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What is the fastest sound card for Super Socket 7?

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by philscomputerlab, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,843
    Yes, more fun with the Super Socket 7 platform!

    The processor is quite basic, so choosing parts that don't tax the processor is important. Enabling DMA for example is a must.

    But what about the sound? ISA vs PCI, what about VXD and WDM drivers, is there a difference?

    Let's find out!

    Test system:

    - DFI K6XV3+/66!
    - K6-III+ @ 550 MHz
    - 1 stick of 128 MB PC133 SDRAM CL2
    - 3dfx Voodoo 3 3500
    - Windows 98
    - DirectX 7

    The candidates:

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    The results:

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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  2. Grant

    Grant Member

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    Wow, didn't realise there was that much variance.

    I wonder if there was that much of an effect using a WinModem vs. a hardware modem in multiplayer?
     
  3. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    Interesting thread. What's with the Audigy?

    Sound cards are a retro minefield. And an expensive one at that. I stick with the Aureal Vortex 2 for PCI, and either the AWE64 Value or the Yamaha YMF718 for ISA.

    All cheap. :lol:
     
  4. atmo

    atmo Member

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    Odd result for the LS in incoming. Is there an option to turn off 3d/eax audio for that card or in the game to see if the performance hit is related?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

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    WDM drivers and software processing. Likely you can disable 3D sound, lower the quality setting and all of that, the typical performance tweaks one can carry out.

    Or you can just swap the card :)
     
  6. zebu

    zebu Member

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    This is always a tough one and i think it comes down to the games you wanted to play

    Having had a yamaha 719, 192xg, a bunch of ESS cards and live back when a socket 7 was my primary PC i would always go with the live! if i needed EAX and the isa or PCI yamaha cards if i needed OPL3

    isa yamaha 719 and a Live! in the same system worked nicely, just disable/dont load drivers for whatever card you needed, usually dos drivers for 719 and windows drivers for the Live!
     
  7. OP
    OP
    philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

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    Guys I've done another benchmark marathon and updated the first post with brand new charts!

    Tested are now:

    - GLQuake
    - Quake II (Quality set to high for 22 KHz)
    - Quake III (Quality set to high for 22 KHz + A3D option for Vortex)
    - Incoming (Both options 3DSound and A3D)
    - Descent 3 (Lots of options, Direct Sound, Direct Sound 3D, EAX and A3D) tested all of them
    - Unreal (in 44 KHz, and then in 44 KHz with Use3DHardware option)
     
  8. atmo

    atmo Member

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    Descent 3 results really stand out, given there's a 40% drop in frames with even the best performing card installed vs no card. There must be a lot of software audio processing going on there compared to the other games.

    The mystery card is a bit of a curve ball. With video cards it's easy enough to narrow it down to a certain series or at least a particular era.

    It supports EAX, so late 90's or newer. If it was Vortex based you'd likely have listed different results with A3D enabled as with the Vortex 2. Not a great performer overall, but to different degrees in each title. A little faster in directsound than the Live WDM.

    From memory the Vibra 128 supported EAX, but I'd then expect results closer to the Audigy LS. Maybe it's something later, such as an Audigy 2, as the drivers may not be optimized for 98.

    Aopen, Hercules and a few other brands made some CMedia based cards which supported EAX.

    No idea...:lol:
     
  9. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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    I'll swear to my grave the vortex 2 was the best sounding card at the time.
    loved that fucker.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

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    Yea Descent 3 results surprised me also.

    The mystery card, I'm hoping to produce a video this weekend and reveal it :)
     
  11. OP
    OP
    philscomputerlab

    philscomputerlab Member

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    Added Audigy results. But that's it, moving on to other things :)
     

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