Author Topic: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?  (Read 6052 times)

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Offline precaud

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2018, 05:06:09 pm »
BEFORE - All 'lytics within a few inches of the cpu have bulging tops, a couple have electrolyte leaking out the top. Fortunately none of it is coming out the bottom, so the pcb is clean...
 

Offline precaud

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2018, 07:14:43 pm »
Recapping the board went fine. What worked best was to preheat the area around the caps with hot air, remove the caps with a high-mass 700F tip, preheat the area again, and then clean out the holes with the desoldering gun. All of the eight 2200uF/6,3V caps measured around 200uF with 3 to 4 Ohms ESR. This, plus new caps in the power supply and synthetic-oiled all fans, and its one smooth machine again!

I then made a few hardware changes in preparation for its new duty - removed a SCSI card, added 512MB ram, changed the SCSI CDROM with an IDE one, and added a USB 2.0 card. Booted it up, and got the message below. Because of the hardware changes, XP now thinks its a counterfeit version and is forcing a re-activation. All part of "Windows Genuine Advantage". I tried a few workarounds I found on the web but it still puts the same message up. Apparently I made too many changes to the hardware at once, and that triggers their algorithm that it may not be legit.

Let's see... Microsoft have dropped support for XP, but they are still policing installations? Seems pretty heavy-handed to me.
 

Online hendorog

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2018, 08:27:56 pm »
That's the beauty of playing with old Windows computers. You get to suffer through those stupid licensing issues all over again. |O

I will never go back to that. Battling licensing issues is just a waste of life.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2018, 11:00:02 pm »
Even 10+ years ago you could call support, tell them you replaced some parts and they would give you a key to unlock it. I hate the license activation crap too, as with most of this stuff it never did anything to stop the pirates. Cracked versions of Windows have been around for almost as long as the activation crap has.
 

Offline aandrew

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2018, 11:26:33 pm »
I am putting together a "new" PC for the bench. It will be set up as dual-boot (XP and Win98SE) so I can still use programs I wrote 30+ years ago. The most difficult hardware requirement is that it must have at least one 16-bit ISA slot. Preferably two, but I think I can get along with one.

Just a side question -- win9x is *very* well virtualized - any reason why you can't run something more modern and virtualize the system, including the USB-to-ISA adapter that another person mentioned?

I know this is not directly answering your question but it may be worthwhile, especially because the specific hardware you want is only going to get more and more expensive.
 

Offline aandrew

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2018, 11:28:12 pm »
I've noticed this a bit recently. What makes this board "industrial" ? It's a bog-standard consumer board.

The price.  :box:
 

Offline precaud

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2018, 01:42:56 am »
Just a side question -- win9x is *very* well virtualized - any reason why you can't run something more modern and virtualize the system, including the USB-to-ISA adapter that another person mentioned?

I know this is not directly answering your question but it may be worthwhile, especially because the specific hardware you want is only going to get more and more expensive.
I'm not entertaining that option because:
: I already have the specific hardware needed. I only needed to add a bit more ram.
: I'm only doing this to accommodate a USB scope, which has yet to prove itself. If it doesn't work out, I'll happily stay with my current 98SE setup.
: Remember parallel port security keys?
: I see risk and no real benefit in having a more modern computer with virtualization (which may not be compatible) and a USB->ISA adapter (which may not be compatible).
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2018, 08:40:35 am »
Even 10+ years ago you could call support, tell them you replaced some parts and they would give you a key to unlock it. I hate the license activation crap too, as with most of this stuff it never did anything to stop the pirates. Cracked versions of Windows have been around for almost as long as the activation crap has.

Yep, same with older versions of Microsoft Office. Until Microsoft stopped supporting activation on those product. That was the last straw for me. I refuse to use Office 365, like Windows 10, it's complete and utter garbage.

I've noticed this a bit recently. What makes this board "industrial" ? It's a bog-standard consumer board.

The price.  :box:

Ahh yes of course. I forgot obsolete technology = "industrial", "rare", "new old stock" etc... like it makes a difference.
 

Offline bob225

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2018, 10:29:15 am »
I have never had a issue activating/reactivating xp (mainly on VM these days) you have to activate it offline - it rarely goes through first time on the automated system so you have to speak to someone what is usually MS India

There are "Patches" I think I may have a cd knocking about still
 

Offline precaud

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2018, 07:43:23 pm »
Well the reactivation went fine through their automated system, but still... what a ridiculous process to go through for a non-supported, supposedly outdated OS...

Have tested and verified that the 102B's controller card works in the Soyo's ISA slot, and its software with the DDE interface through XP to my programs also works. Last hurdle is the NI GPIB. if that passes, we're all good.   :-+
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2018, 10:15:55 pm »
I have never had a issue activating/reactivating xp (mainly on VM these days) you have to activate it offline - it rarely goes through first time on the automated system so you have to speak to someone what is usually MS India

There are "Patches" I think I may have a cd knocking about still

Windows XP I don't have an issue with. It generally activates first go (I have an Enterprise licence). I tried to install an old version of office on one of my old computers (it might have been 2010) and I had no way of activating it.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2018, 03:59:12 pm »
Yep, same with older versions of Microsoft Office. Until Microsoft stopped supporting activation on those product. That was the last straw for me. I refuse to use Office 365, like Windows 10, it's complete and utter garbage.

