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First post, by bbuchholtz

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Hey Guys,

I'm looking for recommendations for a sound card that's fully-compatible with PCI-X. Unfortunately, I've found-out the hard way that just because the card physically fits into the slot, does not mean it's going to work properly.

Ideally, I'm looking for something that supports Windows 98. The M-Audio Revolution has worked pretty well. But, I don't think it supports MIDI. I would even be open to the idea of a sound card that's MIDI-only.

-Brian

Reply 1 of 18, by dionb

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Just to double-check: you really mean the big PCI-X slots, with 64b, 66-133MHz operation? Not PCI Express (PCIe)?

PCI-X is backwards compatible with regular PCI, but with two caveats:
1) voltage is 3.3V only.
2) as it's a shared bus, the clock and features will drop to the level of the slowest card.

2 means that adding a sound card will kil performance of NICs and HDD controllers designed to make full use of PCI-X. But it won't stop your card from working. So I suspect that the problem is that your cards require 5V to work properly, despite having universal keying. If so, you need a different card. The M-Audio revolution has a VIA Envy24 chip. Great chip, and definitely supports MIDI. As the 3.3V issue is card, not chip related, you can't say for sure that any card with Envy24HT will do the trick - but M-Audio has a really good card with the same chip that does doe MIDI, the Audiophile 24/96. I don't have PCI-X to test if it works there, but I do use it in a MIDI setup (under Linux, but also has Win98SE support).

See here for more info: M-audio Audiophile 2496

Reply 2 of 18, by bbuchholtz

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Correct, I am referring to PCI-X. So far, I've found only 1 PCIe sound card that works in Windows 98... and, it's ok, at best.

I have been finding that some sound cards, with universal 32-bit PCI, do NOT play nice in 3.3V slots. Many of the Aureal Vortex cards are afflicted by this design challenge.

I also have been finding that I cannot have too many non-PCI-X aware cards on the PCI-X bus. Some cases, the bus drops into 33MHz compatibility mode (terrible performance). Other cases, I get hard locks and freezes.

I'll give the Audiophile 2496 a try. The ironic thing is, I had that card, many years ago. Funny how things come around full-circle 😀

I'd also be curious to know if there are any Creative PCI-X aware sound cards. So far, none of the Audigy series seems to be.

-Brian

Reply 3 of 18, by RetroGamer4Ever

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There is apparently a Dell PCI-X SoundBlaster card, in the X-Fi family, but I can't confirm it's authenticity and I don't understand why Dell would ever request such a product from Creative Labs.

https://jbsdevices.com/item/dell-0ct602-netwo … 34aApkiEALw_wcB

Reply 4 of 18, by LSS10999

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-05-22, 21:51:

There is apparently a Dell PCI-X SoundBlaster card, in the X-Fi family, but I can't confirm it's authenticity and I don't understand why Dell would ever request such a product from Creative Labs.

https://jbsdevices.com/item/dell-0ct602-netwo … 34aApkiEALw_wcB

That card is supposed to be a SB0460. SB0460 is most commonly X-Fi XtremeMusic (with only 2MB of onboard memory) though from what I remember that model number is also used by several different variants.

SB0460 is still PCI, though. I don't think there are sound cards requiring that much bandwidth necessitating a PCI-X (which is comparable to a PCIe x2/x4).

If the board has both PCI and PCI-X slots, I think it's better to use the PCI slots for sound cards and leave PCI-X slots exclusively to actual PCI-X cards.

Reply 5 of 18, by Warlord

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bbuchholtz wrote on 2022-05-22, 19:09:

I also have been finding that I cannot have too many non-PCI-X aware cards on the PCI-X bus. Some cases, the bus drops into 33MHz compatibility mode (terrible performance). Other cases, I get hard locks and freezes.

it does that anyways all the pci-x cards on that bus share the same bandwidth. Might want to try looking for this card, its 3.3v keyed and has a EMU10K which works on 98. You should be able to use the Audigy VXD drivers with it and be able to load sound fonts etc that will work in 98s native dos box. Looks like it also has digital out so sound quality would be excelent if you were using that interface.

