LGR – Installing an 8-bit EGA Card on an IBM 5154


[typing] Greetings, LGR here with an LGR thing. And specifically, this thing. This is an IBM 5154 Enhanced Color Display introduced in 1984 for the IBM PC range of computers. The IBM AT was around at that same time,
but it would work on pretty much anything as long as you had the appropriate
adapter installed inside the computer. And what’s interesting about EGA cards is that
it will actually support these other monitors. So we have the IBM 5153 CGA monitor over here, which is just your 4-color standard thing a step down from EGA, of course. And then we have the IBM 5151,
the original monitor for the IBM PC and this just does MDA, a monochrome display.
Green screen phosphor, looks great. Mmm… I really like the designs of these monitors. They look a little bit like a microwave, but a very pleasing, technologically
advanced, slightly futuristic microwave. What I’m going to do is upgrade— [laughs] “upgrade”, you know, in 2016,
one of my PCs with EGA graphics and we’re going to plug this thing in and, uh, you know, sort of compare it to these. I mean, maybe not directly but, you know, I’ll show, like, what the difference is between the color modes and, uh… Let’s go back to 1984! Check out that 5154 badge. Mmm, that looks nice. And I also have here the— I assume that is the manufactured date. So we’ve got July of 1987,
is when mine was put together. And yeah, not a whole lot to see
here on the back of this thing especially since the friggin’ camera is not— Yeah, forget that, there’s nothing to see there anyway. What there is to see, though,
is the video card that we will be using and, yes, the astute among you will realize
this is not an IBM card of any kind. This is a— a card by a company called Auva. This is the HEGA-II manufactured in 1988. [laughs] “Auva HEGA.” Sounds like something
you’d say when you’re punched in the gut. “Auva-HEGA!” [cough] So anyway, this is an EGA card an 8-bit one, not one of the the long crazy ones
that you would often see from IBM. I don’t have one of those,
those are considerably harder to find. Not that these are very common either, but you know, it is what it is. So this is kind of an interesting little card. Well, all EGA cards are, as far as the ones that I’ve seen. So, yeah, we have the EGA connector right here but of course, if you switch
around things then this will work with CGA or monochrome. And we have these two RCA connectors here, but unlike CGA, that is not for composite video output so you can’t plug this up to TVs. No, these are actually for plugging in
different sort of expansions video controllers and feature devices. So, yeah. Don’t mess with those, like plugging in TVs.
That won’t do anything. And then of course we do have these little switches here which, the first four right now in that configuration they’re telling it to go into EGA display mode,
to be hooked up to an EGA monitor and I think the 5 and 6, especially the 5, is telling it that there’s no other video cards plugged in to the computer and that is the configuration that we’ll be using. This will be a stand-alone card in the PC that I install this in. It’s also got another little connector here
for plugging in light pens, I believe. And this is like another feature connector, but— uh, yeah, we’re not gonna mess with those. So, yeah. Let’s install this in a PC and see what you get. Now, I would be installing this in my IBM AT here,
as I think that would be very appropriate, but the power supply is currently blown up and needs repairs.
I just haven’t gotten around to doing that yet. So, I’ll be installing it in my IBM XT here instead. And it’s a very capable machine for EGA. Maybe not some of the later more
advanced ones, but it’ll work. And it’ll allow me to show some really cool insides. This thing is neat. See, I told you it was neat. I love working on these things.
They’re impressively complex for their day and yet very simple and straightforward. [sighs]
So, what we’re going to be replacing is this longest card here. This is a CGA card. It’s, uh… Well, it’s ridiculous. But, it’s gotta come out of there,
at least, for what my purposes are. You could leave it in.
It’s able to work with two cards. But, you know, I’m just gonna make it a little bit simpler. So this is what I was talking about
