, there’s a procedure that works 100%!

  • Lauren Straily
    Lauren Straily17 dagen geleden

    4:50 hey wait is that an old imac? looks a lot like the powerpc G5/early intel models

  • Pony Roleplayer
    Pony Roleplayer17 dagen geleden

    There seems to be a Socket 370 SBC that apparently uses the ISA + PCI slots to plug

  • Wapn Perfo
    Wapn Perfo18 dagen geleden

    At 1:51... those are VESA expansion slots. They are 32 bit, and allow for direct memory access of the device. They were used for high performance graphics cards before PCI. Throw in a Promise IDE controller card for the hard disk you wanted to use.

  • Gatekeeper
    Gatekeeper19 dagen geleden

    R.I.P Food...

  • asherael
    asherael20 dagen geleden

    Man i really saw that issue with the DOM coming, it didn't look designed to share. glad you had something else to use, fascinating project, great content

  • Andreas Nyman
    Andreas Nyman20 dagen geleden

    Those were the days, it actually felt like you'd built your own computer... While it was easy & pretty straight forward it felt you had conquered the world when it booted into dos/windows.

  • Lutz Schums
    Lutz Schums21 dag geleden

    Wow I never realized, how flat Soundcards w/h Wavetable sound xD. My first Soundcard was a Gravis Ultrasound on a 386 DX (that wasn't my first PC though). But I always thought it was broken as it sounded so differently from my firends PCs with SB16. Crazy times ..

  • Aren Clegg
    Aren Clegg21 dag geleden

    Would it be cheaper to build a 486 this way or to buy an actual prebuilt computer from that era? If so if there a particular brand of model or where they all pretty much ibm clones?

  • Acumenium
    Acumenium21 dag geleden

    IDE cables... what are those things man.

  • K D
    K D21 dag geleden

    WOAH! I grew up next to Marlborough CT! What a trip, they didn't even have a gas station 10 years ago 😂

  • Beytullah Keskin
    Beytullah Keskin22 dagen geleden


  • GPSC998
    GPSC99825 dagen geleden

    I've played so much Decent that I recognized the music was off too 😆

  • poopsock
    poopsock26 dagen geleden

    You’re in NC? I’m in the RTP area and have some retro stuff you may be interested in like a Video Toaster.

  • GLH8
    GLH826 dagen geleden

    What’s the advantage of the motherboard being on a card if it still needs a header board. I’m confused.

  • Peter Müller
    Peter Müller26 dagen geleden

    Ah, the times when a CD-ROM had more storage than your hard drive xD

  • Shriveled Alien
    Shriveled Alien27 dagen geleden

    ay yooo pat rick a real one 🙏🏻🙏🏻 on jah he save quinnard’s life

  • catsspat
    catsspatMaand geleden

    I'm sad you didn't put the SCB-15 on that SoundBlaster board. Or was it used elsewhere.

  • error415
    error415Maand geleden

    I was hoping the case came from the famed German record label.

  • frr
    frrMaand geleden

    A couple further assorted notes: I believe I had the same SoundBlaster card. The proprietary CD drive connectors were designed up to Mitsumi, Sony and Panasonic interface standards - which existed before generic IDE/ATA became the vendor-agnostic industry standard for CD drives. I believe I myself had a Sony CD drive, double-speed... those were the days :-) I recall that on some motherboards (i386?) the 16bit DMA did not really work - so while my base platform was a 386DX, I had to configure all my games and trackers to use 8bit DMA for 16bit playback. As for DMA, the PC is relatively modern, make sure you don't have the LPT port configured for ECP mode, where it occupies a DMA channel. The DiskOnChip by M-Systems has always been a pain. The thing depends on a BIOS option ROM to be bootable, and that option ROM needs to have some non-trivial ISA MMIO window available. Other than that, the "disk" itself is just a flash MTD, just not eactly direct-mapped, rather there's a memory-mapped (ISA MMIO) "mailbox". For the onboard sockets, the good news is, that the board manufacturer must've made room for the MMIO window in the BIOS. I recall there were several versions of the M-Systems option ROM, changing the internal layout of the Flash structure... The option ROM in fact contained code, to run on the host CPU, that did all the NAND Flash wear leveling and janitoring. To make DoC work in a higher OS (Windows, Linux) you needed a driver. Later versions of the Linux driver, when facing a particular new version of the DoC, would automaticaly reformat the drive if it saw an older format that the driver didn't understand... It wasn't possible to backup/restore/clone the DiskOnChip other than in the onboard socket or carrier board = not "out of band". I recall what a relief it was when IDE-based flash drives became avaialable (disk on modules, CompactFlash etc.). Lightweight, self-contained, with a standard interface.

