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Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1

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First post, by Joseph_Joestar

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System specs

  • Athlon 64 3000+ (NewCastle core)
  • Asus K8V-MX (VIA K8M800 Socket754)
  • 2GB Kingston DDR400
  • Gainward GeForce4 Ti4200
  • Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum (SB0090 + SB0010)
  • Kingston 120GB SSD (Windows ME + Security Update 2004)
  • SanDisk 240GB SSD (Windows XP + SP3)
  • Lite-On 16x DVD-ROM
  • Sony 3.5" floppy drive
  • Seasonic S12 III 650W PSU
  • Chieftec tower case
  • LG Flatron L1753HR 17" LCD monitor (1280x1024 native resolution)
  • Logitech X-530 Surround Sound Speakers (5.1 system)

Introduction

I had a spare Socket754 motherboard left over from when I purchased a lot of random components. After watching some of Phil's videos, I wanted to see if I could use this board to make a cheap, powerful and fairly quiet Win9x gaming rig. For this purpose, it was imperative to avoid mechanical hard drives, old PSUs, noisy CPU/GPU/chipset fans and so on. In the end, I think I mostly succeeded and I'm quite pleased with the end result.

CPU

This Athlon 64 3000+ CPU is pretty nice for Win9x gaming. It may not be the fastest one out there, but it's what I had on hand. Cooling is handled by Deepcool Ice Edge Mini FS V2.0 which keeps temperatures below 50C even under full load. This cooler is definitively quieter than period correct Athlon 64 cooling solutions, and it's more efficient as well.

Motherboard

While building this system, I initially encountered an obscure problem with this motherboard. For some reason, GPU performance under Win9x was only half of what I was getting under WinXP. With the kind help of some folks here, I was able to narrow down the issue to the BIOS. It seems that only the oldest BIOS for this motherboard (v0112) works properly under Win9x, so that's the version which I ended up flashing. On the upside, this board uses the VT8237R Plus southbridge. The "plus" is the important bit here, as that revision appears to have fixed an incompatibility with SATA3 drives which the original release suffered from. I did have to set the SATA controller to RAID mode in order for WinME to boot from it, but that appears to be somewhat common with SATA implementations from that time.

Graphics card

This Gainward GeForce4 Ti4200 is a fairly decent GPU for Win9x gaming. It allows me to run the vast majority of games in 1280x1024 at 60+ FPS, as long as Anti Aliasing is kept to a minimum or turned off entirely. Anisotropic Filtering is best used sparingly, as it also decreases performance in more demanding games, especially at higher resolutions. I'm using the 45.23 driver since that version appears to work best on this particular system. And while I could use even older 3x.xx drivers, they lack support for SSE2 instructions (which my CPU has), and that would result in slightly lower performance (I tested it). Lastly, since the stock fan on this GPU was in pretty bad shape, I replaced it with an aftermarket solution which now works great.

Sound Card

The Audigy1 works well as a Win9x sound card. It has excellent EAX capabilities, fairly clean output and can use VxD drivers which are more compatible with older titles. I've hooked it up to my Logitech X-530 5.1 speaker system, and surround sound works properly in Win9x games which support it (e.g. in Unreal Tournament, Thief 2 and Deus Ex). Under WinME, I'm using the Audigy2 ZS drivers as per this guide of mine. For WinXP, I simply install DanielK's Audigy support pack. The LiveDrive front panel is great since it allows me to easily output SPDIF digital audio (either via RCA or optical) which allows for pristine gameplay audio recordings. I also like the dedicated headphone jack which has a physical volume knob beside it. Lastly, it's very important to mute any unused inputs on this card (e.g. Microphone, TAD, etc.) in order to minimize noise.

Operating Systems

On this machine, I use two separate drives with two operating systems and select which one I want to run from the BIOS boot menu. The two systems are fully independent, so if I need to reinstall WinME for some reason, WinXP will be completely unaffected. Under WinME, I use RLoew's PATCHMEM which allows that OS to properly use more than 512MB RAM. There isn't much benefit in having that much RAM for Win9x gaming, but the patch is still needed because WinME will not boot correctly on this system otherwise.

Windows XP (with SP3) is my other operating system and I mostly use it for maintenance purposes on this rig. However, it's also useful for the few specific games which have problems on newer hardware, such as Gothic 1 and Splinter Cell. Obviously, there are unofficial fixes for those games which take care of most of the issues. But I prefer to play my games stock, which is why it's nice to have a system that's capable of it.

