I am looking for a BIOS image for my 386 motherboard with a VLSI VL82C330/331/332 (TOPCAT) chipset, preferably a MR BIOS version by Microid Research. The motherboard in question is an AMI Mark V Baby Screamer. The board works fine with the existing AMI BIOS, however I have been told that AMI was known for using ultra conservative settings in their motherboard BIOSes. My goal is to speedup RAM throughput by reducing the memory latency. I used AMISETUP in an attempt to find any hidden RAM timings, however there weren't any hidden memory timings to unhide. I was also told that a BIOS from MR BIOS does exist for this chipset. Anyone have it?
So, maybe there is a MR BIOS out that that would not directly crash on your board. But I would not hold my breath indeed. You could ask the people at esupport.com if they have something in the archives, if memory serves me right, they bought MR at some point.
I have a UMC UM82C481/482-based 386 motherboard which came with some feature-stripped AMI BIOS. I found a MR BIOS for UMC 481/482 on some ftp site, used it on said motherboard, and the performance improved tremendously. While the BIOS in the AMI Mark V Baby Screamer is adaquate, the memory read/write/move performance is pretty crummy compared to all other 386 boards I've tested (6 in total).
I received a response from esupport.com from someone by the name Bob Kelly. He was not very helpful, if not somewhat arrogant. Based on the responses, it may be that they do not have access to MR BIOS archives. Is it possible that someone else took control of Microroid Research BIOSes? The thread from esupport is as follows,
Request - 12/13/2015 3:04 pm I am looking for a BIOS image for my 386 motherboard with a VLSI VL82C330/331/332 (TOPCAT) chipset, preferably a MR BIOS version by Microid Research. The motherboard in question is an AMI Mark V Baby Screamer. The board works fine with the existing AMI BIOS, however I have been told that AMI was known for using ultra conservative settings in their motherboard BIOSes. My goal is to speedup RAM throughput by reducing the memory latency. I used AMISETUP in an attempt to find any hidden RAM timings, however there weren't any hidden memory timings to unhide. I was also told that a BIOS from MR BIOS does exist for this chipset. Do you have it in your archives? User Edwin at WIMSBIOS mentioned esupport.com may have bought out MR BIOS. Thanks a lot!
Response - 12/14/2015 12:07 pm Unfortunately, we do not have any BIOS updates for that system.
Request - 12/14/2015 4:17 pm The BIOS does not need to be for the AMI Mark V Baby Screamer, it can be a MR BIOS for any VLSI 330/331/332-based 386DX motherboard. Do you have a MR BIOS for such a chipset? Do you have access to the MR BIOS archives?
Response - 12/14/2015 5:04 pm Actually it does need to be specifically for the board. It will not work otherwise.
Request - 12/14/2015 5:13 pm I do not wish to argue the point of motherboard-specific BIOS dependence. Our viewpoints differ. It has been my experience that often, but not always, other manufacturer's BIOSes will work with similar board layouts, components and chipsets. Do you or do you not have access to the MR BIOS archive which contains some BIOSes of boards which have VLSI 330/331/331 chipsets? If you do, how might I access this archive so that I may try these BIOSes at my own discretion? Thank you.
Response - 12/15/2015 9:56 am Well I won't argue either. But since we've been in the BIOS business for 30+ years, I can say with absolutely certainty that BIOS are motherboard specific.
From what I can see he was very helpful in telling you that the mr bios they have for one board is in fact too specific and not going to work on your board. You can trust me they tested that one. Even though the same chips may have been used, the interconnection between them may be different which changes the whole game... It's a pity they don't have a bios for you. The other option would be buying a custom bios from them...
I don't have a reply to your issue with your BIOS but I did want to support your comments about Bob Kelly. I too had dealings with this person and he definitely lacks the ability to answer questions or deal with customers. I am actually composing some things to demonstrate this and happened upon your post while researching other people's experiences. I appreciate your feedback. I too was looking for answers about MrBIOS and perhaps a custom BIOS for my laptop and other questions about some shady practices they have in general but all I got from him was arrogance and evasiveness which I will further depict in another public blog. He claims to be a Manager when asked to escalate any issues and that is where it ends.
Our interpretations of his response are very different. I suspect he only looked for the specific model of the motherboard and did not cross-reference the same chipset model for other motherboard brands. I also think he is giving a generic response and likely will say that no other BIOS code can be used in another brand's board for any board, period. This is not always the case. He is giving a 'safe' response to avoid liability, although I already mentioned it would be at my own discretion. I also suspect that his database is not sophisticated enough to cross reference the specific VLSI chipset onto other boards with a similar layout.
My #60946 post response to Edwin's last post, not DrmWEaver. There was a posting delay. DrmWEaver, I Sympathise with you completely. The Mr. BIOS archive of BIOSes may be lost for good with this guy at the helm. There are some scattered websites online with have a few MR BIOS images here and there.