First post, by nemail

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Hi all!

I have just kind of finished my new 386 build based on

Asus ISA-386C
Intel 386DX-33
no co-processor (yet)
16MB memory (4x4)
Conner 400MB HDD
Tseng ET3000
Sound Blaster AWE64
Some Goldstar Gear Multi I/O card with IDE, Floppy, Parallel, Serial and Gameport
Some Quad speed CD ROM drive
In a decent case with turbo button

Speedsys is showing decent results but The Lion King for example runs very slow, even with the Turbo button pressed (which makes it faster, but still too slow).
The Lost Vikings runs well but has no sound, no matter which Sound card I choose in the games setup.
And I'm not able to get my CD ROM drive working, the best I was able to achieve by trying various drivers in config.sys with shcdx33 instead of mscdex is that it got a letter assigned but whenever I tried to access a CD, it reports an (interrupt) error.
may the goldstar i/o card incompatible with cd drives? or is it the bios (it has no option of selecting a cd drive)?
speedsys and also one of the drivers i've tried detects the cd drive...

thanks all for your replies!

Reply 1 of 3, by matze79

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You have a slow Videocard, the Tseng ET3000 is better suited for a 286/386SX Build.
Do you have Cache Memory on your Mainboard ?
Better get a Fast ET4000/CirrusLogic/Western Digital Card.
The AWE64 needs CTCM Software to get it fully recognized by all Games.

https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever
https://shadowcircuit.de - german retro computer board

Reply 2 of 3, by nemail

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thanks, figured that it was a TSENG ET4000AX in my 386 but I also had a ET4000W32i 1MB (Hercules Dynamite) so I put that one in.
Still Lion King unfortunately runs too slow to play (again, faster than before but still too slow).
The last card I could try would be a SPEA V7 VEGA (has some cirrus logic chip). Worth a try? Vikings runs really fast with the Tseng ET4000W32i however.

Also CTCM software is installed and it detects the CT4500 flawlessly (and also sets the BLASTER variable at boot time).
Is the AWE64/CT4500 a good choice for DOS gaming anyway? I'd also have a CT2800 (Vibra16S with Yamaha OPL YMF262-M) and a CT2290 Sound Blaster 16 with CT1747 OPL chip and two IDE Interfaces (one of them says creative/panasonic).

regarding the cd-drive, should I try to connect it to a sound blaster IDE interface instead of the gear Multi I/O card?

edit: sorry, forgot about your cache memory question. i'm not sure, i think so, i've attached an image of the mainboard.

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edit2: during boot it says "64KB cache memory"
edit3: the SPEA V7 VEGA card i have has a Cirrus Logic CL-GD5426-80QC-A chip on it. as far as wikipedia knows, this should be on a VLB card, mine is ISA only. I tried Lion King with it and it was even slower than the ET4000AX allthough I found a post on the internet which says that the GD5426 should be faster than the ET4000.

i also tried the CT2290 which made sound in the Lost Vikings working but now Lion King is mute 😁 but i guess i'll just have to install some driver here (didn't look into that yet as I'm still investigating on the Lion King speed issue).
edit4: continuing my monologue 😀 figured out that The Lion King runs way faster (I'd say nearly perfectly) as soon as I configure "no soundcard" in the games setup tool. So I guess it either has something to do with the currently installed driver or maybe the system is just not powerful enough to handle the game with sound?

Reply 3 of 3, by nemail

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this 386dx build is now working perfectly with the hercules dynamite tseng4000w32i 1MB card + the CT2290 SB16 IDE.
I've connected a new cd-rom drive to the sound blaster card and everything works now.

so it seems that the performance problems have been caused by the AWE64 card and/or the installed driver. as soon as i swapped the card with a SB16 IDE and installed SB16 drivers, the performance issue went away.

the cd-drive i initially tried also seems to be defective or at least incompatible, another one works perfectly (on the SB16 IDE). Didn't try on the goldstar multi i/o card though cause i changed the mounting place of the hdd in the case in a way that i needed a second IDE channel and cable for the cd-drive (and the goldstar gear has only one).

the SPEA V7 VEGA with Cirrus Logic CL-GD5426-80QC-A by the way was as fast as the ET4000w32i 1MB as soon as i sorted out the sound card issue so it seems to be a decent card too.

just a side note, my serial mouse didn't want to work at first. after one and a half hours of troubleshooting and searching I figured out that the serial cable from the gear i/o card was 1) connected the wrong way round (no pin one or other markers on the i/o card!) AND was defective(d'oh). so i changed that cable too and connected it the right way and boom also the mouse is working now.

that really wasn't an easy build, spent more time with troubleshooting than building. but now it is working, except of the RTL8019AS ISA network card (ARRGGH). the windows driver says at windows start time "no 8019 card detected"... 🤣 i'll maybe leave it without a NIC