Conclusion

While I'm very happy with this build, it was a bit of a hassle to get everything to work together nicely. I think it was worth it though, as you'll see from the benchmarks below. It's a cheap, quiet and reasonably fast system which covers most of my Win9x gaming needs.

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Last edited by Joseph_Joestar on 2022-06-10, 10:17. Edited 12 times in total.

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 1 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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A couple of benchmarks, all carried out under Windows ME. For the 3DMark entries, the standard benchmarks were utilized, in whatever resolution and color depth each one uses by default.

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All game benchmarks were carried out using 32-bit color depth. Game versions used:

  • Quake2 v3.20 (with AMD 3DNow! 3.20 patch)
  • Unreal Tournament 99 GOTY (Direct3D renderer)
  • Drakan v445 (Direct3D renderer)

OS and drivers used

Note: the Audigy1 is using ZS drivers as per this guide of mine.

Last edited by Joseph_Joestar on 2022-06-06, 18:17. Edited 1 time in total.

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 2 of 79, by mastergamma12

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Nice rig, I'm also putting together a fast Windows 98 rig with an Opteron 254, an Asus SK8V, 2gb of RDDR 400 using RLoew's patch, an Elsa Gladiac Ultra and a SB Live with working dos audio

IKWX6Aj.png

The Tuala-Bus (My 9x/Dos Rig) (Pentium III-S 1.4ghz, AWE64G+Audigy 2 ZS, Voodoo5 5500, Chieftec Dragon Rambus)

The Final Lan Party (My Windows Xp/7 rig) (Core i7 980x, GTX 480,DFI Lanparty UT X58-T3eH8,)
Re: Post your 'current' PC

Reply 3 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-04-20, 23:13:

Nice rig, I'm also putting together a fast Windows 98 rig with an Opteron 254, an Asus SK8V, 2gb of RDDR 400 using RLoew's patch, an Elsa Gladiac Ultra and a SB Live with working dos audio

Cheers! It's rare to see an Opteron in a retro build. That one runs at 2.8 GHz right?

I tried using RLoew's patch for a while and it worked fine in terms of Windows not crashing. But I encountered some odd issues with a few programs like 3DMark 2000 which would sometimes not start. Could have just been a fluke, but I have since opted to not use that patch and instead limit the RAM to 512 MB under Win98 using HimemX and MSCONFIG. I might write a mini guide on how to do that if there's interest.

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 4 of 79, by mastergamma12

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-04-21, 04:28:
mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-04-20, 23:13:

Nice rig, I'm also putting together a fast Windows 98 rig with an Opteron 254, an Asus SK8V, 2gb of RDDR 400 using RLoew's patch, an Elsa Gladiac Ultra and a SB Live with working dos audio

Cheers! It's rare to see an Opteron in a retro build. That one runs at 2.8 GHz right?

I tried using RLoew's patch for a while and it worked fine in terms of Windows not crashing. But I encountered some odd issues with a few programs like 3DMark 2000 which would sometimes not start. Could have just been a fluke, but I have since opted to not use that patch and instead limit the RAM to 512 MB under Win98 using HimemX and MSCONFIG. I might write a mini guide on how to do that if there's interest.

Indeed it does, it's a really snappy machine so far though half the time, the usb keyboard (tried 2 different ones) won't work until I either go into windows or I reboot the machine multiple times, strangely enough if I hit Del when attempting to go into bios, it does but I can't do anything. Besides that, it's been nice.

I also limited the machine to 512 after getting everything set up using MSCONFIG just to be on the safe side, without the RLoew patch, I couldn't get anything working with 98 even when limiting ram via MSCONFIG or HimemX.

IKWX6Aj.png

The Tuala-Bus (My 9x/Dos Rig) (Pentium III-S 1.4ghz, AWE64G+Audigy 2 ZS, Voodoo5 5500, Chieftec Dragon Rambus)

The Final Lan Party (My Windows Xp/7 rig) (Core i7 980x, GTX 480,DFI Lanparty UT X58-T3eH8,)
Re: Post your 'current' PC

Reply 5 of 79, by bofh.fromhell

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Chucked my Intel Advanced/AS motherboard into an nice case.
Added a HDD which already had a W98 installation on it.
Fine I thought, lets see if everything works (was planing on a DOS build).
And imagine my surprise when I hear the windows logon sound from somewhere.
I mean I didn't plug in any speakers.
Turns out the on-board sound-card plays through the case speaker when nothing is attached, cool!

edit:
totally posted this in the wrong thread.
Sorry OP for the OT!

