PCI to ISA adapter


Thread Starter


I have a need to install an old ISA card (no PCI version, or plans to make one) into a modern PC with only PCI slots. Is anyone aware of an adapter that I can buy to perform this?
I can find the chipset required but haven't been able to find anyone that makes an off the shelf adapter.

David Wooden

You may have an easier time replacing the motherboard. Tyan has some boards that still support ISA. Other manufacturers probably do too.

Marc Sinclair

I recently went though this, the cheapest option is to buy an old PC and use it just for that card. I built a cheap PC with bit & pieces and a mother board that had one ISA slot. Now everything is DDR memory I had old monitor, unused dimms and a 3GB drive - cost me under ?200

An adapter usually means two cards and a backbone unit with ISA slots in, DMA access is usually right out and memory mapping is a problem!! prices start around ?750

regards Marc Sinclair

Curt Wuollet

I agree with Dave. Even if you have someone else do it, it will probably be cheaper and more reliable as well. The adapters might need software/BIOS support too. With the current pricing on PC's, it might be more economic to buy or trade for one with ISA support than to screw around with kludges. Of course, the duopoly is determined to eliminate ISA, so it will probably be a one generation fix.


The PCI to ISA adapters seem to require backbones and cannot support bus-mastering and direct memory access which I require.

I agree with Dave about building a custom system with ISA support. It can be done for less than $750.

Nick A. Gladkov

Another way is to buy MODERN MOTHERBOARD with ISA slot. For example, iBase MB930 (Intel Q35 chipset, 1 ISA slot (slave only); or some other solutions from iBase (http://www.ibase.com.tw/mb880.htm) or (possible discontinued) Supermicro P4SCA (E7210 chipset, s478, 3 ISA slots).