Help me decide on what sound cards to use for different systems.

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

Help me decide on what sound cards to use for different systems.

Postby cyclone3d » 2017-10-05 @ 00:53

Ok, so the time has come for me to finally finish fleshing out some systems.

1. 486 based (not put together at all yet)- Have a DX2-80 and a DX4-100
2. Socket 7 based - currently have a Pentium 233MMX - 4x ISA, 4x PCI (1 of the ISA and PCI slots is shared) and I have a PCI SATA controller in one of the slots. This will leave me with 1 or 2 PCI slots after the video card is installed.
3. Socket A/462 based - Barton Mobile 2800+ running at about 2.4Ghz - been a while since I have turned it on. Motherboard is an Abit KT7A so it has one ISA slot.

Soundcards available... a huge massive number.

ISA:

Midiquest Intelligent mode MPU-401 card. Guessing it will be best to use this with the 486 setup and my sound modules, mostly the first of these - Roland MT-100(MT32 + sequencer), MT-200(SC-55 with sequencer), SC-88VL.

Gravis Ultrasound (Interwave based)

Turtle Beach Tropez

Yamaha SW60XG

Creative - Quickshot Sound Machine(SB 2.0), a few different SB16, AWE32 CT3990, SB32 CT3600, CT3670. Even have an AWE64 with the Creative 28MB upgrade. Have multiple versions of the AWE64, including Gold!

Aztech - A few 1st Gen ones that support everything A few newer ones as well. Also have a BXII, which is a Sound Blaster 2.0 clone. All are ISA.

Other ISA cards. Most have onboard wavetable of some sort and most have real or clone OPL3. Still have my favorite from back when I was a kid... Opti 930 based with onboard wavetable.

Compaq Business Wavetable card

PAS-16

Mozart - one with and one without onboard wavetable

IBM Mwave based

Ensoniq Opus based

Ensonic Vivo 90



PCI cards:

Yamaha YMF724 and 744.

Creative - Live! or Audigy/Audigy2.

ESS Solo-1

Aureal Vortex 2 - have one with optical out

Forte Media FM801

Some for funsies... Trident 4dwave and S3 Sonic Vibes

Edit: added a couple I missed.
User avatar
cyclone3d
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1736
Joined: 2015-4-08 @ 06:06
Location: Huntsville, AL USA

Re: Help me decide on what sound cards to use for different systems.

Postby firage » 2017-10-05 @ 02:33

486: Midiquest MPU, I guess the Opti 930, the GUS and possibly a rotation of odd cards.
P233: AWE64 (Gold) 28MB, YMF744, SW60XG
Athlon XP: Audigy 2 - the Vortex 2 might go here or in the P233, but it's really at its best in between.
User avatar
firage
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 2013-1-06 @ 21:43
Location: Finland

Re: Help me decide on what sound cards to use for different systems.

Postby fitzpatr » 2017-10-05 @ 03:09

Well, I'm fleshing out a similar 486 build right now, and I've decided on:

Gravis Ultrasound GF1
MPU-401 Compatible (No Wavetable Header)
Sound Blaster 16 CT1750 (OPL3, DSP 4.05, CSP, Non-PnP, SB16)

To me, this gives maximum flexibility. I am still debating going with an AWE64 Gold and an SB Pro instead of just the 16. For you, I would say use the GUS PnP, an SB16 or CT3670, and your MPU card.

For my Pentium 233MMX, I am using the AWE64 Gold with 28MB Creative upgrade. This is paired with a Voodoo2 and onboard S3 ViRGE

For the Barton, I'd recommend the Audigy 2ZS if you can get your hands on one. I even use one for Windows alongside an SB Pro 2 in my Super Socket 7 (in signature). Otherwise, the Audigy 2

The Vortex 2 would be best in an earlier Socket A or P-III. Mine is paired with the P-III in my sig.
MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
P4EE 3.4GHz/P4C800-E/4GB Ballistix Tracer DDR-500/HD3850/Audigy 2ZS Platinum
PIII-1.4S/TUSL2-C/Voodoo5 5500/MX300
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
fitzpatr
Member
 
Posts: 254
Joined: 2016-10-30 @ 06:50
Location: Canada

Re: Help me decide on what sound cards to use for different systems.

Postby cyclone3d » 2017-10-05 @ 04:20

Thanks for the info .

I do have a couple Audigy 2ZS cards. One is not being used. The one I have with the IO panel is in a C2D Win98SE build.

I am also planning a PIII-550 system as well as a Super Socket 7 system (If I can ever get a SS7 motherboard).

