On-board SCSI, PCI slots, and chipsets ??

On-board SCSI, PCI slots, and chipsets ??

Post by Michael B. Mart » Fri, 02 Jun 1995 04:00:00



: 1) Are there Pentium MBs with the NCR on-board SCSI? So far, I've just
: read about the ASUS 486 MBs having it.

Good question.  I know that at least some of the ASUS Pentium boards
have the SCSI ROM's (BIOS) on them, but not the controller itself.
However for such boards you can get an inexpensive ($60-$75) NCR
53c810 controller card which supposedly gives great SCSI performance.
I've seen places in Computer Shopper which list motherboards that
mention SCSI in their info, but I don't know anything beyond that.

: 2) Most MBs come with 3/4 ISA, 2/3 PCI and one ISA/PCI slot. Are 2 or 3
: PCI slots enough? I will want PCI video and PCI SCSI. Do I need PCI for
: anything else? Should I try to get more than 2/3 PCI slots or get on-board
: SCSI and free up a slot?

Well, the only other thing that I can think of that comes on a PCI
card at this time (excluding any really special-purpose periphals) is
Ethernet, and they are a tad pricey (and for 10 Mb/s Ethernet probably
don't give you any performance increase over ISA).  Some boards (like
the ASUS P54TP4) have 3 PCI slots and a fourth that shares a slot with
ISA, so I guess you could have up to 4 PCI cards then.  But I don't
know what you'd fill them all with (unless you wanted multiple SCSI
controllers).

: 3) Is there a faq anywhere that gives info on all the chipsets available?

I wish I knew of one.  You can get some info on the Triton chipset at
ASUS's Web page: http://asustek.asus.com.tw.

: 4) I'm particularly concerned about the final price of the machine. I have
: the money to spend, but don't want to overspend - who does??!! None of the
: HOWTOs I've looked at give any price ranges. I have several price lists
: from different vendors but don't know what is too much. Also, I'd like to
: know the comparative prices between different MBs, cards, drives, etc. Are
: there any faqs with this info and if not, will somebody write one?

For pricing, just keep you're eyes open and ask around.  I just found
a place selling 100 MHz Pentium chips for $450, which is the best
price I've seen so far.  Read the forsale newsgroups and see what
prices things are selling for.  Best pricing I've seen so far on the
ASUS P54TP4 (256k async SRAM) is $300, and $350 for the SuperMicro
P55CWS (with 256k sync SRAM).  If the SuperMicro has the SCSI BIOS, I
think I will get myself one.

-Michael

 
 
 

On-board SCSI, PCI slots, and chipsets ??

Post by Drew Eckhar » Fri, 02 Jun 1995 04:00:00




>I'm looking to put together a new Linux box. Please help a newbie with the
>following:

>2) Most MBs come with 3/4 ISA, 2/3 PCI and one ISA/PCI slot. Are 2 or 3
>PCI slots enough?

Yes - PCI SCSI + PCI video + PCI EIDE.

Quote:>I will want PCI video and PCI SCSI. Do I need PCI for
>anything else?

100baseT ethernet.  Otherwise, no.

Quote:>Should I try to get more than 2/3 PCI slots or get on-board
>SCSI and free up a slot?

1.  You can use the hybrid slot for a PCI device, or hybrid
    PCI/ISA IO board like the Tyan I have (it runs an EIDE
    controller on the PCI side, 2.88M floppy, bi-directional
    ECP parallel port, dual 16550s, game controller on the
    ISA side).

2.  Onboard SCSI doesn't really free up a slot.  PCI devices
    on the mainboard count as one load; PCI slots count as
    two loads.  On each PCI bus, you only get 10 loads.

    You loose

        1 - host bridge
        1 - ISA bridge
        6 - 3 PCI slots

    leaving you with 2 loads left.  That gives you either a slot (4 total
    including the hybrid) or an onboard PCI device (SCSI, 3 slots total
    including the hybrid)

--

Kill your television

 
 
 

On-board SCSI, PCI slots, and chipsets ??

Post by William Kell » Fri, 02 Jun 1995 04:00:00


I'm looking to put together a new Linux box. Please help a newbie with the
following:

1) Are there Pentium MBs with the NCR on-board SCSI? So far, I've just
read about the ASUS 486 MBs having it.

2) Most MBs come with 3/4 ISA, 2/3 PCI and one ISA/PCI slot. Are 2 or 3
PCI slots enough? I will want PCI video and PCI SCSI. Do I need PCI for
anything else? Should I try to get more than 2/3 PCI slots or get on-board
SCSI and free up a slot?

3) Is there a faq anywhere that gives info on all the chipsets available?

4) I'm particularly concerned about the final price of the machine. I have
the money to spend, but don't want to overspend - who does??!! None of the
HOWTOs I've looked at give any price ranges. I have several price lists
from different vendors but don't know what is too much. Also, I'd like to
know the comparative prices between different MBs, cards, drives, etc. Are
there any faqs with this info and if not, will somebody write one?

