PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

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

Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-08 @ 07:43

Added some more and what about a chipset thats supports a mobile lowpower, lowvoltage CPU which can be clocked in plain DOS! via software?
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-10 @ 08:13

With ALS4000 unofficial driver is included DOS driver source code, its it big thing, could someone in theory with it fix some not working games and enhance chipset compatibility? Or incompatibility problems is more often due whole chip design?
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Last edited by ruthan on 2018-11-15 @ 20:14, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-10 @ 09:31

ALS4000 FM was worse then ESS-ESFM in my opinion, so I did no further testing.
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-10 @ 09:33

dr.zeissler wrote:ALS4000 FM was worse then ESS-ESFM in my opinion, so I did no further testing.


Yeah, even Rayer said that elecronic on it looks cheap, main chip and nothing, but for me its better working sound it all Dos game, but fancy clear sound only in some of them, with enough PCI slots you could have multiple sound cards, some for fancy sound, some for compatibility..
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Kamerat » 2018-11-10 @ 18:36

ruthan wrote:Here are volume file, which i need to modify to increase basic volume.. i dont understand that 0c0c format and scale which value is maximal for others,. :
Code: Select all
[VOLCFG]
MasVol=0
PcmVol=0c0c
FmVol=0c0c
SurVol=0

Change 0c0c to 0000 and you get much higher volume.

Edit: Setting around 0707 might be more appropriate for PcmVol.
Last edited by Kamerat on 2018-11-10 @ 18:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-10 @ 18:38

Kamerat wrote:Change 0c0c to 0000 and you get much higher volume.

Thanks.
Update: Its working, but i would say its for change too loud, i like to keep my speakers on same level regardless of sound card, i changing them quite often, is there some middleground value and something to rebalance FX / FM volumes - i mean which values except 0 and c are supported?
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Kamerat » 2018-11-11 @ 07:08

I'll guess anything from f to 0. Updated my post to suggest 7 for PCM.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-11 @ 08:31

Thanks.

im now fiddling with ALS4000.. so far i tested only VIA 880 Ultra, there are 2 drivers in Vogons Library.

Unofficial - FM is working fine, Doom II is working, but FX are very bad or broken.

Official - FM is working fine, Doom II refuse to start at all - some registry error, Blood no FX in setup so far, i tried SB / SB 16 too - there is quite long config file, im not sure about abou SB16DMA16 variable it has default value 3 and its not affected by config utility - its 3 for high DMA 7 (like 1 for 5 etc..), otherwise i dont know where could be probably, except wider games selection, i have tried IRQ 5 /7 and i thing that high DMA, should be even used for old games with SB no 16 option.

Strange is that install / config utility sound tests are working flawlessly right after installation.. So it direct me to conclusion to that problem could be games specific. Maybe someone has more experience with this card.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-11 @ 08:34

After all I think the best card is still the ess-solo1. the only thing is to patch the not working sound engines to the way the miles-soundengine works with that card.
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Kamerat » 2018-11-11 @ 08:41

ruthan wrote:im now fiddling with ALS4000.. so far i tested only VIA 880 Ultra, there are 2 drivers in Vogons Library.

Did you try the "Legacy DMA mode" with the unofficial initializer? Try it both with edge and level triggered IRQ.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-11 @ 09:32

dr.zeissler wrote:After all I think the best card is still the ess-solo1. the only thing is to patch the not working sound engines to the way the miles-soundengine works with that card.

Pleas keep in mind that im testing on fastest as possible machine, i have not some super socket 7 or slot1 machines, otherwise would be better process test card on such machine first and after than try new ones at start of testing i even dont know if my bargain eBay card are working at all and i have to get familiar with their drivers, make easy to test drivers packages etc. When you look at Kamerat sheet, best cards seems to be Yamahas and FM801 which are running on majority tested chipsets, others likes Aureal looks so far promising but we need to test more chipsets.. ESS Solo-1 have quite a lot testing results and not look too much compatible.. it doesnt means that it can work great for someone.. Yamaha driver seems to have quite a lot problems regardless of chipsets (you can easilly reach 75-85% compatibility, but i would be suprised if last 10/15 would be unfixable in DOS, for example because driver not supporting realmode), they are from example its one of two (second is AurealV1, but Rayer is skilled fiddler..) which are working with P67.

It would be nice to involve in testing other guys.. for example today i sawEliandas collection and he virtually can test everything in sheet. My target is really only X58 machine, i still kept i865 which i had before, before i switch to X58 as main retro machine (i need better MB, case, cooler) and i have found at home some Asrock VIA 880 ultra board which im now using as open test bench, so i could relatively easily check if compatibility is better, but that is all. After i finish ALS4000 testing, i would probably tested all cards which could without big stretch of imagination work with my machines.

Kamerat wrote:Did you try the "Legacy DMA mode" with the unofficial initializer? Try it both with edge and level triggered IRQ.

I can confirm than unofficial driver is working only with DMA mode 3 - Write back DMA mode, i after Doom II problem and check that unofficial driver has "only" 1200 lines of code, aimed to test official driver. I dunno which DMA it is using, but its quite possible that it is some which would be not compatible with VIA 880, i can see that ALS4000 is working with Via P4M900 which usually have same compatibility like 880 Ultra.. There is comment in sheet:
Code: Select all
Using PCI slot #1.
Plug And Play OS set to YES.
Reserved IRQ 7.
Used "T4DWIRQ 7 LEVEL" before init.
"WAVEINIT /0" to force init

I can try other slot, it not usually help me with compatibility.. i dont have in the bios Plug and Play OS setting, that Asrock bios is pretty simple, i dunno what is "T4DWIRQ 7 level" or "WAVEINIT /0" , its probably some additional utility and if was tested official or unofficial driver.
I didnt test IRQ - level / edge, its somewhere descption what is means, only know that im using Yamahas with it (but i dunno if it is really neccesary) and with which settings to test it? Im trying to avoid too many variables problems..

