Sound Cards
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  • Home CardType Description
    SerTek DCS S805 DCS S805 (PCI BM, P'n'P, full-duplex, 32 ch.WT, 48 kHz, SB, SBP, DS, DS3D, A3D)
    Ensoniq Ensoniq PCI Ensoniq PCI (PCI BM, P'n'P, full-duplex, 32 ch.WT/2-4MB, 48 kHz, ENSONIQ Soundscape, SBP, DS, MPC 1,2,3)
    Turtle Beach TB Malibu S64 (SRS Surround Sound 3D, 16bit, stereo, full-duplex, 48 kHz, OPL3 and 2x32 voice/4MB Kurzweil WaveTable, S/PDIF output for DAT)
    OPTi OPTi933 OPTiSound82C933 (16bit, stereo, full-duplex, OPL3 and 64 voice WaveTable, 2W/ch, 48 kHz, pre-amp., 3D, DirectX/DirectSound)
    Shuttle Inc. HOT-247 OPTiSound82C933 (16bit, stereo, full-duplex, OPL3 and 64 voice WaveTable, 2W/ch, 48 kHz, pre-amp., 3D, DirectX/DirectSound)
    Addonics SV 128 MMX and XG-technology (16bit, stereo, full-duplex, OPL3, 2W/ch, 48 kHz, 3D)
    Addonics SV 510 YMF718-S (16bit, stereo, full-duplex, OPL3, 2W/ch, 48 kHz, 3D)
    AzTEch Pro 16IIB-3D AZT2316R, AD1845 (16bit, stereo, full-duplex, OPL3, 2W/ch, 44.1 kHz, pre-amp., 3D)
    SerTek DCS S509 DCS SoundWaving Pro C (16bit, stereo, full-duplex, WT, 4W/ch, 48 kHz)
    Míro PCM10 (16bit, stereo, OPL4-WavePlay/synchron-record, OPL4, 0.5W/ch)
    ALI ALS100 (16bit, stereo, full-duplex, OPL3, SB16 comp.)
    OPTi OPTi931 924, ... 931 (16bit, stereo, full-duplex, OPL3, 2W/ch, 48 kHz, pre-amp.)
    ESS Technology ES1688 (16bit, stereo, full-duplex, OPL3)
    ESS Technology ESS688 (16bit, stereo, OPL3, discontinued)
    OAK Technology Mozart BTC (16bit, stereo, OPL3, 6W/ch, discontinued)

    DCS S805 by Acer Sertek
    A PCI Bus Master with 48-channel DMA interface sound card by the Aureal Vortex AU8820 chipset. Plug and Play, studio-quality 32-voice wavetable synethesis, SB, SBP, Direct Sound, Direct Sound 3D and A3D complient, max. 48 kHz digitizing frequency is possible, S/N > 93 dB. Reviewed by Dan Kennedy, available through MWave

    Ensoniq PCI by ENSONIQ Multimedia
    A PCI Bus Master sound card. Plug and Play, full duplex, high-quality 32-voice wavetable synethesis (2 or 4 MB sound sets), SBP, ENSONIQ Soundscape, Direct Sound, and MPC 1,2,3 complient, max. 48 kHz digitizing frequency, S/N > 90 dB, frequency response: 20Hz-22kHz, special effects: reverb, chorus, spatial Enhancement.

    OPTiSound82C933 by OPTi
    64-Voice Wavetable Synthesizer, QXpander 3-D spatial, QSoft 3-D positioning, Full-duplex and Plug and Play operation, up to 48 kHz. Check out for Shuttle's SpaceWalker HOT-247 !

    Sound Vision AWESOME128 by Addonics Technologies
    Software WaveTable card with MMX and Yamaha XG-Technology (128 voices, 676 instruments, 21 drums kits). Full-duplex and Plug and Play operation. 2W/ch power amplifier. Works up to 48 kHz, built-in 3D sound feature, 85 dB signal-to-nois ratio(!) and max. 0.01% TH and IM distorsion(!).

    SV (Sound Vision) 510 by Addonics Technologies
    Very cost-effective sound card. It is easy to install, full-duplex and equipped with 3D sound features! 2W/ch power amplifier is also built in. The card is Plug and Play compatible and works up to 48 kHz!.

    Pro 16IIB-3D by Aztech Technology
    Very cost-effective sound card for 486 computers. It is very easy to install, full-duplex and equipped with 3D sound features! 2W/ch power amplifier is also built in. Unfortunately, the card is NOT fully Plug and Play compatible however, can work with Win95.

    DCS S509 by Acer Sertek
    A sound card for 486 computers. Why? It is easy to install, full-duplex and can make WaveTable music. However, the card is NOT Plug and Play! 4W/ch power amplifier is built in. The quality of the wavetable music is reduced when comparing it to that of the PCM10 (only 1 MByte of samples are built in). The frequency respons drops at the lower frequencies. Max. 48 kHz digitizing frequency is possible.

    PCM10 by Míro
    An exciting sound card by a decent multimedia company: Míro. The sound card implies the OPTi929/16bit/48kHz AD/DA chip, an Analog Devices signal processor, and the Yamaha OPL4 WaveTable and FM synthesizer. The card is carefully designed to provide the _best_ audio quality in its class. With the card you can make very easily your own CD-quality music. For example you can play a multi-channel MIDI music (composed previously) AND play the solo with the MIDI keyboard AND sing into your microphone AND record all these things into 2x16 bit stereo, 48 kHz WAVe file onto your hard disk - at the same time. WoW! The OPL4 (with 2 MBytes samples built-in ROM) provides comparable or _better_ quality than many expensive wavetable cards!
    Unfortunately there are some annoyings too. First, the card is not produced anymore (:(((, second, there is no power amplifier built-in, third, you can not use the card in full-duplex mode (the OPL4 wave synthesis occupies the secondary DMA channel).

    ALS100 by ALI
    Single chip solution for SB16 (and not SBP) compatible sound cards. This means that the possible secondary DMA can be 16 bit type (DMA 5, 6, 7) and not the usual 8 bit type (0, 1, 2, 3). This can provide a little more data pass through speed, however, only few games support this. The card is NOT recommended, because unfortunately it has the bad habit of self-oscillation. Maybe future versions will be better.

    OPTI931 by OPTi
    For about 3 years ('94, '95, '96) the OPTi made 924, 928, 929, 930 and 931 chips represented the best buy in the low cost, good quality sound cards' arena. Most of them could be installed very easily, without any strange problems. They had a decent microfon pre-amplifier, and are able to digitize up to 48 kHz. Most of them are also full duplex, which turned out to be very useful in internet phone applications. The only problem is with the OPTi930's virtual device driver that can make restart problems in Windows 3.1x. This cards are good buys even nowadays, if you are not interested in wavetable synthesized music.

    ES1688 by ESS Technology
    The FlagShip audio chip of ESS Technology is full-duplex, however its use can make a lot of troubles for the user. It is NOT the best buy nowadays.

    ESS688 by ESS Technology
    This sound chip was the best value before full-duplex sound cards appeared. Unfortunately, ESS Technology was very late at developing its full-duplex chips (like the ES1688), and it's leadership in cheap audio chips was taken over by OPTi. The ESS688 is not a good buy anymore.

    Mozart BTC by OAK Technology
    The first high quality SB Pro compatible sound card (16 bit stereo, 44.1 kHz, OPL3-16bit FM DAC, 6W/ch) with a "big sound". It is initialized through a device driver, which unfortunately can be deactivated by some badly written program during exiting. Discarding this problem, and the lack of full-duplex and WaveTable options it has a good value even nowadays.

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