VOGONS


First post, by mothergoose729

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I am putting together some parts for a retro XP build - targeting 2003ish-2007 games. I am looking into sound blaster support, and according to this list I want to get a card with EAX 5.0 support to have the best audio for the most games.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_EAX_support

Later cards also improved the sampling on certain sources in addition to new features, so it seems like I want one of these cards

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mu_20K

The most affordable cards on ebay are the Xtreme music, and OEM versions of the X-Fi like the SB0770. These have 2mb of dedicated memory instead of 64mb of memory, but otherwise they support all of the same features, is that correct? I am going to be using a faster single core CPU (Celeron G407, which is based on sandy bridge), so I don't think I'll be missing the 3 fps accelerated audio gives, but would I also be losing out on other features?

I am going to be using a simple 2 channel setup with some Roland monitors, nothing too fancy, and what I want more than anything is just good compatibility with XP and XP era EAX games. Should I pay more for something like an X-Fi Titanium or a Auzen Prelude, or are these cheaper cards like the SB0770 X-Fi and Xtreme music PCI cards just as good for games?

Reply 1 of 14, by Ozzuneoj

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I used an Xtreme Music for several years and rarely had any problems. They are good cards and should work with just about anything from that time period. I don't believe you will see any noticeable improvement with any other card for games that support DirectSound3D, or OpenAL.

As far as I'm concerned, there are only two sound cards a retro-enthusiast really needs if they want to experience the best hardware accelerated 3D audio effects. The Aureal Vortex 2 for games that support A3D (Windows 9x games up to about 2001) and the X-Fi for anything that doesn't support A3D. I don't think any other cards really do anything better or different than these. I also remember thoroughly enjoying the virtual surround headphone options and the "Crystallizer" can be neat to play with too, even if it is just a fancy EQ tweak.

So yes, an X-Fi that actually supports hardware acceleration (not the "Xtreme Audio" version) is probably the perfect sound card for an XP system, and it marks the end of the hardware accelerated audio era. A year after it was released, Vista came out and no longer supported DirectSound 3D, which meant that it was suddenly a lot harder for developers to use hardware accelerated audio features. This basically killed the gaming sound card market overnight. Even if OpenAL was still an option, no one (hardware or software developers) bothered to use it to improve the audio capabilities of games beyond what we had had in 2005. Now, I can't even think of the last game that attempted to use specialized hardware audio features.

Last edited by Ozzuneoj on 2019-03-31, 01:25. Edited 2 times in total.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 2 of 14, by deleted_nk

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Some may have different opinions on this, but I think the XtremeMusic series is just as good for EAX as the Titanium. For a cheaper option with the 64MB memory, try finding a SB0460 fatality edition (has the little notch on the card). I got mine quite cheap and performs just as well as the higher end options

Reply 3 of 14, by cyclone3d

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I have a plethora of X-Fi cards. I think I may have had one Xtreme Music randomly die on me after about 5-6 years of use but other than that they have been absolutely excellent cards.

There were very, very few games that used the extra RAM so you really won't be missing anything.

Make sure to get one of the cards with the real X-Fi chip.. EMU20K1 (PCI) or EMU20K2 (PCIe). The fakey ones are stupid just like the previous fakey Audigy and Live cards.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 4 of 14, by doaks80

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mothergoose729 wrote:
I am putting together some parts for a retro XP build - targeting 2003ish-2007 games. I am looking into sound blaster support, a […]
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I am putting together some parts for a retro XP build - targeting 2003ish-2007 games. I am looking into sound blaster support, and according to this list I want to get a card with EAX 5.0 support to have the best audio for the most games.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_EAX_support

Later cards also improved the sampling on certain sources in addition to new features, so it seems like I want one of these cards

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mu_20K

The most affordable cards on ebay are the Xtreme music, and OEM versions of the X-Fi like the SB0770. These have 2mb of dedicated memory instead of 64mb of memory, but otherwise they support all of the same features, is that correct? I am going to be using a faster single core CPU (Celeron G407, which is based on sandy bridge), so I don't think I'll be missing the 3 fps accelerated audio gives, but would I also be losing out on other features?

