VOGONS


Reply 80 of 90, by Shponglefan

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In an effort to test and troubleshoot the Windows 3.11 audio issues, I decided to set up a standalone test bench using another DFI G7S620-N motherboard.

This way I can more easily experiment with things as I try different configurations.

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I have an Orpheus II LT card I'm using for this setup. Since it's basically the same as the full Orpheus II but minus the GUS part, it should hopefully suffice.

So far I have installed DOS 6.22 + WFW 3.11, along with audio drivers. It's replicating the same audio lagging issue I have on my main setup. This at least rules out some of the non-audio related drivers (e.g. SVGA video, CD-ROM, etc.), since I don't have those installed yet.

But I still don't know what the main issue is. I may start playing with different audio settings (ports, DMA, etc.). Alternatively, I might try the regular Crystal drivers instead of the Orpheus II version.

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Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
486 DX4-100 with 6 sound cards
486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards

Reply 81 of 90, by Bancho

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Man this is a great thread. Its very similar concept to my system, although mine is Socket 478. I really need to get mine back up and running.

Do you think this will ultimately cover the wide gamut of games DOS up to 98 (Even early XP?)

My system was a P4 3.06ghz with a FX 5900XT

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Reply 82 of 90, by Shponglefan

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Bancho wrote on 2024-04-03, 11:22:

Man this is a great thread. Its very similar concept to my system, although mine is Socket 478. I really need to get mine back up and running.

Do you think this will ultimately cover the wide gamut of games DOS up to 98 (Even early XP?)

My goal with this build is to cover 1993 to 2003. For DOS games that aren't speed sensitive, it does quite well. I haven't run into any major incompatibilities.

While I've done some initial testing of speed sensitive games and results are promising, I need to fully play through some of those games to know how well they'll work.

For Windows 98 and XP it's been rock solid based on initial testing/usage. I'll know more in the coming weeks and months as I put it through its paces.

My system was a P4 3.06ghz with a FX 5900XT

That looks like good specs for a similar build. Especially with the all important ISA slot(s) for DOS compatible sound cards. 😁

I'm using a slightly older GeForce 4, so not sure how they compare in terms of compatibility with the FX5900XT. I might try the latter at some point, since it would yield more performance headroom for XP.

Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
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486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards

Reply 83 of 90, by Joseph_Joestar

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Shponglefan wrote on 2024-04-03, 21:01:

I'm using a slightly older GeForce 4, so not sure how they compare in terms of compatibility with the FX5900XT. I might try the latter at some point, since it would yield more performance headroom for XP.

Both cards are similar in terms of Win9x game compatibility. But early GeForce 4 Ti cards can use 30.82 drivers which are more suitable for Need for Speed games (especially High Stakes). Also, the text corruption is more pronounced on FX cards.

That said, FX cards are better for gaming at high resolutions like 1600x1200. They also have less of a performance penalty for cranking up AA and AF. Lastly, Radeon X800 cards have even more power, but it comes at the cost of some minor compatibility issues.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 2100+ / ECS K7VTA3 / Voodoo3 / Audigy2 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy2
PC#4: i5-3570K / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 970 / X-Fi

Reply 84 of 90, by Shponglefan

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2024-04-03, 21:15:

Lastly, Radeon X800 cards have even more power, but it comes at the cost of some minor compatibility issues.

How is the X800 for DOS compatibility?

I have an X800 and haven't really decided what I'm going to use it for.

Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
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486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards

Reply 85 of 90, by Joseph_Joestar

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Shponglefan wrote on 2024-04-03, 21:34:

How is the X800 for DOS compatibility?

I have an X800 and haven't really decided what I'm going to use it for.

I haven't used it in pure DOS a whole lot. The system where I have it isn't really geared toward that environment.

I would assume compatibility is similar to the other Radeon cards, which Gona has tested here.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 2100+ / ECS K7VTA3 / Voodoo3 / Audigy2 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy2
PC#4: i5-3570K / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 970 / X-Fi

Reply 86 of 90, by Shponglefan

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2024-04-03, 21:43:

I would assume compatibility is similar to the other Radeon cards, which Gona has tested here.

So not as ideal as a GeForce4 in all likelihood.

I suppose I can always set up a testbench and run it through some tests...

Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
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486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards

Reply 87 of 90, by Shponglefan

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Windows 3.1 MS Arcade.png
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I've been continuing to test audio under Windows 3.1 using MS Arcade.

I set up another test bench with a Socket 7 + Pentium 100. This was to hopefully rule out any speed sensitivity or other issues with the Pentium 4 setup. Unfortunately I still get the same audio lagging issues in MS Arcade.

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I even tried an original Orpheus I for good measure, but the issue persists. Tried both the regular Crystal drivers and the modified Orpheus drivers. Even tried clean installs of both Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Nothing has made a difference.

edited:

After some searching, it looks like this issue was reported back in 2022: Re: Orpheus Soundcard: a new DOS soundcard with SPDIF/OPL3/MPU support

Unfortunately doesn't look like there was any follow-up with a resolution.

edited part 2:

Just tested everything on a 486 DX2-66 setup and same results: system lag whenever audio plays. 🙁

Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
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486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards

Reply 88 of 90, by Shponglefan

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Installed the GUS PnP drivers for Windows 3.11. These drivers worked much better than the Crystal ones. No more system lagging / audio stuttering with games.

They did overwrite the MIDI map as noted by keropi in the Orpheus II thread. But otherwise, everything seems to work.

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I did have an initial issue with an audible tone/buzzing noise after installing them. This seems to be related to the Crystal Audio input. Changing the input to "Loop" fixes the problem and the buzzing goes away.

Not sure exactly what the issue is, since I don't have the same problem with other operating systems.

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In other Windows 3.11 news, I did run into a problem with SimAnt. The game crashes after a few minutes with a General Protection fault in the modified SVGA driver. I haven't experienced crashes with other games or programs yet, so I'm hoping this is an isolated issue.

I intend to install a number of Maxis games so we'll see how those perform.

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Reply 89 of 90, by Shponglefan

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Installed video and audio drivers for Windows NT 4.0.

For audio drivers I used the Crystal Audio 4237 NT 4.0 drivers. They seemed to install fine and basic audio playback is working. Haven't tried any games yet, but that will be the next thing to test.

Also still need to install an MPU-401 driver to try to get proper wavetable card support.

For video drivers I installed nVidia 43.45 drivers from the Vogons library. Also installed fine, but will need some games testing to ensure things are fully working.

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Reply 90 of 90, by Shponglefan

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Continued testing various Maxis games under Windows 3.11.

Speed sensitive is definitely a challenge with these games with the faster speed options enabled. Fortunately, they all contain options to run at slower speeds or even paused.

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I'm going to continue to experiment with throttling options and see if I can strike a balance between performance and playability (at faster settings). This would be especially nice for SimTower which only has two speed settings: fast mode enabled or disabled.

I do have a 486 DX-33 setup alongside the Pentium 4, so I might try duplicating my Windows 3.11 install on the 486. This would give me a period correct benchmark for how quickly these games run in comparison.

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Played some more SimAnt and curiously did not see a video driver crash. I'm still not sure what triggered those previous crashes.

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On an unrelated note, I didn't realize the Windows 3.x version of SimEarth lacked audio support expect for PC speaker. Though I suppose that makes sense, since it's a Windows 3.0 game and that version of Windows lacks native sound support.

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Pentium 4 Multi-OS Build
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486 DX-33 with 5 sound cards