Get On The Vintage Computer Bus

Get On The Vintage Computer Bus

Get On the​ Vintage Computer Bus
Vintage Computer Add-in cards come in​ three basic flavors: 8-bit,​ 16-bit and 32-bit .​
These terms refer to​ the​ number of​ data bits the​ card sends out at​ one time .​
Ideally a​ 16-bit video card sends an​ image to​ the​ monitor in​ half the​ time it​ would take for an​ 8-bit version .​
It is​ important to​ know what kind of​ card your vintage computer accepts .​
The older PCs and XTs usually have an​ 8-bit or​ PC bus,​ which accepts the​ older PC bus,​ which accepts only the​ 8-bit cards .​
Vintage computers which are of​ more recent vintage use a​ PCI bus combined with ISA (Industry Standard Architecture).
The ISA bus was basically the​ original AT vintage computer bus .​
This expansion bus originated with the​ IBM PC at​ an​ 8-bit bandwidth .​
IBM improved on​ the​ design with the​ PC/AT raising the​ bandwidth to​ the​ 16-bit standard.
In addition to​ the​ ISA bus,​ there is​ typically an​ auxiliary bus such as​ the​ VL-bus or​ the​ even more recent and now accepted standard the​ PCI bus both were designed for video cards so that they could operate at​ faster speeds .​
The PCI bus as​ we​ know went on​ to​ become the​ industry standard all purpose bus .​
Another bus called EISA was going to​ become the​ industry standard but instead went on​ to​ have a​ life almost exclusively in​ the​ server realm.
What was the​ basis of​ the​ development of​ the​ PCI bus? When the​ Pentium chip was released Intel saw the​ need for a​ more general purpose local bus that would eventually supplant the​ ISA/EISA and VL-bus designs completely .​
So Intel invented the​ Personal Computer Interconnect bus now more commonly without the​ comprehension of​ the​ historical background – the​ PCI bus.
An important point to​ remember is​ that the​ EISA is​ backward compatible with 8-bit cards (8 bit cards fit into EISAand EISA slots) but MCA will not work with either of​ the​ other two standards .​
(Backward compatible means that the​ device works with all previous hardware technology,​ but will not necessarily work with newer configuration standards) .​
In other words cards for an​ EISA bus computer the​ cards from an​ ISA bus computer will work in​ the​ EISA vintage computer .​
However if​ you try to​ use these cards in​ a​ newer IBM you are out of​ luck if​ you want to​ use your older cards.
Many video cards manufactured later were available in​ AT-ISA,​ PCI and VL bus .​
What would be considered newer more recent vintage computers were equipped with either a​ couple of​ VL slots and / or​ some PCI slots? If the​ vintage computer supports PCI bus this is​ a​ wise choice for performance and should be utilized if​ at​ all possible.
Vintage computer add-in cards can also be described in​ terms of​ length – ½ length,​ ¾ length and full size cards .​
This along with less common XT height refers to​ the​ physical size of​ the​ cards .​
However the​ terms were rather arbitrary and there were no actual industry standards.
Basically what happened over the​ next time period for vintage computers there was a​ mixture of​ both the​ ISA and PCI buses on​ vintage computer motherboards until at​ some point the​ ISA standard eventually disappeared from view.

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