Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

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

Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby rick12373 » 2018-12-05 @ 17:28

So moving on from my previous thread where I was asking about which GPU to use for this P3 750MHz build, I am now faced with a choice of sound cards from my spare parts collection. Again the idea is to find something that is period correct and would have been considered a good choice at the time for performance and compatibility. This is what I have:

AWE32 CT3780 ISA
AWE64 CT4520 ISA
AWE64 CT4500 ISA
SOUND BLASTER PCI 128 CT4750

Also have some PCI Sound Blaster Live card and a PCI Audigy but I assume these would not be period correct.
486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby Kamerat » 2018-12-05 @ 18:17

Well, the Live! is actually the most period correct card for a Pentium III 750 build. Use one of the AWE cards together with the Live! if you need better compatibility for DOS games, the CT3780 got real OPL3 synth if you care about that.
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby rick12373 » 2018-12-05 @ 18:22

OK, so the Live! cards I have are as follows. Not sure what the differences between them are or which would be best:

Sound Blaster Live 5.1 - SB0100
Sound Blaster Live 5.1 - SB0220
Sound Blaster Live - SB0200
Sound Blaster Live - CT4670
486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby KCompRoom2000 » 2018-12-05 @ 22:40

As far as the SB Live goes, I'd choose either the SB0100 or the CT4670. The SB0200 is a stripped down OEM version and the SB0220 had no official drivers for 9x.

As for an ISA sound card, I'd choose the SB AWE32 CT3780 if you plan on playing games that use OPL3 since that card has a genuine OPL3 synthesizer (from what I could gather). If OPL3 isn't important to you, then use either one of the AWE64 cards.
1988-96:SL-54U5|P233MMX|64MB|Virge325|YMF719-S
1995-98:P2B-VE|C433|192MB|Rage Pro|Voodoo2|CT4500/32M
1998-01:GX150MT|PIII-S 1400|384MB|GF4Ti4200|CT4670
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby rick12373 » 2018-12-05 @ 22:50

Thanks for the help! As an after thought how much RAM would be suitable for this machine running Windows 98? Also, I have a 100GB Seagate HD to use with it. I am not sure what the average HD size was at the time but 100GB seems to me like it would easily be enough.
486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby KCompRoom2000 » 2018-12-05 @ 23:03

256MB is a good amount of RAM for your system IMO, or 512MB if you'd like to max it out depending on your motherboard (don't go above that amount since Windows 98 doesn't like too much RAM).

As for the hard drive, capacities between 6.4GB and 20GB are period correct choices for a 750 MHz Pentium III system, but it doesn't hurt to go higher than that if you feel like it. If you want to use your 100GB drive, be sure to partition it so that your OS partition is less than 64GB (the Windows 98 version of fdisk doesn't do well with capacities above that). Use a different partition manager to partition your drive (personally, I use an updated version of fdisk from the Windows ME boot floppy).
1988-96:SL-54U5|P233MMX|64MB|Virge325|YMF719-S
1995-98:P2B-VE|C433|192MB|Rage Pro|Voodoo2|CT4500/32M
1998-01:GX150MT|PIII-S 1400|384MB|GF4Ti4200|CT4670
2000-05:A8V|A64 3700+|2GB|RadeonX800
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby rick12373 » 2018-12-05 @ 23:08

Thanks for the advice.
486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby rick12373 » 2018-12-05 @ 23:23

KCompRoom2000 wrote:256MB is a good amount of RAM for your system IMO, or 512MB if you'd like to max it out depending on your motherboard (don't go above that amount since Windows 98 doesn't like too much RAM).


The MB has 3 slots. Do you think I can put 2 x 256MB chips in there? I can experiment I have a box of chips.

Does it matter if 100MHz or 133MHz RAM?

It looks like I have 512MB, 256MB and 128MB chips. The 512MB are PC133 as are some of the others (but not all).
486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby dionb » 2018-12-06 @ 01:14

What you are calling "chips" are the DIMMs, the memory modules. The chips themselves are the black things on them. That's relevant for your question. what's also relevant is exactly which motherboard you have - or rather which motherboard chipset it has.

Basically with a P3-750 you have three possibilities:
- motherboard chipset supports max 128Mb chips (note lower case b) without artificial restrictions (i.e. i440BX)
- motherboard chipset supports max 256Mb chips without artificial restrictions (i.e. Via ApolloPro133A)
- motherboard chipset supports max 256Mb chips, but is limited to 512MB by design (i.e. i815)

Now, a regular unbuffered DIMM can contain max 16 chips. So if your motherboard supports max 128Mb, your max DIMM size is 128x16/8=256MB with 16 chips. However, the max size for an 8-chip DIMM is 128MB. With max 256Mb chips, your max DIMM sizes are doubled, so 512MB with 16 chips and 256MB with 8 chips.

So, if you have an i440BX-based board, you can use 256MB DIMMs if they have 16 chips each, or 128MB DIMMs with 8 chips. With 3 DIMM slots, you can install max 768MB. If you have a Via ApolloPro133A, you can use 512MB DIMMs and 8-chip 256MB DIMMs too, for a max of 1.5GB. However I concur with earlier posters: Win98SE starts misbehaving over 512MB RAM- there are workarounds, but there is no sensible reason to want to run so much RAM on an OS this old. I'd recommend sticking to 256MB or max 512MB.

Speed ratings are like road speed limits: a DIMM is run at a certain speed by the motherboard. Running it faster than its rated speed risks crashes. Running it slower is perfectly safe. Your P3-750 has a 100MHz FSB, so if you run the memory synchronously, PC100 and PC133 are both fine. If you have a motherboard capable of asynchronous operation, you can run the memory at 133MHz even though the FSB is only 100MHz. If you want to do that, you need PC133 to be safe.
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby rick12373 » 2018-12-06 @ 01:30

Not sure what MB it is exactly there are no markings on it as far as I can see. From looking at the BIOS it appears to be the Intel 440BX/GX/ZX chipset. I only wanted to run 512MB or 256MB. I will look at the 256MB DIMMs to see if they have 16 chips. If so I will use 2 of those. I am at home now and everything is at the office. Will check tomorrow. Thanks.
486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card
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rick12373
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Posts: 428
Joined: 2007-3-01 @ 22:19
Location: Idaho, USA - Originally Fareham, UK

Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby buckeye » 2018-12-07 @ 17:59

rick12373 wrote:OK, so the Live! cards I have are as follows. Not sure what the differences between them are or which would be best:

Sound Blaster Live 5.1 - SB0100
Sound Blaster Live 5.1 - SB0220
Sound Blaster Live - SB0200
Sound Blaster Live - CT4670


I've had success with SB0100 version on Win98se, heard some had nightmares about installing OEM variances so watch out for those.
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Re: Sound Card for Pentium 3 Build

Postby rick12373 » 2018-12-07 @ 18:03

I am going to use the SB0100. I have it plugged in and Windows 98 installed but I am now having problems with the detection of the Pentium III 750MHz. I have started a new thread on that.
486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card
User avatar
rick12373
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Posts: 428
Joined: 2007-3-01 @ 22:19
Location: Idaho, USA - Originally Fareham, UK


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