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EMS RAM Cards

 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:07 pm     Post subject: EMS RAM Cards Reply with quote

Tell about your personal experience with EMS RAM cards.

1. Do you own one?
2. Did you ever see one?
3. Do you think it's a cool piece of equipment?
4. Were they hard to setup?

Or just put something in about them.

For me:

1. No 2. Yes, in college 3. No, because EMM386 seems to work fine 4. Never set one up (I've heard setting one up can be frustrating)
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johpower
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Way too much free time


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Location: Colorado North 40

PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 9:27 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 5 cards in the basement right now. 2-10 mb size. Everex was the best. They were a pain to setup and ran slower than bus RAM in 386 or better. I "populated" a 8 mb card with 1 mbit chips long ago. Stripped the chips from a pile of video cards in my parts bin and used a mag-glass to match them up (speed, maker, date mfg'd). Had the wear platex gloves. But got me to 16 mb when 1mb RAM was $49 a 30-pin SIMM. I spent another day getting the RAM address just right. Worked fine.

What I really liked is the Everex software allowed the board to be dedicated to print spool and RAM drive. Load an ENTIRE 4-8mb game to RAM drive on my 486-33, play it about as fast as a 200mhz Pentium. Just save to harddisk or your levels didn't save at shutdown. A real feeling of acomplishment when all went well. Happy
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Interon
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 12:16 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Do those cards provide EMS services better than EMM386 (using XMS)?

Like, if I had a game that needed EMS, would the cards or EMM386 run faster?
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johpower
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Way too much free time


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 6:28 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, slower. Standard RAM runs at the mem bus speed of your PC. The ISA slot RAM will never be faster than the ISA bus. Nominally that's ~8 mhz. You can boost that 10-35% in the BIOS/jumpers by adjusting the ISA "clk/ x" setting. (I've noted that in the hardware topic on boosting speed in old machines. There is considerable discussion. Some are concerned that it's "overclocking" the CPU and will harm the chip --a valid concern. This isn't quite the same BUT there are limits that must be observed. I say that 12mhz is the fastest you should attempt, and preferably only 10mhz as it's a very stable boost that every ISA card will take by design. There were 10mhz OEM 8088's made.) Hence the RAM cards worked best in 286's and 386sx's. They aren't so useful for the faster PC's unless you have a memory constraint. This used to be money, now it's availible mem slots or that you can't find 4/8/16 MB 30 pin SIMM chips very easily.
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Unknown_K
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:01 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

johpower wrote:
Unfortunately, slower. Standard RAM runs at the mem bus speed of your PC. The ISA slot RAM will never be faster than the ISA bus. Nominally that's ~8 mhz. You can boost that 10-35% in the BIOS/jumpers by adjusting the ISA "clk/ x" setting. (I've noted that in the hardware topic on boosting speed in old machines. There is considerable discussion. Some are concerned that it's "overclocking" the CPU and will harm the chip --a valid concern. This isn't quite the same BUT there are limits that must be observed. I say that 12mhz is the fastest you should attempt, and preferably only 10mhz as it's a very stable boost that every ISA card will take by design. There were 10mhz OEM 8088's made.) Hence the RAM cards worked best in 286's and 386sx's. They aren't so useful for the faster PC's unless you have a memory constraint. This used to be money, now it's availible mem slots or that you can't find 4/8/16 MB 30 pin SIMM chips very easily.


Do you have 8mb 30 pin simms? Those suckers are rare and I need 4 of them for an old Planar LCD industrial computer to upgrade it to 32mb (4x8mb 30 pin simms of the 4 chip variety)

I have a bunch of 1mb 30 pin simms but could use 4mb and 16mb ones for a few of my computers. A 486/66 VLB system I am setting up could use 16mb on the promise 4030+ cache card. Do you know of a cheap source?
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Interon
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:38 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Johpower: I guess it's like putting the pedal to the medal and losing control of the car. (ISA overclocking)
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johpower
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 8:06 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

The only 8mb SIMM's I've seen personally are MAC non-parity. PC's didn't see many of them in parity, 4 sure. 16's I've seen, but they could all fit in one hand.

I have a few 4mb sticks, currently in one PC and my Turtle Beach sound card. I'll see if any are hiding.

Did come acrossed the TX1000 Radio Shack we discussed last year. Dual 5-1/4" floppies. I'll check it over and fire it up if interested.

JMS...4: You don't loose control. The PC just stops/boggs. You reboot and set the clk/x to a different (lower freq) divider and try again. Besides, starting at the highest ISA bus speed is pretty dumb in any case. But 10mhz ISA never fails unless you have a VERY old MB/card installed (ie before 1984-5). You are likely younger than it is. Shit-Eating Grin

See this for our previous discussions of the topic in depth: http://www.dosgames.com/forum/viewtopic-nc-t-784-postdays-0-postorder-asc-start-0.html

And while we're at it, I recall many machines came into the shop that actually underclocked the ISA bus. Try clk/6 on a 386-25! That's 4.167 mhz ISA = 50% slow: what a waste!! Turn off you turbo and see the same results. Even if you don't want to overclock the ISA bus, it's good to know how check and get 100% of your performance from the original design.


Last edited by johpower on Mon May 10, 2004 2:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Interon
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 4:02 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the bits lose control, not the person (as the bits travel on the bus) I think.
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