SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Forum for discussion of bugs, code, and other aspects of SoftMPU.

Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby bjt » 2013-7-09 @ 14:45

Awesome stuff! All good news.

Will check out the sysex transmission speed issue but I think it's just the nature of the beast. Disabling L1 may hit the SoftMPU code disproportionately as there's a lot of jumping in and out of protected mode.

The Cinemaware version of It Came From The Desert is just broken. There a thread on gog.com about how to fix it, but to be honest it's probably not worth the effort as I know it doesn't work in 1.2 anyway.

http://www.gog.com/forum/general/gettin ... rt_working

Hopefully 1.2 fixed the problems j^aws was seeing with the SB16 clones. Paging j^aws :-)
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2013-7-09 @ 15:08

Yea to be honest these games hard coded for IRQ2/9 seem all quite average. Not a big deal.

A Sound Blaster on IRQ5 or 7 together with SoftMPU works really well I must say. Certainly compatible with all the big titles from Sierra and Origin and that is what likely the majority of people will want to play.

It's really cool to get away with just a single ISA card now!
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby Great Hierophant » 2013-7-09 @ 17:42

I have It Came from the Desert from floppy disks and it works fine in DOSBox with MT-32 music but not in a real machine with a real Roland MPU-401. No MIDI transmission is done.
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby j^aws » 2013-7-09 @ 20:19

bjt wrote:
Hopefully 1.2 fixed the problems j^aws was seeing with the SB16 clones. Paging j^aws :-)


Okay, a couple more tests with the newer SoftMPU v1.2, same setup:

Mobo: 440BX (with S3 GX2 and sound card only installed)
CPU: Unlocked P2@400MHz
OS: Win98SE
Synth: Roland CM-64
SoftMPU: v1.2; SB220, IRQ5, MPU330

-----Sound card: OPTI 924 (CS4231)-----

- P2@133MHz, L1/L2 cache enabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option.

- P2@133MHz, L1/L2 cache disabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option. Intro sound effects and graphics running too slow, however, MIDI sounds fine on CM-64.

- P2@400MHz, L1/L2 cache enabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option.

- P2@400MHz, L1/L2 cache disabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option. Intro sound effects and graphics running too slow (faster than P133 w/o L1/L2), however, MIDI sounds fine on CM-64.


-----Sound card: PCI YMF724 (DS-XG v3.16; Modes: S-IRQ (SB5, MPU9), PC-PCI (SB-Link)-----

With this card, also tried INTA# Mode instead of S-IRQ Mode - same results.

INTA# Mode uses the same IRQ for both SB and MIDI. Also, I don't normally use this mode because it doesn't work with DOOM2 without initialising DSDMA Mode.

- P2@133MHz, L1/L2 cache enabled:
SoftMPU fails to initialise; freezes after detecting MPU. Reports: MPU-401 detected at port 330.

- P2@133MHz, L1/L2 cache disabled:
SoftMPU fails to initialise; freezes after detecting MPU. Reports: MPU-401 detected at port 330.

- P2@400MHz, L1/L2 cache enabled:
SoftMPU fails to initialise; freezes after detecting MPU. Reports: MPU-401 detected at port 330.

- P2@400MHz, L1/L2 cache disabled:
SoftMPU fails to initialise; freezes after detecting MPU. Reports: MPU-401 detected at port 330.

I'll try a few more clones later. BTW, very nice progress with v1.2!
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2013-7-09 @ 22:59

Slot 1 systems come to a crawl when L1 cache is turned off. It doesn't surprise me that music slows down. Not a fault of SoftMPU. Go with a socket 7 build instead :)
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby j^aws » 2013-7-10 @ 00:23

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:Slot 1 systems come to a crawl when L1 cache is turned off. It doesn't surprise me that music slows down. Not a fault of SoftMPU. Go with a socket 7 build instead :)


The music's fine (MIDI). The graphics, and sound effects, slow down accordingly with caches disabled. However, everything's fine with caches enabled. I'm currently building a twin-BX system. I do have Socket 7 mobos and Cyrix/ AMD/ P1-class CPUs, but I'm cutting down systems to a minimum and optimising parts. So, unless there's a pressing need, I'm not sure if I need a S7 build.

What would be the virtues of a socket 7 build missing from my system? I could test the twin-BXs for anything that's suggested... Right now, I'm looking at a GUS/ YMF724 combo on the slower build: Do S7 mobos have SB-Link ports, for example? The only thing I can think of at the moment for a S7 system is running 'slightly' slower that an underclocked P2@133MHz system...?

Some more tests, same setup:

Mobo: 440BX (with S3 GX2 and sound card only installed)
CPU: Unlocked P2@400MHz
OS: Win98SE
Synth: Roland CM-64
SoftMPU: v1.2; SB220, IRQ5, MPU330

-----Sound card: Aztech 2316R (Analog Devices, AD1845 Soundport)-----

- P2@133MHz, L1/L2 cache enabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option.

