Installation of a an Aureal Vortex2 card under Win XP

Emulation of old PCs, PC hardware, or PC peripherals.

Installation of a an Aureal Vortex2 card under Win XP

Postby Silent Loon » 2008-10-29 @ 10:49

I have an Aureal Vortex2 soundcard - a Terratec Xlerate Pro, which should be more or less identical with the Aureal Vortex2 SQ2500 - and I have to reinstall win xp.
I know
- that XP comes with its own "build-in" vortex driver package
- that there are some kind of beta XP drivers for vortex cards, I found this version: AU8830 WindowsXP/2k3 Driver Version 5.12.2568.0

The last time I used the xp drivers first, but couldn't get A3D support in games, than I installed the latest version of A3D (not the soundcard drivers), but especially one game ("B-17 II - The Mighty Eight"), refused A3D support (saying that there are no A3D drivers installed). Finally I installed the above mentioned drivers 5.12.2568.0, following the instructions in the readme file. Well, it worked - somehow. A3D was at least available in the card's demo, but still not in B-17. The midi wavetable I installed on the card could be heard, but not very good (level problem).

So - has anybody experience with installing a vortex2 (AU8830) under windows xp?
Which drivers should be used to get a maximum of the original vortex2 features and compability? (I suppose the 5.12.2568.0 version)
What's the best way to install them during/after a complete XP reinstall?
Is there any difference between the AU8830 based cards? I have three of them - a Diamond Monster Sound MX300, a Turtle Beach Montego II and the Terratec Xlerate Pro - which one to choose?

Ah - I forgot: The card should work allongside with an Audigy 2...

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Installation of a an Aureal Vortex2 card under Win XP

Postby Vinx » 2009-4-16 @ 06:03

That XP's "build-in" driver you mentioned only partially supports A3D 2.0 (may be only 1.0 part which was used by Vortex 1 fully works). That's why some newer games can't get A3D support.

The A3D API is now almost obsolete, and its hardware manufacturers canceled their supports for years before the time of XP. So (fortunately?) there are only a few custom XP driver that were made by some geeks around internet. Here are what I found. (I own MX300, but didn't use it with XP, so I haven't test these drivers yet)

http://www.ssstjy.com/drivers/repair/Aureal%B0%C1%C8%F1Vortex2%20SQ2500%28AU8830%D0%BE%C6%AC%29%C9%F9%BF%A8%D7%EE%D0%C2%C7%FD%B6%AF%B4%F3%D0%C9%D0%C9R%D0%DE%B8%C4%B0%E6For%20WinXP%A3%A82007%C4%EA10%D4%C28%C8%D5%B7%A2%B2%BC.rar
This one looks to be in chinese. (you should rename it on download)

http://www.ssstjy.com/drivers/putao/MX300forxp.rar
For Diamond, but might work with Terratec.

In my opinion, there are only 2 reasons to continue using these cards:-
1) you need to play A3D only supported games. (most games that support A3d also support EAX which was used by almost every creative's PCI cards including Audigy 2, and Audigy 2's EAX sounds much better than A3D, I think.)
2) you really need real wavetable MIDI. (that's why I keep MX300)
Windows XP Professional sp.2
Core 2 Duo E4500 @2.33GHz
2Gb RAM, 320 Gb SATA-RAID0
Geforce 9800 GT 1Gb DDR3
SB X-fi Xtreme Audio
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Re: Installation of a an Aureal Vortex2 card under Win XP

Postby gerwin » 2009-4-16 @ 14:04

I have one TB montego II installed in windows 2000. I managed to fix some issues with guides on the internet, this one IIRC;
http://www.quantexzone.com/faq/vortex_faq.htm

Most files on the site are missing now... but I have the essentials backed up. I am at work, so I can not currently look at what I saved.

I haven't used A3D much, can't tell if it worked on windows 2000.

Any au8830 is fine AFAIK. Just choose according to board layout and available connectors. (There are a few with au8830's with a different revision number told to have less CPU usage)

@Vinx
additional reasons:
3- Good Dos compatibility
4- Functional Waveblaster header
5- Good sound quality/SNR
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Re: Installation of a an Aureal Vortex2 card under Win XP

Postby Vinx » 2009-4-16 @ 14:59

Yep. I know, but Silent Loon seems doesn't care (or does?) about DOS; in fact, only for DOS, ESS Solo-1 (I have one) is better because it doesn't need any TSR to initialize DOS SB-Pro compatibility so you don't need to allocate your valuable 35kb DOS mem for it, its FM synthesizer is real (not just OPL emulation like in SB PCI), mine also has waveblaster connector and it seems to have better DOS compatibility (for my system, MX300 doesn't work with many games while Solo-1 goes very well) -- no TSR means it's compatible with SB pro by hardware; doesn't use any software trick.

Yes, that Waveblaster connector is the same reason to my #2 (anyone need real WT MIDI must have that connector on card to put on such wavetable daughter board like Waveblaster).

I must agree with #5 reason, but too bad, despite its very good audio quality, my MX300 sounds not so loud. So I must rely on speaker's amplification a lot; so it will be little noisy with average quality speaker. (how about other AU8830 cards?)

OK.. I seemed to argue a lot in using Votrex 2 cards, to speak the truth, I just love it, but I only want to show the opinion of using it with modern OS and machine. Nonetheless, for DOS and Win9x, It's a great audio device indeed.

gerwin, TB Montego II used to be audio card in my dream. I like its compact size and shape compare to MX300, too sad thare was no Montego II for sale in my country. :sad:
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Re: Installation of a an Aureal Vortex2 card under Win XP

Postby gerwin » 2009-4-16 @ 17:23

Vinx wrote:gerwin, TB Montego II used to be audio card in my dream. I like its compact size and shape compare to MX300, too sad thare was no Montego II for sale in my country.

This photo should appeal to you then ;)

I agree, the Montego II's are very nice sound cards. At first I would have rather used an MX300 for it seems easier to swap midi daughterboards on that one. But since I have solved that in another way the Montego II is just fine.
Many Montego II's are offered under this name: Dell 5931D Vortex 2 PCI.

About the ESS Solo-1. I have one of these too, but never tried it, maybe I should? I preferred the yamaha DS-XG...
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Montego II Home Studio
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Re: Installation of a an Aureal Vortex2 card under Win XP

Postby Vinx » 2009-4-16 @ 17:51

:exclamation: Wow.. that GS 4mb WT daughter board looks much like the one came with MX200(dream chip and ROM), and that I/O module looks so nice in color, and that CD-ROM looks interesting, mm..'Home Studio', there must be a lot of cool software in it, heh?, all these came in the box?

Yeah, right, that really arouses me, thanks. :happyhappy:

The Yamaha XG is in my belonging too, it's one of my favorite; supports XG (more drumsets & MIDI features than GS); excellent for anything above Win95. But for DOS, no even GM support; only mere OPL3 synth. you get from it(except your card is X-Wave 5000/6000 which comes with wavetable). And even cards from Yamaha itself(WaveForce 192XG) are the same: rather noisy. Don't try it with DOS, you will be disappointed. But with windows 9x up, it's really worth trying (despite noisy, MIDI capability is powerful), I also have its (XG Capable) software: Relaxation music & Yamaha Classic 100; these are irreplacably nice apps, you shouldn't miss it if you want to try DB-XG(YMF724/740/744/754).
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