Thanks,
William

--
William Kelley

 
 
 

On-board SCSI, PCI slots, and chipsets ??

Post by Cameron L. Spitz » Sun, 04 Jun 1995 04:00:00




>2) Most MBs come with 3/4 ISA, 2/3 PCI and one ISA/PCI slot. Are 2 or 3
>PCI slots enough? I will want PCI video and PCI SCSI. Do I need PCI for
>anything else? Should I try to get more than 2/3 PCI slots or get on-board
>SCSI and free up a slot?

The "mobo" SCSI is a clear win.    The NCR chip is good enough.
A pair of connectors is as big a load on the PCI bus as a controller,
so a controller in a slot uses twice as
many loads as the same controller on the mobo.

The mobo video is a win if you're sure you'll never want to upgrade the
video and keep the CPU.  Can you get 4 MB VRAM on a motherboard today?
Maybe you'll want it next year.

You might want to keep a slot free for fast ethernet.  It might get
really cheap after a while.  You might want a PCI slot for a cable modem
or a satellite receiver before too long.

Quote:>3) Is there a faq anywhere that gives info on all the chipsets available?

There's a PC hardware FAQ on rtfm.mit.edu in
pub/usenet-by-hierarchy/comp/sys/ibm/pc/hardware.
It's got pointers.

Cameron

 
 
 

On-board SCSI, PCI slots, and chipsets ??

Post by Cameron L. Spitz » Sun, 04 Jun 1995 04:00:00




>2.  Onboard SCSI doesn't really free up a slot.  PCI devices
>    on the mainboard count as one load; PCI slots count as
>    two loads.  On each PCI bus, you only get 10 loads.

>    You loose

>    1 - host bridge
>    1 - ISA bridge
>    6 - 3 PCI slots

>    leaving you with 2 loads left.  That gives you either a slot (4 total
>    including the hybrid) or an onboard PCI device (SCSI, 3 slots total
>    including the hybrid)

What "hybrid?"  All my Taiwanese mobo has are plastic quad flat packs
and slot connectors.  I didn't see any hybrids.  :-)

You can use the two remaining mobo loads for SCSI and video,
or SCSI and EIDE, or
SCSI and a PCI to PCI bridge with three slots behind it
or two PCI to PCI bridges with six slots behind them.
Ten loads is plenty!

Quote:>Kill your television

Good idea.

Cameron

 
 
 

On-board SCSI, PCI slots, and chipsets ??

Post by Maxwell Spangl » Tue, 06 Jun 1995 04:00:00


: 2) Most MBs come with 3/4 ISA, 2/3 PCI and one ISA/PCI slot. Are 2 or 3
: PCI slots enough? I will want PCI video and PCI SCSI. Do I need PCI for
: anything else? Should I try to get more than 2/3 PCI slots or get on-board
: SCSI and free up a slot?

One of the reasons you see mixed PCI/ISA systems is because you really
don't need more than a few PCI cards.  EISA systems tend to have 6-12
EISA slots, and there almost never all used.  When they are, they're in
high performance servers.  Intel is supposed to come out with dual-PCI
(two sets of 3 slots) motherboards later this year.

Here's what needs PCI:

Your SCSI (or EIDE) hard disk.  Because as drives get faster and have
more cache on them, you want the communication between the CPU and/or
memory of the computer and the hard drive to happen as fast as possible.  
PCI does it at 132 megabytes/second, with less overhead than ISA/EISA.

Your video card.  As you deal with higher screen resolutions, there is
more volume of data going back and forth between the cpu/memory and the
video memory.  For a while it looked like the accelerated cards would
make this less of an issue because instead of having the computer's CPU
play with an image and send the whole image back to the video card, it
appeared as though we might just be able to send a few commands to the
video card and have it do the work.  I think the desire to use CDROMs and
full-motion video mean that moving chunks of data between the computer's
main memory and the video card is a requirement again. PCI does it nicely.

Your network card.  Operating an ethernet node on something like a tcp/ip
network takes a lot of overhead. There's lots of packets of data coming
and going, some you need, some you don't, lots your computer has to deal
with.  By processing this load on the PCI bus the time spent sending and  
receiving the packets between the card and the computer is a lot less
than weighting down the ISA bus and slowing the whole computer down.

Whew. Go PCI, it's worth it.

 
 
 

1. Linux and ISA/PCI motherboard with on-board I/O and UMC chipset??

I just bought a 486 motherboard (Award Legal BIOS, UMC chipset) that has
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devices.  I'm wondering if there is such a driver for Linux, or if it will work
fine (though at reduced performance) without the driver.

-Ernie

--
A SysAdmin Dude - Mentor Graphics Corp, Warren, NJ 07059 - Linux, Linux, Linux



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