RAM MEMORY CARD

Back in the earliest days of the IBM PC, RAM cards have been used get past the limited motherboard capability. The original PC came with just 64KB of memory but sockets for more were present. BASICA was in the BIOS so that it would run with minimal memory. It did not take long before users filled the empty sockets.

With 256KB of memory the IBM PC 5150 needs a card to bring the memory up to the 640KB limits of PC-DOS. Recall Bill Gates who said, “640KB should be enough for anyone”.

MS-DOS came with RAMDRIVE.SYS which could use upper memory blocks to make a small capacity volume and it was popular to copy COMMAND.COM there and set COMSPEC to it so that DOS would reload instantly.

Faster forward to the modern age and a PC cable of 128GB or more. The move to PCIe 5.0 and even now looking at 6.0 gives some ideas for resurrecting the old RAM cards.

With 8 lanes at PCIe 5.0 there is enough bandwidth to justify a RAM card with insane bandwidth of over 60GB/s. The RAM can be shadowed by SSD cells so the machine can be power cycled. Windows would load in 2-3 seconds. Games in 200ms.

Placing 64GB of RAM on a card is plenty for Windows 10 which would run 1000x faster from a RAMDRIVE. A product like this would likely be very popular.

Intel 300096-005 Above Board AT Memory Expansion Board
Intel Above Board

The Intel Above Board was designed to add expanded memory or extended memory to a IBM PC/AT or compatible 80286 machine. The Above Board is capable of being populated with 2MB of memory chips.