I still have Office 2003 on my personal machine, I haven't tried activating an install recently so I don't know if it will work but I think it should be a legal requirement to release a patch that bypasses the license activation if the servers supporting it are ever to be shut down. I paid for the software and should be entitled to use it for as long as I please.

I use Office 365 at work and it has gotten ok, but not great. Even the Mac version now lacks a proper menu and only offers that godawful ribbon, I've had to deal with that on work computers for around a decade and I still loathe the ribbon. Takes me twice as long to find anything as it does using a real menu.
 

Offline bob225

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2018, 07:16:57 pm »
office 2007 still activates no issue, people get sucked in to 365 not knowing the standalone versions are still available but not freely known about (one time purchase)

iirc 2016 was the last version, and there is a new one due next year

I use to deal with a secure network what was internal with no access to the outside world so everything was offline, all updates where pushed from the network server
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2018, 10:38:33 pm »
I still have Office 2003 on my personal machine, I haven't tried activating an install recently so I don't know if it will work but I think it should be a legal requirement to release a patch that bypasses the license activation if the servers supporting it are ever to be shut down. I paid for the software and should be entitled to use it for as long as I please.

Absolutely. If I physically buy a copy of the software with a perpetual licence, then I'm entitled to run it for however long I want to. Alternatively, if Microsoft want to give me my money back, I'll take that.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2018, 12:20:01 am »
It's pretty clear why they pushed so hard to a subscription model, Office is such a mature product that it's hard to imagine what they could add to it that would compel a large number of people to upgrade. Even Office 95 had more features than probably 75% of people ever use. I'm sure upgrading had tapered off sharply and would continue to do so with the shrinking PC market and steadily increasing time between hardware upgrade cycles. A 10 year old PC is still powerful enough for most people who are not gaming or doing other heavy duty stuff. Up into the mid 2000's a 10  year old PC would have been hopelessly outdated.
 

Offline precaud

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2018, 01:35:46 pm »
After three more days of wrestling with this, I now have both systems working. On the Soyo K7VTA Pro, I couldn't get the USB 2.0 card and GPIB card working at the same time. Tried all the normal stuff of BIOS tweaks, moving cards into different slots, reinstalling drivers, etc without any joy. I thought, maybe this is "finicky VIA chipset" syndrome. So I concentrated on getting the (slower) Tyan S1830 going in dual boot. That was big fun too.

A few months ago I had bought a dead XP system for cheap off Craigslist, I wanted the XP Home product key, knowing I would need it for just this purpose. But when I installed XP Home on the Tyan using my install disk, it would not accept the product key! WTF?!?! It turns out M$ is very persnickety about XP versions, it won't accept an XP Home OEM key for an XP Home Retail install. So I used my present known-good key just to complete the install, and did an immediate "Home to Pro SP3" upgrade over it. (Yes, it can be done as long as the Home doesn't have SP3 installed.) I then used the same product key as the Soyo computer, which gives me 30 days to sort out which computer to use.

The Tyan is a very solid and stable motherboard, but its only a 900MHz P3. That takes a toll on update rate when using the USB scope. Maybe not a big deal, but I looked again at solving the problems on the Soyo. Yesterday I had the idea to start the whole process from scratch - remove the scope software, all USB and GPIB devices, uninstall their programs, delete all of their folders, go into Regedit and delete all entries having to do with them. There were multiple hardware keys in the registry for both cards.

I then installed the GPIB driver first (it is the older card) and then the USB 2.0, then the scope software. And voila, it worked.

So now I have 29 days to decide which system to use, and register the XP key with that computer. And I can happily boot to DOS, 98SE, or XP as needed.
 

Offline precaud

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2018, 10:43:24 pm »
I thought it would be interesting to post the results of my efforts. Frankly, it's a bit disappointing.

The purpose of ths exercise was to be able to use a USB scope I acquired recently, a Cleverscope CS320A. I ordered the CS701 isolated sig gen for it and planned on using it mostly for FRA stuff. The sig gen arrived yesterday, so now I can see it how it performs with the computer systems. Bart at Cleverscope warned me in advance that the system ran faster with faster computers. Now I get to see how much.

I set up three systems with the Cleverscope software: the two I've been working on, and a faster one to compare to.
System A:  A Lenovo T420 laptop with 6GB ram and 2.5GHz cpu. (64 bit memory bus @ 400MHz, I believe)
System B:  The Soyo K7VTA Pro with 1.5GB ram (32-bit 133MHz bus) and 1.8GHz cpu.
System C:  The Tyan S1830 with 1GB ram (32-bit 100MHz bus) and 900MHz cpu.

