Hardware Need a retro friendly sound card

codezer0

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As the title says...

Well, my Win9x project for the build I'd named Magikarp (kek) seems to be mostly working.
Specs as it currently is, are as follows:
  • Athlon XP 3200+ (stock 2.2GHz)
  • Abit KW7 motherboard (VIA KT880 chipset)
  • 2 x 256MB DDR433 memory @ DDR 400
  • XFX Geforce 6800XT 256MB
So at least all that seems to be working, and that Unofficial service pack 3 for Windows 98se does indeed make a pleasant difference toward the usability of the computer. Pro-tip for anyone looking to replicate on this? Sandbag your memory speeds for the install process. That was the only way I was able to get 98se to actually install without falling flat on its face. :creep: The last check box that needs to be addressed, however, is the sound. :discuss:

At first I put this build together to try and make use of an Aureal Vortex 2 (au8830) sound card I'd found in my wife's old pc parts bin. However, given i kind of swore off VIA chipsets back in the day from the moment I first had an nforce board, I had no reason to look into incompatibilities... and what a doozie of one there was between Aureal and VIA. Not really worth looking for an nforce2 motherboard now, because they're priced-ratcheted up to heck on eBay now. Not worth switching to a Pentium 3/4 platform, either, IMO.

In any case, I can't use the Aureal, which sucks. And the onboard Realtek flat out doesn't work in Windows 98 or Millenium (yes, I even tried WinMe as a possible avenue). It does work correctly in Win2k or XP, but that defeats the point of this project. And right now, I just don't have a spare sound card that I can pop in otherwise.

So, I guess i need to figure out what I can get as an alternative. I know the first-gen Audigy didn't really like VIA boards then... if possible It'd make it easier to justify buying one if I knew that it had driver support on newer OS's past this. Like at least with an Audigy or X-fi, I know that for even up to Windows 10 there are Daniel K drivers to help there. Sadly, those Daniel K drivers don't support Win9x directly. So, yeah, basically just trying to get some ideas of what a compatible solution for this arrangement would be.:unsure:
 
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Alexander1970

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As the title says...

Well, my Win9x project for the build I'd named Magikarp (kek) seems to be mostly working.
Specs as it currently is, are as follows:
  • Athlon XP 3200+ (stock 2.2GHz)
  • Abit KW7 motherboard (VIA KT880 chipset)
  • 2 x 256MB DDR433 memory @ DDR 400
  • XFX Geforce 6800XT 256MB
So at least all that seems to be working, and that Unofficial service pack 3 for Windows 98se does indeed make a pleasant difference toward the usability of the computer. Pro-tip for anyone looking to replicate on this? Sandbag your memory speeds for the install process. That was the only way I was able to get 98se to actually install without falling flat on its face. :creep: The last check box that needs to be addressed, however, is the sound. :discuss:

At first I put this build together to try and make use of an Aureal Vortex 2 (au8830) sound card I'd found in my wife's old pc parts bin. However, given i kind of swore off VIA chipsets back in the day from the moment I first had an nforce board, I had no reason to look into incompatibilities... and what a doozie of one there was between Aureal and VIA. Not really worth looking for an nforce2 motherboard now, because they're priced-ratcheted up to heck on eBay now. Not worth switching to a Pentium 3/4 platform, either, IMO.

In any case, I can't use the Aureal, which sucks. And the onboard Realtek flat out doesn't work in Windows 98 or Millenium (yes, I even tried WinMe as a possible avenue). It does work correctly in Win2k or XP, but that defeats the point of this project. And right now, I just don't have a spare sound card that I can pop in otherwise.

So, I guess i need to figure out what I can get as an alternative. I know the first-gen Audigy didn't really like VIA boards then... if possible It'd make it easier to justify buying one if I knew that it had driver support on newer OS's past this. Like at least with an Audigy or X-fi, I know that for even up to Windows 10 there are Daniel K drivers to help there. Sadly, those Daniel K drivers don't support Win9x directly. So, yeah, basically just trying to get some ideas of what a compatible solution for this arrangement would be.:unsure:

Hello.:)

The concern I have is on your Chipset.
The KT880 VIA was known to have always Problems with some PCI cards.
Like with Soundblaster Live Cards and Pinnacle Video Editing Cards like DV500.

A Soundblaster 128 PCI maybe would fit better in your great PC Rack.:)

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Soundblaster+PCI+128&_sacat=0

Thank you.:)
 

Alexander1970

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Does the SB 128 support surround sound? Digital audio for playback from an optical drive? If so, those prices are looking much more reasonable :unsure:

If you mean Digital to Drive with an Cable - Yes.
You can see on the Picture 3 Connectors - TAD/CD_IN/AUX_IN.

s-l1600.jpg

Surround Sound - Depending on the Modell,some have only 3 Connectors on the Rear (Line IN/Speaker/Microphone)
The Sounblaster 512 PCI has two Output Connectors but only Quadrophonic Output.
This Sound Card(s) has also great DOS Game compatibility.:)

The next Step is the Soundblaster Live! Series (the 1024 or 5.1 Modell with Surround Sound and also CD Digital connector).
I also had this Sound Card with Windows 98 and Windows Millenium and they also works great with DOS Games.:)

Thank you.:)
 

codezer0

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I'm pretty big on surround sound... so would that mean I would be better off with a Live! 5.1 instead? Or perhaps rather than a first-gen Audigy, maybe an Audigy 2/ZS if I could somehow sneak it? I really loved the audio quality of the first-gen Audigy I had while it still worked.
 
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codezer0

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For 5.1 Surround Sound - Yes,the Soundblaster Live! 5.1.:)

The Modells Soundblaster Player/Player 1024/Live/Live Value/Live Platinium supports ONLY 4 Speakers !

Thank you.:)
Okay, one more question. What about an Audigy 2, though? I had the original audigy back in the day, and at least while it worked, it did sound amazing. While it worked... when it physically died, by then I had done my best to try and afford an X-Fi instead.
 
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Alexander1970

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Okay, one more question. What about an Audigy 2, though? I had the original audigy back in the day, and at least while it worked, it did sound amazing. While it worked... when it physically died, by then I had done my best to try and afford an X-Fi instead.

I can not say for DOS Games,my Soundblaster "experiences" stopped with the Live! series.:)
Also there are too many Modells unfortunately I "loose Overview" over each single Cards capabilites.

My personal recommendation for your Win9x Project stays on the Live! 5.1.

Thank you.:)
 

codezer0

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I can not say for DOS Games,my Soundblaster "experiences" stopped with the Live! series.:)
Also there are too many Modells unfortunately I "loose Overview" over each single Cards capabilites.

My personal recommendation for your Win9x Project stays on the Live! 5.1.

Thank you.:)
Okay, makes sense. Seems that from my own looking around, while the first-gen Audigy would have really wide OS support, the dependency of needing the original CD to install drivers is kind of a pain in the butt to contend with on the used market. And for anything that's new enough to handle an Audigy2 or better, I'd be better off with an X-Fi, which I know would work excellent even up to Windows 10.

One more question. Looking at the Live! 5.1 in particular, where would I plug in a case's front-panel Audio stuff into? does it have that support?
 
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Alexander1970

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Okay, makes sense. Seems that from my own looking around, while the first-gen Audigy would have really wide OS support, the dependency of needing the original CD to install drivers is kind of a pain in the butt to contend with on the used market. And for anything that's new enough to handle an Audigy2 or better, I'd be better off with an X-Fi, which I know would work excellent even up to Windows 10.

One more question. Looking at the Live! 5.1 in particular, where would I plug in a case's front-panel Audio stuff into? does it have that support?

Then you need the Live 5.1 Platinum Edition.That comes with an Front Panel.Or you can search on EBay for the Panel only.
The Sound Cards from

Soundblaster Live! 5.1

SB0060.jpg


and

Soundblaster Live 5.1
Platinum Edition are identical.:)

1342777_101005054523_sb_live_drive.jpg platinum.jpg

The only difference is on the Rear Connectors from the Cards - some have "golden" ones:


41SWGZHCPVL.jpg 1342777_101005054523_sb_live_drive.jpg

Thank you.:)
 

codezer0

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oh! actually, I found an alternative.

Seems that for some models of the SB live 5.1 there is this proprietary looking connector along the top with the analog ins that it normally has. Some of those come with an adapter cable that would then accept a modern front panel audio connector. :teach::toot:
 
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