How to test DOS Sound Card?

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

How to test DOS Sound Card?

Postby p6889k » 2019-12-03 @ 04:24

What's the easiest way to test DOS sound compatibility with sound cards, besides just trying random games? Is there any sound testing SW that can test different aspects of sound output, different compatibility modes SB, SB Pro, Soundscape, Adlib, ? If not, which combination of sw or games would give me good test coverage without going overboard and testing 50+ different games?

I did find this post: http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=1572 Looks very comprehensive, is there a way to scale it down to significantly smaller set of games, or is there no easy way around the subject?

I will be specifically testing the following cards:

Ensoniq AudioPCI
ESS-Solo1
SB Awe64 (ISA)
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Re: How to test DOS Sound Card?

Postby dionb » 2019-12-03 @ 09:14

Only way to scale down is to focus on what matters to you, both in terms of functionality and in terms of gaming.

Personally I'm not into shooters, graphical adventures, driving or sports sims so a lot of the list doesn't interest me the slightest. I just check what works with the stuff I do do, at least for personal evaluation. If I want to compare with someone else, obviously the comparison needs to use the same games/functionalities.
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Re: How to test DOS Sound Card?

Postby chinny22 » 2019-12-03 @ 10:21

The biggest problem if you want to do a complete test is dos didn't have a standardized interface with hardware so different games used different methods.

Miles Sound System was a popular one as an example
You would only need to test 1 game that uses the same engine. eg Duke for the build games, Doom for the id Tech1 games, etc.

but a quick search on Moby shows the different sound engine's from dos games.
https://www.mobygames.com/search/quick? ... D=on&sC=on

Otherwise you can stick with how well the card copes with known issues like :
ADPCM issue in Duke Nukem 2
SB Pro revered stereo
...and others I can't think of off the top of my head
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Re: How to test DOS Sound Card?

Postby zyga64 » 2019-12-03 @ 20:51

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2) i420EX /486DX33 /8MB /Trio64V+ /YMF718
3) i430HX /P233MMX /64MB /VirgeDX+3Dfx /Vibra16s
4) i440BX /P!!! 450 /256MB /TNT /AWE64
5) i865G /E3200 /1GB /Ti4200 /YMF724
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Re: How to test DOS Sound Card?

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-12-04 @ 20:59

chinny22 wrote:The biggest problem if you want to do a complete test is dos didn't have a standardized interface with hardware so different games used different methods.

Miles Sound System was a popular one as an example
You would only need to test 1 game that uses the same engine. eg Duke for the build games, Doom for the id Tech1 games, etc.

but a quick search on Moby shows the different sound engine's from dos games.
https://www.mobygames.com/search/quick? ... D=on&sC=on

Otherwise you can stick with how well the card copes with known issues like :
ADPCM issue in Duke Nukem 2
SB Pro revered stereo
...and others I can't think of off the top of my head

Working at all with Mortal Kombat. :dead:
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Re: How to test DOS Sound Card?

Postby badmojo » 2019-12-04 @ 22:57

The speed of the test system is also a factor - some ISA cards behave strangely in a fast machine. The original Sound Blaster for example, and I seem to recall my PAS16 being a bit of a jerk once the MHz get up there.
If it's broke, then fix it!
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Re: How to test DOS Sound Card?

Postby Joseph_Joestar » 2019-12-04 @ 23:59

Yup, CPU clock can be a big factor for some speed sensitive games.

If a game plays garbled sound, try downclocking your CPU and/or turning off its cache via Setmul before blaming the sound card. Day of the Tentacle is a good example of this behavior.
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Re: How to test DOS Sound Card?

Postby p6889k » 2019-12-05 @ 03:25

Thank you everyone for your responses, I’ll do some testing this weekend.
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