Bought these (retro) hardware today

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-11-27 @ 22:46

Kreshna, please can you tell me what you think of your Yamaha sound card? Does it provide good music for DOS games?

(Also, do you know how well it compares to the Yamaha SW20PC card?)

Thanks a lot. Best regards, Robert.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Silent Loon » 2008-11-28 @ 01:18

SW60XG should be similar if not the same as DB50XG, but it is a stand alone card - a fact which is its greatest advantage and disadvantage at the same time. The advantage is, that this midi card has an excellent snr, also according to its 18bit converters. No noisy host card is disturbing.
On the other hand this is the disadvantage: it occupies another ISA slot, and its only good for GM, GS or XG standard /music, no SBpro or Adlib or whathever sound you need.
SW20PC (Sound Edge) was a first attempt of Yamaha to enter the soundcard consumers market. It is a combination of OPL3 and OPL4 synths (Later, this combination was also seen on other - no name - cards) SYNRISE says it had 128kbyte sample ram and 2mbyte sample rom ( http://www.synrise.de/docs/types/y/yama ... a_s-sy.htm ) 24 voices, 16 bit. It should be Soundblaster 2.0 compatible and I guess GM compatible too.

The SW60XG has 32 voices, 4mbyte sample ROM, 676 instruments / voices, 11 drumkits, multieffect dsp, 18 D/A converters a.s.o - but the above listed restrictions.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2008-11-28 @ 02:48

retro games 100 wrote:Kreshna, please can you tell me what you think of your Yamaha sound card? Does it provide good music for DOS games?

Pretty good. Definitely MUCH better than Creative AWE32, especially the bass and percussion. For games with techno soundtrack (like Descent or System Shock), SW60XG simply rocks.

However, I have yet to compare it to Roland Sound Canvas, especially for older games like Sierra adventures.


retro games 100 wrote:(Also, do you know how well it compares to the Yamaha SW20PC card?)

Um, don't have one.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby retro games 100 » 2008-11-28 @ 10:33

Cool. I have a DB50XG, so I think I will try and get the other SW20PC Yamaha sound card.

There's sooo many really cool old ISA sound cards that I'd love to test out (eg Terratec), but unfortunately ATM I cannot find them. However, I have spotted a SW20PC card, and so I will bid on it. This will allow me to finally fill the empty ISA slot that I had initially reserved for the Ensoniq Elite card (which again I could not find).

Thanks guys for your invaluable assistance. :happy:
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2009-1-24 @ 04:40

Not actually a hardware, but a virtual hardware. More specifically, Virtual Sound Canvas. Fuck yeah!

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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Malik » 2009-1-24 @ 08:59

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
retro games 100 wrote:Kreshna, please can you tell me what you think of your Yamaha sound card? Does it provide good music for DOS games?

Pretty good. Definitely MUCH better than Creative AWE32, especially the bass and percussion. For games with techno soundtrack (like Descent or System Shock), SW60XG simply rocks.

However, I have yet to compare it to Roland Sound Canvas, especially for older games like Sierra adventures.

I'm using Descent and Doom and Heretic,etc., with my Sound Canvas (SC-55 MKII). Sounds are much clearer and better. The percussions are deep and satisfying too.

For Sierra adventures in DOS, I prefer to use the LAPC-I. But in Windows 3.11, I'm using the Sound Canvas again for all MIDI outputs. Hence games like King's Quest V, VI, Gabriel Knight etc., which have dual executables for DOS and Windows 3.1x, under Win3.11, I pass the MIDI message to the SC. The AWE32 here acts as the "messenger" between the pc and sc.

Unfortunately I'm unable to compare these sounds with the Yamaha's wavetable kings, since I don't have them.
I do have the NEC clone of the DBW60XG. (Or was it of the DBW50XG?)
But haven't tested it with the AWE32.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2009-1-24 @ 15:52

Malik wrote:I'm using Descent and Doom and Heretic,etc., with my Sound Canvas (SC-55 MKII). Sounds are much clearer and better. The percussions are deep and satisfying too.

Hmmm.... I wonder if Virtual Sound Canvas sounds as goos as SC-55.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby dvwjr » 2009-1-24 @ 19:29

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Hmmm.... I wonder if Virtual Sound Canvas sounds as goos as SC-55.


Here are some MIDI audio samples to help you decide. The MIDI music is the Introduction theme of the 1994 DOS game SYSTEM SHOCK. The general MIDI selection with the following hardware or software synths was used to compare the audio differences/flavors...

