lotus



previous page: 18 Should I buy Executor or a real Mac? (Miscellaneous Macintosh)
  
page up: Miscellaneous Macintosh FAQ
  
next page: 20 How can I password protect a Mac? (Miscellaneous Macintosh)

19 Should I buy a DOS compatibility card or a real PC? (Miscellaneous Macintosh)




Description

This article is from the Miscellaneous Macintosh FAQ, by Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo@shock.njit.edu with numerous contributions by others.

19 Should I buy a DOS compatibility card or a real PC? (Miscellaneous Macintosh)

There have been three generations of DOS cards from Apple as well as
numerous products from Orange Micro and Reply. All put some form of
X86 processor on a card inside your Mac that shares the Mac's
memory, monitor and hard disk. Different cards have different
speeds, features and compatibility levels. However all are real
PC's, not emulators, and can run almost any software you can run on
an equivalently equipped PC. Nonetheless all have some compatibility
problems, and are almost or more expensive than an equivalent PC that
includes its own monitor and hard drive. Unless your desk space is
severely limited or you find yourself frequently (i.e. minute-to-
minute, not hour-to-hour) needing to switch between a Windows and a
Mac environment, then you should buy a real PC instead.

The original Apple DOS Compatibility Card, codenamed Houdini, puts a
genuine 486SX/25 PC with with DOS 6 inside a Centris 610, Quadra 610
or Quadra 800 though it is only officially supported on the Quadra
610. Windows is not included, but can be added by the user. The
card shared the Mac's RAM and hard drive with the Mac system and
applications. However it did contain a slot for an optional 72-pin
SIMM. If this SIMM is present then the DOS card uses it instead of
borrowing memory from the Mac. COM and parallel ports are mapped to
the Macs modem and printer ports. Networking is questionable, and
there's no SoundBlaster support or means of adding ISA cards.

Apple's second effort at a DOS compatibility card, code named
Houdini II, raised the bar to a 486DX2/66 chip and added Windows
3.1. SoundBlaster and networking support was also added. This card
only runs in the PowerMac 6100 and Performa 6100.

<URL:http://product.info.apple.com/productinfo/datasheets/dt/doscompatibilitycard.html>

The current Apple DOS card has been renamed the Apple PC
Compatibility Card, reflecting the decreasing importance of DOS in
the age of Windows. Nonetheless only DOS 6.22 is bundled. If you
want Windows you'll need to buy it separately. This card is designed
for PCI based PowerMacs, that is the 9500, 8500, 7600, 7500, and
7200 series. It includes either a 100 MHz Pentium or a 75 MHz Cyrix
586, eight megabytes of onboard RAM, expandable to 72 or 64
megabytes, and can run Windows 95 or Windows 3.1. It cannot run
Windows NT, Linux or OS/2. Street price is a little over $1000 for
the Pentium card, a little under $1000 for the 586 card. However the
most cost-effective way to get is as part of a bundle with a
PowerMac 7200/120 called, simply enough, the PowerMac 7200/120 PC
compatible, about $2900 street. The performance of this card is
adequate but not great. It is definitely not as fast as an
equivalent PC. Furhermore it slows down your Mac too because
the too CPU's compete for shared system resources, notably the
I/O bus

<URL:http://product.info.apple.com/productinfo/datasheets/dt/pccompcards4ppc.html>

Reply and Orange Micro both manufacture a number of DOS
compatibility cards for both NuBus and PCI Macs. They offer a wider
range of options than does Apple, including the ability to run
Windows NT or OS/2. However they're also more expensive ranging
between about $1000 and $2000 dollars. At these prices it begins to
make sense to buy a real PC unless your desk space is severely
restricted.

 

Continue to:















TOP
previous page: 18 Should I buy Executor or a real Mac? (Miscellaneous Macintosh)
  
page up: Miscellaneous Macintosh FAQ
  
next page: 20 How can I password protect a Mac? (Miscellaneous Macintosh)