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First post, by millenium

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Is there a PCI sound card that would work good in real dos mode ?

I found AWE64 and SB 128. What about AWE64 ? People in this forum
report to have lots of problems with SB128. What are these problems ?

P.S. My integrated VIA sound machine fully works in DOS, but the sound is verry crappy. AWE64 and SB128 will these sound crappy too ?

Reply 1 of 7, by HunterZ

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I don't know about the AWE64PCI, but the PCI128 is based on the same Ensoniq PCI technology used in all newer Creative PCI cards, and thus will have the same quirks. As I recall, it wasn't all that bad except that the OPLx/Adlib FM music emulation was terrible and the wavetable MIDI was limited to using a 2, 4, or 8MB Ensoniq waveset (.ECW proprietary format) file.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that the drivers needed EMS memory as well, which means that old DOS games that won't run with EMM386 loaded will not be able to run with sound.

Reply 2 of 7, by MajorGrubert

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Since you are asking about PCI cards, I guess you are talking about the SoundBlaster PCI64. The AWE64 is an ISA card, and a look at CreativeLabs web site shows no hint of a PCI version of it. The PCI64 is one of the first PCI cards they had, and it seems to be similiar to the PCI128, but one manual available at Creative states that PCI64 has a "Creative synthesis engine", so it can be indeed very different from the PCI128 and later cards based on the Ensoniq chips, as pointed by HunterZ. Does anyone around have seen one of these babies?

If you can find a motherboard with ISA slots, you can use the AWE32 or the AWE64, which are problably the best cards I've seen for DOS games. They have real OPL3 FM/AdLib music (as the standard SB16), although they have limited memory for MIDI soundfonts. Compared with the newer cards (PCI128 and Live), which have better MIDI support but have poor emulated OPL3, they look like a better alternative for old games from the SB16 era.

You can also take a look at these threads. They have some useful information about old cards and DOS support:

showthread.php?s=&threadid=748
showthread.php?s=&threadid=945

Regards,

Major Grubert

Athlon 64 3200+/Asus K8V-X/1GB DDR400/GeForce FX 5700/SB Live! 5.1

Reply 3 of 7, by Nicht Sehr Gut

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Originally posted by MajorGrubert Since you are asking about PCI cards, I guess you are talking about the SoundBlaster PCI64. The AWE64 is an ISA card, and a look at CreativeLabs web site shows no hint of a PCI version of it.

I think they may have marketed one of their non-AWE PCI cards as an AWE64 in Europe or some other location. I've come across numerous references to it, especially from Linux users.

Reply 4 of 7, by Duffman

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I have a PCI64. (is it possible to have 2 soundcards in one computer)
Its only been 6 months since I got an SBlive, since my dad doesnt like me touching his computer! CURSE HIM!

I really need a job 😠

gigabyte Z97X-UD5H-BK
I7-4790
GTX 970
32GB RAM @1600
2x 256GB samsung 950 SSDs
1x WD Black 1TB
1x Seagate 3TB

Reply 5 of 7, by eL_PuSHeR

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My ASUS A7V333 has integrated CMI8738 audio (C-MEDIA) that is directly taken from an old PCI card (I think). It has DOS SB emulation, albeit it's not perfect is quite good if you can re-route the sound card IRQ to anything below 10.

Some of my friends have another PCI soundcard (old) that isn't Creative but it has full dos support, including wavetable. I don't remember the chipset, Cristal-something i recall. Ah, I think it was SoundExpression or something like that.

Reply 6 of 7, by HunterZ

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MajorGrubert wrote:

one manual available at Creative states that PCI64 has a "Creative synthesis engine", so it can be indeed very different from the PCI128 and later cards based on the Ensoniq chips

Probably they're just bragging about some software wavetable synthesis engine that they (or Ensoniq more likely) created, which they decided not to brag about on later cards. Don't know for sure though since I've never used a PCI64.

If you can find a motherboard with ISA slots, you can use the AWE32 or the AWE64, which are problably the best cards I've seen for DOS games. They have real OPL3 FM/AdLib music (as the standard SB16), although they have limited memory for MIDI soundfonts.

The AWE64 DOS utilities had problems running in DOS 7 (the DOS that Win9x is built on top of) because they "knew" that Win9x was installed. If I ever build an old DOS box o put my AWE64 Gold in, I'll probably have to make a FAT16 partition to boot DOS 6.2x on to play DOS games (and a FAT32 partition to play Windows games in Win98SE)

DuffmanI have a PCI64. (is it possible to have 2 soundcards in one computer)

Yes it is, as long as they don't step on each other in terms of who is using which IRQ, DMA, and I/O ports. You can probably put an ISA sound card in and turn off DOS support on the PCI64 to let the ISA take over on the DOS end of things.

eL_PuSHeRI don't remember the chipset, Cristal-something i recall.

Crystal Semiconductor or something like that? They're the ones making the cheap on-motherboard sound hardware these days.