I can also do a S370 PIII-933 build as well as a Slot-A Athlon TBird 900 build.

Just focusing on the ones in my first post for now though.

For the 486, I do want real OPL3.. and probably will put one of the Aztech cards in there because of everything it supports and real OPL3.
Adlib, Sound Blaster Pro II, Windows Sound System, Disney Sound Source & Covox Speech Thing
Maybe one of the Opti cards as well. They also have OPL3.

The 486 board I will be using has 7 slots total, so after VLB video, VLB I/O, and the MPU card, that would let me have up to 4 sound cards.

So.. Aztech, Opti, GUS, and a Creative card? That should cover pretty much everything I would think. Maybe switch the Opti out for some other wavetable capable card at some point.
User avatar
cyclone3d
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1736
Joined: 2015-4-08 @ 06:06
Location: Huntsville, AL USA

Re: Help me decide on what sound cards to use for different systems.

Postby cyclone3d » 2017-10-05 @ 20:30

After thinking about it more, I think I am going to use the Tropez Classic instead of one of my generic-ish Opti930 based cards in the 486 build.

Reasons:
1. 2MB wavetable
2. Opti929 /Crystal 4231 based so it should work just as well.
3. Real Yamaha OPL3
4. 3 slots to upgrade to 12MB sample RAM.
5. Should have cleaner output than my other Opti based cards.

What is the difference between the 929 and the 930? Not really finding anything about either.

Edit: finally found datasheets for both.

929 does not include a codec. That is why it is paired with another chip. Because of this, the output quality is going to be dependent on which codec it is coupled with. All other functionality is the same as the 930 from what I can tell.
930 has an integrated codec.
User avatar
cyclone3d
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1736
Joined: 2015-4-08 @ 06:06
Location: Huntsville, AL USA

Re: Help me decide on what sound cards to use for different systems.

Postby cyclone3d » 2017-10-06 @ 04:59

Well, after looking on MobyGames at the list of games that supports the Gravis Ultrasound, I think I am going to put it in the Pentium 233MMX setup. A fair number of those games that I want to play need faster than a 486 to run at acceptable speed.

Wing Commander IV says it recommends a Pentium machine for SVGA spaceflight.

Privateer 2 requires a Pentium 75Mhz or higher.

Transport Tycoon Deluxe loves CPU speed, especially once there is a lot going on. 233MMX is actually kinda slow for it IMO.

And IF I run into games that the 233MMX is too fast for, I can always underclock it to as low as 100Mhz.
User avatar
cyclone3d
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1736
Joined: 2015-4-08 @ 06:06
Location: Huntsville, AL USA

Re: Help me decide on what sound cards to use for different systems.

Postby firage » 2017-10-06 @ 05:04

I'm sure those games support it, but they don't make any special use of the card as opposed to SB16 compatible options. The games where the GUS is unbeatable only number about half a dozen or so. (Jazz Jackrabbit, Epic Pinball, Star Control II, One Must Fall.)

I think it's actually a very good candidate for a card that goes in and out of the build, rotating with cards of similarly limited scope. As such a massive collector of sound cards, your best course might be to make the 486 build as open to reconfiguring cards as possible; look for a Baby AT tower case and basically always run it with the side open. :)
User avatar
firage
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1005
Joined: 2013-1-06 @ 21:43
Location: Finland

Re: Help me decide on what sound cards to use for different systems.

Postby chinny22 » 2017-10-13 @ 15:42

Yeh, accept for 1 or 2 exceptions GUS was only really supported by games developed by Epic Mega Games
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Game ... .931999.29

So probably best for your 486, or maybe MMX system, Pretty much any other game only supports it in as a SB compatible card. There are a few posts here about setting it up as a 2nd card though.

While really its a bit fast I would make the 486 your early DOS gaming PC so something with true OPL, MPU-401 + MT32. I think the Tropez Classic is a good choice.

The Pentium 233MMX, is late dos/Early Windows? So OPL is no longer a concern, General MIDI is, I could be wrong but don't think Intelligent is needed anymore? mode MPU-401
AWE64 to try that out, plus no hanging note so can use it with your MT-200 or SC-88

Socket A, Win98/Very fast DOS, I would go with the Vortex 2 here.

Pentium Pro, Something "interesting" more then particle like the PAS, Mozart
Whichever P3 you end up going with, "Mainstream Win9x" Audigy 2 ZS
User avatar
chinny22
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1775
Joined: 2011-8-26 @ 12:02
Location: Australian but living in the UK for now


Return to Sound

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kamerat, LABS and 5 guests