VOGONS


Reply 40 of 45, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
darry wrote on 2021-09-12, 21:10:

Rayer wrote a utility for that .

Look here Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Cheers, I'll give that a try.

Honestly, I only use SPDIF OUT on this card for recording FM synth music, and 90% of the time choosing "Restart in MS-DOS mode" is fine for me. But there are a few edge cases where a game needs a custom configuration (due to conventional memory requirements and such) so it's better to boot straight into DOS without ever loading Win9x.

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 41 of 45, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Today I finished a project I've been planning for some time now - make a SPDIF bracket for my AWE64 Gold. I was following this guide and it worked out great, despite my mediocre soldering skills.

AWE64_Bracket.jpg
Filename
AWE64_Bracket.jpg
File size
73.17 KiB
Views
262 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Basically, I bought a gold plated RCA socket and some jumper cables. Then, I removed the plastic connectors from one end of the jumper cables, stripped the wires, soldered them to the RCA socket, applied some electrical tape and lastly mounted all that on a spare bracket. I repurposed that bracket from an old graphics card which had Composite TV Out next to the VGA port, which made it a perfect fit for the RCA socket. Finally, I connected the ground wire (black) to pin 1 and the signal wire (white) to pin 0 of the SPDIF connector on my the AWE64 Gold and it worked! Here are some music samples recorded via SPDIF out:

So far, I've only been able to get AWE and CQM music to output via SPDIF. Digitized sound does not play, even in games which supposedly support 44.1 kHz like Duke3D and Terminal Velocity. I'll see if I can dig out my Crusader: No Remorse CD and try that next. BTW, all of those were recorded in pure DOS 6.22. No reverb, chorus and no soundfonts loaded. Just pure AWE music.

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 42 of 45, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Update on the AWE64 Gold SPDIF output. First, here's what Creative states on page 12 of the AWE64 Gold manual (emphasis mine):

AWE64_Gold_Manual.jpg
Filename
AWE64_Gold_Manual.jpg
File size
84.99 KiB
Views
239 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

I can confirm that digitized audio will play via SPDIF under those conditions. For example, if you use Winamp to play a WAV or MP3 file encoded as 44.1 kHz 16-bit stereo, it will properly play back through SPDIF output. On the other hand, playing an Audio CD will not work, which makes sense, as the CD drive is connected to the AWE64 Gold using an analog cable.

Unsurprisingly, it seems that most DOS and even many Win9x era games do not output digitized sounds in 44.1 kHz 16-bit. In DOS, I tried Crusader: No Remorse and Duke Nukem 3D and neither of them played digitized sound via SPDIF. Duke3D even has an explicit 44.1 kHz setting for digitized audio under setup, but it still doesn't work. Under Win98SE, I tried running StarCraft and also got no digitized sound to play back via SPDIF.

Obviously, I haven't tested every single game out there, and it's possible that some of them do actually use 44.1 kHz 16-bit audio which will work. But so far, I think that the SPDIF Out of the AWE64 Gold is not very practical for gaming purposes. Sure, you can record pristine quality CQM and AWE music that way, and that's awesome. And Soundfonts loaded through the AWE Control Panel will also work just fine via SPDIF. Digitized audio is a gamble though, and will likely not work via AWE64 SPDIF Out most of the time.

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 43 of 45, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Finally found a Win9x game that fully outputs digitized sounds through SPDIF on the AWE64. It's Deus Ex which uses 44.1 kHz 16-bit audio by default:

DeusEx_Sound_Settings.jpg
Filename
DeusEx_Sound_Settings.jpg
File size
56.95 KiB
Views
204 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

As far as I can tell, everything works as it's supposed to. Music, speech and sound effects all properly play back via SPDIF. I imagine other games based on the Unreal engine might work too, when configured to use the same sound settings.

P.S.

As I've updated this system with several new pieces hardware since I first made this thread, I have decided to redo the benchmarks. Looks like my scores have improved by 2-4% depending on the application. The RAM running at CL2 and using an SSD instead of a standard hard drive were probably the biggest contributing factors.

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 44 of 45, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

As time passed and I started acquiring more retro systems, I found that I'm using this one less and less. It was originally intended as a Glide rig, but I eventually realized that the CPU was too slow for later Win9x Glide games like Diablo 2, Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex.

Therefore, I have started parting out this system and moving some components to my other rigs. The Voodoo3 went to the AthlonXP system while the AWE64 Gold and the SC-155 got moved to my Pentium MMX rig. I'm leaving the original post with the specs and benchmarks for reference purposes, but this build is now effectively retired.

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 45 of 45, by Tetrium

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-05-11, 05:11:

As time passed and I started acquiring more retro systems, I found that I'm using this one less and less. It was originally intended as a Glide rig, but I eventually realized that the CPU was too slow for later Win9x Glide games like Diablo 2, Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex.

Therefore, I have started parting out this system and moving some components to my other rigs. The Voodoo3 went to the AthlonXP system while the AWE64 Gold and the SC-155 got moved to my Pentium MMX rig. I'm leaving the original post with the specs and benchmarks for reference purposes, but this build is now effectively retired.

Appreciated that you decided to leave all the info there. In the end it doesn't really matter if it's still a current build, the info itself already has value and I found it all a good read🙂

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!