- P2@133MHz, L1/L2 cache disabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option. Intro sound effects and graphics running too slow, however, MIDI sounds fine on CM-64.

- P2@400MHz, L1/L2 cache enabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option.

- P2@400MHz, L1/L2 cache disabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option. Intro sound effects and graphics running too slow (faster than P133 w/o L1/L2), however, MIDI sounds fine on CM-64.


-----Sound card: Aztech 2316A (CS4248)-----

- P2@133MHz, L1/L2 cache enabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option.

- P2@133MHz, L1/L2 cache disabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option. Intro sound effects and graphics running too slow, however, MIDI sounds fine on CM-64.

- P2@400MHz, L1/L2 cache enabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option.

- P2@400MHz, L1/L2 cache disabled:
SoftMPU initialises. Tested on Might and Magic 3, with LAPC-I and SB option. Intro sound effects and graphics running too slow (faster than P133 w/o L1/L2), however, MIDI sounds fine on CM-64.

These results are the same as the OPTI tested earlier. I'll test the Audiodrive tomorrow... probably the final one, unless there are other requests...?
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2013-7-10 @ 00:39

Because it is lacking mainboard cache, Slot 1 machines are either very fast or super slow. So you have this huge performance gap that you can't reach.

Check out my video here: http://youtu.be/gzxnB2CD6aw?t=21m33s

I put the start showing what performance levels you can hit with various CPUs. On your machine games like Wing Commander or Test Drive 3 would be either too slow or way too fast.

Many games appear to be fine but then you run into timer bugs and unbeatable sections and things like that.
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby j^aws » 2013-7-10 @ 01:04

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:Because it is lacking mainboard cache, Slot 1 machines are either very fast or super slow. So you have this huge performance gap that you can't reach.

Check out my video here: http://youtu.be/gzxnB2CD6aw?t=21m33s

I put the start showing what performance levels you can hit with various CPUs. On your machine games like Wing Commander or Test Drive 3 would be either too slow or way too fast.

Many games appear to be fine but then you run into timer bugs and unbeatable sections and things like that.


The thing is, I have a twin BX system, slowest to fastest: P2@133MHz to P3@1669Mhz (overclocked Tualatins - Celerons/ P3s). I can disable L2 caches, and vary FSBs, to fine-tune speeds in this range for Pentium-class CPUs. Furthermore, I can disable L1 caches within this speed range to target speed ranges pre-Pentiums ~ 286 to slow 486-class CPUs. I've got most of the bases covered.

Are there any games that wouldn't work on my twin-BXs?

EDIT: Wing Commander works on my fast BX system with caches disabled. I haven't tried TD3.
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2013-7-10 @ 03:43

What board do you have that comes with mainboard cache?
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby j^aws » 2013-7-10 @ 06:04

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:What board do you have that comes with mainboard cache?


Well, my BX mobos don't have mainboard cache, but my Socket 7, Abit AX5 does (512K, IIRC). I'm not sure why mainboard cache would benefit my setup?

BTW, I just tried Test Drive 3, and that works on my fast BX mobo too, with L1/ L2 caches disabled (using a Voyetra v24s and SB32 - CT3930). Sound options for both LAPC-I and SB working. Same setup working for Wing Commander too. What other games should I try?
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2013-7-10 @ 06:13

I'll explain. From a BIOS perspective L1 is CPU cache, L2 is mainboard cache.

I don't recommend Slot 1 machines because once you turn off L1 cache the machine is super slow. On Socket 7 you can leave L2 on and get a 486DX to 486DX2 depending on what CPU you have. Turn L2 off as well and you have a 386DX.

Wing Commander and Test Drive 3 must be a slideshow on your machine. What 3dbench 1.0 score do you get with your setup and L1 disabled?
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby j^aws » 2013-7-10 @ 06:43

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:I'll explain. From a BIOS perspective L1 is CPU cache, L2 is mainboard cache.

I don't recommend Slot 1 machines because once you turn off L1 cache the machine is super slow. On Socket 7 you can leave L2 on and get a 486DX to 486DX2 depending on what CPU you have. Turn L2 off as well and you have a 386DX.


Well, my fast BX mobo is a Socket 370 Tualatin setup - currenly with an underclocked P3@1050Mhz. As I mentioned earlier, I can get 286-low486 speeds. What games require 486DX/ DX2 speeds that won't run on my setup?

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:Wing Commander and Test Drive 3 must be a slideshow on your machine. What 3dbench 1.0 score do you get with your setup and L1 disabled?


They are no where near a slideshow - I don't know why you are getting this impression. When I had a Celeron Tualatin in the fast BX mobo with L1/L2 disabled, it even felt too fast for WC!

I don't have 3dbench 1.0 installed, but I do have a Speedsys bench of 8.18 for the P3@1050Mhz, which is faster than a 386DX-40 on that index. Also, I've had scores of 12+ on Speedsys using overclocked Tualatins with L1/ L2 disabled too.

Sorry, but I'm not convinced why I should drop one of the BX mobos, and use a S7 mobo instead... Maybe, show me a game that requires 486DX/DX2 speeds that won't run on my setup?
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby bjt » 2013-7-10 @ 07:08

j^aws wrote:Some more tests, same setup:


Great, looks like the ISA clone cards are working well now. Thanks for testing these, they will make a good addition to the compatibility list. Couple of questions:

- Do any of these cards support IRQ 2/9?
- Do they work OK with any game that requires MPU interrupts? Ecargxus demo (http://pouet.net/prod.php?which=4248) is a good free test.

Not sure what's up with the PCI YMF724. Does it require a TSR for DOS SB16 support? Might well be some conflict there, SoftMPU does some "interesting" things to the hardware...
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2013-7-10 @ 07:27

j^aws wrote:
I don't have 3dbench 1.0 installed, but I do have a Speedsys bench of 8.18 for the P3@1050Mhz, which is faster than a 386DX-40 on that index. Also, I've had scores of 12+ on Speedsys using overclocked Tualatins with L1/ L2 disabled too.


Benchmark files are in the 3dbench database thread: viewtopic.php?t=26175

Could you please do a benchmark with L1 off and then with L1 on. Maybe a Pentium 2 behaves different to a P3, that could explain it...

Thank you!
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby j^aws » 2013-7-10 @ 07:57

bjt wrote:
Great, looks like the ISA clone cards are working well now. Thanks for testing these, they will make a good addition to the compatibility list.Couple of questions:

- Do any of these cards support IRQ 2/9?


No probs. I wasn't paying attention, but are you asking whether there was a "2", "9" or a specific option for "2/9"? I'll keep an eye out.

bjt wrote:- Do they work OK with any game that requires MPU interrupts? Ecargxus demo (http://pouet.net/prod.php?which=4248) is a good free test.


Haven't done that test, but I'll put it on my list.

bjt wrote:Not sure what's up with the PCI YMF724. Does it require a TSR for DOS SB16 support? Might well be some conflict there, SoftMPU does some "interesting" things to the hardware...


AFAIK, no TSR is used. I did a mem /c/p, but couldn't see anything added. There was a Legacy driver added in Win98 when I installed the DOS drivers - not sure if that helps. And the card is also physically connected to the mobos SB-Link port too. I also noticed that the card was working with no SET Blaster line in Autoexec.bat, but a SET command in a DOS prompt revealed the settings. I just run a batch file to initialise the card after running the initial setup program in DOS.

Yeah, could be both SoftMPU and Yamaha are doing "interesting" things to the hardware!

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:
j^aws wrote:
I don't have 3dbench 1.0 installed, but I do have a Speedsys bench of 8.18 for the P3@1050Mhz, which is faster than a 386DX-40 on that index. Also, I've had scores of 12+ on Speedsys using overclocked Tualatins with L1/ L2 disabled too.


Benchmark files are in the 3dbench database thread: viewtopic.php?t=26175

Could you please do a benchmark with L1 off and then with L1 on. Maybe a Pentium 2 behaves different to a P3, that could explain it...

Thank you!


Okay, I'll put that on the list of tests to do later. Cheers.
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby bjt » 2013-7-10 @ 09:17

j^aws wrote:are you asking whether there was a "2", "9" or a specific option for "2/9"?


Any of the above :-) Some games are hard-coded to IRQ 2 and will work if the sound card is set to either IRQ 2 or 9 (due to the interrupt controllers being chained).

There's a few more obscure clone chipsets out there with MPU-401 port:

Dream/Atmel SAM9233/SAM9203
C-Media ASC-9308/CMI8328/CMI8330
Avance Logic ALS Series
Logitech SoundManWave (MV JAZZ 16)

Anyone have one of these lying around and fancies testing it? Might try to get a couple cheap off of eBay.
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby bjt » 2013-7-10 @ 23:02

Great Hierophant wrote:I have It Came from the Desert from floppy disks and it works fine in DOSBox with MT-32 music but not in a real machine with a real Roland MPU-401. No MIDI transmission is done.


Just released SoftMPU 1.3, It Came From The Desert works now. I'm going to tempt fate by saying that SoftMPU now works with all known intelligent-mode games. This will be the probably be the last release unless someone finds a problem with it.
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby Mau1wurf1977 » 2013-7-10 @ 23:22

Fantastic news Bjt!

Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this.
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby badmojo » 2013-7-11 @ 09:55

Well done Bjt! You've made this computer geek very happy.
If it's broke, then fix it!
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Re: SoftMPU project needs your help! (game & sound card testing)

Postby j^aws » 2013-7-11 @ 10:24

Great work bjt! I'll try to finish the rest of the tests with v.1.3 over the weekend.

BTW, Mau1wurf1977, I was getting scores around 13-14 using 3Dbench with an overclocked Tualatin Celeron (L1 off).

EDIT: L1 on, didn't register anything.
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