Since FRA mode is more computation-intensive, and is the mode I'll be using most, I set up the software identically for the same FRA measurement on each computer: a simple 10Hz to 100KHz gain/phase log sweep with 10 points/decade. (10pts/dec is roughly equal to 1/3 octave spacing, so this not a very hi-res sweep...). The stopwatch was started when "Sweeping" appeared in the status window, and was stopped when the message changed to "complete".
The Results:

Sys A:  24.7 sec
Sys B:  62 sec
Sys C:  97 sec

By the numbers, B should be roughly twice as fast as C, and A three times. So its pretty clear that there's more going on than cpu speed. Memory bus speed makes a huge difference.

The results for the Tyan and Soyo boards are both pretty disappointing. That's a really long time to wait for a sweep like this. For comparison, my AP102 analyzer does the same sweep in 12 secs, regardless of the computer it is connected to.

So that's the rub of these USB scopes (not just the Cleverscope). They are intensely dependent on the computer for satisfactory performance.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do about this yet.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2018, 02:53:04 am »
That's pretty much expected. There's a lot more to the overall performance of a system than the CPU clock frequency.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2018, 08:06:44 pm »
you should put your w98 requirement in the title

all ISAs are not equal, on modern boards they are hanging off PCI-ISA or LPC-ISA bridges. PCI ones cant do DMA. LPC depend on configuration, often hacks required.
Even PCIs are not real PCIs any more, if you can find one at all. Problems above ICH5 with certain cards.

you are left with 865/ICH5 (maybe 875?) and Pentium 4(lol)
Who logs in to gdm? Not I, said the duck.
My fireplace is on fire, but in all the wrong places.
 

Offline precaud

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #44 on: September 22, 2018, 08:45:22 pm »
you should put your w98 requirement in the title

Woulda shoulda coulda in hindsight. It's in the second sentence of the first post; not good enuf?

For the time being, I will probably just live with the longer processing time of the Soyo, until requirements change.
 

Offline drussell

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2018, 09:14:58 pm »
Yeah, I thought that the A7A266 had an ISA slot on it, but I went and pulled one out and no, it only has one of those AMR sockets.  Those take both PC133 and PC2100 DDR and I could have sworn they still had an ISA slot but no joy.  :)

So, essentially you are stuck with the KT133 chipset since VIA dropped the ISA bus in the KT266, or the PII/PIII like P2B on the Intel side I believe for ISA support in the chipset and you can probably find faster AMD processors than Intel for that last generation.  I don't know of anything that has DDR and ISA support.

The best you can probably do is try to overclock some good memory in a good PC133 board, I guess.  That or use a PCI->ISA converter or something, of course, assuming your software will work with one.  (Reasonably transparent ones should be available, so they should work.)

Any newer board that has ISA (and those do exist, of course) will be using a built in converter bridge chip of some kind.  Most of those are way more expensive than just getting a converter, though.  :)
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #46 on: September 22, 2018, 09:33:55 pm »
... it only has one of those AMR sockets.

Thank you for reminding me of this hell I had blocked from my mind. You have triggered me, I now remember the god awful WinModems too  :palm:
 

Offline drussell

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #47 on: September 22, 2018, 10:05:49 pm »
Thank you for reminding me of this hell I had blocked from my mind. You have triggered me, I now remember the god awful WinModems too  :palm:

Yeah.  At least I never sold any of that junk.  If a customer wanted a modem, they got a real, true USR hardware modem, none of that WinModem rubbish.  Not once.  Ergh... Yuck!
 

Offline drussell

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #48 on: September 22, 2018, 10:15:48 pm »
The AMD 761 (which does DDR) datasheet does explicitly talk about being able to support southbridges with ISA ability, perhaps there were some motherboards that still had ISA or EISA/ISA slots on them but I don't know of any off the top of my head.  :)

If you could at least get to DDR memory speeds, that would help your performance significantly.
 

Offline precaud

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Re: Fastest motherboard with at least 1 ISA slot?
« Reply #49 on: September 22, 2018, 11:01:17 pm »
Yeah, the Soyo K7VTA Pro is one of the best of the KT133A boards with an ISA slot. Its main drawback is the 133MHz memory bus.

This site:  https://flaterco.com/kb/ISA_chipsets.html shows a Biostar M7MIA that has one ISA slot, uses the AMD 761, and DDR memory. Limited to 1GB of memory, though (the Soyo does 1.5GB).

http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdetails.asp?model=m7mia

The M7MIA runs the same cpus as the Soyo (up to Athlon XP 2600+) but would have faster total thruput due to the DDR memory. I think the 1GB limit is workable for me, so I'll keep an eye out for one.

EDIT: Well its not all that rosey... it appears Biostar never updated the BIOS to support the faster XP+ cpus, so the fastest cpu it supports is 1.4GHz. The Soyo will run a XP 2600+ (1.91GHz). Grrrrr...   |O
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 03:15:52 am by precaud »
 


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