I am going to be using a simple 2 channel setup with some Roland monitors, nothing too fancy, and what I want more than anything is just good compatibility with XP and XP era EAX games. Should I pay more for something like an X-Fi Titanium or a Auzen Prelude, or are these cheaper cards like the SB0770 X-Fi and Xtreme music PCI cards just as good for games?

With XFis you are choosing between spdif and TOSlink. Just avoid the XtremeAudio. Also consider the Asus /D2X?/.

k6-3+ 400 / s3 virge DX+voodoo1 / awe32(32mb)
via c3 866 / s3 savage4+voodoo2 sli / audigy1+awe64(8mb)
athlon xp 3200+ / voodoo5 5500 / diamond mx300
pentium4 3400 / geforce fx5950U / audigy2 ZS
core2duo E8500 / radeon HD5850 / x-fi titanium

Reply 5 of 14, by mothergoose729

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Thanks guys, I went ahead and got an Xtreme Music card. Just pulled the trigger on all the parts. All said -

Intel DZ68DB Socket LGA 1155
Intel Celeron G470 2.1ghz
Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music
Nvidia 7800gtx
4gb DDR3
120gb SSD
2TB HDD

Going to be playing games like Max Payne, Splinter Cell, Hitman, Serious Sam, and Doom 3.

Been specking it out for a long time, very excited!

Reply 6 of 14, by doaks80

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So you got a mobo from 2011 and a graphics card from 2005. You generally want to be the other way round, this system will be graphically hobbled. Consider how cheap a radeon hd 5850 can be acquired for.

k6-3+ 400 / s3 virge DX+voodoo1 / awe32(32mb)
via c3 866 / s3 savage4+voodoo2 sli / audigy1+awe64(8mb)
athlon xp 3200+ / voodoo5 5500 / diamond mx300
pentium4 3400 / geforce fx5950U / audigy2 ZS
core2duo E8500 / radeon HD5850 / x-fi titanium

Reply 7 of 14, by mothergoose729

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Yeah it is a Frankenstein build for sure. I know some older titles don't play nicely with newer graphics cards, but I don't know exactly when the problems start cropping up. Serious Sam has bad D3D performance on my GTX 1080 and I have read others had issues with the game not playing as well on a G80 gpus, but maybe that got cleared up with drivers? I'm not sure. Some splinter cell games that use shadow volume can have issues with modern cards too, and so can certain Hitman titles. I am aiming conservative on the GPU to avoid issues.

I chose the G470 because it is a single core CPU and it only consumes 35 watts. The 1155 socket has nice features like SATA 3 and USB 3.0, but I could have just as easily gone with a Sempron 145 on a AM3 board as well.

Reply 8 of 14, by doaks80

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mothergoose729 wrote:

Yeah it is a Frankenstein build for sure. I know some older titles don't play nicely with newer graphics cards, but I don't know exactly when the problems start cropping up. Serious Sam has bad D3D performance on my GTX 1080 and I have read others had issues with the game not playing as well on a G80 gpus, but maybe that got cleared up with drivers? I'm not sure. Some splinter cell games that use shadow volume can have issues with modern cards too, and so can certain Hitman titles. I am aiming conservative on the GPU to avoid issues.

I chose the G470 because it is a single core CPU and it only consumes 35 watts. The 1155 socket has nice features like SATA 3 and USB 3.0, but I could have just as easily gone with a Sempron 145 on a AM3 board as well.

See you didn't do your research. And you were not as conservative as you thought. If you want great compatibility with pre-DX9 features, you need to get a geforce FX 5900 series card. I.e. for serious sam and splinter cell. This might interest you: https://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/568939- … lems-Splinter-1

Doom3 is a pure DX9 game and very demanding , and you are better off with a much more powerful GPU from at least 2007.

