Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-02-13, 16:47:
That ALS100 looks different from mine which doesn't have the Crystal chip on board, so take what I'm about to say with a grain o […]
That ALS100 looks different from mine which doesn't have the Crystal chip on board, so take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt.
ALS100 is a SB16 compatible card with proper High DMA functionality. I have tested about 30 games with it and have yet to encounter one which didn't work. Games which support High DMA properly auto-detect it and offer to use it by default. In addition, it is compatible with the SBPro as well, which is nice for some older games that don't have SB16 support.
The main drawback of the ALS100 is noise. It's noticeable on my card even with just the speakers plugged directly into the Line Out port. With the speakers set to about 60% of their max volume, I start hearing noise. Below that it's usually fine. Using headphones instead of speakers seems to worsen the issue.
I can't see all the chip markings on your picture since it's a bit blurry, so I'm not sure what your card uses for FM synthesis. Mine has an FT6116-100 which is a perfect copy of the YMF262-M and sounds identical to a genuine OPL3 chip.
The noise isn't from the chip itself but from the frequently cheap/poor card designs they were commonly implemented on. OP, that means you might get lucky. ALS100 (non-plus) is one of the most flexible chips out there, with "real" OPL3 too. Can't read the markings either, but it's not Yamaha - however it is the 1:1 complete clone and not dodgy reimplementation, so FM should sound as if there was a 262 there.
That Dream wavetable is very nice - combined with the Crystal effects chip it's a bit of a frankenstein's card, but if it works and it isn't too noisy, this could be the one card to rule them all:
- real OPL3
- proper SBPro2 (unlike SB16 range)
- full SB16
- good wavetable onboard (assuming the sample set isn't crap)
As for the NXPro, it's a solid SBPro2 clone with real OPL3, WSS and - uniquely - Covox support too. It is however (unlike later Aztech designs) utterly unshielded. So it doesn't generate noise by itself, but any electrical noise on the ISA bus or in the vicinity of the card will come straight out of the line-out. Make sure you keep at least one slot free between this card and anything else, preferably more.
And the OPTi-chip card... it's a late, highly integrated OPTi 82c931 design, so dodgy OPTi OPL3 clone, decent SBPro2 compatibility and full WSS. Oh, and no MIDI bugs. Card itself looks cheap too... not highly recommended, but if you need something to run MIDI without hanging and with good WSS sound this could do the trick (not sure about ALS100 MIDI, could be bug-free too)