Update: There something about IRQ triggering modes:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt ... interrupts
Last edited by ruthan on 2018-11-11 @ 12:01, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-11 @ 09:42

There is no difference for me between yamaha and ess-solo compatibilty wise. Yamaha does not work on the i815e on the same games that the solo1 does.
The solo has the advantage not requiring emm386 loaded and not producing lockups after quitting a game. The solo1 for me is the clear winner in this comparison.
There are only a view soundengines (but often used) that do not work on the solo1...but you are right I'll have to test the solo1 in early chipsets.

I my opinion kicking out the highdma feature of the later ones will solve that issue. look at doom1 early version against the later 1.666.

The other workaround is using win98se with the wdm-drivers. If the game does work within win98se-fullscreen-dos and does not play fm, everything will be fine.

If only I would have the knowlegde of fixing that high-dma issue...
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-11 @ 09:59

Check my compatibility testing sheet, if i tested same games which are not working for you.. some newer chipsets could be more compatible, there could be some other source of incompatibility, botched BIOS, human error, check results of other people with same chipset etc.. If the would be help of others, i would have much worse results.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-11 @ 10:19

Maybe you know it Elianda, just send me link on 40 page long Dos sound card /compatibility doc. Its in German, but for every card is there some final table which is understandable for everyone:
ftp://retronn.de/docs/pc_hardware/pcisoundcards_v12.pdf
Update: Its good example that even with i430TX chipset have PCI cards compatibility problems.
Update2: ESS Solo-1 is only card, which pass all the test.
Last edited by ruthan on 2018-11-11 @ 11:35, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-11 @ 10:29

It's ok but two major problems for the ess1938 solo1 in dr. m.huth's testing rig:

1. There is a working dosmixer! and it works flawlessly.
2. There is no real benefit of testing a PCI soundcard on chipsets and boards which still have ISA for a soundcard.

The actual testings rig is great. i810/815/845 is missing though.
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-11 @ 10:43

dr.zeissler wrote:1. There is a working dosmixer! and it works flawlessly.

If is not default mixer ok, there are few 3rd party mixer utils for SB compatible cards, but someone else would have to give you more details, i usually once adjust sound levels and im done with it, im not recording sound in DOS etc..

2. There is no real benefit of testing a PCI soundcard on chipsets and boards which still have ISA for a soundcard.

In pure theory there could be some technical benefit of newer cards, like cleaner sound, some cards have digital audio output working with DOS, which could be quite important for guys which are using DOS to play / create music with picky ears. But yeah for me compatibility first and if board has ISA slots and that ISA card has drivers for all other OSes on machine, it make no sense to use anything else from gaming perspective.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-11 @ 12:54

The mixer is no third party it's essvol and it comes from ess. It's not in the package and it comes with another older soundcard but it works just fine.
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-11 @ 13:06

Checked my FutroC100. Switched the Lpt-Port to Irq5 to get the solo1 on Irq7. Works really good.
Even the WDM-Driver uses Irq7 but in Dos the card uses Irq5. It seems the the internal SB-Emulation on Win98 is hardwired to Irq5.
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-11-11 @ 14:15

dr.zeissler wrote:The mixer is no third party it's essvol and it comes from ess. It's not in the package and it comes with another older soundcard but it works just fine.

I know i was talking about 3rd mixer for all / other cards.. if it would be argument to stay with problematic HW combo.

dr.zeissler wrote:Checked my FutroC100. Switched the Lpt-Port to Irq5 to get the solo1 on Irq7. Works really good.

Do you really need LPT at all, its good best practice disable in bios everything what you really dont need (or not need at the moment of testing problematic test case) and with modern MB use some special DOS profile where you disable almost everything. From my experience everything sound card related should be tested with both IRQ 5/7, all memory managers modes, 32 MB of ram etc.. until is declared as not working.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Kamerat » 2018-11-11 @ 17:09

ruthan wrote:I can confirm than unofficial driver is working only with DMA mode 3 - Write back DMA mode, i after Doom II problem and check that unofficial driver has "only" 1200 lines of code, aimed to test official driver. I dunno which DMA it is using, but its quite possible that it is some which would be not compatible with VIA 880, i can see that ALS4000 is working with Via P4M900 which usually have same compatibility like 880 Ultra..

Find this a little strange that the newer P4M900+VT8237S seems more compatible than PT880 Ultra+VT8237A and that's also the case with the ESS Solo-1, perhaps Asrock left out something during the chipset initialization.
ruthan wrote:There is comment in sheet:
Code: Select all
Using PCI slot #1.
Plug And Play OS set to YES.
Reserved IRQ 7.
Used "T4DWIRQ 7 LEVEL" before init.
"WAVEINIT /0" to force init

I can try other slot, it not usually help me with compatibility.. i dont have in the bios Plug and Play OS setting, that Asrock bios is pretty simple, i dunno what is "T4DWIRQ 7 level" or "WAVEINIT /0" , its probably some additional utility and if was tested official or unofficial driver.
I didnt test IRQ - level / edge, its somewhere descption what is means, only know that im using Yamahas with it (but i dunno if it is really neccesary) and with which settings to test it? Im trying to avoid too many variables problems..

Update: There something about IRQ triggering modes:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt ... interrupts

The "T4DWIRQ" utility is a 3rd party tool for changing the IRQ and IRQ mode of the Trident 4DWave and SiS 7018. "WAVEINIT" is the initializer for the Trident 4DWave and the "/0" option is for overiding/force the bus detection.
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