What retro activity did you get up to today?

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by adz, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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    [Slowly raises hand]

    However, by the time onboard audio started to appear, weren't sound cards just being used as glorified DAC's anyway? In my defense my first onboard chip was a Soundblaster branded one.
     
  2. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    For 2-6 channel 16 bit 44KHz digital audio, yes.

    But there's more to audio than that. And there's also the whole analogue path out to your ears that benefits from components that cost more than single digit cents.
     
  3. power

    power Member

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    there's a sub for that

    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/forums/pc-audio.50/

    short answer it depends, long answer - most of the time. your defence has been noted, but not taken seriously.
     
  4. RogerWiIco

    RogerWiIco Member

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    Have been pushing back repeatedly on thoughts about starting a bring back to life project on either
    a) Nice high end run down 486 board
    b) broken/run down amiga <- not likely to find

    I haven't done any soldering or repairing for over a year now so getting that itch but probably regret it later as im not exactly full of free time. Trying to talk myself out of it but daily ebay and gumtree searches happening
     
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  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    And a couple of solid rants from audiophiles as well.

    And, for what it's worth, that's my benchmark. When I see people looking at me the way I look at audiophiles, that's when I know to shut up about whatever it is I'm getting excited about.
     
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  6. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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  7. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    Reminds me of the early FPS debates, yeah thats nice says your getting 200fps on your 60Hz CRT, so long as you feel the benefit... good for you and your placebo.
     
  8. rugger

    rugger Member

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    I really like having a discrete soundcard in my machines, and prefer it to onboard sound, for system performance, audio quality and driver quality (yes, sound blaster drivers suck ... but generally on a lower scale than onboard audio)

    But I'm no longer fanatical about it, as onboard sound isn't bad on most motherboards now.
     
  9. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    There was some argument for that when framerate was tied to input, and indirect rendering didn't exist yet.

    That's all been dead for eons though.

    ---------------------

    On the audio front,

    Nearly all of my "PC gaming" now is either on laptop through USB connected headphones (where that is the DAC), or on an RPi where audio is extracted from the HDMI out.

    Decent cheap audio via optical, digital or USB is so readily available now. Complaining that motherboards don't have good onboard sound any more is quite moot, I feel.

    I suspect it won't be long before we start seeing extremely accurate FPGA clones of retro audio devices too, with far cleaner sound via digital out. Whether they be plug in sound cards or MIDI devices like MT32/SC55. There's enough people invested in objectively recreating these things now, so it's only a matter of time.

    Then it becomes trivial for people to choose their quality output based on how much they invest into their DAC and resulting amp/speakers/headphones, and even then excellent quality DACs can be had for so little money today, it's madness.

    Hell, I bought a pair of amazing quality earbuds off AliExpress for $35 shipped that blew my socks off for what they were. There's only so much oomph these things can create due to their form factor of course, but the sheer clarity across the entire range was something I seriously didn't expect. They're my go-to for anything from podcasts to handheld gaming thanks to their size and quality, so I'm not forced to carry bulky/expensive headphones where-ever I go.

    I won't ever doubt that you can drop hundreds or thousands of dollars and get better gear. But honestly right now you can get some pretty astounding quality for a budget price. Double so if you're a retro gamer and everything caps out at two channel 16bit 44KHz, as it does for me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  10. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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    There was still a bit of life left in the 3D sound APIs and those did make a significant difference.
     
  11. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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    True, but weren't Creative themselves the ones that canned that idea a little prematurely?
     
  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I can't comment on when they canned what, but the fact that all of their stuff was proprietary seemed to be the enormous nail in their coffin to me.

    By all means, make whiz bang hardware that's proprietary and expensive and does amazing things. But if you want developers to support it, make the APIs themselves open, otherwise you're just killing your own market off.
     
  13. power

    power Member

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    Windows Vista fundamentally changed how audio works and it broke everything Creative built their sound cards on.
     
  14. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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    I remember when Creative made graphics cards. My first Nvidia card was a Geforce 2 GTS made my Creative, Quake 3 time demo went through the roof!
     
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  15. rugger

    rugger Member

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    I hate earbuds, they always fall out of my ears
     
  16. power

    power Member

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    they are never 100% comfortable and I always find that they start to get sore after a while.

    I much prefer my big Sennheisers (modded HD555's) they aren't the best headphones in the land but they are super comfortable.
     
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  17. rugger

    rugger Member

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    I am building a midi interface for my Raspberry Pi 3 for mt32-pi. This is actually pretty close to having a MT32/SC55 ... or at least as close to one as I will ever get. It wouldn't be hard to plug in a USB audio device to get digital out of that.
     
  18. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    I thin kit's a case of one size/shape fits most, but not all. Different shaped/sized ears etc. Buds tend to dislodge in my right ear but always remain in place in my left ear.
     
  19. DonutKing

    DonutKing Member

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    That just reminded me. Mate of mine had a Geforce 2 GTS on an Athlon Thunderbird 1.3
    He upgraded to an Athlon XP 1800+ and kept the video card. His quake 3 timedemo (I forget exactly which one it was) went from around 20 seconds to something like 4 seconds lol
    It was amazing the first time he ran it and the timedemo was pretty much over as soon as it started! We were shocked.
    Pretty sure it was due to the SSE instructions on the Athlon XP.
     
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  20. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    From memory I think they only did a few GeForce cards? Seemed to drop off the video card market after that.

    My first 3D accelerator was the Creative 3D Blaster PCI. Will never forget the jaw dropping moment playing vQuake (Rendition accelerated version of Quake) for the first time on my Pentium 100. Looked and ran amazing compared to the graphics and performance I was used to up till then.
     
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