Via 496 Chipset Compatible with EDO DRAM?

Posted on 1997-08-18
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Is the Via 496 Chipset compatible with EDO DRAM?
I understand that I will not get a speed advantage.
Can you point me to something documenting this answer?
I have a 486 with this chipset and want to get more
ram, but would prefer to buy EDO so that it is more
useful in the future when I upgrade.  I am an engineer
and understand the EDO vs FPM issues; I just don't know
what the Via chipset does, and via does not seem to
answer emails.
Thank you
Question by:rclark022197
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Expert Comment

ID: 1013129
Almost without exception on 486 boards, if it will accept EDO ram, there will be an option in the BOIS setup screen under the chipset section giving you the choice.

If it is not there, I would recommend against using it.

Author Comment

ID: 1013130
I have to reject, since you did not answer my question,
and I still want to try to get a concrete answer.  None
the less, I did learn something, albiet not my 100 points
worth.  I guess if I had an option I would give you 25 points
AND reject.

I will send a note to experts exchange suggesting that they
add this option.

Expert Comment

ID: 1013131
Do you have the documentation for this motherboard?

What does it say?

What brand of BIOS does it use?
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Author Comment

ID: 1013132
It is an FIC 486-PVT, the latest BIOS on their web site,
I am 99.99% sure it is an award, but am not in front of it.
There is not mention of EDO anywhere on their site (relative
to this board).  Neither Via nor FIC have returned email
messages with this question.

Expert Comment

ID: 1013133
If it is an Award BIOS and it does not give you the option to use EDO memory in the setup screen, it will not accept it.

You can take that as a "for sure" answer.

You were correct to reject my first answer if you did not feel it was correct.  I'm not overly concerned with the points.  100 points and a buck will buy me a cup of coffee ;-)

The main thing is to get you an answer.


Author Comment

ID: 1013134
What does "will not accept it" mean?  What will happen?
I am going to try it tonight.
If it does not work, you get your hundred points.... As for
the cup of coffee, that may take more doing.
If it "seems" to work, I will hope to get more information.


Expert Comment

ID: 1013135
"Will not accept it" means your computer will not recognise the memory.  You say you're going to try it tonight.  That means you already bought the memory.  It should not hurt the chips to try it.  Good luck.

If the chips don't work, take that coffee money and buy a new system board with a Pentium chip. (Intel ONLY)  It's time.  You deserve it!

Author Comment

ID: 1013136
Boy, this is a strange way to do email... I guess it gets "Experts-Exchange" their cut somehow, which in turn creates this forum...

Anyway, I am borrowing SIMMs from work.  I would, however like to know why you say "Intel ONLY".  I personally am biased toward Intel, but when I can get the same thing (or close enough for home use) from AMD for half as much... Why not?

Accepted Solution

barthollis earned 100 total points
ID: 1013137
Oh, OK.  Borrow them, makes sense to me.

About the Intel only statement.  Close enough is only for horseshoes, shotguns, and sometimes....  Well, you know the rest.  Why should your home computer be more trouble prone than the one you use at work?

Compatable means the same...almost.  It's the almost that causes the problems.  The difference in price is quite slight and becomes insignificant if any problems occur.  And, I have seen some problems.  I had a close friend bring his system to me for a board replacement because of incompatabilities.  By the time he went home, his savings were really dripping with red ink.

But then, I'm not a gambler.  Also, bear in mind that the opinions stated here, although based on my experiences, are my own.  There are many who agree and many who disagree.  That's why AMD and Cryix can exist.

Expert Comment

ID: 1013138
I'm sorry.  I clicked the wrong button.  I meant that last as a comment, not an answer.

I know you said you wanted to leave the question unlocked until you had a chance to test those chips.

Go ahead and reject this answer.  Get back after you get your results.  We'll go from there.

Author Comment

ID: 1013139
Sorry it took me so long.  It does not work with 2 FPM and 2 EDO, nor with 2 EDO, nor with 1 EDO.  Symptoms are that it is completely dead - no signs of life.

Also, the 82C496G data sheet on VIA's web site states that unless it is operating in non-page mode, that it keeps the page open.  Of course this does not tell what mode FIC runs it in, nor if they are capable of detecting EDO and running it in non-page mode.  I suppose that this would slow it down, although with a good size cache its hard to say how much.

Anyway, you had the right answer.


Couldn't get the coffee in though.

Expert Comment

ID: 1013140
sssOK!  I'm about coffee'd out today.

Glad I could help.


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