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Recommend a PCI Sound Card for DOS

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Reply 100 of 115, by dr.zeissler

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Very interesting...at some point a real pci-soundcard does not make a (positive) difference to a "codec" on the motherboard !

I am a big fan of the ESS-SOLO1 PCI Soundcard, under plain Dos it does not require EMM386, SBpro emulation works very good, FM sound really good, only some soundengines do not work (doom, hexen, heretic, duke3d etc.) DukeNukem2 has no issues, even samples are played... this is due to a PII/III/IV system with chipsets 810e/815e/845, when it comes to 845gv/865/915 the situation changes.

845gv still good in plain dos, but win98 the vxd-driver does not install "dos-sound emulation", the wdm-driver leads to a bluescreen. Only the integrated winme-wdm driver do work, BUT they do not support legacy dos-emulation and have no midi-option to get a dreamblaster s2 on the ess to work.

At that point I changed to to soundmax-onboard-codec of the mainbaord. These drivers do not install legacy-sb-emultion too, but the win98se "sbpro" emulation works very well. exact the problematic games with the ess-solo do work fine with the onboard-codec and win98se's sb-pro emulation. Currently I am checking out what is the best option for the midi-music beside the MS-GM-Softsynth.

It seems that some programs do find the "codec" in plain dos, but because there is no "mixer" the sound is muted. Does anyone have an idea how to change the mixersettings for the codec while not having windows-loaded.

Thx
Doc

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Reply 101 of 115, by lordmogul

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Got some experiene with a SB 128 PCI under a mixed 98 SE/DOS einvironment.
Currently looking for an "upgrade"

While the driver needs emm386 and uses around 2.2 k, it can be loaded high. (managed to get 624k free base with the audio driver, mouse, keyboard, disk cache)
Initial setup has to be done under Windows, and requires an older driver (the one available on the Creative page doesn't offer the MP-401 emulation and DOS support)

The sound under DOS is not the best, and it requires emm386 to load, but depending on the setup it might b e a usable card.

Gonna look into the ESS-Solo1 aswell, might be better than the Ensoniq/Creative card.

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Reply 102 of 115, by Kamerat

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lordmogul wrote:

Gonna look into the ESS-Solo1 aswell, might be better than the Ensoniq/Creative card.

If you got an Intel chipset newer than the 440BX on your motherboard then the Solo1 isn't a good option if the motherboard lacks a PC/PCI connector. For VIA chipsets the Solo1 is a great option.

DOS Sound Blaster compatibility: PCI sound cards vs. PCI chipsets
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Reply 103 of 115, by appiah4

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Kamerat wrote:
lordmogul wrote:

Gonna look into the ESS-Solo1 aswell, might be better than the Ensoniq/Creative card.

If you got an Intel chipset newer than the 440BX on your motherboard then the Solo1 isn't a good option if the motherboard lacks a PC/PCI connector. For VIA chipsets the Solo1 is a great option.

Not sure why you say that but it works perfectly fine without PC/PCI on my i810/i815 motherboards for example.

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Reply 104 of 115, by bregolin

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I'm just posting to wish a happy 10 year threadversary 😀

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Reply 105 of 115, by Kamerat

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appiah4 wrote:

Not sure why you say that but it works perfectly fine without PC/PCI on my i810/i815 motherboards for example.

Because I could not get it to work myself on the i815 and the i875 chipset. Which version of the initializer and TSR are you using and what mode does it initialize to? Also want to know the motherboards you have been using with success.

DOS Sound Blaster compatibility: PCI sound cards vs. PCI chipsets
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Reply 106 of 115, by ruthan

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Nice thread.

I still dont understand what is wrong in quote 10 years post. In science we quote much older papers and its still consider as best practice, if information is relevant.

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 raw HW.

Reply 107 of 115, by dr.zeissler

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Checked YMH744 and ESSSOLO in my new Shuttle SK43G...and what do you think?
YMH no DMA, so only a view games do SFX, FM is working everywhere...and the SOLO1 ?
Guess what, it works EVERYWHERE! so no issues like on i815e, Pinball Dreams/Fantasies/Extreme/Doom/Tyrian everything works! (CPUCache must be disabled for some games)

ESSSOLO1 clear winner!

Doc

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 108 of 115, by ruthan

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dr.zeissler wrote:

YMH no DMA, so only a view games do SFX, FM is working everywhere...and the SOLO1 ?

Did you tried DSDMA.exe and IRQ Edge? For now its reported as working with i810 what is very similar, but only with PC/PCI link cable, check if you MB has this header.. cable can nebo made from some leftovers.

