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Convert PCI slot to ISA

Posted on 2002-02-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have just bought a new PC which has PCI slots. However, I want to be able to connect my old sound card (which is a Turtlebeach Fiji card) which is of ISA type...

I intend to use my PC for producing music and so don't want to buy a new PCI sound card.

Is it possible to get some sort of adapter to allow me to plug my ISA device into a PCI slot? If so what sort of costs will be involved?

What are the main advantages of a PCI type card over a ISA card? Will I benefit more by buying a PCI sound card?

Much obliged
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Question by:pardeep_nagra
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by:slink9
ID: 6803737
Not that I have ever heard of.  Systems are redesigned for speed gains.  PCI slots give speed gains over ISA, that is why ISA is being phased out.  Buy a new sound card and call it done.
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by:singlpop
ID: 6803774
I agree with slink9 don't waste your time. You will be attempting to move from something faster to slower and if the system doesn't have ISA slots then even if you could find some adapter which I doubt you can then you would be asking for trouble.
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by:jhance
ID: 6803828
This is one of those things that is possible in theory but not practical.  If you did get such an adapter you could get the card plugged in (but there would be mechanical fit problems you likely would not be able to close your case up) you'd still have the problem of DEVICE DRIVERS.  The ISA drivers for your card will not work properly for a device that is really on the PCI bus.  So for this to work you'd have to have special drivers to make this ISA card work through the adapter.

So while this might be possible to write, no manufacturer is going to do it for such an application.

My advice is to scrap this card and get a shiny new sound card with all the new 3D sound stuff to go along with your new computer.
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by:RickHulshof
ID: 6803941
I know that dell can put in a pci - isa riser - they did it for me When I absolutely HAD to reuse a specialty Network card (PCI version was extra $1200 US) You have to keep in mind that your sound card is meant to work on a different (lower) bus speed and you will probably have problems. In my case I had to buy a celeron because its bus speed was within tolerance of the ISA card I was using - A new PII or IV simply would not work. You could call dell and find out if they sell the risers separately and if it will work with your system. Personally I would just upgrade your card to avoid the likely trouble that could occur.

Regards,

Rick
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by:highstar1
ID: 6804124
Cheaper and better to upgrade the Sound Card.
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by:Zoplax
ID: 6804326
I agree with the above posts.  

Sell your ISA card on eBay or something, and obtain a PCI card (check out www.pricewatch.com for prices, and www.epinion.com for product recommendations).
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by:magarity
ID: 6804360
You can use an older computer with an ISA slot to do whatever work requires the card and the new computer to do the processing of effects at high speed.  All you need is network cards and a cable.

Otherwise, as the others have pointed out, generic PCI to ISA bridges are highly problematic.  You can sometimes get them for a specific motherboard chipset (as rickhulshof got from Dell), but a generic device is not possible.  Contact your motherboard manufacturer and you might get lucky, but don't count on it.
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RoadWarrior earned 100 total points
ID: 6804856
I would imagine that a riser, might add noise that is tolerable to a purely digital card, but that might well turn a nice sound card into a bit of a lemon.

Oh there's the long way round....
Get one of those universal laptop docking stations with a couple of ISA slots in, that connect via a PC card, get a PCI PC card interface, drivers could well be a PITA with that too, also would probably cost upwards of $300.

Rick makes a good point about bus speeds. Now soundcards I find are the orneriest, pickiest, doggone fussiest, s.o.b.s when it comes to bus speed, some will only work between about 7.5 and 8.5 Mhz. Very rarely will you find one that will like an ISA bus speed of as much as 10Mhz even. Virtually every other ISA card can usually run to 12Mhz easily, and often as much as 16Mhz. You can tune up some systems that rely heavily on ISA cards real fast by increasing the ISA bus speed. Unless you have to have a sound card. You might not have come across this, since most systems from around the MMX era to present have had locked ISA bus speeds, however, some newer and most older systems one could play with the ISA speed in Setup, select which fraction of the system clock one wanted to use, or select a fixed frequency. So, finding a riser might be one thing, finding one that your soundcard will work with might be entirely another.

So IMHO, a riser, should you find one, is probably 80% likely to be wasted money, causing you either insurmountable driver problems, bus speed problems or noise problems, and you'll end up getting a PCI card anyway.

regards,

Road Warrior
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by:WiZaRd
ID: 6805425
"I have just bought a new PC which has PCI slots"

and it didn't have a sound card ?

agree with above comments. cheapest option is buy a PCI sound card although I'm incredulous as to why a NEW PC wouldn't have one already.
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by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6805557
Ummm, for music production any old soundcard won't do, yes you can get $15 PCI soundcards, and they are probably the same quality as the majority of motherboards have built in, ie, they make nice noises in games, and, and, and, well, they make nice noises in games. I think we're talking about something in the $200 range to replace that ISA card,  so say a $30 riser would be a cheap option if it could be guaranteed to work, but it can't, so pardeep might be expected to spend some time considering what options he has before forking out $200, although it does look like the best course of action and the most likely to succeed.

regards,

Road Warrior
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Author Comment

by:pardeep_nagra
ID: 6807481
I thought Road Warriors comments were the most useful. Thanks to everyone for all your advice.

I think I will invest in a new sound card. The thing is, a decent card for producing professional music currently costs #300 +

And the one i'm looking at is a Yamaha card costing approx. #450

Oh well...

Thanks once again...
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Author Comment

by:pardeep_nagra
ID: 6807482
I thought Road Warriors comments were the most useful. Thanks to everyone for all your advice.

I think I will invest in a new sound card. The thing is, a decent card for producing professional music currently costs #300 +

And the one i'm looking at is a Yamaha card costing approx. #450

Oh well...

Thanks once again...
0
 

Expert Comment

by:jeanyves
ID: 7843400
I have myself a similar problem, I have an old Digidesign Session8 studio system, it work very well, fast a very reliable, the only problem is that I need two ISA slot, not so many board running P3 allow this at least not so many over 800Mhz, there is the AsusP2B, which has 2 or 3 slots, but that's only 800Mhz max, so it would be nice to find a solution in this case, since I paid $5000 for the system 5 years ago and it is still work well for me, there is the intel dual scsi Intel L440GX+ PIII Slot I Server Board which goes up to 1gig but only one ISA slot, damn!

but for sure in this case an adapter for ISA to PCI would be handy, note that one of the session8 card is very big , since it has 8 digital converter on it, the second is the a scsi adapter.

c u & all the best

- jy
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Expert Comment

by:lukaawa
ID: 11494719
You can get a new mother baord for P4 http://www.technoland.com. Alternative there are available PCI to ISA converters, then it cost something like USD500.

I still suggest you buy a new sound card. You get much much more features with the new card.
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Expert Comment

by:kgittech
ID: 20081843
For anyone still looking  for a PCI to ISA conversion:
http://www.arstech.com/
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