VOGONS


First post, by villahed94

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Hi there!
I recently decided to give a second lease on life to my old Pentium 4 computer from 2002.
It's got a P4B266-LA motherboard, 1.9Ghz Willamette P4 and for GPU an NVIDIA GeForce FX5500 AGP.
I decided to install on it Windows 98 and XP (originally came with XP only) and reading upon some pages I decided to get a CMI8738 given that this motherboard is PCI only and it has a clone OPL3 in hardware.
Needless to say, getting proper SoundBlaster support has been a chore.
In 98 at least games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Day of the Tentacle have worked flawlessly, but others like X-Wing (FD and CD versions) have several issues, mostly concerning SoundBlaster effects not working.
in DOS the situation is much worse. I have installed the drivers and the best I've obtained is this:

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DOS errors with CMI8738.
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. Obviously sound doesn't work at all in DOS.
As for XP, OPL is partially working as a MIDI device using a modified kernel mode driver posted here in Vogons.

Has anybody got it working in DOS mode, or at least solved some of the DAC issues on 98?
Thanks in advance.

Reply 1 of 19, by nforce4max

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Most people try to avoid this by going with ISA sound cards as well pci cards that feature SB link support paired with a board that has native support.

I recommend that you consider a more compatible dos build with ISA slots like a socket 5/7 system as they can emulate various 386/486 class speeds.

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 2 of 19, by villahed94

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I originally tried that, to get a 440BX board. However there's a lack of late 90s era computers over here. Either people kept them or discarded them and the only ones I can get are from the 386 or early 486 era 😒.
Therefore in the meanwhile I'm kinda stuck with this one, but it seems some guys managed to get it working.

Reply 3 of 19, by Skyscraper

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villahed94 wrote:

I originally tried that, to get a 440BX board. However there's a lack of late 90s era computers over here. Either people kept them or discarded them and the only ones I can get are from the 386 or early 486 era 😒.
Therefore in the meanwhile I'm kinda stuck with this one, but it seems some guys managed to get it working.

Vortex 1, Vortex 2 and ESS Solo are three PCI sound chipsets that should work better.

You can find cheap sound cards on Ebay with these chipsets, buy some really cheap ones and if you find a chipset that works for you can start looking for a better card using the same chipset.

Soundblaster PCI 64/128 and Ensoniq AudioPCI could probably also work but I have no experience when it comes to trying to use them in real DOS, perhaps some other member has tried that.

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Reply 4 of 19, by alexanrs

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If you need good OPL3 then one of the few cards that have it are Yamaha YMF-7x4 based cards.

If you don't, I know my SBLive! isn't very troublesome in pure DOS, but do yourself a favour and skip its OPL emulation, and use GM instead.

Reply 5 of 19, by Kamerat

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Tried another PCI slot? Remember that digitized sound in pure DOS only work in games that don't need DMA support, never got digitized sound working on newer games like Doom on the CMI8738.

DOS Sound Blaster compatibility: PCI sound cards vs. PCI chipsets
YouTube channel

Reply 6 of 19, by kanecvr

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Soundblaster PCI 64/128 and Ensoniq AudioPCI and the Yamaha DS-XG cards (YMF724, 74x, 75x) work well in dos - so midi synth tough. You do get OPL3 in dos (the yamaha cards have better OPL3 sound by far) and you get a hardware assisted synth under windows 95/98. Some games (dune 2, Monkey island, supaplex) run well in win95/98 so you can get synth music with those cards under windows, but for dos you're stuck with OPL3.

One weird quirk about the yamaha DS-XG cards (except for the 75x series) - duke 3D and a few other games will not work under windows, but they will work flawlessly under DOS with both digital audio and OPL music.

Reply 7 of 19, by Tertz

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kanecvr wrote:

You do get OPL3 in dos (the yamaha cards have better OPL3 sound by far)

I saw one source said YMF PCI in pure DOS works as OPL2 only, so without FM-stereo. Don't know is it true.
The other thing following from here: YMF724 and later 744,754 have different chips for FM. Does they sound identically or not - is not known.

DOSBox CPU Benchmark
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide

Reply 8 of 19, by kanecvr

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I haven't tested myself. I have a couple of YMF724 cards and one YMF754 - I'll give them a whirl one day to see witch one sounds better.