The Roland SCC-1A recording by 5u3 is the equal of the Roland MK II SC-55, and can be compared to the Yamaha S-YXG50 Soft-synth; the Microsoft Direct Music MIDI soft-synth (licenced Roland samples); the Roland Virtual Sound Canvas v3.23; the Roland SC-88VL in SC-55 emulation mode.



General MIDI:

Low-res video Intro sample: 2.18MB AVI (2:34) (22,050Hz stereo)
Yamaha SoftSynth S-YXG50 v4.23.14S WDM 2MB WaveRom version: (DosBox v0.65 MIDI passthru: WinXP Yamaha S-YXG50 MIDI emulation)

Low-res video Intro sample: 2.18MB AVI (2:34) (22,050Hz stereo)
Microsoft WinXP DirectMusic MIDI version: (DosBox v0.65 MIDI passthru: WinXP(SP2) Roland GM/GS Roland licensed samples softsynth)

Audio-only sample: 2.70MB Ogg Vorbis (1:55) (44,100Hz stereo)
Virtual Sound Canvas v3.23 version: (Dosbox v0.65 MIDI passthru: WinXP - Roland VSC v3.23 using SC-55 ~2MB WaveRom samples)

Audio-only sample: 2.44MB Ogg Vorbis (1:47) (44,100Hz stereo)
Roland SCC-1A MIDI version: (Roland SCC-1A ISA adapter ~4MB WaveRom samples)

Note: The Roland SCC-1A recording used is courtesy of member 5u3 of the this forum.

Audio-only sample: 2.83MB Ogg Vorbis (1:49) (44,100Hz stereo)
Roland SC-88VL MIDI version: (Roland SC-88VL ~8MB WaveRom samples in SC-55 emulation mode)



Hope this helps,

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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2009-1-24 @ 19:45

Thanks! :)
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2009-1-25 @ 17:24

Alright, some impression:

(1) I forgot to download the Yamaha Soft Synth before doing the comparison. My bad. :dead:


(2) Microsoft Direct Music MIDI sucks big time, just I have expected. System Shock or no System Shock, it always sounds like souped-up FM instead of wavetable (although the percussion is still better than FM).


(3) SC-88 is simply the best. The percussion sounds great, the bass sounds great, and all instruments sounds very real as if they were professionaly studio-recorded. The percussion is most notably exceptional.


(4) SCC-1 sounds much better and "less FM" than Microsoft Direct Music MIDI, but its percussion is notably weak.


(5) Now, the Virtual Sound Canvas. Its percussion and bass are simply much better than SCC-1, although nowhere as "real" as SC-88, but I say it is good enough. Generally, other instruments are almost better than AWE32, while the bass is much better. The trumpet actually sounds the same with that of SCC-1.

However, there is a background organ chord (is it organ? I'm merely guessing) that starts at minute 1:01. This part is much worse than both SCC-1 and SC-88; it is too accentuated, less subtle, and almost "FM-like" like that of Microsoft DirectMusic MIDI.

I often hear that Roland is better than Yamaha when it goes to orchestra (strings and brass). Once it arrives, I think I should test it with games like TIE Fighter or Wing Commander Armada.

Nonetheless, it still sound better than DirectMusic MIDI, especially when it goes to percussion, so I guess my purchase is worth it, huh?
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2009-11-10 @ 21:52

Um... you would probably argue that an XFX GeForce 6800 GT AGP doesn't count as "retro" hardware, but since it is the last GeForce that supports Windows 98, I believe it does.

Image

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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby HunterZ » 2009-11-10 @ 22:22

I consider AGP to now be an obsolete (if not quite retro) technology. The 6800GT is still widely used though.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2009-11-10 @ 22:34

HunterZ wrote:I consider AGP to now be an obsolete (if not quite retro) technology.

Actually, the reason is here.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby RoyBatty » 2009-11-11 @ 05:44

Asus made a 512MB version of that card, it's rather hard to find. Might be one for you ;)
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2009-11-11 @ 06:29

RoyBatty wrote:Asus made a 512MB version of that card, it's rather hard to find. Might be one for you ;)

Amen, brother. :)

While we're at it, I just wonder: wouldn't it be quite weird if I have a 512MB video card with only 256MB of system RAM? It seems I'm going to use only 256MB of system RAM for the Win98 legacy system.