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 raw HW.

Reply 109 of 115, by dr.zeissler

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No PC/PCI link, DSDMA has to be tested. Only OOTB installation tested.

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Reply 110 of 115, by ruthan

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dr.zeissler wrote:

No PC/PCI link, DSDMA has to be tested. Only OOTB installation tested.

Even ESS Solo would probably work even better with PC/PCI link.. Regardless if want to test really something problematic.. test Ishar II + III and Turrican II all have free demoversions.

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 raw HW.

Reply 111 of 115, by dr.zeissler

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I will play the Ishar-Series either on 68K or PPC Mac, but Turrican2 would be a nice test. Searching the Demo...
I think I have no motherboard with that PC/PCI link feature.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 112 of 115, by ruthan

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dr.zeissler wrote:

I will play the Ishar-Series either on 68K or PPC Mac, but Turrican2 would be a nice test. Searching the Demo....

Demos download links are linked in mySound card compatibility sheet too - first tab, second column.. i even made 700 MB testing packing with all available demos in list, but i need some hosting for it.
Maybe some games have better ports, but doesnt means that there are still good testcase for sound cards, if these would run, allmost everything would probably run to too.

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 raw HW.

Reply 113 of 115, by dr.zeissler

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I found a solution for the problematic sound-engines that did not work on my ess-solo1 before. Rott, Duke3D, Swarrior, Doom1 (except the very early version), Doom2, Hexen1, Heretic1, etc.) had always an initialisation error on my ess-solo1. But now I found a workaround!!!!

I use Win95b and the ESS-Driver 1149. If I make a normal install these games won't work under win95b and plain dos. But If I change the settings of the "ESS-Dos Emultion" manually it works!
I change it to "A240 I7 D1 MPU300". If I do so, everything works just great. I don't know what caused the problems if I let it on "auto" and it will use "A220 I7 D1 MPU 330" and I always get an error on starting those games, but with my setting everything works. To resume ESS-Solo1 is by far! the best PCI-Soundcard if you want to have sound in "dos,/win3x, dos-fullscreen under Win9x, etc.". Great find and pure conicidence, because after swapping another soundcard in that build the ess-solo changed it settings to "A240/I7/D1/300" and I was stunned that everything works, including the games that never worked before or had some strange glitches (e.g. games from RAGE-Software).

Yeah!

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 114 of 115, by pc-sound-legacy

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2021-10-06, 06:52:
I found a solution for the problematic sound-engines that did not work on my ess-solo1 before. Rott, Duke3D, Swarrior, Doom1 (ex […]
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I found a solution for the problematic sound-engines that did not work on my ess-solo1 before. Rott, Duke3D, Swarrior, Doom1 (except the very early version), Doom2, Hexen1, Heretic1, etc.) had always an initialisation error on my ess-solo1. But now I found a workaround!!!!

I use Win95b and the ESS-Driver 1149. If I make a normal install these games won't work under win95b and plain dos. But If I change the settings of the "ESS-Dos Emultion" manually it works!
I change it to "A240 I7 D1 MPU300". If I do so, everything works just great. I don't know what caused the problems if I let it on "auto" and it will use "A220 I7 D1 MPU 330" and I always get an error on starting those games, but with my setting everything works. To resume ESS-Solo1 is by far! the best PCI-Soundcard if you want to have sound in "dos,/win3x, dos-fullscreen under Win9x, etc.". Great find and pure conicidence, because after swapping another soundcard in that build the ess-solo changed it settings to "A240/I7/D1/300" and I was stunned that everything works, including the games that never worked before or had some strange glitches (e.g. games from RAGE-Software).

Yeah!

Hallo Doc., thanks for sharing this. I remember I've set up my Solo-1 to 240 once because I run into this issue but didn't think about it again. I totally agree Solo-1 is a great (if not the best) PCI soundcard for DOS gaming. If someone asks me I always recommend this card, as it is cheap, very compatible, good FM and good General Midi wavetable in DOS games. I found a german test of several PCI soundcards here, maybe this is interesting for you:
https://www.tecchannel.de/a/amp/test-3d-soundkarten,401445
The card (Terratec 128i PCI) didn't get the highscores but of course they weren't focused on DOS compatibility - we know better:-) Cheers, Ernie

Reply 115 of 115, by dr.zeissler

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But my solution does not work for intel 815e and upwards 🙁
On lower intel chipsets and on the other ones (ALI, VIA) this seems so work.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington