Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby gryffinwings » 2018-11-07 @ 01:55

Hi guys, I'm looking at getting sound set up for my old Gateway G6-400 that I picked up with a bunch of other computers, effectively it was 5 USD. So currently on the board itself there is a Creative ES1373, haven't a little trouble finding the drivers for it, but I also hear this chip is quite awful, so I am open to some recommendations, the board I have supports both ISA and PCI cards. The only spare sound card I have at the moment is a Sound Blaster Audigy EAX Advanced HD Model SB0090, which seems a bit new for this computer.

Suggestions?
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby misterjones » 2018-11-07 @ 18:00

The Audigy will work fine. I had the Audigy MP3+ in my old Dell XPS-450 450MHz P3 machine and when I toasted it the card lived in an IBM 300PL tower with a P2-450 in it for the longest.
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby chinny22 » 2018-11-08 @ 12:49

the ES1373 isn't great but wouldn't go as far as to call it awful.
Its got native dos support (Which is why Creative brought Ensonic) decent midi with the 8MB waveset. Adlib will suck but that's true of most PCI boards.
I would guess driver here works?
http://vogonsdrivers.com/index.php?catid=41

With all that said the Audigy is far better card, supports EAX which is important for Win9x gaming and also has dos support.
I have the Audigy 2 ZS in most my Win98 builds as its the final card to support Win98 and bit more refined but wouldn't spend money on one if I already had an Audigy lying around.

IF your after period correct, I upgraded to a SB Live! after owning my Gateway P2 400 for a year, Drivers are a bloated mess from that era though and would stick with the Audigy myself.

ISA is only necessary if you want to boot into native dos mode all 3 above cards support native dos but can be challenge to get working (they will work fine playing dos games from within windows though)

DOS ISA soundcard recommendations is a while new topic in itself with plenty of post here debating pros and cons of any card
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby yawetaG » 2018-11-08 @ 19:53

Windows 98SE DOS mode + the AudioPCI for MIDI should be pretty much rock solid. FM might sound weird, but that depends on your tastes. :blush:
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby oohms » 2018-11-09 @ 03:21

The sound blaster AWE64 was commonly bundled with that era PC. Unless you want to experiment with 3D sound and get an aureal vortex or original sound blaster live, I would stick with ISA. You get good dos compatibility and if they have windows drivers, they work fine for windows games too
DOS/w3.11/w98 | K6-III+ 400ATZ @ 550 | FIC PA2013 | 128mb SDram | Voodoo 3 3000 | Avancelogic ALS100 | Roland SC-55ST
DOS/w98/XP | Core 2 Duo E4600 | Asus P5PE-VM | 512mb DDR400 | Ti4800SE | ForteMedia FM801
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby appiah4 » 2018-11-09 @ 05:08

Welcome to the awful world of sound card compromises.. I will give you 10 qualities you would want in an ideal sound card below, in no particular order of importance.

1. SB Pro Compatibile
2. ISA Card for hassle-free DOS compatibility
3. Genuine OPL3
4. Non-PnP
5. Wavetable Header
6. IDE Controller
7. Low Noise Floor
8. Decent Hardware/Software MIDI Support
9. "Hanging Note" Bug-Free MPU-401
10. Support for later Win9x 3D Sound technologies (A3D/EAX)

To my knowledge, there is no card that satisfies more than 6 of the above, so pick your poison and we can tell you what to buy.
1989:A500|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
1992:HIPPO-VL+|DX2-66|8M|GD5428|CT2290|S2
1995:PCI597-1|P133|32M|Trio64|V1|CT3980/2M
1998:S1573S|K6-2/400|64M|RagePro|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
2001:GA-6OXT|PIII-1200|512M|GF3Ti200|MX300
2004:K8V-D|3200+|2G|X1950P|SB0350
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby yawetaG » 2018-11-09 @ 06:29

oohms wrote:The sound blaster AWE64 was commonly bundled with that era PC. Unless you want to experiment with 3D sound and get an aureal vortex or original sound blaster live, I would stick with ISA. You get good dos compatibility and if they have windows drivers, they work fine for windows games too


Gateway G6 came with an OEM AudioPCI 1370, 1371, or 1373 out of the box.
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby jesolo » 2018-11-09 @ 09:30

appiah4 wrote:Welcome to the awful world of sound card compromises.. I will give you 10 qualities you would want in an ideal sound card below, in no particular order of importance.

