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5150 sound card options

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    5150 sound card options

    I am just about ready to finish the final repair to my 5150 PC with 5161 Expansion Unit power supply issue, and am beginning to think about the next, and possibly final upgrade to my system. What I'm interested in is getting an 8 bit sound card. Unfortunately, I'm not at all familiar with what is available for 8088 based systems. I know Sound Blaster was a big name back when the first IBM PC's and compatible's, but I don't know what other makes/models were available, or even if there were any that are completely compatible with the first IBM PC's.

    In addition, as I repair my two Compaq Portables, I will want to think about the possibility of adding sound cards to them as well. One Portable is the Portable Plus, and the other is a Portable 2 286 IBM compatible. What sound cards would you recommend for these systems, and what should I consider a fair price? Or, should I simply let the sound card option go as far as the IBM and Portable Plus?

    As always, thanks in advance.
    Wanted: - Complete SERIES ONE TRS-80, IBM 5170 AT, Original authentic IBM 5100 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor. Also looking for Packard Bell 75Mhz computer, Commodore Pet w. Built-in cassette drive, amber 12 CRT, Mac SE-30 hard disk to replace the bad drive currently installed, TRS-80 Coco series 1 upgrades including memory, IBM PC 5160 compatible CD ROM.

    #2
    8-bit sound cards http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/sound-ca...l#.U0hDA6JvCSo Adlib cards are out there as well I've got Amstrad Ablib clone that is not on that page.

    As you noted SB cards had the widest circulation. Almost any 16bit ISA should work in the 286s. Scanning ebay will give you an idea of how much folk want for them. Price will depend on a particular make/model. ESS 16-bit cards can probably be had for a $1. At the end of the day the final decision is really up to you whether or not it's worth fitting one. In saying that if the machine has a spare isa slot why not fill it?
    Last edited by Caluser2000; April 12, 2014, 11:49 AM.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

    Comment


      #3
      Adlib (or an Adlib clone... you can build one yourself if you want)
      Sound Blaster or compatible card. Multiple options here:Original Sound Blasters (1.0, 1.5, 2.0) and Sound Blaster Pro are preferable choices. They will work with 8-bit bus, and configured using jumpers (Sound Blaster 1.0 also has sockets for CMS chips...). Some 16-bit cards will work in 8-bit as well. I tried ESS ES1868 and Vibra 16VX based cards, both work in 8-bit slots, but need ISA PNP enabler utiltities (which in turn use 80186+ instructions... they work with V20 work, but not 808. I've heard that some ESS cards can be configured with jumpers instead of PnP.
      Generally anything Sound Blaster Pro compatible should work (for example Analog Devices AD1816 based cards), but again might require a PnP or similar configuration utility.

      Edit
      Note that the number of programs (or games) that support Sound Blaster and will run reasonably fast on a PC with 4.77 MHz CPU is very limited. There are a bit more programs that support Adlib (and they will work on an SB compatible card as well). This is mostly limited to games released in 1988-1990, most later games need at least 286, and while they might work on 8088 it will be painfully slow.
      Last edited by sergey; April 11, 2014, 01:00 PM.

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        #4
        The build it yourself option is a great idea. Too bad you don't have a pre-packaged kit with everything needed. I would buy one as soon as I had the money. What is the total cost for all of the parts? Or, how much for a pre-built card?
        Wanted: - Complete SERIES ONE TRS-80, IBM 5170 AT, Original authentic IBM 5100 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor. Also looking for Packard Bell 75Mhz computer, Commodore Pet w. Built-in cassette drive, amber 12 CRT, Mac SE-30 hard disk to replace the bad drive currently installed, TRS-80 Coco series 1 upgrades including memory, IBM PC 5160 compatible CD ROM.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by sergey View Post
          cI've heard that some ESS cards can be configured with jumpers instead of PnP..
          Correct. FCC ID:L6NS521 Works a treat on my 286.
          Last edited by Caluser2000; April 11, 2014, 04:41 PM.
          Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

          Comment


            #6
            Sound Blaster 16 is a great option for a 16bit machine. They are supported by most everything. I have one for sale if you're interested. In my experience 8 bit sound cards are hard to come by, so I never really bothered to install one in my 5160.

            IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
            IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
            Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

            Comment


              #7
              The ATI Stereo F/X is a decent 8-bit Sound Blaster clone with CMS sockets. There is an auction on eBay with three of them available, though the supplied picture shows the card without the CMS chips. He's asking $81 for the things. I had to buy the SAA1099 chips for my own card, they're $3 each on eBay from China.

              My card is in a 8 mHz 8086 system, but I'm thinking a lot of the older Koei DOS games will run on a 8088 system if you're the patient type. The games don't support Sound Blaster directly, but do support Adlib sound. Koei's games are something of an acquired taste though.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the info. From what I'm hearing both from here and other forum sites, I really don't think I'll do that upgrade to my 8 bit machines after all. I've gotten some pretty good insight regarding 8 bit gaming and more to the point, the 8 bit machines ability to play games smoothly with sound enabled. It was just a thought, but I may still contact you via pm in the very near future regarding the SB you have for sale.

                Thanks much...

                Originally posted by lutiana View Post
                Sound Blaster 16 is a great option for a 16bit machine. They are supported by most everything. I have one for sale if you're interested. In my experience 8 bit sound cards are hard to come by, so I never really bothered to install one in my 5160.
                Wanted: - Complete SERIES ONE TRS-80, IBM 5170 AT, Original authentic IBM 5100 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor. Also looking for Packard Bell 75Mhz computer, Commodore Pet w. Built-in cassette drive, amber 12 CRT, Mac SE-30 hard disk to replace the bad drive currently installed, TRS-80 Coco series 1 upgrades including memory, IBM PC 5160 compatible CD ROM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Roland MPU-401 interface cards and clones (including MIF-IPC-A replicas) allow you to connect external MIDI modules. Those are 8 BIT.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The best sound option for an 8-bit PC is in my opinion PCjr/Tandy 3-voice sound. You can actually find lots of games that will run well on that.
                    My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Great Hierophant View Post
                      The best sound option for an 8-bit PC is in my opinion PCjr/Tandy 3-voice sound. You can actually find lots of games that will run well on that.
                      Agreed... There's just not enough CPU power to push a sound card on an 8088 system. That said, Adlib sound is probably the next-best option, as I'm fairly certain that Tandy 3-voice/PCjr sound wasn't released in an ISA card format for other machines

                      Though, as PeterLI said, MIDI is another option.
                      ---
                      Currently seeking:
                      * Roland MPU-401/AT (with daughter card header)
                      * Magitronic K-156 Keyboard (5pin DIN w/ XT-AT switch)
                      I also collect PC and C64 Sierra On-Line software!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I had a GameBlster card in my XT. I can't remember any issues that took away from my gaming experience.
                        That and my EGA upgrade made my XT feel like a whole new computer.
                        Last edited by luvit; April 14, 2014, 02:11 PM. Reason: typo
                        Wanted: Sony CDU-535 or CDU6250 CD-ROM Drive (Caddy drive) for 8-bit Sony Interface Card
                        sigpic <-- This is me using my IBM PC 5150 over Ethernet TCP/IP network with assignable drive letters

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I can imagine it would've at the time.
                          Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Many games from the 1980s only do MIDI anyway: which sounds better with a MT-32. I gave up on 8086s though: games are too slow (QFG, Civilization, Centurion and so on). Never had a 8088.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Relatively few games from the 1980s use MIDI (Adlib is not MIDI), but none are really playable on most 8-bit machines.
                              My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

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