Last edited by bofh.fromhell on 2022-04-21, 17:34. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 6 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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mastergamma12 wrote on 2022-04-21, 08:47:

Indeed it does, it's a really snappy machine so far though half the time, the usb keyboard (tried 2 different ones) won't work until I either go into windows or I reboot the machine multiple times, strangely enough if I hit Del when attempting to go into bios, it does but I can't do anything.

I experienced similar behavior on my KT7A motherboard unless USB Legacy mode was activated in the BIOS. Try setting that and see if it helps. Nowadays, I just go with a PS2 keyboard and mouse on any Win98 machine, to avoid the hassle.

I also limited the machine to 512 after getting everything set up using MSCONFIG just to be on the safe side, without the RLoew patch, I couldn't get anything working with 98 even when limiting ram via MSCONFIG or HimemX.

Here's how I go about installing Win98 on this system with 2 GB RAM. First, I format the SSD on a modern computer and create a 32 GB FAT32 partition. Then, I copy over the Win98 installation folder to C:\WIN98 and also copy HIMEMX.EXE to C:\HMX. After that, I boot from a floppy disk, switch to C:\WIN98 and run setup normally. The installation will work fine until it asks to restart the computer. When the restart occurs, it's imperative to boot from the floppy again and not let the Win98 installation proceed further. Once the system has booted from the floppy, I edit CONFIG.SYS to add this line at the very top:

DEVICE=C:\HMX\HIMEMX.EXE /MAX=524288

After that is done, I let the system boot up from the SSD and the Win98 installation completes flawlessly. Once I have Win98 fully installed, I run MSCONFIG and limit the RAM to 512 MB under the Advanced tab. Finally, I remove the aforementioned HimemX line from CONFIG.SYS since it's no longer needed. I have reinstalled Win98 several times on this system while testing different video cards, and this approach has always worked for me.

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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 7 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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bofh.fromhell wrote on 2022-04-21, 12:51:

Turns out the on-board sound-card plays through the case speaker when nothing is attached, cool!

Interesting! I knew that one could connect the PC speaker to a header on some sound cards, but I never thought the reverse would be possible too.

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 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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I've switched out the Audigy2 ZS for an Audigy1 + LiveDrive. The main reason is that wasn't happy with how CD audio sounded on the ZS.

For starters, the "CD Digital" volume slider was simply unavailable on the Audigy2 ZS when VxD drivers were used. This means that even if you physically connect your CD-ROM drive to the ZS using the proper SPDIF cable, it won't produce any sound since the relevant volume slider is missing and also muted. This slider works fine when using WDM drivers, but those are suboptimal for Win98SE since they cause a non-trivial performance loss, and can create problems with some older EAX capable games, such as the Need for Speed series. Now then, missing digital CD audio wouldn't be a big deal for me, provided that the analog connection worked properly on the ZS. Unfortunately it didn't, and I would get some crackling from that when using VxD drivers.

None of these issues occur when using the Audigy1 (SB0090) instead. Heck, I even installed the ZS drivers on it, and everything still works fine. The "CD Digital" volume slider is properly visible and can be adjusted as desired. With this card, I'm finally getting pristine digital CD audio under Win9x, even when using VxD drivers.

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Gaming performance did decrease ever so slightly when using the Audigy1, but just by 3-4 FPS on average, nothing significant. On the plus side, I now have a LiveDrive front panel (SB0010) which is super handy when using headphones and also for recording gameplay audio via optical (SPDIF) out. The colors of my DVD drive and the Audigy front panel don't match the case, but I don't particularly care since it stays closed most of the time. These front panels are hard to come by as is, so searching for one in a matching color would be quite tedious.

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 9 of 79, by Sombrero

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-04-28, 14:45:

Gaming performance did decrease ever so slightly when using the Audigy1, but just by 3-4 FPS on average, nothing significant.

Interesting, I've wondered about how much sound cards can affect FPS. I should one day get a SB Live or something and test does that increase/decrease FPS on my 650MHz P3 that has Audigy 2.

Odd that missing CD digital. I've been supposed to get a SPDIF cable for ages now but haven't, we'll see does the regular Audigy 2 have the same problem once I get around to that.

