VOGONS


First post, by Brawndo

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So as the title states I have an AWE64 Gold in a static bag not being utilized and I'd like to put it in something. The "slowest" PCs I have are both 233 MHz socket 7 systems, one is a AMD K6 and the other is a Pentium MMX. I also have several super 7 systems with a mix of K6-2/3, a slot 1 Pentium II and an unbuilt slot 1 Pentium III. I have newer PCs as well but obviously no ISA slots.

Is an AWE64 optimal in a DOS only system? Maybe a Windows 95/DOS system? I have enough PCs that I can afford to be very specific about what's best for this sound card, which is what I want to do. I never had one of these back in the day because my first computer was in 1997 and the first sound card I bought myself was the original Live!

I also have a Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 and a Diamond Monster Voodoo 1, both also not being used, so maybe that's a good combination for a DOS system?

Reply 1 of 14, by LSS10999

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Brawndo wrote on 2022-06-28, 00:37:

So as the title states I have an AWE64 Gold in a static bag not being utilized and I'd like to put it in something. The "slowest" PCs I have are both 233 MHz socket 7 systems, one is a AMD K6 and the other is a Pentium MMX. I also have several super 7 systems with a mix of K6-2/3, a slot 1 Pentium II and an unbuilt slot 1 Pentium III. I have newer PCs as well but obviously no ISA slots.

Is an AWE64 optimal in a DOS only system? Maybe a Windows 95/DOS system? I have enough PCs that I can afford to be very specific about what's best for this sound card, which is what I want to do. I never had one of these back in the day because my first computer was in 1997 and the first sound card I bought myself was the original Live!

AWE64 will do perfectly fine in a DOS only environment. You can take advantage of those AWE32/AWE64 specific features, namely the MIDI part, for games that can use them.

You'll only be able to use SBK soundfonts with DOS. I didn't try it on Win9x but some said you can use SF2 soundfonts while in Windows.

Reply 2 of 14, by Joseph_Joestar

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Brawndo wrote on 2022-06-28, 00:37:

Is an AWE64 optimal in a DOS only system? Maybe a Windows 95/DOS system?

Depends on whether you want to play around with soundfonts or not. In pure DOS, with the stock drivers, the AWE64 is limited to SBK soundfonts and can only use them on older real-mode games. They won't work with later protected mode games such as Doom and Duke3D. Under Win9x, you can load newer SF2 soundfonts via the AWE Control Panel and protected mode games can use them just fine while running within the Win9x DOS prompt.

I also have a Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 and a Diamond Monster Voodoo 1, both also not being used, so maybe that's a good combination for a DOS system?

A Voodoo1 is indeed best suited for DOS Glide games (e.g. Tomb Raider and Descent 2), but it's also useful for running some early static-linked Win9x titles such as Pandemonium. Later Voodoo2/3 cards can have issues with some of those games and need additional tweaks to run them. See here: Voodoo 2 DOS Glide compatibility matrix

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 3 of 14, by georgel

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-06-28, 03:30:

the AWE64 is limited to SBK soundfonts and can only use them on older real-mode games. They won't work with later protected mode games such as Doom and Duke3D.

Edit by Dominus to get rid of the personal attacks: use this new utility and it works after all

DOS32AWE - DOS/4G compatible DOS Extender with Sound Blaster AWEUTIL MIDI synthesizer support for Protected mode,VIASB

Last edited by Dominus on 2022-06-29, 22:29. Edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Inflammatory comments

Reply 5 of 14, by Joseph_Joestar

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georgel wrote on 2022-06-29, 15:27:

This is completely wrong and the ignorance is odd for a person who is constantly giving advice is this very forum. joseph is completely wrong and here is why:

DOS32AWE - DOS/4G compatible DOS Extender with Sound Blaster AWEUTIL MIDI synthesizer support for Protected mode,VIASB

When quoting me, you conveniently left out the part of my post where I stated "with stock drivers". In that default use case, the experience is exactly as I have described.

You are free to advertise your utility as you like, but I am not obliged to do so.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 6 of 14, by jheronimus

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-06-29, 16:05:

When quoting me, you conveniently left out the part of my post where I stated "with stock drivers". In that default use case, the experience is exactly as I have described.

To be completely fair, both Doom and D3D support AWE32/64 in later releases — they even have an AWE32 option in setups. They would only play using horrible stock ROM, but they will work. In fact, I think the majority of protected mode late DOS games have an option for AWE32. Some even play very nice — like Descent (which uses its own samples AFAIK).

I agree that it's not optimal. Best case scenario you're limited to about 10-15 GM SBK soundfonts out there, most of which are not that great. But yeah, you can use AWE32/64 in DOS.