What will happen if the system RAM is smaller than the video RAM? Will the video card ever fill the extra amount of video RAM? Let say, when doing FSAA?
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby RoyBatty » 2009-11-13 @ 08:11

Hrm, I don't think that would be much of an issue... but I'm not sure. I would go with 512MB memory on the system myself. But I do realize that SDRAM is getting rather expensive. I have 1.5GB of crucial for my PIII, and it runs nicely with win2k and xp... but I never got it to work with win98se so I gave up. Currently I have a 7600GS in that machine but I hate that card, it doesn't work so hot with older games. I really want one of the 512MB AGP 6800 Ultra's =]
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby bushwack » 2009-11-13 @ 16:56

What kind of games are you people playing on Win98 that you need a 6800GT? A pair of Voodoo's should do ya just fine. :wink: I would think any other game would work under XP.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby swaaye » 2009-11-13 @ 18:51

It's just the usual upgrade itch. It's hard to resist making a retro rig "just a little faster". On and on it goes. It evolves into a desire to build the imagined "ultimate retro rig" even though that's impossible unless by "retro rig" they mean Win9x and newer games. Unfortunately (or not) most Win9x games work fine in XP however so even a modern rig can run a lot of them just fine, and so building a "retro rig" based on 2002/2004 hardware is rather pointless (and hard to call retro anyway!).

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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby bushwack » 2009-11-13 @ 21:50

I don't think AGP is retro in itself, just the cards you put in it. They still make APG cards and.....PCI video cards.

I don't think it's the slot, it's what you put in it that counts.
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Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2009-11-14 @ 05:36

swaaye wrote:It's hard to resist making a retro rig "just a little faster". On and on it goes. It evolves into a desire to build the imagined "ultimate retro rig" even though that's impossible unless by "retro rig" they mean Win9x and newer games.

Precisely. :D

But in my case, I have to blame two things: Windows XP and flightsim games.

You see, flightsims tend to have really steep hardware requirements. While shooters like Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament runs reasonably well on older systems, same things couldn't be said about Jane's World War II Fighters or Jane's F/A-18.

Take a look at the following benchmark, for example. (Disclaimer, I did not show all the results; I only pick certain resolutions to make it easier to compare.)

Quake III
Code: Select all
Intel P-IIIe 742mhz 128mb ASUS P3V4X
Quake 3 Demo      GeForce 2    Voodoo 5 5500
640×480 x0 32bit    100.9       86.7
800×600 x0 32bit    92.5       84
1024×768 x0 32bit    70.5       64


Jane's World War II Fighters
Code: Select all
Intel P-IIIe 742mhz 128mb ASUS P3V4X
World War 2 Fighters   GeForce 2    Voodoo 5 5500
640×480 x0 16bit    30.8       32.2 Glide
1024×768 x0 16bit    23.8       28.2 Glide
640×480 x0 32bit    30.46       31.6 D3D
1024×768 x0 32bit    21.2       24.4 D3D


And here, ladies and gentlemen, the worst offender!
Code: Select all
Intel P-IIIe 742mhz 128mb ASUS P3V4X
Jane's F/A-18      GeForce 2    Voodoo 5 5500
640×480 x0 16bit    17.2       14.7
800x600 x0 16bit    16.6       14.5
1024×768 x0 16bit    16.6       14.3


See, Jane's F/A-18 is always the worst offender. It was released in 1999, when the hottest CPU was Athlon Classic and the hottest video card was GeForce 256 --certainly not enough to run the game as smooth as, say, Unreal Tournament. Even the people at SimHQ were complaining back then.

Nowadays, a Core 2 Duo processor and Radeon 4870 HD should be able to run Jane's F/A-18 very smoothly. Problem is, the game doesn't run well on Windows XP and above, graphical glitches and such. Other flightsim titles like Jane's USAF and European Air War also won't run on Windows XP without enthusiast-made patches.

To me, it seems my solution is to build the "hottest" rig that still supports Windows 98. GeForce 6800 is the latest GeForce that supports Windows 98, so there it goes.

I think those who are not into flightsims don't really need to resort to my "desperate" solution. For "general purpose" Windows 98 games, I think 440BX and Voodoo cards would do just fine.

In fact, I still have to build another system based on 440BX mobo and Voodoo card for "general" Win98/DOS gaming. But then again, flightsim is still the primary thing to blame. See, Jane's Longbow 2 doesn't run very well on processor faster than 1 GHz, so.....

Sigh....
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