PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

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

Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2019-5-14 @ 18:56

appiah4 wrote:I installed and tested an FM801 card on an i815EP motherboard yesterday and it worked 100% flawlessly both in Win98 and pure DOS.

Its regarding of our chart..
Sound Blaster PCM won't work on anything newer than the i8xx series of Intel chipsets.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-14 @ 19:08

I didn't disagree with that, I was just sharing my experience.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby LSS10999 » 2019-5-15 @ 00:35

appiah4 wrote:I didn't disagree with that, I was just sharing my experience.


Some i815 motherboards can be very compatible... I once had one and SBLive! worked with it.

However, as i815 is accompanied with ICH, it's uncertain whether DDMA-dependent cards (like YMF7xx) would continue to function there. The 440BX/PIIX4 appeared to be the last chipset to incorporate both PCI legacy DMA technologies (PC-PCI and DDMA, with the former usually requiring a physical signal connection). Most southbridges after that incorporate only either one of the two (Intel incorporated PC-PCI up to ICH5, while VIA incorporated DDMA, the last recognized one is VT82C686B, not sure about future VT823x ones but some sound cards continued to work).
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-15 @ 04:49

LSS10999 wrote:
appiah4 wrote:I didn't disagree with that, I was just sharing my experience.


Some i815 motherboards can be very compatible... I once had one and SBLive! worked with it.

However, as i815 is accompanied with ICH, it's uncertain whether DDMA-dependent cards (like YMF7xx) would continue to function there. The 440BX/PIIX4 appeared to be the last chipset to incorporate both PCI legacy DMA technologies (PC-PCI and DDMA, with the former usually requiring a physical signal connection). Most southbridges after that incorporate only either one of the two (Intel incorporated PC-PCI up to ICH5, while VIA incorporated DDMA, the last recognized one is VT82C686B, not sure about future VT823x ones but some sound cards continued to work).


DDMA is an issue, AZF3328 did not work on the same i815EP board due to DDMA issues. FM801 uses a different method and it works.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2019-5-15 @ 06:31

SB live is working even with i865.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-15 @ 06:50

ruthan wrote:SB live is working even with i865.


Yeah but it sounds like shit :lol:
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby MKT_Gundam » 2019-5-30 @ 01:23

How is the compatibility of PCi soundcards on Via VIA P4M800 Pro chipset?
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2019-5-30 @ 09:39

MKT_Gundam wrote:How is the compatibility of PCi soundcards on Via VIA P4M800 Pro chipset?

We dont have entry for it, but it would be silimar to P4M900+VT8237S LGA775 entry.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby LSS10999 » 2019-6-01 @ 02:06

MKT_Gundam wrote:How is the compatibility of PCi soundcards on Via VIA P4M800 Pro chipset?


It's mainly the southbridge that matters. The VT823x southbridges are good for PCI sound cards.

P4M800/Pro mainly uses VT8237R so you shouldn't have any problem with ESS PCI audio cards.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby MKT_Gundam » 2019-6-05 @ 02:16

Zeliard on ESS Maestro-3 ES1980S dpont sound that bad:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7r6oaT82a4
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2019-6-06 @ 18:42

I got ES1373 card, in compatibility list is not too much about it. Anything special about this card? I see at least that its supporting SB 16.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Kamerat » 2019-6-07 @ 01:13

ruthan wrote:I got ES1373 card, in compatibility list is not too much about it. Anything special about this card? I see at least that its supporting SB 16.

ES1371/ES1373 are the AC97 certified version of the ES1370. Should do SB16 with Creatives driver, don't think they relased a DOS driver for the ES1370 so only SBP and Soundscape support for that one.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby canthearu » 2019-6-07 @ 01:53

FM synthesis on the ES1371 is pretty broken though. (and that is putting it mildly)
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby appiah4 » 2019-6-10 @ 07:11

I believe 1371/1373 are 48KHz instead of 44KHz and that messes up with FM Synthesis greatly?
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby LSS10999 » 2019-6-11 @ 02:27

appiah4 wrote:I believe 1371/1373 are 48KHz instead of 44KHz and that messes up with FM Synthesis greatly?


I don't think sampling rate has anything to do with FM synth on those cards. The Ensoniq/Creative PCI series don't have FM synthesis at all. It's emulated via wavetable and it sounded rather different from a real OPL3.

canthearu wrote:FM synthesis on the ES1371 is pretty broken though. (and that is putting it mildly)


These cards appear to be playing FM music as if it was MIDI music, as changing MIDI modes between MPU401 and MT32, as well as loading different ECW files, could change how FM music sounds on those cards. Still, they sound rather different compared to real OPL3, and you'd better off choosing General MIDI instead of Adlib in games that supported such, for better music experience.

SBLive! on the other hand did manage to emulate FM nearly identical to the original, but how exactly that was achieved was unknown as on the surface, the DOS emulation technologies looked similar...
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby appiah4 » 2019-6-11 @ 09:18

LSS10999 wrote:SBLive! on the other hand did manage to emulate FM nearly identical to the original, but how exactly that was achieved was unknown as on the surface, the DOS emulation technologies looked similar...


That is not true, SB Live!'s FM sounds nothing like OPL3.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby canthearu » 2019-6-11 @ 11:30

appiah4 wrote:
LSS10999 wrote:SBLive! on the other hand did manage to emulate FM nearly identical to the original, but how exactly that was achieved was unknown as on the surface, the DOS emulation technologies looked similar...


That is not true, SB Live!'s FM sounds nothing like OPL3.


The SB Live's FM sound is more like CQM emulation. Still much better then trying to play FM sound through a wavetable, and generally a better result than the strange results I get from vortex based cards.

edit: insert missing word
Last edited by canthearu on 2019-6-11 @ 13:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby appiah4 » 2019-6-11 @ 11:47

Vortex is indeed pretty terrible. :lol:
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby LSS10999 » 2019-6-12 @ 00:16

appiah4 wrote:That is not true, SB Live!'s FM sounds nothing like OPL3.


canthearu wrote:The SB Live's FM sound is more like CQM emulation. Still much better then trying to play FM sound through a wavetable, and generally a better result than the strange results I get from vortex based cards.

edit: insert missing word


Not sure about CQM (as AWE64 Gold also appeared to be using one)... at least from games that I've played I could hardly pick up any apparent differences between it and a real OPL3. Maybe there are some places where one can actually tell them apart. Besides, I don't remember seeing Creative PCI cards featuring physical FM synth/CQM of any kind, does SBLive! (or EMU10K) really have such integrated in the IC?

As for Vortex series... not sure whether it really contains OPL2/OPL3 logic but it's definitely not accurate. At least on my Vortex sound card, the pitch seemed off (such as a C sounded like a B/C-flat, though this might not be accurate and could differ between cards), but the tone itself is mostly correct. Maybe it's just wrong frequency being put in the FM logic...

On the other hand, the post-Solo ESS audio cards (Maestro, Allegro etc.) seem to also play FM through a wavetable (sounded in a similar way to the ES137x series), as they no longer feature the ESFM synthesizer.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby yawetaG » 2019-6-12 @ 15:22

They just translate FM instructions to General MIDI PCM or other PCM patch set compatible instructions. Depending on the set of PCM patches used, some instruments will be more accurate than others. I personally cannot hear the difference between some of the instruments used when playing back FM music through my AudioPCI and the OPL of my Vibra 16 sound card, while other instruments are clearly different.
I expect that if a PCM patch set were to contain patches based on the sound of a real FM sound card/synthesizer (which can be identified fairly easy by their characteristic timbre), the emulation would be a bit more accurate.
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