when I was saying those really long 8-bit cards. A lot of the EGA cards, especially
from IBM, looked like this. But you know, years later they
were able to cram everything into something that is, well, much less than half the size. The wonders of the modern day! [seats card] And, uh, that’s it. It’s installed! Really as simple as that, except, of course, one more little thing here, and that is these little DIP switches here. On IBM PCs, the older ones like this, you’re gonna have to worry
about those in that white box there. Specifically, switch 5 and 6. If you’re changing around the video type at all, you’re going to need those to be in the correct positions. So I’m actually gonna have to switch them both to on in order to let it know that it is a special video device, which is EGA or VGA. So, yeah, they kind of thought of everything,
and that just lets the BIOS know what to look for. Alright, everything’s starting up just fine here. And we’ll be loading MS-DOS 3.3. I guess PC-DOS 3.3. I don’t know.
I guess it’s MS— I dunno… which one do I have… This is PC-DOS. IBM-DOS… mmm… Who cares about the date? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you! So, let’s get over to the C drive, and I’m actually gonna play some “California Games” not because it’s like the greatest game ever,
but because it’s a pretty good measure of what it’s like to go from CGA to EGA.
In fact, it’s got a lot of different things. It’s actually really fun to compare the different modes I’d like to do a more involved video
looking at all these modes, I just don’t have enough stuff set up to do
that right now, and I’m feeling kinda lazy. So, let me just show you what CGA looks like first,
in case you’re not familiar somehow. [PC speaker noises] [PC speaker: “Louie, Louie”] [key click] Ya, man… Let’s play some “California Games.” So we can compete in the events, but I don’t want to. I’m gonna practice because I’m terrible at this. Well, let’s play some good old footbag. Also known as Hacky Sack. So, yeah, it’s in the warmer sort
of CGA tones at the moment. You got the oranges, yellows,
greens, reds, that kind of thing, but it will switch over to the cooler colors:
the cyan, magenta, white, black, that kind of thing. And those are the two color palettes that are very commonly used. And I guess this one’s more of
the red and cyan, but that’s cool. Oh, my gosh. This is the slowest—I forgot how
slow this game is on an XT. Um… It is not good. Aw… I forgot, uh, how to do it. I can move. That’s the head thing. Well, whatever, I suck at this. Let’s switch over to EGA, though, and look at the difference directly. And here it is in EGA. And you’ll notice it’s actually a lot quicker. [laughs] Which I’m assuming has to do with
the higher amount of video memory. As far as I know, that particular board has 128K, which is, uh… a far cry more than what a CGA board would have. I’m sure it’s faster in other ways, too,
that I’m just not aware of. Some boards had 64K, and—for EGA. This one, of course— I mean, not of course. I don’t know. I think I read somewhere that it was 128, but either way, neat. Quite a substantial improvement in color depth
and speed and all sorts of wonderful things. I’m not sure how do we get out of here. How— [quietly]
How do I get out, man? [keys clicking] Ah, there it is: control-escape. So, yeah, even the menus look better. I mean, how sweet is this? This is just awesome. EGA, man. Let’s do some halfpipe. This is by far the one I’m worst at, so that should be even more amusing. Yeah, even this, this just looks better. I’m not sure how well colors are coming across,
but I mean they are VIVID on this monitor. It is just—it’s great! Aw, it’s really neat to see, like, EGA
in its most native form like this. Ah… Super sharp. I mean… Razor sharp. It’s pretty awesome. [typing] What do I do? Alright, here we go. Yeahaw! Whoah! Aw, man… [California accent]
That was gnarly, man! Aww… Yeah, just look at those scanlines. You know, it’s just something—
you’re not gonna notice it when you’re just playing, but you can see them, and the pixels are just—
they’re delightfully sharp. I—I enjoy all these kind of things very much. Noooo… Mmm… So let me see if I can find something else
