Saturday, December 27, 2008

You Think Your Video Card Is Big? Check This Out!

Recently I was cleaning out my stock of old computer parts and came across an old ISA slot video card. Remembering many forum posts of users complaining about how long some of the new pci-e slot video cards, I decided to post some pics and spec's of this card.
Many younger readers have never seen this technology and this is a good way of preserving some computer history.

This video card is either a Cardex, Cirrus Logic or Gainward. All older search facilities are no longer available that would allow me to positively identify it. It measures 9 1/2" long and sports a whopping 2 megs of Ram and uses the ancient ISA slot structure.
The 8 IC's across the top of the board are the Ram modules. Each one is 256k in size for a total of 2 megs.

Notice how this card used the split slot configuration?
Many motherboards had ISA slots that contained 4 connectors to handle numerous hardware configurations.
This card uses the 1st, 3rd and 4th connectors.
Yep! It was a very confusing time.

Here is a view of the Cardex Bios chip. Notice the large size of the slot contacts?

Here's a close up of the Cirrus Logic processor.
Not made in China but in Korea!

Here is another close up of the analog video connector that is for featured add-ons. However, those features never seemed to materialize.

Other items that may not be visible in the pictures are several jumpers.
Back in the day you had to set jumpers to resolve IRQ conflicts, timing issues and a whole host of parameters that are now handled by modern hardware and operating systems.

This video card was state of the art in it's day and had a maximum display resolution of 800 x 600. Before that we were confined to a resolution of 640 x 480. A far cry from today's resolutions and large screen monitors.

So to those user's of the newer pci-e video cards that say their card is huge?
Try cramming one of these into your tiny system. LOL!!
The old cases of the day are another subject all together.

Hope you enjoyed this piece of ancient history.


No comments: