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[ The PC Guide | System Optimization and Enhancement Guide | System Optimizations and Enhancements | System Resource (IRQ, DMA, I/O, COM) Conservation and Optimization ]

Use an Add-in 16-Bit Card I/O Card for Multiple Serial Ports

If you need to run three, four or more serial-port devices on your PC, you will have problems finding enough IRQ lines for them all. One option that is available to you is to make use of an add-in I/O controller. If you get one that has a 16-bit ISA connector, it should allow you to use the higher-numbered IRQs--9 through 15--for the COM ports. The built-in COM ports on the motherboard usually only allow you to use the low-numbered IRQs, usually only 3, 4 or 5.

If you use one of these add-in cards, be sure to disable the integrated COM ports in the BIOS setup; otherwise the new and old ports will conflict with each other. Make sure you purchase one that supports the higher-numbered IRQs.

Next: General System Performance Optimization

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