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Reply 6 of 18, by paradigital

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-05-22, 21:51:

There is apparently a Dell PCI-X SoundBlaster card, in the X-Fi family, but I can't confirm it's authenticity and I don't understand why Dell would ever request such a product from Creative Labs.

https://jbsdevices.com/item/dell-0ct602-netwo … 34aApkiEALw_wcB

If the image is indicative of the actual card, that’s PCIe (4x) not PCI-X.

Reply 7 of 18, by LSS10999

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paradigital wrote on 2022-05-23, 05:55:

If the image is indicative of the actual card, that’s PCIe (4x) not PCI-X.

I think that picture is a placeholder. The picture looks like some kind of PCIe x4 network card.

Reply 8 of 18, by bbuchholtz

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LSS10999 wrote on 2022-05-23, 02:20:

If the board has both PCI and PCI-X slots, I think it's better to use the PCI slots for sound cards and leave PCI-X slots exclusively to actual PCI-X cards.

The board I am using is the Supermicro X8DTN+, which unfortunately does not have any 32-bit PCI slots.

-Brian

Reply 9 of 18, by bbuchholtz

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-05-22, 21:51:

There is apparently a Dell PCI-X SoundBlaster card, in the X-Fi family, but I can't confirm it's authenticity and I don't understand why Dell would ever request such a product from Creative Labs.

https://jbsdevices.com/item/dell-0ct602-netwo … 34aApkiEALw_wcB

I'll give this card a try. I was able to find one for cheap.

-Brian

Reply 10 of 18, by chiveicrook

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bbuchholtz wrote on 2022-05-23, 13:11:
RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-05-22, 21:51:

There is apparently a Dell PCI-X SoundBlaster card, in the X-Fi family, but I can't confirm it's authenticity and I don't understand why Dell would ever request such a product from Creative Labs.

https://jbsdevices.com/item/dell-0ct602-netwo … 34aApkiEALw_wcB

I'll give this card a try. I was able to find one for cheap.

-Brian

Unfortunately it's a regular PCI card, mislabeled by vendors .

Reply 12 of 18, by chiveicrook

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bbuchholtz wrote on 2022-05-23, 13:10:
LSS10999 wrote on 2022-05-23, 02:20:

If the board has both PCI and PCI-X slots, I think it's better to use the PCI slots for sound cards and leave PCI-X slots exclusively to actual PCI-X cards.

The board I am using is the Supermicro X8DTN+, which unfortunately does not have any 32-bit PCI slots.

-Brian

This board is such an overkill for windows 98 I'm amazed that it works at all 😀

PCI-X slots are 3.3V only. According to the manual of this board, there are 2 PCI-X buses: one with 2 slots and one with a single slot.
If you can find a card which is fine with 3.3V only try this:
Try putting your sound card in slot #3 (the one closest to PCIE slots) and your other PCI-X cards in #1 and #2.
The manual is a bit vague so it's possible that settings are not separated into Channel A / Channel B but try to find a BIOS setting "PCI Bus A0/B0 Frequency" and set it to 33MHZ PCI for Channel A and Auto for Channel B.

You could also mod a card to get 5V from a molex for example. It would require in depth research though.

Otherwise, you might be better off with a pcie-pci adapter in one of pcie slots.

Reply 13 of 18, by bbuchholtz

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chiveicrook wrote on 2022-05-23, 15:51:
This board is such an overkill for windows 98 I'm amazed that it works at all :-) […]
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This board is such an overkill for windows 98 I'm amazed that it works at all 😀

PCI-X slots are 3.3V only. According to the manual of this board, there are 2 PCI-X buses: one with 2 slots and one with a single slot.
If you can find a card which is fine with 3.3V only try this:
Try putting your sound card in slot #3 (the one closest to PCIE slots) and your other PCI-X cards in #1 and #2.
The manual is a bit vague so it's possible that settings are not separated into Channel A / Channel B but try to find a BIOS setting "PCI Bus A0/B0 Frequency" and set it to 33MHZ PCI for Channel A and Auto for Channel B.