DOS/Win98SE: Pentium III 650MHz / Voodoo 3 3000 / Sound Blaster Audigy 2 / Orpheus
WinXP: Pentium 4 HT 651 3.4GHz (65W) / 9800 GTX+ / Sound Blaster X-Fi
Win7/10: Xeon E3-1230 v3 / GTX 1660 Ti / Sound Blaster Z

Reply 10 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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Sombrero wrote on 2022-04-28, 17:23:

Interesting, I've wondered about how much sound cards can affect FPS. I should one day get a SB Live or something and test does that increase/decrease FPS on my 650MHz P3 that has Audigy 2.

Phil has a video where he benchmarks the performance impact of various sound cards, albeit on a SS7 platform. You can see similar results in his tests.

Odd that missing CD digital. I've been supposed to get a SPDIF cable for ages now but haven't, we'll see does the regular Audigy 2 have the same problem once I get around to that.

You should be able to see the "CD Digital" slider even without connecting a SPDIF cable. It might be turned off by default, but you can turn it back on by clicking on Options > Properties under volume control. This doesn't work on the ZS since "CD Digital" is not present at all under volume control when using VxD drivers.

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 11 of 79, by Sombrero

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-04-28, 18:06:

Phil has a video where he benchmarks the performance impact of various sound cards, albeit on a SS7 platform. You can see similar results in his tests.

Oh, nice! Okay, nothing earth breaking but small differences here and there.

Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-04-28, 18:06:

You should be able to see the "CD Digital" slider even without connecting a SPDIF cable. It might be turned off by default, but you can turn it back on by clicking on Options > Properties under volume control. This doesn't work on the ZS since "CD Digital" is not present at all under volume control when using VxD drivers.

Right, there it was, turned off as you said. When I was getting the card I was looking for a ZS but couldn't find one at a decent price and picked up a regular one instead. Looks like I unknowingly lucked out as the analog CD is crackly and noisy as hell on this card and sounds like ZS isn't any better. Unless it's the CD drive in my case, should get a DOS game that has redbook audio and see how orpheus does with it.

By the way, do you happen to notice any difference with ZS and Audigy 1 using headphones, can you actually notice ZS having cleaner output?

DOS/Win98SE: Pentium III 650MHz / Voodoo 3 3000 / Sound Blaster Audigy 2 / Orpheus
WinXP: Pentium 4 HT 651 3.4GHz (65W) / 9800 GTX+ / Sound Blaster X-Fi
Win7/10: Xeon E3-1230 v3 / GTX 1660 Ti / Sound Blaster Z

Reply 12 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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Sombrero wrote on 2022-04-28, 19:15:

Right, there it was, turned off as you said. When I was getting the card I was looking for a ZS but couldn't find one at a decent price and picked up a regular one instead.

Nice! Good to know that the regular Audigy2 is not affected by this issue.

Looks like I unknowingly lucked out as the analog CD is noisy as hell. Unless it's the CD drive, should get a DOS game that has redbook audio and see how orpheus does with it.

I think certain drives may produce more noise than others using the analog CD audio cable, but some amount of noise will always be there due to the nature of the connection. On the Audigy1, if I turn on the (analog) "CD Audio" volume slider and set my speakers to around 80% of their maximum, I start hearing the noise. Of course, when muting the "CD Audio" slider and using "CD Digital" instead, there is no noise even at 100% speaker volume.

By the way, do you happen to notice any difference with ZS and Audigy 1 using headphones, can you actually notice ZS having cleaner output?

I think the ZS has slightly cleaner output when using speakers. But, if I connect my headphones to the dedicated jack on the LiveDrive front panel of my Audigy1, the sound clarity improves. This could be because the LiveDrive has an additional DAC which further enhances the sound quality. In short, Audigy1 + LiveDrive + Headphones roughly equals Audigy2 ZS + speakers.

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 13 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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I just realized that running SATA in RAID mode somehow makes it impossible for EMM386.EXE to utilize EMS. This apparently occurs because the memory address space which is normally used for this purpose gets occupied by the RAID controller. The error message I kept getting was: "EMM386 not installed - unable to set page frame base address".

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Specifying a different base address manually only resulted in another error i.e. "Warning: Option ROM or RAM detected within page frame". And while not having EMS prevents most late-era titles from even starting in pure DOS, it doesn't seem to matter for running games from within the Win9x DOS prompt. Anyhow, I wasn't planning on doing any serious DOS gaming on this system, but I thought it was worth mentioning in case someone else runs into the same issue.