Reply 9 of 19, by nforce4max

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Those YMF724 cards ban be a bit expensive from what I can find on the NA eBay, what country or state do you live and maybe we can help you find some 90s gear as that 478 board isn't that great. If you are NZ or AU I understand not being able to find more appropriate retro gear and the prices down there are steep.

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 10 of 19, by kanecvr

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Holy sh|t you weren't kidding! 90$??? I got two YMF724 for less then 10$ a piece... they're pretty common here... I mean yeah it's a good card but it's not 90$ good if you know what I mean... for that kind of scratch you can get a proper external midi synth that actually works as general midi in DOS...

Reply 11 of 19, by nforce4max

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kanecvr wrote:

Holy sh|t you weren't kidding! 90$??? I got two YMF724 for less then 10$ a piece... they're pretty common here... I mean yeah it's a good card but it's not 90$ good if you know what I mean... for that kind of scratch you can get a proper external midi synth that actually works as general midi in DOS...

Try $105 USD atm 😲

Eastern Europe is a gold mine for old hardware compared to the west, the prices here can be absurd because of the resellers who mark things up several hundred %.

Edit: found a UK source for almost $40

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aopen-AW724-Yamaha-XG … 18AAOSwZG9Wl6mn

Doesn't have the SB Link header installed but it looks like the pads are there for a connector at the end of the card.

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 12 of 19, by kanecvr

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These are the two 724 cards I have:

lmjH1Ugl.jpg

I also have a 754 that looks exactly like this: http://www.ferra.ru/images/163/163138.jpg but no pictures of the actual card and it's 3 am here so I can't take any w/o waking up my fiance..

Reply 13 of 19, by villahed94

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Perhaps the PCI slots have a part in this mystery. Going through Device Manager, it marks 2 items that are interesting: 1.- ISAPNP Read Data Port and 2.- an ISA-PCI bridge.
I will see if swapping the card makes an effect under DOS.

On an unrelated note, what do you think about these YMF724 cards I found? I "could" get one soon-ish.(Links in Spanish)
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-53451 … ha-tedsales-_JM
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-53852 … e-audio-pci-_JM

Reply 14 of 19, by kanecvr

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For the CMI 8738 you should go into bios, then "PNP / PCI Configuration" and set "Plug and Play OS" to NO, and "Resources controlled by" to "manual", then do a "reset configuration data" to "enabled", save and exit BIOS and try again. If it still refuses to work, try setting IRQ 5 to "Legacy ISA Only" - this should reserve it at POST but you can still have it addressed trough software (the CMI dos driver loader).

If your motherboard lacks the above cfg settings, you're out of luck getting some PCI sound cards to work in dos...

Reply 16 of 19, by kanecvr

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Glad to be of assistance. Doom works fine for me on C-Media PCI cards, even modern ones. Just make sure you set everything up correctly from doom's setup program. Also make sure you have the "SET BLASTER" argument in autoexec bat.

From my experience, DMA conflicts usually manifest as garbled / distorted audio, freezes and or crashes, so I don't think that's the problem...

Reply 17 of 19, by Kamerat

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kanecvr wrote:

Glad to be of assistance. Doom works fine for me on C-Media PCI cards, even modern ones. Just make sure you set everything up correctly from doom's setup program. Also make sure you have the "SET BLASTER" argument in autoexec bat.

From my experience, DMA conflicts usually manifest as garbled / distorted audio, freezes and or crashes, so I don't think that's the problem...

Can you post the driver you're using? Never got digitized sound from Doom working in pure DOS mode, maybe it's a driver issue?

DOS Sound Blaster compatibility: PCI sound cards vs. PCI chipsets
YouTube channel

Reply 18 of 19, by villahed94

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I am using the Sabrent DOS driver (v1.98)
As for DMA issues, I think I am getting some since some games like to freeze up and X Wing's samples are garbled.
For Doom, I got the following messages when using -devparm:

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Doom doesn't seem like it's detecting the card correctly.

Reply 19 of 19, by villahed94

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I just got a YMF744 based board and while it works in Windows, on DOS it's iffy.
I can't get Soundblaster audio to work because the moment I run the dsdma command, my computer instantly reboots.
I thought the i845 chipset supported D-DMA, right?