  • frr
    frrMaand geleden

    First of all, a disclaimer of a vested interest: I'm a support techie in a company selling industrial+embedded PC hardware etc. Let's say a local distributor of a few different vendors. The board that you're looking at is a "half-size PICMG 1.0 SBC, ISA-flavoured". If you're inclined to build something like that, I suggest that rather than scavenge old junk, you might want to take a look at what ICOP have to offer. I strongly recommend that you go for some board based on the "Vortex86DX". Not SX, not DX2, not DX3. Vortex86DX is the sweet spot. It's a modern downsized and overclocked 486DX SoC in 90nm lithography, eating about 5 Watts with all the onboard peripherals = 256 MB RAM and an XGI Z9s VGA with a pretty decent VESA VBE option ROM. The onboard RAM is plenty large enough and spares you the hassle of tackling old RAM SIMM/DIMMs with their quirks (age-related or original). The ICOP boards have a PS/2 keyboard+mouse controller. The CPU is typically clocked at 600 or 800 MHz nominal, but you can underclock the CPU core down to 1/8 the nominal clock rate, allowing you to dodge the "runtime error 200" (and other errors of this kind) on CPU's that are Pentium 200 MHz equivalent or faster, in software that is affected by this problem. The ICOP boards have a native IDE controller (single or dual channel), can have a CompactFlash slot connected to IDE, can boot from USB mass storage, or you can connect a SATA drive via an external IDE/SATA converter dongle (some are bi-directional / configurable). The only thing that's really missing in the DMP/ICOP package is a Blaster-compatible sound card. Which is your only reason to look at the PICMG/ISA half-size SBC = to get an ISA slot for a legacy SoundBlaster (2.0, PRO, SB16 or AWE32), if you happen to have one. In that case, you need a passive backplane. Possibly the smallest commercial ISA-only passive backplane, currently still on sale, that I know about, is the Advantech PCA-6104. Or if you can find a used PICMG backplane in working condition, of any format, even ISA+PCI, that should work too. The corresponding ICOP ISA SBC is called the VDX-6324. If you do NOT need an ISA slot, you have a wider choice of small ICOP motherboards, down to the "tiny module" 100x66 mm. All the coastal/breakout cables are included. Note that some of the ICOP modules have audio output, but that is USB-based = no use in terms of compatibility with the legacy SoundBlater or DOS games. As for a power supply: note that the PicoPSU is an ATX thing. And, I'm not sure if it gives you the negative rails (-5 and -12 V) which may be needed for the Blaster cards, not sure. Even some modern PS/2 size ATX power supplies don't have the negative rails anymore. These are not needed for modern PC hardware, even if the pins in the ATX connector still exist. Again: if you don't have a SoundBlaster (or some other periphery potentially needed -5 and -12), the ICOP boards alone need just +5V and that's it ;-) You can literally use just the wall-wart power adaptor (5V/3A) from your home router or RPi or the like (a dumb USB phone charger would work too, if its 5V output is stabilized and strong enough). So if you need an ISA Slot and a proper power supply, try to look at some ATX models, especially the "industrial" variety are likely to have all the rails, but it's going to be expensive and you'll need to wire the ATX PSU for AT-style start (short PS_ON to GND) because the ICOP boards are all AT-style. You give them +5V and they just start and run.

  • frr


    Maand geleden

    Actually LGR has used a PCI+ISA backplane by ICP. The same brand has a 3-slot ISA-only backpane called the BP-3S-RS-R40 - but you'd need an AT PSU (or an ATX PSU with an ATX/AT conversion cable).

  • nem tudom
    nem tudomMaand geleden

    Oh god, Xargon might not have been as good as commander keen, but it was still so good!

  • Karsten Johansson
    Karsten JohanssonMaand geleden

    I miss those days when you could identify a true hacker by the number of cosmetic parts missing from their computers. Especially the drive bay covers. Sometimes the side was left unscrewed for quick access to the guts. Some cases had key locks for that. But of course the keys were always left dangling. Now we have ipads. You aren't changing or upgrading *anything* anymore.

  • Amon Marquis
    Amon MarquisMaand geleden


  • ziplock9000
    ziplock9000Maand geleden

    Damn so gung ho with old gear. You should take more care as its never coming back.

  • neocui
    neocuiMaand geleden

    Do the PCI slots work?

  • Chris Mickelson
    Chris MickelsonMaand geleden

    Glad you enjoy Clint! Happy to see a full computer built from one of these. Mine has a cpu fan as they can get hot without air movement in a case and cause an occasional lockup. I have an Aztech card in mine, set on DMA 0 of course. Something on the board uses channel 1. I have a manual for these as well.

  • Pedro MC Fernandes
    Pedro MC FernandesMaand geleden

    It's like a jazz computer, made by ECM recordings! Niiice! I can easily imagine you listening to an ECM while building this

  • Mitch
    MitchMaand geleden

    I couldnt wait till the end of the video to find out if it is mentioned but, can you install more than one single board computer on the same back plane board?

  • Walnut Spice
    Walnut SpiceMaand geleden

    Off topic, but I'm currently watching this on a raspberry pi 4 running Windows 10 20h2. No GPU driver yet, but wow is this wild.

  • David Moylan
    David MoylanMaand geleden

    This is the first time I have ever seen someone build a machine by putting the plastic standoffs into the case first and then trying to drop in the motherboard in on top second. Cool video though. Enjoyed watching all the old games I used to play :-)

  • Julie G
    Julie GMaand geleden

    That isa with the extra pci slot on the end is the original vesa standard video card interface that was 486 only standard

  • Empyreal
    EmpyrealMaand geleden

    I want you to get three more of those 486-on-a-cards, then hook them all up to separate monitors and keyboards and have a LAN party around your table.

  • Plaguis - KFP Dishwashing Machine
    Plaguis - KFP Dishwashing MachineMaand geleden

    God I wish I could do this for a living. What a dream life...

  • Pranav R P
    Pranav R PMaand geleden

    LGR GooDream 486

  • SGC Will
    SGC WillMaand geleden

    iirc Quake needs a math co-processor to run, I remember it working on my 486/66 and cyrix m2 233mhz, but not on a pentium 90? god that was so long ago lol

  • bonnome2
    bonnome2Maand geleden

    5V on a led without an resistor?! Must be ready old than, new leds will burn instantly at 5v.

  • Sarato
    SaratoMaand geleden

    Watch this in 144p for some old school LGR feels.

  • Maggie McFee
    Maggie McFeeMaand geleden

    "like a fine yellow wine" That's pee, Clint. It's pee. ;)

  • Tarrabyte
    TarrabyteMaand geleden

    I have an idea as to why the sound effects weren't working if you get a chance to read this comment, why not check the INI files? Sometimes in the old default settings and whatnot you might have that issue, you may just need to tell it where to point and then redo it. It's worth a shot

  • LULU J R Laulom
    LULU J R LaulomMaand geleden

    Would make a cool fish tank PC

  • Nathan Hamman
    Nathan HammanMaand geleden

    Something that has probably already been tried, what if you were to slot this into another computer's isa slot?

  • Adi Is
    Adi IsMaand geleden

    I remember 25 years ago...., yah we should known make config.sys for special case, and also autoexcec.bat.

  • Jordan Thompson
    Jordan ThompsonMaand geleden

    I remember our DOS demo discs, thousands of games on a single disc. Ridiculous navigating those in DOS, and they never worked right in Win95 running the games directly due to the autorun configs from DOS. or whatever.

  • Circa 1985
    Circa 1985Maand geleden

    Were you not presuming because of the evidence that the disc on module likes to be by itself?

  • Chris Love
    Chris LoveMaand geleden

    at 16:47 the back of that card look like it was once home to a roach nest. Looks like roach droppings.... ewwie....

