IBM 5160  -  VGA Cards


Requirement #1 - 5160 motherboard configuration

The two video switches on SW1 (shown here) must be set for:  5=ON, 6=ON
Do not place the card in expansion slot 8 unless the card specifically supports slot 8.  Cards that are slot 8 compatible usually have a 'slot 8' jumper.

Requirement #2 - Suitable VGA card

The second requirement is a VGA card that is known to work in the IBM 5160.

The documentation for some 16-bit VGA cards indicate that they work in an 8-bit expansion slot.  You must not expect that to mean all 8-bit slots.  Many such cards are intended only for an 8-bit slot within an AT-class computer, and will not work in an IBM 5160.  The maker's documentation for the card will indicate whether the card will work in an IBM 5160.
Some people have discovered that certain 8-bit compatible 16-bit VGA cards can be made to work in a 5150/5160 if the 8088 CPU on the motherboard is upgraded to a V20 CPU.
And some people have discovered that it does not work.
Note that such a CPU upgrade can sometimes cause a problem (example).

Requirement #3 - VGA card configuration

Some VGA cards have configuration switches and/or jumpers.  An example is here.  Refer to the card's documentation to ensure that those switches/jumpers are set appropriately.  For the switches, do not confuse the off position with the on position.
16-bit VGA cards that are known to work in an IBM 5160 usually (not always) need to be manually configured to run in 8-bit mode.  Refer to the card's documentation, because configuration is done differently on different cards.

Cards that are known to work in the IBM 5160

This is where things can get tricky.  For example, when I tell you that I have a Video Seven VEGA VGA card that works in my 5160, you must not assume that all Video Seven VEGA VGA cards work in a 5160.  It could be, for example, that a design change in later revisions of the card results in 5160 incompatibility.  However, I think that you would have to be very unlucky to encounter that.

Make Model 8/16-bit Card's
Required ?
   Information source    Comment
AST VGA 8-bit   No AST document at [here].  
AST VGA Plus 16-bit   No AST document at [here]. SW2 needs to be off
ATI VGA Wonder 16 16-bit   No Post #3 of the VCF thread at [here]. Member mikey99 of the VCF.
Oktec EVGA-16 16-bit   ? Post #3 of the VCF thread at [here]. Member Stone of the VCF.
Tseng Labs ????? 16-bit   No Me.  I have this card and it works in my 5160. See note 1 below.
Video Seven VEGA VGA 8-bit D2A 62L1989V5 No Me.  I have this card and it works in my 5160. The card has a jumper for operation in slot 8
Video Seven VGA-16 16-bit   No Various pages of the user's guide. See note 2 below.
Video Seven VGA 1024i 16-bit   No Various pages of the user's manual. Example: Page 11 contains, "an IBM PC or PC/XT".
Western Digital Paradise PVGA1A 8-bit   ? Post #7 of the VCF thread at [here]. Member Scali of the VCF.

Note 1 Printed on the PCB is, "TSENG LAB INC." and "P/N 8927".
On power up, the card displays, "VGA-4000".
Set the BIOS8/BIOS16 jumper to BIOS8 (force BIOS ROM reads into 8-bit mode).
Note 2 I have one of these cards.  The VGA-16 user's guide indicates 5150 (IBM PC) compatibility, and indicates how to configure the card for 8-bit operation.  But whilst I can get my card to operate in a 16-bit slot, I have been unable to get the card to operate in 8-bit mode (fitted to a 5150/5160/5170).  I have come to the conclusion that my card is faulty.
Also, I have noted that the user's guide indicates an FCC ID of D2A62LTJWBJC, whereas my card has the FCC ID of D2A62LVGA16.  Maybe I have a later version of the card, in which 8-bit operation was dropped!