Having Both ISA and PCI Sound Cards in Win 98

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Having Both ISA and PCI Sound Cards in Win 98

Postby RichPimp » 2017-4-27 @ 15:17

Hello all, I've been visiting these boards for years but this is my first post. Big thanks to Phil's Computer Lab for reigniting my interest in 90's vintage computer hardware with his excellent YouTube videos. Anyways, on to my question:

I have a Windows 98 machine with the following specs:
ASUS CUV4X Mobo
P3 733 MHz Coppermine
512Mb RAM
2 Voodoo 2's 12Mb in SLI
Gainward Geforce 3 Ti 200 128Mb
ESS Audiodrive ES1868F ISA PnP
Sound Blaster Live SB0220 PCI

I have the ESS card currently installed and it's working great. Through the BIOS I have disabled the parallel and serial ports, as well as the onboard sound, and I have reserved IRQ 7 and DMA 1 for this card. So far DOS games played in a DOS window in Win 98 sound just as I remember (I haven't set up pure DOS yet). However, I find the music in Build games (Duke3d and Blood to be specific) to be very underwhelming. My hope was to install the SB Live PCI card (used it long ago in my old XP machine) to live alongside the ISA card, and switch the resources in the game settings (or config files in the case of Duke3d) to use whichever card I wanted. The install of the Live card went fine and there were no hardware conflicts in Device Manager. It was, however, assigned IRQ 4, so I again went into the BIOS and reserved IRQ 5 for the PCI slot that the card was installed. Back in Windows, the card was now assigned to IRQ 5 and there were still no conflicts (there are no other resources showing that can be changed for this card). The problem is, although Windows sees the card just fine, I can't get anything to play from it. Under the multimedia settings, only the ESS card shows when selecting a preferred device. When I set the config for Duke3D to use IRQ 5 instead of 7, I receive a notification that no sound card is present. From what I've read on these boards, it should be possible to have multiple sound cards in one machine as long as there are no resource conflicts, but the Audiodrive always takes precedence. Maybe I'm overlooking something very basic here. Any thoughts on how I can get the two cards to play nice? Ideally, I'd run the line out from the ESS card into the line in of the Live card so I don't have to replug the speaker cable when using the other card. If all else fails, I may purchase a different ISA card, maybe a SoundBlaster Pro 2, though the only one I've seen for sale is more than I currently want to spend for a sound card.
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Re: Having Both ISA and PCI Sound Cards in Win 98

Postby Jorpho » 2017-4-27 @ 16:01

The resources assigned to the PCI Sound Blaster card in Device Manager are not necessarily the same as the resources of the legacy emulated interface that the sound card provides. Changing BIOS settings in this case might actually make things worse.

I'm not entirely sure how you would handle this situation while Windows is running, as Windows 98 might have its own special handling for games running in a DOS window. It would probably be best to see if you can get it working with both cards in MS-DOS mode first.

Also, if Duke 3D is one of your priorities, you might want to consider using one of the source ports.
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Re: Having Both ISA and PCI Sound Cards in Win 98

Postby RichPimp » 2017-4-27 @ 19:52

I may try again once I have DOS working. In all, it's probably more hassle than its worth. I'm immensely satisfied with the FM synth in games like Wolf3D, Blake Stone, BioMenace, etc. Anything from the early to mid 90's pretty much. I probably wouldn't have minded the Duke3D music had I not just recently seen a review of the Sound Blaster Pro 2 from LGR in which it sounded great with that game. By comparison, the AudioDrive sounds very tinny and lackluster, but so far only with the Build games. I picked it up for dirt cheap mostly as an exercise in messing with resource configurations after many years of not having messed with that kind of stuff.

Jorpho wrote:Also, if Duke 3D is one of your priorities, you might want to consider using one of the source ports.
You know, it's funny. I love source ports. When the first ones starting coming out (Doom Legacy FTW, though it's quite terrible now), I never imagined I'd want to play the original, buggy exe's. But here I am, two decades plus removed from when these games were released, and I'm sadistically taking satisfaction in running the games in their original, PITA state that I used to curse as a kid. Go figure. Thanks for the reply.
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Re: Having Both ISA and PCI Sound Cards in Win 98

Postby badmojo » 2017-4-27 @ 21:09

I have a Vortex2 (PCI) and ES1688 in my Windows 98 machine (P3) and it works well; you can find 1688 based cards that aren't plug and play. It's a dual boot machine tho, DOS 7 uses the ISA card and Windows 98 uses the PCI card.
If it's broke, then fix it!
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