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Which sound card for a legacy-only DOS computer?

Discussion in 'Soundcards' started by George Adams, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. George Adams

    George Adams Guest

    Sorry if this is a FAQ - if there's a document or something addressing this
    issue already, I'll be grateful if someone can point me to it.

    There's a lot of great games that I remember from my youth (Rocky's Boots,
    Robot Odyssey, Star Flight I/II, Star Control 2, most Lucas Arts games, etc.
    etc.) that I'd like to be able to play again, and also introduce to my
    children. (hey, they're low-res but they're still fun! :) )

    Rather than tearing my hair out trying to get DOS and DOS sound emulation
    working under WinXP, I think I'll just take my old P-166 and build a legacy
    machine out of it. It'll probably run DOS 6.22 and maybe Win3.1. Might
    even put a 5.25" drive in it just for kicks.

    So I'm wondering, what soundcard would be the most compatible for old games
    running in a pure DOS environment? Obviously I could get an old original
    AdLib or Soundblaster for total compatibility, but I'd really like to get
    the last, greatest DOS-based soundcard that was well-supported by games
    before the Windows 95 era.

    What would that be? Looking around on eBay, I see things like :

    - SoundBlaster Pro (CT1600)
    - A bunch of SoundBlaster 16 varieties (SB 16 Basic, SB 16 Pro, SB 16 Value,
    SB 16 ASP)
    - SoundBlaster 32 and AWE32
    - SoundBlaster AWE64

    etc. Obviously the quality improves as you go on through the history of
    Creative's cards, but I don't want to get a card that sounds great under
    game X but gives up downward compatibility such that game Y can't work with
    it or can only work unreliably.

    I hope that makes sense. Any help would be appreciated - thanks!
    George Adams, Dec 5, 2003
    #1
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  2. George Adams

    daytripper Guest

    On Thu, 4 Dec 2003 23:34:07 -0500, "George Adams"
    <> wrote:

    >Sorry if this is a FAQ - if there's a document or something addressing this
    >issue already, I'll be grateful if someone can point me to it.
    >
    >There's a lot of great games that I remember from my youth (Rocky's Boots,
    >Robot Odyssey, Star Flight I/II, Star Control 2, most Lucas Arts games, etc.
    >etc.) that I'd like to be able to play again, and also introduce to my
    >children. (hey, they're low-res but they're still fun! :) )
    >
    >Rather than tearing my hair out trying to get DOS and DOS sound emulation
    >working under WinXP, I think I'll just take my old P-166 and build a legacy
    >machine out of it. It'll probably run DOS 6.22 and maybe Win3.1. Might
    >even put a 5.25" drive in it just for kicks.
    >
    >So I'm wondering, what soundcard would be the most compatible for old games
    >running in a pure DOS environment? Obviously I could get an old original
    >AdLib or Soundblaster for total compatibility, but I'd really like to get
    >the last, greatest DOS-based soundcard that was well-supported by games
    >before the Windows 95 era.
    >
    >What would that be? Looking around on eBay, I see things like :
    >
    >- SoundBlaster Pro (CT1600)
    >- A bunch of SoundBlaster 16 varieties (SB 16 Basic, SB 16 Pro, SB 16 Value,
    >SB 16 ASP)
    >- SoundBlaster 32 and AWE32
    >- SoundBlaster AWE64
    >
    >etc. Obviously the quality improves as you go on through the history of
    >Creative's cards, but I don't want to get a card that sounds great under
    >game X but gives up downward compatibility such that game Y can't work with
    >it or can only work unreliably.
    >
    >I hope that makes sense. Any help would be appreciated - thanks!


    Any flavor of SB16 will be as about as good as it gets wrt compatibility with
    dusty dos code, compatibility with your old p166 pci/isa box, plus a decent
    helping of extra functionality for more recent games that would actually have
    used it "back in the day".

    SB Pro was 8-bit only and dodgier (if such a thing can be fathomed) than the
    SB16 series. And some of the dustier bits and chunks started dropping by the
    wayside with the progression through SB/AWE 32 & 64, which could portend
    compatibility issues.

    How much does a fully functional SB16 card go for on eBay? I must have a few
    of those laying about among the decaying carcasses, some of them are the
    SCSI-2 versions and with the DSP installed...

    /daytripper
    daytripper, Dec 5, 2003
    #2
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  3. George Adams

    Rick Guest

    MediaVision made a great card called the Pro Audio Spectrum 16,
    or PAS16 as it was known. Fully DOS compatible, OPL3 synthesizer,
    great audio quality etc. There's even an [undocumented] way to get it
    working under Win2K and WinXP.