  • Chad Page
    Chad PageMaand geleden

    A lot of the components have 2005 datecodes, including the Dallas chip. The CPU might even have a newer intel logo on it.

  • Joyously Emily
    Joyously EmilyMaand geleden

    Clint, you are wonderful! My favorite youtube personality. When I watch your videos, all the horrible things that make up the nightmare that is why life fade out for some time. You have helped me and so many others simply by doing what you do and by being exactly who you are. I wish you the best and happiest days ahead. This is my mystical blessing to you. I'm sending out my will to help you feel good and to help you know how you help people just by being so funny and kind!

  • curtis newton
    curtis newtonMaand geleden

    no pci express ?

  • Bruce Everett
    Bruce EverettMaand geleden

    My mother would have been happy for me to have had that audio bug on Jill of The Jungle back when I was a teen. XD

  • David Kearns
    David KearnsMaand geleden

    negative voltages will always be something that confuses me with electronics. that is not a thing in normal knowledge of electrical circuits like what is in the walls of a home. Guess its off to Google to find out how voltages can be negative. Edit: Ahh so it seems the -5v would allow for 10v if used with the +5v. damn electronics being confusing.

  • Aslin Fire Safety
    Aslin Fire SafetyMaand geleden


  • Attila Bagota
    Attila BagotaMaand geleden

    kellene nagyon az a WooDoo kártya a játékokhoz... :-) I really need that WooDoo card for games ... :-)

  • Derek Langlois
    Derek LangloisMaand geleden

    My hometown is right next to marlborough! Never heard of the company but a little googling revealed that they are some sort of software company that appears to still be in business but in a different town. Still I love any references to my state and Its cool that something that simple made it all the way to you! Thanks for making my day!

  • Hentai Nat
    Hentai NatMaand geleden

    If you retrobrite it write down "FOOD" on it

  • GB Games
    GB GamesMaand geleden

    This makes me so glad that I finally decided on the CF adapter for my 486 vs the DOM. :D

  • Werner Barnard
    Werner BarnardMaand geleden

    I would like the know how the speed compairs between an IDE drive, the CF card and that HyperDisk...

  • PCsrot
    PCsrotMaand geleden

    OYG, cute machine

  • Ajay Kalsi
    Ajay KalsiMaand geleden

    The raspberry pi of the 90s

  • Culaneo Mack near
    Culaneo Mack nearMaand geleden

    I have been looking for a good LGR video for ever, and I found one, A MONTH LATER!!!!! AHHHHHHHH

  • Michael Hillard
    Michael HillardMaand geleden


  • Hand Of Cthulhu
    Hand Of CthulhuMaand geleden

    The build looks almost right. I demand you create a new nice label that says FOOD and attach it to this case.

  • fmlazar
    fmlazarMaand geleden

    I wonder if it would acccess the ISA slots on an Amiga 2000.

  • Richard Estes
    Richard EstesMaand geleden

    Took me a couple of views to realize that you were using the SSK Model M in this video. 😂

  • Alexx Baudwhyn
    Alexx BaudwhynMaand geleden

    If one wanted to build retro PC's to cover all DOS and windows games from IBM pc intro early 80s through 2010 or so, how many machines would do it? I was thinking maybe one 386 for the 80s through early 90s, one 486 dx4 for mid-90s through 2000 or so, a p3 1ghz or a64 for up to 2005, and a dual or quad core and for games through 2010 or so. Worthwhile to do an 8088 or 286 for early not late 80s games?

  • Alexx Baudwhyn
    Alexx BaudwhynMaand geleden

    If one wanted to build retro PC's to cover all did and windows games from IBM pc intro early 80s through 2010 or so, how many machines would do it? I was thinking maybe one for the 80s through early 90s, one 486 dx4 for mid-90s through 2000 or so, a p3 1ghz or a64 for up to 2005, and a dual or quad core and for games through 2010 or so

  • skyprop
    skypropMaand geleden


  • jbfarley


    19 dagen geleden

    stupid question

  • Chris Mauzy
    Chris MauzyMaand geleden

    Believe it or not, I've built some modern SBCs