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 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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I did a few more benchmarks after force-installing the Audigy2 ZS drivers on my Audigy1. Using those drivers, both cards are now fairly equal in terms of performance, with just a single FPS difference at most. That's pretty much within margin of error, so I'm very satisfied with these results.

Here's another reason against using the stock Audigy1 drivers from the official install CD. They force native stereo sources (e.g. DOS games and CD audio music) to be automatically "expanded" to surround when played on a 5.1 speaker system. I tried every single setting that I could find, but it looks like this can't be turned off with the stock Audigy1 drivers. OTOH, after force-installing the ZS drivers on the Audigy1, this behavior can be avoided by simply disabling CMSS in the EAX Console utility.

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That said, there is one use case where you may want to leave CMSS on - if you're playing a surround compatible game using headphones and want to get better positional audio. I found that this works quite well with Deus Ex and Thief 2 for example.

On the topic of sound clarity, I noticed that the headphone jack on the front panel provides very clean output within Windows. However, there's a noticeable hiss while the system is booting up e.g. during POST and such. This appears to come from analog inputs which are not muted by default until Windows loads. Specifically, the Microphone input and its "+20dB Boost" setting appear to be causing most of the hissing. Muting the Microphone volume slider along with any other unused analog inputs completely eliminates this, and the output becomes blissfully clean.

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 15 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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My Audigy was missing a gameport bracket so I got a spare. Using that, both my CH Flightstick and my SC-155 worked fine in native Windows games. The joystick also functions properly in DOS games, but the Sound Canvas does not. I played around with the Multimedia settings under Control Panel and made sure that the "SB Audigy MIDI Port" was set as the default MIDI device, but It didn't help. In short, if I play CANYON.MID using Windows Media Player, it will properly use my SC-155. But if I start a DOS game and select General MIDI for music, then the Audigy's internal synth gets used. Not sure if this is due to a driver limitation or something else.

I also got an RM-900 IR remote control for the Audigy front panel. It's not very useful in this day and age, but it must have been a fun novelty back in the early 2000s. The remote works fine with ZS drivers, as long as the MediaSource utility is installed. You can select the remote model and some other parameters from there:

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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 16 of 79, by SScorpio

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-05-05, 12:58:

In short, if I play CANYON.MID using Windows Media Player, it will properly use my SC-155. But if I start a DOS game and select General MIDI for music, then the Audigy's internal synth gets used. Not sure if this is due to a driver limitation or something else.

I believe it's a Windows setting but I'm not sure how to change it. I have a system with an Audigy 1 and MX-300 Vortex 3 in it. The Aureal drivers have an option to change the MIDI device for DOS and you can select whatever MIDI out WIndows has that you want. I haven't used the Audigy's gameport for MIDI out, but I have used its MPU-401 to drive the MIDI out from a Live Drive.

Reply 17 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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SScorpio wrote on 2022-05-05, 13:30:

I believe it's a Windows setting but I'm not sure how to change it.

The only place where I can change the MIDI output settings of the Audigy is the Multimedia Properties screen under Control Panel:

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However, no matter what I select here, DOS games (like Duke3D) always use the Audigy's synth (soundfonts) instead of the Sound Canvas. On the other hand, native Windows programs and games do correctly use the Sound Canvas if "SB Audigy MIDI Port" is selected. For example, Final Fantasy 7 plays its music on the Sound Canvas just fine.

SScorpio wrote on 2022-05-05, 13:30:

I haven't used the Audigy's gameport for MIDI out, but I have used its MPU-401 to drive the MIDI out from a Live Drive.

Interesting. Did that work for your DOS games as well?

I might be able to get one of those mini DIN to standard DIN adapters and try it out.

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 18 of 79, by SScorpio

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-05-05, 14:41:

Interesting. Did that work for your DOS games as well?

I might be able to get one of those mini DIN to standard DIN adapters and try it out.

Yes, but only when I selected the Audigy MPU 401 as the DOS MIDI device in the Aureal drivers, my understanding is that the same MIDI signals are output to both the game port and Live Drive at the same time.

Reply 19 of 79, by Joseph_Joestar

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SScorpio wrote on 2022-05-05, 16:59:

Yes, but only when I selected the Audigy MPU 401 as the DOS MIDI device in the Aureal drivers, my understanding is that the same MIDI signals are output to both the game port and Live Drive at the same time.

Hmm, it could be that something specific to the Aureal drivers makes this work then.

In the meantime, I've found this thread which describes a similar issue on a SBLive. That card also needed a third party program to make external MIDI devices work in DOS games.

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