    Another alternative is to ditch the separate system idea and use one of
    the really wonderful free arcade emulators that are available nowadays.
    I run MAME32, CCS64 and a few others. They handle all the original
    game roms from the "good 'ol days" (playing Missile Command, Star
    Wars, Tempest, Centipede etc etc under Win2K is a kick and a half)
    and are fully DirectSound and input device compatible. If you're a fan
    of the older, simpler and essentially more fun games then definitely give
    these emulators a try.

    Rick

    "George Adams" <> wrote in message news:...
    > Sorry if this is a FAQ - if there's a document or something addressing this
    > issue already, I'll be grateful if someone can point me to it.
    >
    > There's a lot of great games that I remember from my youth (Rocky's Boots,
    > Robot Odyssey, Star Flight I/II, Star Control 2, most Lucas Arts games, etc.
    > etc.) that I'd like to be able to play again, and also introduce to my
    > children. (hey, they're low-res but they're still fun! :) )
    >
    > Rather than tearing my hair out trying to get DOS and DOS sound emulation
    > working under WinXP, I think I'll just take my old P-166 and build a legacy
    > machine out of it. It'll probably run DOS 6.22 and maybe Win3.1. Might
    > even put a 5.25" drive in it just for kicks.
    >
    > So I'm wondering, what soundcard would be the most compatible for old games
    > running in a pure DOS environment? Obviously I could get an old original
    > AdLib or Soundblaster for total compatibility, but I'd really like to get
    > the last, greatest DOS-based soundcard that was well-supported by games
    > before the Windows 95 era.
    >
    > What would that be? Looking around on eBay, I see things like :
    >
    > - SoundBlaster Pro (CT1600)
    > - A bunch of SoundBlaster 16 varieties (SB 16 Basic, SB 16 Pro, SB 16 Value,
    > SB 16 ASP)
    > - SoundBlaster 32 and AWE32
    > - SoundBlaster AWE64
    >
    > etc. Obviously the quality improves as you go on through the history of
    > Creative's cards, but I don't want to get a card that sounds great under
    > game X but gives up downward compatibility such that game Y can't work with
    > it or can only work unreliably.
    >
    > I hope that makes sense. Any help would be appreciated - thanks!
    >
    >
    >
    >
    Rick, Dec 5, 2003
    #3
  4. George Adams

    Bob Masta Guest

    On Thu, 4 Dec 2003 23:34:07 -0500, "George Adams"
    <> wrote:

    >Sorry if this is a FAQ - if there's a document or something addressing this
    >issue already, I'll be grateful if someone can point me to it.
    >
    >There's a lot of great games that I remember from my youth (Rocky's Boots,
    >Robot Odyssey, Star Flight I/II, Star Control 2, most Lucas Arts games, etc.
    >etc.) that I'd like to be able to play again, and also introduce to my
    >children. (hey, they're low-res but they're still fun! :) )
    >
    >Rather than tearing my hair out trying to get DOS and DOS sound emulation
    >working under WinXP, I think I'll just take my old P-166 and build a legacy
    >machine out of it. It'll probably run DOS 6.22 and maybe Win3.1. Might
    >even put a 5.25" drive in it just for kicks.
    >
    >So I'm wondering, what soundcard would be the most compatible for old games
    >running in a pure DOS environment? Obviously I could get an old original
    >AdLib or Soundblaster for total compatibility, but I'd really like to get
    >the last, greatest DOS-based soundcard that was well-supported by games
    >before the Windows 95 era.
    >
    >What would that be? Looking around on eBay, I see things like :
    >
    >- SoundBlaster Pro (CT1600)
    >- A bunch of SoundBlaster 16 varieties (SB 16 Basic, SB 16 Pro, SB 16 Value,
    >SB 16 ASP)
    >- SoundBlaster 32 and AWE32
    >- SoundBlaster AWE64
    >
    >etc. Obviously the quality improves as you go on through the history of
    >Creative's cards, but I don't want to get a card that sounds great under
    >game X but gives up downward compatibility such that game Y can't work with
    >it or can only work unreliably.
    >
    >I hope that makes sense. Any help would be appreciated - thanks!
    >

    Get a genuine Creative Labs Sound Blaster, any model
    *EXCEPT* the ViBRA series, which don't use DMA the
    same way and I've heard can confound some games
    that expect the "standard" Low/High DMA channels.
    (ViBRA models do 16-bit sound over the 8-bit DMA channel
    in 2 byte-sized transfers.)