1. SB Pro Compatibile
2. ISA Card for hassle-free DOS compatibility
3. Genuine OPL3
4. Non-PnP
5. Wavetable Header
6. IDE Controller
7. Low Noise Floor
8. Decent Hardware/Software MIDI Support
9. "Hanging Note" Bug-Free MPU-401
10. Support for later Win9x 3D Sound technologies (A3D/EAX)

To my knowledge, there is no card that satisfies more than 6 of the above, so pick your poison and we can tell you what to buy.

I would say that your Aztech Sound Galaxy/Multimedia cards based on the AZT-2316 chipset should tick 8 or maybe even 9 out of the 10 points you listed above and maybe even some ESS Audiodrive cards based on the ES1868 and ES688 chipsets.
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby appiah4 » 2018-11-09 @ 10:08

AFAIK Sound Galaxy cards do not comform to 4, 8 and 10, but yeah that's at least 7 so I take my words back :)
1989:A500|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
1992:HIPPO-VL+|DX2-66|8M|GD5428|CT2290|S2
1995:PCI597-1|P133|32M|Trio64|V1|CT3980/2M
1998:S1573S|K6-2/400|64M|RagePro|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
2001:GA-6OXT|PIII-1200|512M|GF3Ti200|MX300
2004:K8V-D|3200+|2G|X1950P|SB0350
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby oohms » 2018-11-09 @ 10:44

yawetaG wrote:
oohms wrote:The sound blaster AWE64 was commonly bundled with that era PC. Unless you want to experiment with 3D sound and get an aureal vortex or original sound blaster live, I would stick with ISA. You get good dos compatibility and if they have windows drivers, they work fine for windows games too


Gateway G6 came with an OEM AudioPCI 1370, 1371, or 1373 out of the box.


Well a decent p2 400 build often comes with an AWE64.. at least from store built pcs of that era. Bundling in an audioPCI is very much a cost cutting measure
DOS/w3.11/w98 | K6-III+ 400ATZ @ 550 | FIC PA2013 | 128mb SDram | Voodoo 3 3000 | Avancelogic ALS100 | Roland SC-55ST
DOS/w98/XP | Core 2 Duo E4600 | Asus P5PE-VM | 512mb DDR400 | Ti4800SE | ForteMedia FM801
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby jesolo » 2018-11-09 @ 11:42

appiah4 wrote:AFAIK Sound Galaxy cards do not comform to 4, 8 and 10, but yeah that's at least 7 so I take my words back :)

All Aztech cards up to those using the AZT-2316 (3rd generation) chipset are non Plug 'n Play. Only 4th generation (utilising the AZT-2320 chipset) are Plug 'n Play.

Agree on point 8 but, good luck in finding any ISA sound card supporting point 10 :happy:.

Another card that comes to mind is the Guillemot Maxisound Home Studio 2. Its onboard wave table synthesis (Dream chipset) sometimes came bundled with the Roland Sound Canvas SC-55 instrument set (*.94b format).
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby borgie83 » 2018-11-09 @ 12:39

I second what Chinny said. Audigy 2 ZS is great for all your Windows needs. I wouldn't rely on it too much if you're going to be doing much dos gaming though. PCI cards never truly cut it in dos and you've got an isa slot so take advantage of that. Throw a sound blaster 16 CT2230 in there and you're set. Or spend a little more and hunt down an Awe32 CT3900....my overall favourite sound blaster card.
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Re: Sound Card Recommendation for old P2-400MHz?

Postby yawetaG » 2018-11-09 @ 19:14

oohms wrote:
yawetaG wrote:
oohms wrote:The sound blaster AWE64 was commonly bundled with that era PC. Unless you want to experiment with 3D sound and get an aureal vortex or original sound blaster live, I would stick with ISA. You get good dos compatibility and if they have windows drivers, they work fine for windows games too


Gateway G6 came with an OEM AudioPCI 1370, 1371, or 1373 out of the box.


Well a decent p2 400 build often comes with an AWE64.. at least from store built pcs of that era. Bundling in an audioPCI is very much a cost cutting measure


Maybe in Australia, but over here getting anything better than a Soundblaster 16 on non-gaming mass-produced desktop machines was pretty good. You'd get a store-built machine if you needed a computer for less standard stuff, and Gateway wasn't into that - instead they sold a lot of computers in Europe as part of special discount deals for employees of large companies (so they could work at home).
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