Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

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

Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby p24t » 2017-12-22 @ 11:42

Was considering Soundbaster AWE64 CT4520
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby schmatzler » 2017-12-22 @ 13:36

I bought an OPTi 82C929A MAD16 Pro card and it's just excellent.
The drivers are very modern (GUI with mouse) and it even supports Windows Sound System in pure DOS mode.

I just bought it because of this review by philscomputerlab:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okxN4GVLJRI
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-12-22 @ 14:24

Shouldn't this be in the Marvin -> Sound forum?

Anyway, my vote is for ESS 1868/1869 cards.
Last edited by gdjacobs on 2017-12-22 @ 19:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby cyclone3d » 2017-12-22 @ 15:16

schmatzler wrote:I bought an OPTi 82C929A MAD16 Pro card and it's just excellent.
The drivers are very modern (GUI with mouse) and it even supports Windows Sound System in pure DOS mode.

I just bought it because of this review by philscomputerlab:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okxN4GVLJRI


I pretty much agree with this. I still have an Opti930 based card with onboard wavetable that was the card I used back in the day. Never found a DOS game that it wouldn't work with.

Pretty much any of the Creative labs ISA cards are going to be great as well. You may want one with real OPL3 though if you don't like the sound of CQM.

Most of the Aztech ISA cards are going to be really good as well.

ESS cards.

Yamaha YMF based cards.

There is a huge selection of cards to choose from.
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-22 @ 19:35

Can't disagree with you people (plus, Creative cards are a bit overrated. EMU8K is nice, though.).
Back when 98 was current, I was still using a PAS16 and was happy with it.
I didn't care much about the legacy SB standard or SB Pro compatibility then, though.
But if audio quality and a true OPl3 matters, then it's still worth a try, I believe.
Keep in mind that -5v is required and backwards compatibility is limited to SB 2.0.
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby p24t » 2017-12-22 @ 22:02

Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't purchased anything yet, but I found this ISA soundcard I forgot I had. I don't know anything about it, but would it do the job?

https://i.imgur.com/SgWOJDX.jpg
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby brostenen » 2017-12-23 @ 00:09

p24t wrote:Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't purchased anything yet, but I found this ISA soundcard I forgot I had. I don't know anything about it, but would it do the job?

https://i.imgur.com/SgWOJDX.jpg


I think it is good for late Dos games. Yet I don't know anything about that card, I would say it is a bit in the same league as an AWE64, just by the looks of it. Regarding OPL, I have a feeling that it is not that great.
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-12-23 @ 01:25

Jo22 wrote:Can't disagree with you people (plus, Creative cards are a bit overrated. EMU8K is nice, though.).
Back when 98 was current, I was still using a PAS16 and was happy with it.
I didn't care much about the legacy SB standard or SB Pro compatibility then, though.
But if audio quality and a true OPl3 matters, then it's still worth a try, I believe.
Keep in mind that -5v is required and backwards compatibility is limited to SB 2.0.


A PAS 16 would be excellent with an early 486 or fast 386 machine.
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby p24t » 2017-12-23 @ 02:09

I don't know what OPL is or why it's desirable. I just want the games to make the 80's beep noises.
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-23 @ 06:54

gdjacobs wrote:A PAS 16 would be excellent with an early 486 or fast 386 machine.

Yay, I fully agree! ^^ Personally, I remember using it from the 286 to 586 generation (~P75).
The latter one was finally running Windows 98SE, even. Though, I believe, later on, I had another machine, too (a P166MMX).

p24t wrote:I don't know what OPL is or why it's desirable.

It's an FM synthesizer chip which makes stereo music.
The older mono OPL2 was used in PCs since ~1987, when the AdLib card was released..
http://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/Yamaha#OPL3

p24t wrote:I just want the games to make the 80's beep noises.

How fitting, the PAS16 even has a PC Speaker "emulation". :D
But I'm afraid it only works in 386/486 machines.


Anyway, I was just mentioning the PAS16 because it worked well for me.
Back in the 90s, I had little knowledge about soundcards and it "just worked".

In fact, it wasn until the late 90s/early 2000s when I learned about the ins and outs of the Sound Blaster universe.
I had got a SB16 CT1740 by then and requiring to manually setting up jumpers seemed so backwardly to me.
It was still better than using Creative's configurations tools from hell, though, as I later found out. ;)

(In that respect, even cheap clone cards were more friendly I think.
Phil has some YT videos about AWEs, they explain well how to use Creative drivers).

Configuration of the PAS 16 is also done via software. The PAS16 setup program looks like the DOS 6.2 or Win 3.1 version
and does everything automatical without requiring ISA Plug'n'Pray or jumper settings. The SB emulation can be disabled.

The downside is, however, that the card is 1992 technology (dated).
It requires -5V which was dropped from later ATX specs and lacks SB Pro support.

Win98 has built-in drivers, but the card doesn't do any fancy audio accelleration
or post-processing (except for a 3D Sound feature).

PS: I'm no sales man trying to sell you stuff.
Just tried to share my impressions of the card, since it isn't popular (anymore) :)
If you want maximum compatibilty and orchestral MIDI music, but no authentic FM music, that AWE is fine as well.
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby Eleanor1967 » 2017-12-23 @ 09:12

p24t wrote:Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't purchased anything yet, but I found this ISA soundcard I forgot I had. I don't know anything about it, but would it do the job?

https://i.imgur.com/SgWOJDX.jpg


Your card is an Ensoniq Soundscape VIVO 90. There is a Vogons Wiki on that card. I would say it is decent card for your era of system.
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Re: Good ISA Soundcard for Win98 regular and DOS modes

Postby p24t » 2017-12-25 @ 16:14

Eleanor1967 wrote:
p24t wrote:Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't purchased anything yet, but I found this ISA soundcard I forgot I had. I don't know anything about it, but would it do the job?

https://i.imgur.com/SgWOJDX.jpg


Your card is an Ensoniq Soundscape VIVO 90. There is a Vogons Wiki on that card. I would say it is decent card for your era of system.


Thanks. Anyone know where to find DOS drivers for this?
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