    Bob Masta
    dqatechATdaqartaDOTcom

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    www.daqarta.com
    Bob Masta, Dec 5, 2003
    #4
  5. George Adams

    Prism Guest

    George Adams wrote:

    > So I'm wondering, what soundcard would be the most compatible for old games
    > running in a pure DOS environment? Obviously I could get an old original
    > AdLib or Soundblaster for total compatibility, but I'd really like to get
    > the last, greatest DOS-based soundcard that was well-supported by games
    > before the Windows 95 era.


    You've got two good choices:

    Sound Blaster AWE32 (NOT SB32)
    or
    Gravis Ultrasound MAX

    (Or, alternatively, you could get an SB16 (preferably non-pnp) plus an
    Ultrasound ACE.)

    Both cards do good GM sounds, GUS' SB emulation is via software but
    usually works wonders (MAXSBOS). Some games use multichannel digital
    music (tracker stuff) and these always support GUS natively, and sound
    wonderful.
    Prism, Dec 5, 2003
    #5
  6. George Adams

    Zdark Guest

    George Adams wrote:

    > Sorry if this is a FAQ - if there's a document or something addressing this
    > issue already, I'll be grateful if someone can point me to it.
    >
    > There's a lot of great games that I remember from my youth (Rocky's Boots,
    > Robot Odyssey, Star Flight I/II, Star Control 2, most Lucas Arts games, etc.
    > etc.) that I'd like to be able to play again, and also introduce to my
    > children. (hey, they're low-res but they're still fun! :) )
    >
    > Rather than tearing my hair out trying to get DOS and DOS sound emulation
    > working under WinXP, I think I'll just take my old P-166 and build a legacy
    > machine out of it. It'll probably run DOS 6.22 and maybe Win3.1. Might
    > even put a 5.25" drive in it just for kicks.
    >
    > So I'm wondering, what soundcard would be the most compatible for old games
    > running in a pure DOS environment? Obviously I could get an old original
    > AdLib or Soundblaster for total compatibility, but I'd really like to get
    > the last, greatest DOS-based soundcard that was well-supported by games
    > before the Windows 95 era.
    >
    > What would that be? Looking around on eBay, I see things like :
    >
    > - SoundBlaster Pro (CT1600)
    > - A bunch of SoundBlaster 16 varieties (SB 16 Basic, SB 16 Pro, SB 16 Value,
    > SB 16 ASP)
    > - SoundBlaster 32 and AWE32
    > - SoundBlaster AWE64
    >
    > etc. Obviously the quality improves as you go on through the history of
    > Creative's cards, but I don't want to get a card that sounds great under
    > game X but gives up downward compatibility such that game Y can't work with
    > it or can only work unreliably.
    >
    > I hope that makes sense. Any help would be appreciated - thanks!
    >
    >
    >
    >

    I'd go for any of the Awe64's as they had loadable midi patches (called
    sound fonts) which would improve the music playback in some of those DOS
    games. I say some because some DOS games used FM synthesis to produce
    music and some would actually use good midi sound.
    Come to think of it, I think the Awe32 line had some midi support but
    the midi patches were all in the card's rom.
    Zdark, Dec 7, 2003
    #6
  7. George Adams

    Prism Guest

    Zdark wrote:

    > Come to think of it, I think the Awe32 line had some midi support but
    > the midi patches were all in the card's rom.


    That's not quite how it goes. An AWE64 is basically just an AWE32 with
    the Creative Software Synth applet thrown in, and in PnP - which is not
    actually a good thing if you want to run DOS games. The AWE32 had 512k
    RAM as standard and could be expanded with SIMMs up to 8 megs.

    The original non-PnP AWE32 was the best of the AWEs, IMO.
    Prism, Dec 7, 2003
    #7
  8. George Adams

    mcheu Guest

    On Thu, 4 Dec 2003 23:34:07 -0500, "George Adams"
    <> wrote::

