First post, by dr_st
A few years ago, before joining VOGONS, I was under the misconception that PCI sound cards are never good for pure DOS gaming, because they require emulation, which almost never works due to motherboard compatibility issues (had some bad experience with SBLive! DOS drivers), and when it works gets you only basic digital sound and crappy FM, if at all.
Now I know that this is not the case, as there appear to be PCI cards with very reliable drivers for ISA emulation in pure DOS (Digital + FM), and some of them have Wavetable connectors that can be used for connecting General MIDI daughterboards, essentially giving the same compatibility level as a good ISA DOS card.
Cards based on Aureal Vortex chipset are frequently recommended.
- Are there meaningful difference between Vortex and Vortex2?
- Any particular cards known to be more reliable than others?
- Any differences when it comes to Win9x/XP compatibility? (to get the best of both worlds) I understand that some (all?) of them support A3D.
To summarize, what I am looking for is:
- PCI Audio Card with reliable DOS drivers for SoundBlaster compatibility, including digital effects and FM (don't care if SBPro or SB16-level)
- Working Wavetable connector for General MIDI daughterboards which must also be fully supported in DOS
- Preferably a card available on eBay etc without breaking the bank.
- Don't care about genuine OPL3 FM, as long as the FM is working and sounds OK (not worse than Creative CQM)
Additional clarification: I am looking for general tips, not for a specific build. Thus, cards that are compatible with a wide variety of systems are preferred.