Help making a decision

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

Help making a decision

Postby nosh » 2017-10-04 @ 00:50

Hi, first post here, I know ive been on vogons for info before over the years, decided to register. LGR and Philscomputerlab got me wanting to get into MIDI, never touched it as a kid. I currently have a Quantum3D Graphite PC that was straight out of a flight simulator, that I use for retro gaming. I got a Voodoo 5 5500 for it naturally, it's pretty BA. It sports an Intel socket 370 board with a PIII 733 but unfortunately, no ISA slots which rules out any internal MPU-401 and finding them or the external version is impossible anyways.

I recently picked up a Roland MT-32 (old) for a price I couldn't refuse. Now I am trying to figure out the best option, do I get a PCI card compatible with softMPU (currently have an SB Live!, not compatible) that I can throw in the Graphite, or build another system geared towards DOS and MIDI. Its not worth getting a new MB for the Graphite with ISA and I want to keep it original anyways.

I would prefer to use the Graphite with the MT-32 and eventually an SC-55 as well so I just have one machine that does everything retro but I am concerned about what I have heard about the MT-32 and newer processors like a PIII, causes syncing issues, audio speeds up or slows down because it cant keep up with the processor. Is this a big concern, should I bother? Is this problem game specific and if so is there a list?

Assuming using a PIII is not a concern, which PCI sound card would be my best bet, doesn't necessarily need to be on the softMPU compatibility list, I just want a well rounded card, confirmed to work with softMPU that is affordable and fairly common.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: Help making a decision

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-10-04 @ 01:39

Some titles will have issues with this build due to speed sensitivity, but lots of titles will work with your machine. Most don't have the greatest support for MT-32, though, as developers had moved on to General MIDI after the 1992/1993 timeframe, and some of the earlier titles are the ones that have trouble with faster CPUs.

Two of the better cards for PCI only systems and DOS are the ESS Solo 1 and Yamaha YMF PCI series. YMF cards tend to suffer in compatibility without PC/PCI support whereas ESS PCI cards work well with VIA chipsets, so I think a Solo 1 might be the best option for you.
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