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Thread: What CF card to get?

  1. #1
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    Default What CF card to get?

    I'm getting 2 CF cards for both my XT-IDE which is going in a PS/2 and one to go into an IDE to CF adapter in my 486 laptop. Is there any BIOS limits or recommendations for which cards to get for maximum compatibility/ease of use? I'm not lookingfor a ton of space, 512mb would be fine for both. I've heard some SanDisk cards have a fixed disk mode utility or something?
    Wanted: Any old clunky 286-P1 machine that has some kind of working battery or replaceable with off the shelf parts. Preferred: 10+lbs 386 machines.

  2. #2

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    Why not get DOMs and make life easy?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Why not get DOMs and make life easy?
    Ease of transferring files from PC and currently my PS/2 does not have a working floppy drive.

    Also finding laptop 44 pin interface DOM is kind of a pain.
    Wanted: Any old clunky 286-P1 machine that has some kind of working battery or replaceable with off the shelf parts. Preferred: 10+lbs 386 machines.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedpneumatic View Post
    Also finding laptop 44 pin interface DOM is kind of a pain.
    Actually, I've been seeing more of them lately than the 40 pin type.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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    The only feature that I'd look for is built in wear leveling. Old DOS machines are murder on the boot sector, and Windows is murder with pagefile.

    Pretty much any modern CF card is going to be tons faster than any IDE controller of the era, so you don't have to worry about bandwidth bottlenecking.

    For the IBM PS/2, I'd recommend using a SCSI card and getting either a SCSI drive or a SCSI2SD adapter. This would take a big load off the CPU because IDE PIO transfers require the CPU to do all of the heavy lifting and really slow the machine down while they're in progress. The speeds you get are heavily dependent on how fast the CPU is, and you can actually hear the transfers speeding up and slowing down if you have a turbo button to toggle between the slower and faster CPU speeds.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    The only feature that I'd look for is built in wear leveling. Old DOS machines are murder on the boot sector, and Windows is murder with pagefile.

    Pretty much any modern CF card is going to be tons faster than any IDE controller of the era, so you don't have to worry about bandwidth bottlenecking.

    For the IBM PS/2, I'd recommend using a SCSI card and getting either a SCSI drive or a SCSI2SD adapter. This would take a big load off the CPU because IDE PIO transfers require the CPU to do all of the heavy lifting and really slow the machine down while they're in progress. The speeds you get are heavily dependent on how fast the CPU is, and you can actually hear the transfers speeding up and slowing down if you have a turbo button to toggle between the slower and faster CPU speeds.
    Will look into wear leveling. What about the removable mode vs fixed disk mode? Heard that some of the more advanced ones can cause issues. Also what about using MicroDrives?

    Its a Model 25 so I don't think that applies...but possibly. The thing is it isn't one of my "workhorse" vintage machines and I already have a XTIDE my little sister made so I'd figure I'd give her card some purpose. Its the 286 model.
    Wanted: Any old clunky 286-P1 machine that has some kind of working battery or replaceable with off the shelf parts. Preferred: 10+lbs 386 machines.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedpneumatic View Post
    Is there any BIOS limits or recommendations for which cards to get for maximum compatibility/ease of use?
    AFAIK there isn't any limit. I tried various cards, 64 MB - 4 GB, on my Commodore 386SX-25 and my Commodore PC20-III (= XT). I only noticed that two of cards were not recognized by the PC20 and my idea is that these two cards IMHO were not able to run in 8-bits mode because they ran fine in the SX.
    With kind regards / met vriendelijke groet, Ruud Baltissen

    www.baltissen.org

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedpneumatic View Post
    Ease of transferring files from PC and currently my PS/2 does not have a working floppy drive.

    Also finding laptop 44 pin interface DOM is kind of a pain.
    There are quite many 44-pin DOMs on eBay. These work very well with USB-to-IDE notebook adaptors which are also inexpensive.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ph4nt0m View Post
    There are quite many 44-pin DOMs on eBay. These work very well with USB-to-IDE notebook adaptors which are also inexpensive.
    Yes but this specific laptop would require a complete disassembly to replace the HDD for copying while a CF card I could pop the keyboard.
    Wanted: Any old clunky 286-P1 machine that has some kind of working battery or replaceable with off the shelf parts. Preferred: 10+lbs 386 machines.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedpneumatic View Post
    Will look into wear leveling. What about the removable mode vs fixed disk mode? Heard that some of the more advanced ones can cause issues. Also what about using MicroDrives?
    Since you'll not be hot swapping the CF card, you don't need removable mode, but both would probably work fine regardless.

    I wouldn't get a micro drive unless you prefer spinning media, or need it for compatibility reasons. They're far more susceptible to damage (head strikes) and most of the units available on the market are mostly either new-old stock or used with an unknown number of hours on them.

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