You could also mod a card to get 5V from a molex for example. It would require in depth research though.

Otherwise, you might be better off with a pcie-pci adapter in one of pcie slots.

Yes, this computer is quite overkill 😀

I'm using these experimental X58 chipset drivers:
https://www.modlabs.net/articles/installing-w … tel-x58-chipset

I really like your PCI-X Channel A/B idea. I'm going to try that.

I tried playing around with the idea of using PCI to PCIe bridge adapters. I didn't have the best luck.

I added a pic of the project, in case anyone was curious. This build uses X5698 CPUs.

-Brian

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Reply 14 of 18, by Jasin Natael

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bbuchholtz wrote on 2022-05-23, 17:27:
Yes, this computer is quite overkill :) […]
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chiveicrook wrote on 2022-05-23, 15:51:
This board is such an overkill for windows 98 I'm amazed that it works at all :-) […]
Show full quote

This board is such an overkill for windows 98 I'm amazed that it works at all 😀

PCI-X slots are 3.3V only. According to the manual of this board, there are 2 PCI-X buses: one with 2 slots and one with a single slot.
If you can find a card which is fine with 3.3V only try this:
Try putting your sound card in slot #3 (the one closest to PCIE slots) and your other PCI-X cards in #1 and #2.
The manual is a bit vague so it's possible that settings are not separated into Channel A / Channel B but try to find a BIOS setting "PCI Bus A0/B0 Frequency" and set it to 33MHZ PCI for Channel A and Auto for Channel B.

You could also mod a card to get 5V from a molex for example. It would require in depth research though.

Otherwise, you might be better off with a pcie-pci adapter in one of pcie slots.

Yes, this computer is quite overkill 😀

I'm using these experimental X58 chipset drivers:
https://www.modlabs.net/articles/installing-w … tel-x58-chipset

I really like your PCI-X Channel A/B idea. I'm going to try that.

I tried playing around with the idea of using PCI to PCIe bridge adapters. I didn't have the best luck.

I added a pic of the project, in case anyone was curious. This build uses X5698 CPUs.

-Brian

You do realize that Windows 98 is going to ignore all but one core/thread right?

Reply 15 of 18, by bbuchholtz

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Jasin Natael wrote on 2022-05-23, 17:33:

You do realize that Windows 98 is going to ignore all but one core/thread right?

Yes, I do realize. My main goal for this build is Windows 98 compatibility. But, I plan to use multi-boot for Windows XP, and possibly also Windows 7.

-Brian

Reply 16 of 18, by Jasin Natael

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bbuchholtz wrote on 2022-05-23, 17:48:
Jasin Natael wrote on 2022-05-23, 17:33:

You do realize that Windows 98 is going to ignore all but one core/thread right?

Yes, I do realize. My main goal for this build is Windows 98 compatibility. But, I plan to use multi-boot for Windows XP, and possibly also Windows 7.

-Brian

Ah,

That makes sense. I didn't mean to sound quite so snarky, but reading it back it came across that way. I meant no offense.

Reply 17 of 18, by bbuchholtz

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I finally found a workable solution. I had to move the cards to different slots and tweak the BIOS settings. I now have an Audigy 2 ZS working in this build.

Thank you so much for all of the great input and ideas!

-Brian

Reply 18 of 18, by Sphere478

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bbuchholtz wrote on 2022-05-16, 13:46:
Hey Guys, […]
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Hey Guys,

I'm looking for recommendations for a sound card that's fully-compatible with PCI-X. Unfortunately, I've found-out the hard way that just because the card physically fits into the slot, does not mean it's going to work properly.

Ideally, I'm looking for something that supports Windows 98. The M-Audio Revolution has worked pretty well. But, I don't think it supports MIDI. I would even be open to the idea of a sound card that's MIDI-only.

-Brian

Did it break it?

I would have thought that it would work… as long as it was 33mhz I mean. 66mhz issues are understandable.

I was gonna say, give a 2zs a try. But wasn’t sure about the voltage issue. Good to see one of those worked!

Sphere's PCB projects.
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Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
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SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
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Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)