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shae

Which USB2 chips are better for Win98?

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Are there any preferable USB2 chips for Win98? One advantage to VIA is that they offer drivers directly in their site. No such luck with NEC, where I understand it's about scrounging drivers from random generic card manufacturers or generic USB driver collections.

On the other hand, VIA's VT6202 seems to be the worst performer. Not sure about VT6212 vs. NEC uPD720101.

Any idea how/what's that odd looking NEC D72010XF1?

Edited by shae
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VIA's VT6202 seems to be the worst performer. Not sure about VT6212 vs. NEC uPD720101.
Either VT6202 or VT6212 are safe bets compatibility-wise. Then again, once you're looking for 9x/ME compatibility, performance should be secondary, but the VT6212 should be the best overal choice.
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The Stratitec USB card I added to my old HP has worked flawlessly for years. It has the NEC D720101GJ. I originally added it to get more USB ports on my 98FE unit. Didn't expect to get USB 2.0 to work on 98FE but the Orangeware drivers installed fine. With those and NUSB for 98FE, every USB device I've plugged into it has worked normally. The Orangeware drivers are available in quite a few places, including the Stratitec site.On my PC, version 2.3 works the best.

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Thanks.

So far it looks like VT6202 is more common, so I might still go after a NEC. But here D72010XF1 is more common. Any idea how it is? I can't find info on the NEC/Renesas site and the chip looks unusual, so not sure how compatibility/performance would be.

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Thanks.

So far it looks like VT6202 is more common, so I might still go after a NEC. But here D72010XF1 is more common. Any idea how it is? I can't find info on the NEC/Renesas site and the chip looks unusual, so not sure how compatibility/performance would be.

I have a controller with a NEC D720100AGM chip, and it worked *properly* on 2 Windows 98 PCs (One HP Vectra VL800, and my previous PC) which I had previously worked with. I have to state that that board was bought somewhere in year 2000 though (And it supports Windows 98).

I don't know why it didn't work properly on my previous PC (The VIA 6202 controller which I had performed equally badly), but it could have been because the mainboard was dying (The PC was a second-hand Pentium III bought in November 2005). The NEC adaptor was installed as a replacement when the VIA adaptor got wrecked (Intense over-usage).

The board had IRQ conflicts on the HP Vectra, but the conflicts disappeared after the board was disused and reinstalled about a year later on (Odd!!).

Although I have to state that it was relatively stable then (No complains about transfer rates back in 2003).

The board frequently caused my previous PC to crash - and kept causing USB bus resets. I lost a lot of data then. But it was most probably because my mainboard was dying (Damaged North/South bridge?). Anyway, that PC died.

So then, it's up to all of you to decide what to believe - I didn't have very good hardware to test that board on.

Edited by sp193
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sp193: So it was stable at first and then trouble started?

The IRQ issues being mysteriously resolved could be because you used a different slot.

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Found a few mentions of problems with VIA USB chips, e.g. this thread and others on the same forum. Some things mentioned are PCI bus parking being a possible problem, and the number of IRQs used by multi-port cards.

I intend to run this on a 440BX loaded with multiple other devices (SBLive 4ch, NIC, SATA). Anyone encountered problems with too many IRQs in use? Even if it works I wonder if too much contention could be a problem for some devices.

Edited by shae
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sp193: So it was stable at first and then trouble started?

The IRQ issues being mysteriously resolved could be because you used a different slot.

The troubles started first, then the system with the board became stable only after the board was removed and added again (But after a long time).

What I'm trying to say is (Something like this):

1. Added the NEC USB 2.0 adaptor in February.

2. Removed it because it caused conflicts with the "IRQ steering".

3. Added it back again in September as there were too few ports (And the board works with no issues).

As that PC was thrown out many years ago (And was my father's, so I didn't have any control over it), I can't check which slot the board was installed in. But I do really think that it was installed into the same slot (I remember that there was only 1 slot with the "blank" PCI slot panel in the case removed).

So I think that a change in drivers solved the issues (There were several software upgrades + formats in-between). In the end, I still think that that board wasn't too bad, since transfer rates were quite reasonable (For standards in 2003), and it served me until that PC's death.

I intend to run this on a 440BX loaded with multiple other devices (SBLive 4ch, NIC, SATA). Anyone encountered problems with too many IRQs in use? Even if it works I wonder if too much contention could be a problem for some devices.

I think that this largely depends on your mainboard.