You got something sort of in the middle, not that powerful, but lacking features for games that use pre-DX9 features.

k6-3+ 400 / s3 virge DX+voodoo1 / awe32(32mb)
via c3 866 / s3 savage4+voodoo2 sli / audigy1+awe64(8mb)
athlon xp 3200+ / voodoo5 5500 / diamond mx300
pentium4 3400 / geforce fx5950U / audigy2 ZS
core2duo E8500 / radeon HD5850 / x-fi titanium

Reply 9 of 14, by mothergoose729

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doaks80 wrote:
See you didn't do your research. And you were not as conservative as you thought. If you want great compatibility with pre-DX9 f […]
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mothergoose729 wrote:

Yeah it is a Frankenstein build for sure. I know some older titles don't play nicely with newer graphics cards, but I don't know exactly when the problems start cropping up. Serious Sam has bad D3D performance on my GTX 1080 and I have read others had issues with the game not playing as well on a G80 gpus, but maybe that got cleared up with drivers? I'm not sure. Some splinter cell games that use shadow volume can have issues with modern cards too, and so can certain Hitman titles. I am aiming conservative on the GPU to avoid issues.

I chose the G470 because it is a single core CPU and it only consumes 35 watts. The 1155 socket has nice features like SATA 3 and USB 3.0, but I could have just as easily gone with a Sempron 145 on a AM3 board as well.

See you didn't do your research. And you were not as conservative as you thought. If you want great compatibility with pre-DX9 features, you need to get a geforce FX 5900 series card. I.e. for serious sam and splinter cell. This might interest you: https://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/568939- … lems-Splinter-1

Doom3 is a pure DX9 game and very demanding , and you are better off with a much more powerful GPU from at least 2007.

You got something sort of in the middle, not that powerful, but lacking features for games that use pre-DX9 features.

I have a different build planned around a FX series quadro. The 7800gtx is a good match for Doom.
https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/ … view/Doom-3-v13

The games I was referring to are pandora tomorrow and chaos theory, which can have issues with modern GPUs, as well as some of the Hitman games, Blood Omen, and a handful of others. The FX cards aren't fast enough to run all of them comfortably. I am targeting a pretty specific slice of gaming and I think the performance should be enough, but I might try swapping it out for a GTS 250 if I need more power later on.

Reply 11 of 14, by duga3

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This is the sound card I ended up getting for my late WinXP build after reading multiple recommendations for it around here:

https://asia.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sou … essional-series
(Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro)

Got a used one locally for 25 bucks, no complaints so far.

mothergoose729 wrote:

...You got something sort of in the middle, not that powerful, but lacking features for games that use pre-DX9 features.

I agree with this sentiment. I would not recommend those specs if this will be your first or only retro PC as there are probably "better" builds out there that are slightly newer or older than GF7.

Either way you will have a hard time playing all those games you listed - unless you are fine with "+/- playable" instead of "maxed out".

DOOM 3 (under XP) is more like gtx960 (and possibly even faster CPU than G470) if you want to max out all the eye-candy (anti-aliasing from Nvidia Inspector, etc) and maintain high FPS. Definitely not period-correct though, if you care. By the way, I think that the BFG edition of DOOM 3 removed EAX support so you might want to get the original if you have only BFG.

Splinter Cell 1 has "best rendition of the original" with I think GF4600. Anything newer renders sub-par shadow effects. The problem is that GF4600 will get you only like 30-40FPS in this game, possibly a little more if you lower the shadow details one notch.

98/XP multi-boot system with P55 chipset (build log)
Screenshots
10Hz FM

Reply 13 of 14, by doaks80

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tannerstevo wrote:

why is the XtremeAudio so bad?
I bought one back in the day.

It doesn't use the EMU20K1 but some gimped chip from a value edition of the SB Live!.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster_X … Fi#X-Fi_line-up

k6-3+ 400 / s3 virge DX+voodoo1 / awe32(32mb)
via c3 866 / s3 savage4+voodoo2 sli / audigy1+awe64(8mb)
athlon xp 3200+ / voodoo5 5500 / diamond mx300
pentium4 3400 / geforce fx5950U / audigy2 ZS
core2duo E8500 / radeon HD5850 / x-fi titanium

Reply 14 of 14, by swaaye

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In other words, it processes the 3D audio and EAX on your CPU. Which may or may not matter, depending on your CPU. It can potentially slow your game down.