PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-8-15 @ 17:32

I think it's not the IRQ it's the DMA especially the high-dma that causes these issues.
Games with early sb-support do work fine on ess-solo1 with i845 or older. They require I5/7 and only DMA1.

That's perhaps why PinballDreams2+PinballFantasies do work with "adlib" but not with "soundblaster".
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-8-15 @ 20:37

I thing that its emulation SB Pro T4/T5, that is 8bit (lowdma) so there shouldnt be high dma at all its for 16bit cards. I know that somehow some games (Blood) are able to use it 16bit (or at least setup look like) on these card to, but only some.. or i dont fully understand how it works. Cards with have full SB16 emulation usually have in set blaster T6 (SB16) a also HX parameter for High DMA.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Kamerat » 2018-8-17 @ 11:48

Made a little batch file for setting up the Solo-1 with the PCISET utility (just rename it with a .BAT extension), no need for ESSOLO.SYS/COM. I think most of the IRQ settings only applies when running the card with serialized IRQ over a PC/PCI connection. As confiugered now it sets the Solo-1 into TDMA mode, SB I/O 220h, SB DMA 1, MPU I/O 330. If viewed under Windows use the Terminal font. Don't expect any magic from this file.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-8-17 @ 15:16

Card without drivers, i wonder for what it is good for? I know there some modern program, which have only sound card stacks.. and maybe some music programs.. but as far i understand it, it will work with games, am i right?
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Kamerat » 2018-8-17 @ 16:17

ruthan wrote:Card without drivers, i wonder for what it is good for? I know there some modern program, which have only sound card stacks.. and maybe some music programs.. but as far i understand it, it will work with games, am i right?

Yes, it works with games and since ESSOLO.COM mostly ignores the settings in ESSOLO.INI it can be somewhat useful when you want to run other configurations than the default one. You can also enable and disable FM, SB, MPU and joystick separately.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Revolter » 2018-8-18 @ 01:36

Kamerat wrote:Made a little batch file for setting up the Solo-1 with the PCISET utility (just rename it with a .BAT extension), no need for ESSOLO.SYS/COM. I think most of the IRQ settings only applies when running the card with serialized IRQ over a PC/PCI connection. As confiugered now it sets the Solo-1 into TDMA mode, SB I/O 220h, SB DMA 1, MPU I/O 330. If viewed under Windows use the Terminal font. Don't expect any magic from this file.


Kamerat, hey, some of the "problematic games" now work fine with Intel ICH2 if the DMA emulation is set to one of the WBDMA modes (101, 110 or 111)! THANK YOU!!!

Namely those are: Earthworm Jim 2, Quarantine 2, Crusader: No Remorse. Duke Nukem 3D outputs SFX in the setup program and starts fine sometimes, but it always freezes the computer at certain point. I will later report with the full list of tested games.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Revolter » 2018-8-18 @ 13:27

So here is the list (note that I haven't tested every idTech 1 and Build game - just several of each to get the impression):

Code: Select all
idTech 1 games                           (Windows, WBDMA) /in DOS use DOS/32A
Build games                              (Windows)
Alien Rampage                            (Windows, WBDMA)
Bioforge                                 (WBDMA)
Brutal: Paws of Fury                     (Windows)
Carmageddon                              (Windows, WBDMA)
Crusader: No Remorse                     (WBDMA)
Crusader: No Regret                      (WBDMA)
Death Rally
Descent                                  (Windows, WBDMA)
Descent 2                                (Windows, WBDMA)
Descent to Undermountain                 (Windows, WBDMA)
Dreamweb                                 (Windows, WBDMA)
Dune 2                                   (Windows, WBDMA)
Earthworm Jim                            (WBDMA)
Earthworm Jim 2                          (WBDMA)
Epic Pinball                             (Windows)
Extreme Pinball                          (Windows)
IndyCar Racing 2                         (Windows, WBDMA) /in DOS sounds end abruptly
Jazz Jackrabbit                           
Kingdom At War                           (Windows) /audio is a bit noisy
Legend of Kyrandia 2                     (Windows, WBDMA)
Legend of Kyrandia 3                     (Windows)
Lion King                                (Windows, WBDMA) /in DOS sounds end abruptly
Magic Carpet                             (Windows)
One Must Fall: 2097                      (Windows)
Pacific Strike                           (WBDMA)
PC Rally                                 (Windows) /audio is a bit noisy
Quake                                    (Windows, WBDMA) /in DOS sounds end abruptly
Quarantine                               (WBDMA) /use DOS/32A
Quarantine 2: Road Warrior               (WBDMA)
Raptor: Call of the Shadows              (Windows, WBDMA) /in DOS use DOS/32A.EXE
Rayman                                   (WBDMA) /sounds end abruptly
Rise of the Triad                        (Windows, WBDMA)
Screamer 2                               (WBDMA)
Silverball
Strike Commander                         (WBDMA)
Super Star Wars                          (Windows, WBDMA) /in Windows audio is a bit noisy
Terminal Velocity                        (WBDMA)
Terminator: Future Shock                 (Windows, WBDMA)
Terminator: SKYNET                       (Windows, WBDMA)
The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall          (Windows, WBDMA)
The Need For Speed                       (Windows, WBDMA)
Turrican 2                               (WBDMA)
Ultima 8                                 (WBDMA)
Wing Commander: Armada                   (WBDMA)
Wings of Glory
X-COM: UFO Defense                       (Windows, WBDMA)
X-COM: Terror From The Deep              (Windows, WBDMA)