    >Sorry if this is a FAQ - if there's a document or something addressing this
    >issue already, I'll be grateful if someone can point me to it.
    >
    >There's a lot of great games that I remember from my youth (Rocky's Boots,
    >Robot Odyssey, Star Flight I/II, Star Control 2, most Lucas Arts games, etc.
    >etc.) that I'd like to be able to play again, and also introduce to my
    >children. (hey, they're low-res but they're still fun! :) )
    >
    >Rather than tearing my hair out trying to get DOS and DOS sound emulation
    >working under WinXP, I think I'll just take my old P-166 and build a legacy
    >machine out of it. It'll probably run DOS 6.22 and maybe Win3.1. Might
    >even put a 5.25" drive in it just for kicks.
    >
    >So I'm wondering, what soundcard would be the most compatible for old games
    >running in a pure DOS environment? Obviously I could get an old original
    >AdLib or Soundblaster for total compatibility, but I'd really like to get
    >the last, greatest DOS-based soundcard that was well-supported by games
    >before the Windows 95 era.
    >
    >What would that be? Looking around on eBay, I see things like :
    >
    >- SoundBlaster Pro (CT1600)
    >- A bunch of SoundBlaster 16 varieties (SB 16 Basic, SB 16 Pro, SB 16 Value,
    >SB 16 ASP)
    >- SoundBlaster 32 and AWE32
    >- SoundBlaster AWE64
    >


    Sound Blaster 32/AWE32 and the AWE64 are practically identical in
    terms of capabilities. Basically a SoundBlaster16 PNP with the
    addition of hardware wavetable MIDI. As such, it's probably the best
    choice for compatibility and sound quality. For gaming, it really
    doesn't matter which of the AWE family you get. The WavSynth software
    emulated an extra 32 wavetable voices but nobody ever used that for
    games. Without the software, you've basically just got an AWE32 that
    takes only proprietary memory.

    Don't bother with the SBpro. it's just basically a stereo version of
    the original Soundblaster, and while it's not too bad, the shipping is
    likely to be more than the card's worth. You could probably get an
    ISA SB16 for about the same amount.
    ----------------------------------------
    Thanks,
    MCheu
    mcheu, Dec 7, 2003
    #8
  9. George Adams

    mcheu Guest

    On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 17:06:50 GMT, Zdark <> wrote::

    >I'd go for any of the Awe64's as they had loadable midi patches (called
    >sound fonts) which would improve the music playback in some of those DOS
    >games. I say some because some DOS games used FM synthesis to produce
    >music and some would actually use good midi sound.
    >Come to think of it, I think the Awe32 line had some midi support but
    >the midi patches were all in the card's rom.


    You've might want to know that the AWE32 and the AWE64 were nearly
    identical from a technical standpoint.

    The big hardware difference being that the AWE32 was expandable via
    30pin SIMMs, the AWE64 had to use proprietary modules (which were hard
    to find even when the AWE64 was still produced). The biggest
    difference for most people was the addition of a software wavetable
    synth (called WaveSynth) that added an additional 32 wavetable voices
    to midi playback (thus the 64 in the name). There were a few other
    technical differences between them, but these aren't even really worth
    mentioning from the point of view of the end user.

    Both have onboard RAM and both can accept third party midi patches.
    For gaming though, neither the midi patches nor WaveSynth are a
    consideration, as no games ever used the extended WaveSynth voices
    (many actually conflicted with it), and very few used any extended
    midi patches.
    ----------------------------------------
    Thanks,
    MCheu
    mcheu, Dec 8, 2003
    #9
  10. George Adams

    Rob Guest

    The best is an original non-PnP SB16. Not an AWE32 or 64.

    But you have to pair it with a Roland SCD-10 or SCD-15 Soundcanvas for
    excellent MIDI!



    On Fri, 05 Dec 2003 22:11:26 +0200, Prism
    <> wrote:

    >George Adams wrote:
    >
    >> So I'm wondering, what soundcard would be the most compatible for old games
    >> running in a pure DOS environment? Obviously I could get an old original
    >> AdLib or Soundblaster for total compatibility, but I'd really like to get
    >> the last, greatest DOS-based soundcard that was well-supported by games
    >> before the Windows 95 era.

    >
    >You've got two good choices:
    >
    >Sound Blaster AWE32 (NOT SB32)
    >or
    >Gravis Ultrasound MAX
    >
    >(Or, alternatively, you could get an SB16 (preferably non-pnp) plus an
    >Ultrasound ACE.)
    >
    >Both cards do good GM sounds, GUS' SB emulation is via software but
    >usually works wonders (MAXSBOS). Some games use multichannel digital
    >music (tracker stuff) and these always support GUS natively, and sound
    >wonderful.
    Rob, Dec 8, 2003
    #10
  11. On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 20:16:33 +0200, in
    comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.systems, Prism
    <> wrote:

    >Zdark wrote:
    >
    >> Come to think of it, I think the Awe32 line had some midi support but
    >> the midi patches were all in the card's rom.