to show on here really quick. Because I can! Of course, it’s gotta run on an XT, though, and that, uh… limits my selection somewhat. So here’s something I don’t try very often. “Super Solvers: Treasure Mountain”. An edutainment classic. Should look pretty sweet in EGA. Loading very slowly, but looking sweet. Once it gets there. [floppy drive grinding] [PC speaker music] Aw, yeah… [PC music continues] Play it, PC speaker! [music continues] [upper-crust accent]
“The Master of Mischief has stolen the crown
and hidden the treasures of Treasure Mountain!” [accent]
My god! Alright. Help these friggin’ elves. [music, drive grinding] [mimics disk drive]
Weeeh, weeeh. Weh-weh weeeh weh. [typing] Yeah. I have 3½” floppy versions
of this that I play normally. So I haven’t tried the 5¼”, but apparently it’s working. “Hi! My name is Flutter.” Alright. Get outta here. [PC music] [laughs] Well, you know. I might be a little slow here, and the screen is drawing like crazy, but that’s— that’s okay! Yeah, let’s go outside! So, this is the outside. That’s good. And, uh, man. This guy— [chuckles] Poor Super Solver’s walking so slow, and look at that screen scrolling. Mmm, so smooth. So that was a famous problem with,
well, CGA, EGA—pretty much anything on the PC for a while, up until
like VGA and SVGA, of course. Scrolling. Was a pain. So, yeah. You weren’t able to do like smooth-scrolling
platformers—you know, like per pixel kind of scrolling. Famously, that was corrected with
id Software and “Commander Keen.” They were doing some crazy, crazy stuff. And, uh, yeah. On EGA. But of course, that was with faster hardware, too. On an XT, you’re kinda looking at slow EGA stuff anyway. Like I said, I would have preferred to use this EGA card
on my IBM AT, and I need to get that thing fixed. Let me see if I can get at least one dude. There you are, you jerk. Yeah Suck it. “These words end with ‘t’. If you can see one more word that ends with ‘t’…” It might be this one! [PC speaker fanfare] Alright, this game is incredibly slow.
Let’s see if I can find something just a little bit faster. I don’t know if it’s going to be any faster,
but we’re going to try Platoon here, by Data East The EGA version, which I just happen to have in the box. Uh, if that’s EGA, that’s not very impressive, I gotta say. [PC speaker music] I guess it is EGA. Sweet! Uh… Right, enterin’ the combat zone! Aw man, that’s pretty cool-looking. I don’t— I don’t know how to control anything, um… These controls are ridiculous! [tosses manual aside] [PC speaker gunshots] [PC speaker sound] Argh, no! Well… This is awful. All right, I’m gonna try Fast Food Dizzy ‘cuz, uh, I haven’t. [Laughs] So… “Your system has a choice of
Keyboard control only.” All right! “No Music.” [keypress] No AdLib installed either, so It’s gonna be silent But that’s okay. Or not. [Thrashes on keyboard] Frick. Well, I guess we won’t, because it never loaded. So, uh, I guess that was just a little too much for it. [power switch] [PC spins down] [chuckle] Ah, that power-off. I love the noises this thing makes. But yeah, this is such a neat monitor. I’ve been after one of these things for, like, six years pretty much. Oh, man, probably longer than that now, it’s 2016. A long time. The thing is, they’re really not that common.
A lot of people had other EGA monitors, and EGA was only around for a few years anyway,
when VGA came and took over since it was more or less backwards compatible. It just, you know, there was no real need for EGA monitors. VGA took off. And so, yeah, this is such a cool thing though. Um, if you can find one,
I highly recommend grabbing one [laughs] It’s just, you know, expect to pay like 500 bucks. There was one recently that sold for that. I didn’t pay nearly that much.
I got mine for closer to 300 for this and the EGA card itself, which is a pretty good deal. Those cards go for like 50–60 bucks on their own. But, uh, even that’s kind of a premium since I only paid 10 bucks for my IBM 5150
and like, what was it, 30 for this XT? Course, those were thrifting finds years ago and whatnot, so yeah whatever. This stuff’s expensive, man! But it’s fun! A lot of fun and I hope you had fun watching this, even though I didn’t get to play
more of the games that I wanted to. I’ll need to fix up that IBM AT and— That’s it for this video.
Thank you very much for watching!

