QXL Card

The QXL card from Miracle Systems is a plug-in QL-compatible card for a PC with an ISA card slot. The PC requires DOS or Windows.

This card has a 32 bit 68EC040 processor running at 20MHz (the QXL II had a faster unit), with memory size from 1MB to 8MB. The processor has access to its own RAM so performance is virtually independent of the host PC whether it has an 8088 or Pentium processor. Thus for someone having an old PC lying around for which they have no real use, installing a QXL card can make an otherwise obsolete PC into a high performance QL compatible computer.

Under the QXL, the PC becomes purely an I/O system giving QL programs access to the PC's floppy disc, hard disc, keyboard, display, serial and parallel ports. The QXL has two QL style network ports which are compatible with those of a standard QL, so a QL and QXL can appear on the same network, e.g. the QL can print to the PC's printer if you have both computer systems but only one printer.

Uses the SMSQ operating system, an early version of SMSQ/E without the inbuilt pointer environment. More recently, SMSQ/E also became available for a QXL, and even more recently 16-bit colour drivers have been added to the QXL version of SMSQ/E.

The QXL allows the use of higher resolution displays, so it is possible to use a 640x350, 640x480 or 800x600 pixels display size, as well as the familiar 512x256. You may find that a 512x256 display only uses the top left portion of the screen - this is perfectly normal for a QXL and is not a fault condition.

This card originally cost from £295 for the 1MB version up to £495 for the 8MB version.

They are no longer made and quite hard to find nowadays. Second hand units are occasionally available from eBay and companies like RWAP Services.

Miracle QXL Board

  • qlwiki/qxl_card.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/06/27 18:26
  • by chr