My BIOSTAR M6TBA Pentium II system had a TON of issues with new devices. New Nvidia cards (GeForce 2) would just fail (IRQ conflicts), and IRQ steering issues seem to occur frequently. There was a BIOS update to fix that, but it only applied for the BIOSTAR M6TBA revision 1.3 (Mine was Revision 1.0). I think that that mainboard also had a 440BX chipset (Can't clearly remember).

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My HP Pavilion uses the 440BX chipset. I've had no IRQ or device problems/conflicts on it. I don't know if my results are typical for other USB cards with NEC chips, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one. The Stratitec USB card works fine with all the HP's installed operating systems, 98FE, 98SE, DOS, 2K-SP4, Puppy Linux, and live Linux CDs. It has worked well with an external hard drive, flash drives, and a card reader. No problems with data loss or corruption with any of the OS.

From 98FE with the external hard drive and 2 flash drives plugged into a hub.

post-118612-127672946353_thumb.gif

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VIA's VT6202 seems to be the worst performer. Not sure about VT6212 vs. NEC uPD720101.
I am using USB 2.0 PCCards by digitus with my old Inspiron 7500 laptops, which has only USB 1.1 built-in. These laptop PCCards by digitus contain the NEC uPD720101 chip. With many USB devices my digitus USB 2.0 cards have worked fine for me, even if the built-in PCMCIA-socket (Texas Instruments PCI-1225 CardBus Controller) is quite buggy, probably the weakest component in this old laptop.

Some USB devices, however, I have not been able to get to work when connected to the digitus USB 2.0 card, e.g. the ADSL-USB modem provided by Telefonica in Spain, which is displayed in Control Panel -> Network as "NDISWAN -> Kit ADSL USB". This ADSL-USB modem works fine when connected to the built-in USB 1.1 connector. I also have an old WLAN-stick which works fine when connected to the built-in USB 1.1, but not when connected to the USB 2.0 PCCard. I don't know whether this incompatibility is caused by the specific chip inside the USB card, or by something else. I would view compatibility as the most important criteria of a USB 2.0 card, not performance.

I also have several similar USB 2.0 PCCards by Best Connectivity, probably with the same NEC chip. I prefer the PCCards by digitus because they provide sufficient current to an MSI multi-card reader attached at power-on, while the PCCards by Best Connectivity don't.

I also suspect that some SATA cards may have problems with specific USB controllers. For example, I have discarded an eSATA PCI card from my dual-core desktop (which has already onboard SATA) because my HP2605 Color LaserJet printer connected via USB 2.0 acted strange after the eSATA card was inserted/installed.

Edited by Multibooter
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I installed USB 2.0 cards on my systems several years ago and had nothing but trouble with the VIA cards. In fact, I never got them to work.

I have no problems with NEC cards.

I got the drivers with the cards.

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I have no problems with NEC cards.

I will agree with that!

I have installed quite a few USB 2.0 cards on various 98SE boxes and all these cards used the NEC uPD720101 chip. Despite the cards coming with the drivers on discs I have always pointed the installer towards the NUSB 3.3 folders and have encountered no problems whatsoever.

Edited by lightning slinger
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VIA doesn't give any trouble, either, if, after NUSB 3.3, one updates the 2.0 drivers with VIA's own.

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VIA doesn't give any trouble, either, if, after NUSB 3.3, one updates the 2.0 drivers with VIA's own.

Haven't had any trouble with VIA. NUSB recognized it and it works fine. Never had to update with VIA drivers but that is perhaps because that system already had a VIA chipset+ USB1. Performance is fine with me, but processor usage can be quite high during file copy (40-60% on a Duron 1200). Don't know if NEC does better, USB is always processor intensive and a Duron 1200 is slow nowadays. I see the same under Ubuntu so it's not driver related.

And I don't think is is the chip alone that is responsible for the performance, there are more electronics on such a little card that matter. VIA is used on by decent brands but also by dirt cheap no name (Chinese) producers. Just like the same VIA on-board sound chip actually sounds really different on different motherboards.

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Thanks for the all info. There are more reports of trouble with VIA so I'm going to try to get a NEC 101 (too bad that unknown NEC 10X is more common). The NEC 100 was faster than VT6202 in a review I read, so I assume 101 would be even better, maybe even faster than VT6212.

And I don't think is is the chip alone that is responsible for the performance, there are more electronics on such a little card that matter.

I don't know for sure but my guess would be that unless the card has real electrical issues the only factor would be the chip. There's not much on a USB card more than the controller chip.

Just like the same VIA on-board sound chip actually sounds really different on different motherboards.

Audio usually has an analog part which would need a more careful design.

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