100 thoughts on “LGR – Installing an 8-bit EGA Card on an IBM 5154

  1. This channel reminds me of another youtuber called steve 1989 .they both have similar way of reviewing stuff.except that steve reviews military MREs

  2. I was going to leave a comment before I realized I already did, so I'll leave a different one. Clint, I discovered recently the different modes of CGA that allowed it to NOT look like ass (namely, the composite modes). Have you seen these? For my entire 31 years of my life I've pictured CGA as cyan and purple with like bright green (that is, clashing neon colors). Apparently it wasn't always like this and thanks to the wonders of dithering/blurring, CGA could actually display much more nuanced color schemes. The CGA modes in California Games here actually look WAY better than any normal CGA I've seen (think, Alley Cat) so this makes me wonder if it's taking advantage of an actual IBM monitor to display better than we normally would have seen growing up with our 486s and stuff. I dunno about you but I LOVED playing Stunts and other games in ALL of their modes.

  3. Treasure Mountain! That's what the game is called!
    I played that game so much as a kid, but I totally forgot what it was called / who made it. I've been looking for it for YEARS now! Thank you for picking that game to play at random, seriously.

  4. As far as I remember California Games is known for switching CGA palettes mid-frame, which was done using CPU timing, which might be one of the reasons why EGA is quicker… Like less CPU overhead perhaps.

  5. Neat I Recently Went into My Grandpa storage and I found These
    IMB 5154,TRS-80 MODEL 100,COMMEDORE PET,TANDY 1400 LT ,A 1983 CAPTURE CARD
    all worked!!
    Inside that IBM pc there was a IMB 16bit Graphics card with a boot disk and a harddrive!!

  6. now put the card in a 386 or 486 and show us windows 3.1 running in egas 640×350 mode (i think it was 640×350)…

  7. Question ask you. Are used to own a Windows 95 IBM and i had a game that was in a classroom and you can click on anything like the radio and go out to the playground. It was like a 3D layout fixed cam game. Do you have any idea what it was called?

  8. I'd love to own one of these type monitors, but they probably don't support VGA. Would be awesome to run a TV tuner through one of those things.

  9. My first computer monitor was aqn Olivetti, and it was manufactured in 1990. It had VGA, so i interesting to see what was used before 🙂

  10. I honestly agree. Those old IBM designs were amazing. I might have a thing for the retro-style, but… man.

  11. "You've got 50KB RAM more than you need, Dude. That's gnarly!"
    At this time, I just ordered 16Gigs of RAM for my laptop, cus I can't fit into 8GB.

  12. I used to have an updated version of Treasure Mountain that I played on an eMachines eOne. Designed from the ground up for Windows, it actually scrolled smoothly, had significantly improved graphics, and was in general a really cool game for nerdy nine-year-old me.

  13. I used to play a game called "Wolfpack" on an XT. It was a submarine game. Lots of fun. You used to be able to flip the switches on an EGA card and get it to drive a CGA screen.

  14. can you look this link? http://www.ebay.it/itm/GP1019-EGA-D9-Male-to-VGA-HD15-Male-Monitor-Cable-2-Metres-/361974289277?hash=item544759537d:g:aZ8AAOSwQM9UajDv

  15. A long time ago I picked up an IBM AT with an IBM EGA card and monitor. Only had 64k memory on the card. Also found a local Zenith 286 with a Zenith EGA card (256k) and monitor. Everything worked quite nicely but I had serious bills last year, so I sold both monitors. Still have the systems and the display cards. And, yes, the IBM card is full length. 🙂 IIRC they both are. Both are set right now to display CGA instead, since I don't have an EGA monitor to hand any more.

    I expect you didn't have the EGA version of early Sim City, or Lucasfilm's Battle of Britain? I used to play that one back in the day when I owned a "turbo" XT clone with Samsung EGA monitor.

    …Haven't tried plugging an MDA monitor into one of those cards yet. Don't they have an EGA/mono function?

  16. The EGA card we had in our 286 clone was the full 14" long and had the extra memory for more colors. Time to smack my brother.

