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what is an ISA slot

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ballpark570, Feb 21, 2005.

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  1. ballpark570

    ballpark570 Thread Starter

    Feb 11, 2005
    my new mobo has an ISA slot. It does not line up with any of the knockouts on the back of the panel like the PCI slots do. What are ISA slots used for. IS it old technology?
  2. lemondrop


    Jun 24, 2004
    Industry Standard Architecture (ISA):
    This type of slot is the oldest still in use today. If you open up an old 286, you'll see a few of these. An 8-bit ISA slot is capable of 0.625MB/sec transfer rate between the card and the motherboard. Later versions of this slot were 16-bit, capable of 2MB/sec. This is still slow compared to today's standards, but cards such as modems do not require anything faster than this. If you look at your motherboard's slots, the longer black ones are the ISAs. If they are all one size, they are all ISAs. Modern boards are not boasting any more than maybe two of these bad-boys, only because people only use them for their modems or older cards that haven't yet replaced. Some boards no longer have any ISA slots, moving completely to PCI.


    EDIT: It lines up once you get the card in there. The back panel is upside down compared to a pci card.
  3. Arcadion


    Sep 1, 2004
    If your motherboard is indeed brand new, I think it's extremely unlikely that it has an ISA slot, as those haven't been built into new motherboards for a long time. ISA slots should line up with the knockouts the same way PCI and AGP slots do, also. An ISA slot is longer than a PCI or AGP slot and is normally black, the connectors inside the slot are quite large, and it has two sections--a long bit and a short bit.
  4. 4steve44


    May 3, 2004
    This board may be new to you but it is certainly not a new board :cool:
  5. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    ISA slots aren't used for much any more. Too slow for one thing. But it was nice assigning IRQ's and memory at will. You won't find much that uses them, though I have an old ISA modem and sound card that works well. I try to buy mainboards that have ISA slots just so I can use them, but few new boards have them and Microsoft no longer supports them.

    But they used to be pretty big on "Windows 95" and "Windows 98" (Whatever they are! I have heard the old ones speak of them.).
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