What all of this means:

1) These are the games I know of that do not output digital sound (correctly, without crashes/freezes, or at all) in pure DOS 6.22 on the ESS Solo-1 ES1938S card (this is a pretty large family of desktop and integrated cards, so it may also be valid for Allegro, Canyon-3D and other chipsets) in its native TDMA mode on an Intel 815+ICH2 motherboard.

2) If not otherwise stated - the game runs perfectly fine in the specified mode.

3) By "Windows" I mean the built-in Windows Millenium Edition WDM driver for ESS Solo-1 ES1938S.

4) By "WBDMA" I mean the additional compatibility mode made available during the card's initialization routine thanks to Kamerat and his wonderful easy-to-read batch file. For this list I used the "111" value - as it has less artifacts and is slightly louder for some reason than the other values (101 and 110). Note: the value "100" does nothing useful compared to TDMA.

5) The games that do not have any comments beside them - simply do not work properly with this card (they either do not even start, or are unplayable with digital sound enabled due to jerky animations, speed issues or other woes) despite my workaround attempts that worked for other games.

So now it's only 3 games that don't work out of about 165 I've tested :D That is quite an improvement from 15!
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Kamerat » 2018-8-18 @ 14:33

Very nice Revolter. I had nearly written off the WBDMA modes, but never did any extended testing of them.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-8-18 @ 15:47

Its WBDMA ESS-Solo 1 specific or it could help other cards?

Revolter: Is always good to add some info to not working games too, where is problem. Someone could figure out how to fix such problem, after testing lots of games with lots of cards on modern machine, i developed quite fixing skill.. I recommend minimal test everything in EMS and Realmode (Himem.sys, dont start EMS at all) if card enable it test it with both IRQ 5/7. If you get some runtime error 200 or 6003 or divide overflow that is generally fixable. I never fixed anything by using DOS32A, but i fixed very few games or its warning by using newer version od DOS4GW.. If have are using HMI*386 libraries you can try to use library from other game - newer / older.. same with some *.ovl and *.drv drivers. And there are other tricks.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Kamerat » 2018-8-20 @ 17:39

ruthan wrote:Its WBDMA ESS-Solo 1 specific or it could help other cards?

Some PCI sound cards got some other (TSR less) modes than the standard DDMA and PC/PCI modes. Crystal got it's CCLS and CCLX. Forté Media FM801-AU got it's "Legacy modes" that might be some sort of WBDMA modes. Avance Logic ALS4000 got WBDMA and WSDMA (Write snoop DMA). Trident 4DWave got it's "Trident proprietary DMA snooping mechanism" as stated in the datasheet.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-8-20 @ 17:43

Kamerat wrote:Some PCI sound cards got some other (TSR less) modes than the standard DDMA and PC/PCI modes. Crystal got it's CCLS and CCLX. Forté Media FM801-AU got it's "Legacy modes" that might be some sort of WBDMA modes. Avance Logic ALS4000 got WBDMA and WSDMA (Write snoop DMA). Trident 4DWave got it's "Trident proprietary DMA snooping mechanism" as stated in the datasheet.

Thanks for info, so any major players.. except ESS Solo1, from modern as possible retro machine perspective.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-8-20 @ 18:09

This batch file with pciset-utility does not solve any of my problematic game-engines.
The only thing that helps is using WDM-Drivers within win98se. sorry guys.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Revolter » 2018-8-20 @ 18:46

dr.zeissler wrote:This batch file with pciset-utility does not solve any of my problematic game-engines.
The only thing that helps is using WDM-Drivers within win98se. sorry guys.