    >
    >That's not quite how it goes. An AWE64 is basically just an AWE32 with
    >the Creative Software Synth applet thrown in, and in PnP - which is not
    >actually a good thing if you want to run DOS games. The AWE32 had 512k
    >RAM as standard and could be expanded with SIMMs up to 8 megs.


    Not 8, 32! (2x16MB)
    But the AWE32 could only utilize 28MB of it, or something like that.

    And I've never had a problem with PnP + old DOS games, since there is
    a "PnP driver" (or whatever you want to call it) and a config program
    to set up the card so it works "as a SB16" in DOS. Have played many
    old DOS games with my AWE64 without any problem.

    Of course, I might only have been lucky... ;)

    --
    May all spammers die in horrible pains!
    Peter Emanuelsson, Dec 8, 2003
    #11
  12. George Adams

    TS Guest

    >>> Come to think of it, I think the Awe32 line had some midi support but
    >>> the midi patches were all in the card's rom.


    Hardware MPU-compatible MIDI support is available for the external
    MIDI interface only. The wavetable needs a driver to be used as a
    MPU401-compatible MIDI device. However, most games work with it as
    well.

    >>(...)The AWE32 had 512k
    >>RAM as standard and could be expanded with SIMMs up to 8 megs.

    >Not 8, 32! (2x16MB)


    Same goes for the SB32 PnP, but there are also some versions without
    RAM sockets.

    >But the AWE32 could only utilize 28MB of it, or something like that.


    Yes. Additionally, using the OPL chip and the memory banks cost 2
    voices, thus only 30 voices are left. Some instruments use multiple
    voices. Thus, a good 4MB or 8MB wavetable upgrade often provides
    better sound than the SB32/64 EMU chip with only 1MB. Or upload a good
    GM patch set into the RAM...

    >And I've never had a problem with PnP + old DOS games, since there is
    >a "PnP driver" (or whatever you want to call it) and a config program
    >to set up the card so it works "as a SB16" in DOS. Have played many
    >old DOS games with my AWE64 without any problem.


    In my case, the SB16 compatible part worked well after plain BIOS
    initialization. The Wavetable and the other remaining components
    needed to be initialized first by the PnP tool, though.
    TS, Dec 8, 2003
    #12
  13. George Adams

    Prism Guest

    Rob wrote:
    > The best is an original non-PnP SB16. Not an AWE32 or 64.
    >
    > But you have to pair it with a Roland SCD-10 or SCD-15 Soundcanvas for
    > excellent MIDI!


    An original, non-pnp AWE32 is just a non-pnp SB16 with the EMU chip added.
    Prism, Dec 8, 2003
    #13
  14. George Adams

    Prism Guest

    Peter Emanuelsson wrote:

    > Not 8, 32! (2x16MB)
    > But the AWE32 could only utilize 28MB of it, or something like that.


    Correct! My memory seems to be hazy as well....:(

    > And I've never had a problem with PnP + old DOS games, since there is
    > a "PnP driver" (or whatever you want to call it) and a config program
    > to set up the card so it works "as a SB16" in DOS. Have played many
    > old DOS games with my AWE64 without any problem.
    > Of course, I might only have been lucky... ;)


    The PnP drivers suck up precious memory.... that's the worst part of it.
    I could barely get Ultima VII Part II working with a non-pnp card, a
    couple of kilos more drivers and it would have been no go.
    Prism, Dec 8, 2003
    #14
  15. George Adams

    MCheu Guest

    Prism <> wrote in message news:<3fd4e32e$0$1159$>...
    > Peter Emanuelsson wrote:
    >
    > The PnP drivers suck up precious memory.... that's the worst part of it.
    > I could barely get Ultima VII Part II working with a non-pnp card, a
    > couple of kilos more drivers and it would have been no go.


    The bare minimum you need to do is run CTCM at boot up via the
    autoexec.bat. It doesn't stay resident in memory, it just initializes
    the PNP card and is gone. That's all it does. It's not a driver.
    You may also wish to initialize the volume using the mixer as well,
    but there's a switch you can add to the line that calls it so that it
    won't stay resident either. With that switch (which sadly I don't
    recall), it would just set the volume at boot up and exit. You can
    verify this if you do a mem check after boot up.

