Cyrix Whitebox

The Cyrix 6x86

Built in (or around) 1997 by a local whitebox builder, this computer boasts a Cyrix PR166+ CPU and 24MB of RAM. When I got it there was only 16MB but I upgraded it to 24MB almost straight away. Like many Intel rivals of the day the chip name and the speed of the chip had nothing in common with each other. The PR166+ runs at 133MHz internally, but the idea was that "it feels like it's running at 166". I think, performance wise, it is about equivalent to a 166MHz 486. The Cyrix, although it is of the same "class" as the Pentium, is not actually a Pentium compatible chip. It's more of a souped up 486 than a full Pentium.


Cyrix PR166+


2GB SD Card

3.5" 1.44MB Floppy


12x CDROM Drive

Video Card

S3 Trio64V2/DX 1MB PCI


The heart of this computer is the Cyrix PR166+ on a VXPro+ Motherboard (AT form factor) made by Elpina. Four PCI slots, three ISA, and the option of either 72 pin SIMMs or 168 pin SDRAM DIMMs. For storage there's the usual two IDE channels, supporting up to uDMA/33, and a floppy drive connection. IO not only has two serial ports and a parallel port on board but also a header for a PS/2 mouse port. The mouse port wasn't installed when I got the computer but it wasn't hard to get hold of a replacement parallel port pigtail with a PS/2 port in it and adapt that to fit.

Video Card

The video card in this computer is an S3 Trio64V2/DX PCI card with 1MB of video RAM. It's not a great video card, but fine for basic DOS and Windows 3.11 operation.

Network Card

Although the computer didn't come with a network card I do like to always add one if possible. For this computer I chose the 3COM 3C905b Fast EtherLink XL PCI card. Not only is it period correct, being from 1997, but it is also one of the best networking cards from that time period.

Sound Card

 If memory serves me correctly this computer came originally with the Soundblaster Live! sound card. However I have replaced that with an older Sounblaster 16 ISA card for better compatibility with DOS games.

Other Hardware

I have two more ISA cards in this computer: a MODEM and an interface for the SuperPro EPROM programmer.