HisMajestyTheKing

Analog modems

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I need a PCI modem for my brother-in-law's PC, a PII 450 with 192 MB RAM running Windows 2000 Pro. Does it matter whether I get a hardware modem or Winmodem? The price difference is rather large - €15 against €45 for an internal modem. He will use this machine mainly to learn to use a PC.

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For that application, virtually no difference. It's a slow system and will therefore eat up more timeslices to use a winmodem over a hardware modem compared to newer systems, but the load is still going to be dominated by applications, not the modem. Also, it may have a slightly higher propensity to drop connections and lower quality connections with slowly lower download speeds. I use a winmodem all the time in my laptop though.

If you can find an ISA modem and he has an ISA slot, it would be oustanding as it offers the hardware features at a lower price point and at 56 kbps the bandwidth is a non-issue, but they're difficult to find at all anymore (/me clutches his 56k ISA modems)

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There are different type of winmodems as well, and I've seen some that list a 500Mhz CPU as a minimum requirement...which seems a little absurd, but that's what it said on the box.

Getting the better type of winmodem (with a DSP still on-board, such as the Lucent Mars 3.2 chipset) will be more than enough for that PC, and will probably be half the price of a hardware modem.

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My, my. I found this ancient (1998) ISA 56k modem. It's a Tornado SFM 56 PC and it has a Rockwell chip on it. It reads RCVDL56ACFW/SP

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Given the choice I prefer to run hardware modems such as USR's 2976/2977 or the later 5610A/5610B.

If a controllerless modem works fine when you install it, though, then keep it. My main issue with controllerless modems is that more-often than controller-based ones, they just don't want to work and I hate wasting time to troubleshoot the stupid things. :P

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I hate all internal mdems with a passion.

Bar one type.

Intel (used to be Ambient).

One driver, all Versions of windows, all versions of PCI modems, and they have a website if things go wrong.

Any generic one will do £5-£8 in the UK.

Andy

PS: Ignore the specs on the box thats to cover their arse's when someone phones up and says the modem is slow.

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I personally abhor external modems with all the extra cables.

But at least an external serial modem usually Just Works, given the init string is correct... I imagine once-excellent models can be had for almost nothing now. (Never had more than 33.6, we got ISDN and then ADSL after that. Nothing beats a serial modem cable to access a hung up DSL router, though. ;) )

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i'll second the pick on the intel 537 pci modem. Drivers are simple and reliable, and it usually gets decent connect ratings. Not sure how much it costs across the pond, but in the US you can get these for under $10.

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I picked up a q-tec PCI modem. It works as advertised. It's one with the Intel chipset apparently. To be honest I just stepped into a shop,picked up the first bow with a PCI modem I saw and paid - no less than €22 at that.

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