Which motherboard have you tried this on? Did you check the other values (101, 110)? Are you sure you've changed the right value? Check the picture for exact location.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-8-20 @ 19:11

Right I did not test the WBDMA modes...but I will do this test shortly... Thx!
It will be tested on i845gv and on i815e...
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-8-21 @ 06:51

Testing with "100";"101";110";"111"
- Pinball Dreams2
- Pinball Fantasies
Result: Before "tack, tack, tack" now: "garbage: aoiafvhninbv"

Testing with "100";"101";110";"111"
- Extreme Pinball
Result: Before "nothing at all" now: "nothing at all"

Testing with "100";"101";110";"111"
- Duke3d
- Blood
- Swarrior
Result: Before "DMA/IRQ conflict" now: "DMA/IRQ conflict"

Testing with "100";"101";110";"111"
- Turrican2
Result: Before "nothing at all" now: "nothing at all"

So as you can see, this does not change anything for me. I am going to play these games within Win98se and the WDM-Drivers dated from 2000.
Turrican2 does not work at all (because it requires only himem), ExtremePinball sound is cratchy on Win9x. PinballDreams2/PinballFantasies
do not work on Win9x, but they do work with "adlib" and throttle. But they do not sound as good as with GUS or a Sb16, but they do work.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-9-01 @ 15:20

I can confirm that ESS Solo 1 is working with 4CoreDual-VSTA MB -VIA 880 Ultra / VT8237A chipset /Southbridge in pure Dos, didnt yet mess with WBDMA.. Im running with JEMM, because im unable to make EMM working (freeze on EMS line, regardless of IDE/SATA / Bios setting). ESSsolo.com print out IRQ7,A220 DMA1, P330 settings. WIn98 game are working too, i didnt test WIn98 Dos mode, but i discovered that there is some legacy device in device manager - there was detected A240, i changed it to A220 to better compatibility, no problem.

I have same problems as other with Doom II + Blood - music only, no SFX, i know that it was already reported but its still suprising that these high profiles games are not compatible Doom II is on of "most important" Dos games..

What is working (i did test only few games): Warcraft I + II, Dungeon Master I, Golden Axe.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-9-02 @ 16:33

Ok i have tested ESS Solo 1 + VIA 880 Ultra with some games are added results to my sheet (last collumn):
https://docs.zoho.com/sheet/published.d ... 2a9209e034

I didn yet fiddle with WBDMA, but .. i would say that Aureals and Yamahas are better choices for pure DOS, ESS SOLO 1 make sense probably only when you need to assemble Core 2 Quad machine Via chipset in comparison with some i865 board which supports only Duo Core, also there are "Frankenstein" Asrock MB with PCI-E (all Gen2 cards are supported up to Geforce 730), and AGP and PCI videocards its better that i865 boards for multiboot.. but i would say that X58 is much better for multiboot.

From results ESS Solo 1 is not bad card with VIA chipset, lots of games are working, but with others cards even more game are working even on newer chipsets and there is also issues that with VIA 880 ultra, im only able to use JEMM386 and QEMM, EMM386 freezing at start even with IDE HDD.. so im glad that i tested it, but is not some ultimate hidden gem.
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Revolter » 2018-9-03 @ 15:58

ruthan wrote:I didn yet fiddle with WBDMA


But that is the whole point: the WBDMA trick makes this already decent card the best PCI solution for DOS games compatibility (in my opinion). Much less games are prone to freezing or crashing on startup like with Aureal cards, no EMM386 requirement and lack of wavetable header of Yamaha's, drivers are not throttling-sensitive like Creative's. And for those games that do not work still - there are always the WDM drivers shipped with Windows ME (they also enable the wavetable header in Win9x). Have you read the comments above?

Doom and other idTech 1 games work in both DOS (via WBDMA + DOS32A) and Windows (via WDM).

By the way, I've since found out that Death Rally demo version works fine for some reason. One Must Fall 2097 is also good in Windows, but only if you can run your CPU slow enough concerning real speed (300Mhz tops I think), so that you could slow it down to 486 level with Throttle.exe. I've already played through the whole game like that and finished it :)
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby ruthan » 2018-9-03 @ 18:37

Revolter wrote:But that is the whole point: the WBDMA trick makes this already decent card the best PCI solution for DOS games compatibility (in my opinion). Much less games are prone to freezing or crashing on startup like with Aureal cards, no EMM386 requirement and lack of wavetable header of Yamaha's, drivers are not throttling-sensitive like Creative's. And for those games that do not work still - there are always the WDM drivers shipped with Windows ME (they also enable the wavetable header in Win9x). Have you read the comments above?

Well, i dont care about Win98, its running fine even on much faster machines. I wanted to test default driver settings at first and after if i would have time later with WBDMA. Reports are actually mix bag - Kamerat - wrote dont expect too much, for you its working (i dunno with which values), dr.zeissler reporting that its the same..
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Re: PCI sound cards and Chipsets from various manufacturers...

Postby Revolter » 2018-9-03 @ 18:47

ruthan wrote:Reports are actually mix bag
Not at all: Kamerat told us he hadn't tested the WBDMA modes, and dr.zeissler had reported about the games I've already listed as not working in DOS even with WBDMA (the Pinball series works in Adlib mode, so they are non-problematic in my book).
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