    If I remember correctly, there were a few other files that Creative
    added that *did* stay resident but none of these need to stay in
    memory. The mixer, I already mentioned. Even if you don't run it at
    all, the card will still work, just with default treble/bass and
    volume settings. The only other one that was AWE specific was
    something called aweutils (or something like that). That one doesn't
    even need to be run if you're not going beyond the standard wavetable
    midi set, or using FM. It's been a long time since I used my AWE, so
    I don't recall the filenames, but it's certainly possible to use this
    card without adding any TSRs to memory.

    =========================================
    Thanks,

    MCheu
    MCheu, Dec 9, 2003
    #15
  16. George Adams

    George Adams Guest

    Thanks VERY much to everyone who replied! I decided to go with a non-PnP
    AWE32 (CT2760) after finding *one* online store that was selling it (not
    even eBay had 'em!) If that doesn't work, I'll try a sure-enough SB16
    (looks like there's tons of models of 'em though - I'll take the advice to
    avoid any with the Vibra chipset).

    I found this site to be quite helpful in identifying different SB models:
    http://www.tarigon.de/tramp/sblist.html

    (daytripper, to answer your question: SB16's on eBay are around $10 on a
    good day - probably typically more like $2 - $5)
    George Adams, Dec 10, 2003
    #16
  17. George Adams

    daytripper Guest

    On Tue, 9 Dec 2003 23:26:43 -0500, "George Adams"
    <> wrote:

    >Thanks VERY much to everyone who replied! I decided to go with a non-PnP
    >AWE32 (CT2760) after finding *one* online store that was selling it (not
    >even eBay had 'em!) If that doesn't work, I'll try a sure-enough SB16
    >(looks like there's tons of models of 'em though - I'll take the advice to
    >avoid any with the Vibra chipset).
    >
    >I found this site to be quite helpful in identifying different SB models:
    >http://www.tarigon.de/tramp/sblist.html
    >
    >(daytripper, to answer your question: SB16's on eBay are around $10 on a
    >good day - probably typically more like $2 - $5)


    Thanks for that - hardly worth digging them out of the rubble that is my parts
    closet ;-)
    daytripper, Dec 10, 2003
    #17
  18. George Adams

    Io Guest

    George Adams wrote:

    > Thanks VERY much to everyone who replied! I decided to go with a non-PnP
    > AWE32 (CT2760) after finding *one* online store that was selling it (not
    > even eBay had 'em!) If that doesn't work, I'll try a sure-enough SB16
    > (looks like there's tons of models of 'em though - I'll take the advice to
    > avoid any with the Vibra chipset).


    Avoid the "value" models too. I was ripped off with my first PC & given a
    "value" SB16 instead of the real thing.

    > I found this site to be quite helpful in identifying different SB models:
    > http://www.tarigon.de/tramp/sblist.html
    >
    > (daytripper, to answer your question: SB16's on eBay are around $10 on a
    > good day - probably typically more like $2 - $5)


    The AWE32 is a pretty good card. I've got one from (I think) 1995 here, and I
    was surprised by the audio quality. Be forewarned that it is physically
    massive, and you may have some difficulty fitting it in your computer's case.
    There are two sockets at the end of the board: those are for 30pin SIMM ram
    modules.

    I wonder if removing the ISA slots from motherboards was partially to drive
    new hardware purchases. There seems to be a flood of perfectly good
    second-hand ISA devices still around.
    Io, Dec 15, 2003
    #18
  19. George Adams

    Michael Guest

    Io wrote:
    >

    (snip)
    > I wonder if removing the ISA slots from motherboards was partially to drive
    > new hardware purchases. There seems to be a flood of perfectly good
    > second-hand ISA devices still around.



    Sure it was. They didn't delete ISA slots, retain the mb dimensions,
    and fill the freed up real estate with PCI slots. They shrank the mb
    and retained the (too few) number of slots (PCI, of course).

    Yeah, there is a flood of functional ISA devices to be had. Pretty
    cheap. Free, when I pull 'em outta the trash. Major label modems,
    sound and video cards. The monitor I'm looking at right now is
    controlled by a free Diamond Viper PCI.

    Also a flood of "old" computers (mostly 133 MHz P54C's around here) with
    both ISA and PCI slots. Last month I rescued 5 of these of a computer
    shop's trash, 2 full-size towers and 2 mini-towers with AOpen mb's and
    1995 AMI BIOS, and 1 mini-tower with 1998 Phoenix BIOS. Yesterday I put
    a surplus 2.5 GB into one of the full tower boxes, gave it some EDO RAM,
    and installed an OS. Lovely email machine.
    Michael, Dec 17, 2003
    #19
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