Reply 7 of 14, by Joseph_Joestar

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jheronimus wrote on 2022-06-29, 17:27:

To be completely fair, both Doom and D3D support AWE32/64 in later releases — they even have an AWE32 option in setups. They would only play using horrible stock ROM, but they will work. In fact, I think the majority of protected mode late DOS games have an option for AWE32. Some even play very nice — like Descent (which uses its own samples AFAIK).

No one is disputing that.

What I said was that you cannot use custom soundfonts (e.g. FineGM.sbk) in DOS with protected mode games when using the stock drivers. This is different from simply selecting AWE32 in a game's setup options which only uses the onboard wavetable without loading any custom samples.

There are a few exceptions like Eradicator which can natively load SF2 soundfonts in pure DOS, but such games are very rare.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 8 of 14, by jheronimus

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-06-29, 17:35:

No one is disputing that.

What I said was that you cannot use custom soundfonts (e.g. FineGM.sbk) in DOS with protected mode games when using the stock drivers. This is different from simply selecting AWE32 in a game's setup options which only uses the onboard wavetable without loading any custom samples.

There are a few exceptions like Eradicator which can natively load SF2 soundfonts in pure DOS, but such games are very rare.

Oh, my bad, I slightly misread your initial post

Reply 9 of 14, by Dominus

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Georgel, again I ask you to tone it down. Joseph did write *stock drivers*. Your utility is not even a year old. Attacking Joseph over this and not even quoting correctly is not ok. Please correct your post accordingly or I will need to moderate *again*

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Reply 10 of 14, by georgel

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In computer science there is no such thing like "stock" drivers. But imagine what -- it is exactly the Creative's TSRs that are doing the same job. The rest is just an alternative DOS Extender variation.

Reply 11 of 14, by Gmlb256

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I don't see anything wrong with Joseph_Joestar's statement, he was just explaining the MIDI experience that one gets with AWE32/64 sound cards without using any third-party software or utility when it comes to custom SoundFonts.

Reply 12 of 14, by Dominus

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georgel wrote on 2022-06-29, 21:12:

In computer science there is no such thing like "stock" drivers. But imagine what -- it is exactly the Creative's TSRs that are doing the same job. The rest is just an alternative DOS Extender variation.

🤪
Anyway, I edited your post accordingly. Please do not attack your fellow Vogons members in this way.

Windows 3.1x guide for DOSBox
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Reply 13 of 14, by Joseph_Joestar

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georgel wrote on 2022-06-29, 21:12:

In computer science there is no such thing like "stock" drivers.

Semantics. What I described is the default experience that a user gets when installing Creative's official drivers from the CD supplied with the sound card, without using any third-party tools. This is factually correct and well known on this forum.

As I said before, feel free to advertise your utility as you like, but don't expect me to do that for you.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 14 of 14, by Brawndo

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-06-28, 03:30:
Depends on whether you want to play around with soundfonts or not. In pure DOS, with the stock drivers, the AWE64 is limited to […]
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Brawndo wrote on 2022-06-28, 00:37:

Is an AWE64 optimal in a DOS only system? Maybe a Windows 95/DOS system?

Depends on whether you want to play around with soundfonts or not. In pure DOS, with the stock drivers, the AWE64 is limited to SBK soundfonts and can only use them on older real-mode games. They won't work with later protected mode games such as Doom and Duke3D. Under Win9x, you can load newer SF2 soundfonts via the AWE Control Panel and protected mode games can use them just fine while running within the Win9x DOS prompt.

I also have a Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 and a Diamond Monster Voodoo 1, both also not being used, so maybe that's a good combination for a DOS system?

A Voodoo1 is indeed best suited for DOS Glide games (e.g. Tomb Raider and Descent 2), but it's also useful for running some early static-linked Win9x titles such as Pandemonium. Later Voodoo2/3 cards can have issues with some of those games and need additional tweaks to run them. See here: Voodoo 2 DOS Glide compatibility matrix

Great info, thanks! After reading through the responses I think I'm going to run the AWE64/Stealth 3D/Voodoo1 combo in a Win95/DOS PC rather than pure DOS. I really missed the whole pure DOS era as I was too young so I'm having to educate myself, but I just went down the rabbit hole of reading about the original Sound Blaster cards, and I scored a Sound Blaster 16 CT2940 with the OPL3 chip which I'll use in a pure DOS system for later DOS games as that seems a better choice for pure DOS. Which of course leads into looking for a 486 system and eventually a Sound Blaster 2.0 card for yet another pure DOS system, and the cycle continues....