  17. The way that Calgames uses the "secret" / glitchmode black-red-cyan-white CGA palette itself is somewhat worthy of mention itself, isn't ——– OH MY GOD WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT GUY'S KNEES?!

    Comparison with "MORE Color" mode would be interesting, I can't remember if that's the one that uses composite artefact colours or a form of palette switching to use more than the typical 4 colours at once by flipping between the warm, cool and glitchmode palettes and the dark and bright versions of each… Maybe even both?

    It's probably faster because EGA shared some of the logic improvements as later used and expanded on with VGA, in that you can do more than just throwing new data at parts of the screen memory and instead send commands to the board to move things by itself (much faster if you've got a block of pixels to shift, or if you have things that can be kept offscreen and used as sprites by bringing them back into view). CGA is a real bottleneck to any system it's used in. I think I even had it feeling rather sluggish on a PCI and 2mb SVGA 486 when tried for a laugh as an option on Railroad Tycoon…

  18. Oh fwiw I think 128k is the minimum you need to use high-rez 640×350 16-colour mode on EGA even though it doesn't quite use all that memory. Same as but not quite as extreme as how 640×480 technically uses 256k on a VGA (and why MCGA can't do similar, because it doesn't have that much RAM) even though that's only actually 150kb… so if your card can do that mode, it's definitely a 128kb model.

  19. Hmm, if your camera is capturing the colours correctly, I'd say every VGA system I've used has rendered EGA software colours incorrectly. The primaries seem a lot stronger than I'm used to, and the brown, dark cyan, etc are all rather different. Not bad… better, even… but certainly different.

  20. Nice. What struck me most about EGA was the 640×480 full-color text, compared to CGA's 640×200 2-color. EGA had the same crisp, easy-to-read text as the MDA along with 16 colors. Too bad the monitor ran something like $700 at the time

    Had an EGA card/monitor with my turbo XT clone, and that kept me going until I upgraded to a 286 and picked up a Tseng Labs Windows accelerator card. That was fine until I encountered … Quake … 🙂

  21. hi, i have a Tseng Labs / eva 480 EGA, when i buyed, i tested and works, now a mount a XT and a can not make this card works, am very lost whit the configuration pins, this card have a 8 swichts, very different to the your card. If you can of course, you wanna help me? thanks, george from argentina

  22. Not only is that CGA card one of the super-long 8-bit cards — if you look closely, you can see its edge-connector is positioned in such a way that it will only fit in an 8-bit slot. The 16-bit ISA slot would make contact with the edge of the card that drops down just beyond the 8-bit edge-connector — meaning you could not install this card in anything but an IBM 5150. That’s hilarious!

  23. Yes only is that CGA card one of the super-long 8-bit cards — if you look closely, you can see its edge-connector is positioned in such a way that it will only fit in an 8-bit slot. The 16-bit ISA slot would make contact with the edge of the card that drops down just beyond the 8-bit edge-connector — meaning you could yes install this card in anything but an IBM 5150. That’s hilarious!

  24. Aww no Commander Keen to compare against? I remember playing Keen 1 on my EGA XT and – at the time – it seemed incredibly smooth. It was a clone though so not sure whether it was better performing than IBM or not.

  25. Is it just me or is the scene where LGR comments on the scan lines combined with the most awkward screenshot ever? It looks like the skateboard is a four-foot pencil-shaped dick because the skateboard's edge is the same colour as the character's skin XD

  26. I want to buy that Seagate ST11M hard drive controller that's in that machine. there hard to find, been looking for one for months would you sell it ?

  27. If it wasn't for the refresh rate of the monitor and the scanlines, it almost looks "too sharp", like as if it was digitally transposed in post work like they did in the late 90s and early 2000s to save from scanlines and refresh rates captured on film. That's one nice monitor.

  28. EGA never really caught on in the home. The costs were so high compared to CGA that most never upgraded. I only saw it used in businesses and government systems.

    VGA was enough of an improvement that when it came out, most people quickly changed over.

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