VOGONS


First post, by GiSWiG

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I have one, looking to get another. Of course there are the Diamond MX300, the Aureal brand cards, the retail Turtle Beach and the Dell OEM version of the retail Turtle Beach. I have the Dell OEM. It sounds ok. I have a Dreamblaster on the wavetable header, DOS support is good.

Of course the Dell OEMs are cheap and the Diamonds and the TB retail models are 3x-4x the price. Is there a noticeable difference between the cheaper Dell models and the high-end retail cards? Am I going to be blown away by the Diamond? The retail cards do have digital out but these cards are best with headphones so that is not worth the price.

Also, among all of them, some have AU8830A2 printed on the chip, others only have AU8830. I've seen Diamond cards with both, I've seen the Dell OEMs with both. Mine is the AU8830 (no A2). I asked this a few years ago; what is the difference. The response I got was that the non-A2 was the first gen chip and the A2 variants used more CPU, maybe not a lot.

Thanks!

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Reply 3 of 6, by Joseph_Joestar

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On that note, how does one tell the difference between a Dell branded Montego II and the retail version from Turtle Beach?

Any serial numbers that indicate it's a Dell or vice versa?

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Reply 4 of 6, by GiSWiG

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-12-17, 09:08:

On that note, how does one tell the difference between a Dell branded Montego II and the retail version from Turtle Beach?

Any serial numbers that indicate it's a Dell or vice versa?

So there is a listing on ebay for the Turtle Beach retail card for $99. It does come with the box, manuals, CDs, and SPDIF card so if you really want the whole package, maybe $99 is worth it to you. Comparing my card to the one pictured, I can't see any difference. All the parts are the same and in the same spots. The stickers are the same except for some numbers but the model numbers are the same. I even have the same SPDIF header which I don't need anyway. So either Dell did get the same retail part or the listing doesn't actually have a retail version of the card. I think the former though. So if you want the whole package, there you go. Personally, I'd pay extra for a Voodoo 3 w/ box.

So I guess that leaves the Diamond MX300. Is it worth the extra $$?

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Reply 5 of 6, by mothergoose729

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I have a vortex 2 card and that output is definitely a bit soft. I don't have another one to compare too, but I have heard others say that some cards have much better quality than others.

Reply 6 of 6, by The Serpent Rider

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So I guess that leaves the Diamond MX300. Is it worth the extra $$?

You can easily mod SPDIF to MX300 card and wavetable header placement is just perfect. Not sure about analog sound quality on any unmodified Vortex 2 card after 20+ years, but at least there are less components to replace on MX300/SQ2200 cards.

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