Based on content by William R. Walsh (original HERE). Edited by Major Tom.
The EduQuest models covered here include Thirty, Forty and Fifty. I don't
have any other EduQuest at the time, so if yours isn't listed, have a look
inside and compare to the notes here. Your system may only be slightly
different and might be able to use the same memory that a model listed here
Models 30 and 40 both use the same type of memory. They take 30-pin
SIMMs with or without parity. There are four SIMM slots on-board. You can use
up to a 4 MB 30-pin SIMM. These models also have soldered memory chips (they're
located underneath the floppy drive) and these can give you either 1 MB or 4 MB
of RAM depending upon model. The easiest way to check and see how much soldered
memory you have is to power the machine with all SIMMs removed or look
carefully at the planar — sometimes there is a small table with two RAM
configurations in it and it will have one of them marked with a dot.
The EduQuest Model 50 is a vastly different design internally and
uses 72-pin SIMMs, parity or non-parity is your choice. I don't know at this
point what the maximum size is, but I would think the machine could handle at
least two 16 MB SIMMs in the sockets. There is no on-board memory in this
For the Model 30, no upgrade for the soldered IBM 486SLC CPU is known
to exist. IBM doesn't seem to have implemented the disable pin as Intel did
with the 386SX and clip over upgrades don't work.
Model 40: In addition to the soldered 486SX CPU, IBM provides what is
called a 487 socket. This socket can be used with any 486 CPU — in fact,
the 487 chip is just a 486DX with a different name and it turns the soldered
CPU off. While some systems may require the use of a 487 or a CPU that is wired
to ground the soldered the 486SX CPU's disable pin, IBM seems to have taken a
more "intelligent" approach with this system and any 486 CPU that can be
inserted into the socket should work just fine.
Cathode Ray Dude said:
I wasn't sure which chips would work in the UPGRADE socket, but I
took a risk on two used CPUs of unknown provenance and got lucky: The machine
appears to be happy with a 75 MHz 486 Overdrive (DX40DP75). I also tried
booting it on a 486DX2 (A80486DX2-50) but it did not POST.
Warning: To avoid damage to your CPU, make sure
that if it runs on 3 volts that you have an appropriate voltage regulator
installed. Otherwise the CPU may be destroyed over a period of time or
immediately when the power is turned on.
The Model 50 is by far the most upgradeable EduQuest. It features a
Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) CPU socket and it has the needed extra pin row to
accommodate the Intel Pentium OverDrive 66 and 83 MHz processors. This socket
can also handle 3 volt 486 CPUs with no additional voltage regulator as one is
built on the board.
Note: While it is believed (at this time) that the
EduQuest Model 50's 3 volt regulator for the CPU is automatically enabled when
needed, this has not been proven. Proceed at your own risk.
For the Model 40, video is provided with an on-board ATI Mach32
Graphics Accelerator chip. 512 KB of video RAM is provided with both systems,
and an open socket exists where you can install an upgrade memory chip to
presumably reach 1 MB VRAM, which will give you more colors on screen at once
for all supported resolutions.
William's bitter experience:
I have installed countless VRAMs into the upgrade socket with no
change in the detected amount of video memory by ATI diagnostics. These same
VRAMs have worked in many other video cards with no problems.
Cathode Ray Dude reports success:
I recently received an EduQuest 40, and it arrived with an upgrade
chip installed in the VRAM socket. The additional memory appears to be
recognized by the system! HWiNFO reports 1024 KB of DRAM. It will be some time
before I can test to see if it fully functions, but since the machine was dusty
and in otherwise-stock condition I doubt this was the work of a modern
hobbyist, especially since it's the exact same part that's soldered to the
board — Samsung KM416C157AJ-7. So it appears that this upgrade *is*
possible, and the machine may even have shipped that way.
- 640x400 256
- 640x480 256
- 800x600 16
- 800x600 256
- 1024x768 16
- 1024x768 256 (pic)
Win 95's built in mach32 driver is able to run it in 256 color mode. Not
sure why this picture looks so bad, but for what it's worth, in 1024x768 the
screen has a jittery feeling, almost like it's interlaced, though I can't
imagine it would have been in this era.
The Model 50 uses a Cirrus Logic 5434 video chip. This comes with 1
MB VRAM and you can upgrade to 2 MB. I have attempted this upgrade using VRAMs
that didn't seem to work in the 30 & 40 and the new VRAM was detected and
set to work immediately.
An external monitor can be plugged into all models for dual display of the
same screen or the internal display can be disabled in setup if desired. This
is handy if you want to run a display mode beyond the abilities of the built-in
The EduQuest Model 40 has on-board Future Domain TMC-950 SCSI. This
SCSI system is bootable, but maximum size limits for the hard disk are not
known at this time and it may be better suited to devices like CD-ROM drives as
opposed to actually being used as a bootable device.
All other EduQuests can use any standard IDE hard disk you can find.
For sizes larger than 528 MB, you will need to use a disk manager program to
help the system use your hard disk to its fullest capacity.
Note: For some reason the EduQuest 30 and 40 are
unable to boot the DR-DOS operating system as used by many disk manager
programs. This issue can be resolved by hacking the boot disk on which the disk
manager is stored and replacing the system files with those from DOS or Windows
9x. I had originally intended to place a disk image up here, but it would only
work for a limited brand of hard drives and might be subject to copyright
protection or some other condition which would not allow redistribution. So
you'll just have to make your own if the disk manager available to you doesn't
boot on the EduQuest like it should.