View Full Version : What 3D positional audio, EAX, >=A.D 2000 sound card should I buy for Thiefs & SS2?

13th Jul 2003, 01:21
Got an Audigy Gamer and my computer immediately shat through its USB ports when I tried to get thing to run on ME, switched to 98SE and the same thing happened, but I know there are good 3D, EAX-capable, =<A.D.2000 sound cards out there, because Thief, Thief Gold, System Shock II and Thief II used them!

What should I buy that will be compatible with my computer?

Dell Dimension 4300
(c) 2001
16MB ATI Rage Pro
1.6GHz P4
Windows 98SE

Thanks for the input!

Mr. Perfect
13th Jul 2003, 01:46
So it wouldn't use the Audigy you say? Have you tried the newest drivers from creative?

13th Jul 2003, 03:55
I spent three solid days with a T1 trying to get the bloody thing to work; downloaded every patch, every update, every version of the drivers, but no joy. Anyway, I sold that card, so any ideas on a good older one that the various Thiefs and System Shock II were designed by Looking Glass to run on?

13th Jul 2003, 15:01
I still have my 3+ year old Soundblaster Live! sound card. It is older than the Dolby 5.1 model but I don't know if you can get the old one, but I would suspect the SB 5.1 would work almost if not the same. You can pick up a SB card for $25 for an OEM model (http://www.compuplus.com/insidepage.php3?sid=3750fzo0taa105u&id=409). There was a problem before that you had to make you you got the non-5.1 or 5.1 drivers for the SB Live, but I think they now put them in the same package and test for which ones they should install.

13th Jul 2003, 21:46
I've got an Audigy MP3 running under Windows 2000 and it works fine with Thief 1 and 2. I know that is no help with you in 98, but I strongly suspect that it should work. I would call Dell and do a reinstall of the Audigy before buying another card. SB live has some problems with pops and clicks that the Audigy solves. It is generally better sound but not as good as the Audigy 2 (on my wish list).

The reinstall procedure is something like this. First deinstall all the Creative drivers and applications. Then shutdown and remove the card. Then boot up and get everything working again. Search and destroy anything "Creative" while there is no Creative card in the computer. Then download the latest creative drivers and apps from the web. Then install the hardware and quit out of the Windows driver install procedure. Finally run the EXE that installs the creative drivers and apps instead of those that came with the card.

13th Jul 2003, 22:03
I too have had good success with the Live X gamer and the previous 521. My first suggestion would be to look for a conflict with the IRQ between the AGP and the sound card slot.

Sharing with the AGP can, and often does cause a problem. Try moving the card to a different slot. A quick run of DXDIAG and a check in the MSINFO page listing "Advanced" data for "sharing and conflict" might help you pinpoint your problem.

I tried for over a year to install a Audigy Platinum on 4 different systems with crash of every driver used. Complete system lockup in 98SE and XP. Although the 512 and the Live X-Gamer ran fine.

I now have a Audigy 2 Platinum and it works like a champ.

14th Jul 2003, 02:41
Does this look like a good buy that will work on 98SE? (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2742149635&category=44981)

Especially since it's originally from a Dell system, which I have.

Just so long as it's a pre/=2000 card.

14th Jul 2003, 02:57
SB Live has run in my system(s) on THIEF with no problems in 98SE, and $15.00 ain't bad.

In fact, the THIEF TDP was included as the Retail game in the pack I bought the card in.

14th Jul 2003, 16:28
TR, that seller doesn't have too many complaints but does have some. His typical response to negative feedback is "Unusual circumstances prevented timely response/shipping". In other words, "blah blah generalities blah blah". He felt he had to respond but didn't really say anything.

You don't get software with this card. You'll have to download the drivers. I don't what's up with www.soundblaster.com but I haven't been able to reach them for a couple weeks (but can surf everywhere else okay). I can do a traceroute and reach their hosts at www.soundblaster.com and www.creative.com but their web servers won't respond. So see if you can reach them now to download the drivers. Otherwise, you'll end up with a sound card but no way to use it if you can't get the drivers.

You also don't get the software extras that come on the CDs; the downloads don't include them and there are no downloads for them. You don't get the extra adapter card that slide into another card blank that gives you digital outputs and coax inputs, so cannot do everything that this seller has listed in the specifications for this card.

You might want to send the seller an e-mail asking about their item for sale. That way you can guarantee the seller has a valid e-mail address and is responsive.

I don't know if you have a means of limiting your financial exposure when making purchases online. My credit card company (MBNA) has their ShopSafe scheme where you can go online (or use their application but it also goes online) to create temporary credit card numbers that are associated to your real credit card number. You can specify a max dollar limit along with an expiration. If the item costs $20 then I create a card with a max of $25 (be sure to include shipping costs) and an expiration of 1 month away. That way, if that temporary credit card number is stolen or misused, and if I cannot resolved the bogus charge with the credit card company, my exposure is limited to only $20 -- and the card expires in a month so credit card thieves harvesting numbers probably won't get to use it before it expires.

This seller will ship by US Postal Service (USPS) for domestic (US) delivery and charge $10 for it. I don't like USPS delivery. Collecting on insurance is a pain with the government and they are slow. You cannot report a lost package until 30 days have passed since shipping it. Their tracking, if that "service" is purchased, merely tells you if it got delivered and where,. It does not show the progress of its shipping along its route. I've had packages delivered to the wrong state because of an error in reading the zipcode, but at least with UPS or Fedex (which now has ground service that is cheap) I could see it went to the wrong place and get them to reroute the package instead of sitting at that end while they pondered why there was no such address, no one was there (which would be wrong person), deliver it the wrong person (and make me collect the insurance), or waste time sending it back to me rather than just redirect it to the correct recipient. Once in the USPS system, it's lost in there without any tracking until it shows up at someone's doorstep. Personally I don't like UPS for home delivery; they toss packages into yards, hide them under recycle containers so the recipient doesn't know they got them, leave them without getting a signature, and I don't trust unknown neighbors to be helpful in completing the delivery. So be aware that it might take awhile after making your payment before you get the item. USPS is slow.

14th Jul 2003, 22:37
Ahh...okay, I'll wait until I find a good one on eBay that has the CDs with it; don't want to miss out on anything.

Blast integrated sound.


How's this (third entry down, or at least it was this afternoon) (http://www.americas.creative.com/products/product.asp?product=266), if I can get it for USD33 (free FedEx shipping) here (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?DEPA=&submit=Go&description=Sound+Blaster+Live)?

Also, I assume the four slots in the back of my computer (one has a NIC, one a modem, two adjacents free) are PCI? I don't know the terminology like I should, but I'm pretty sure they are...

15th Jul 2003, 02:41
For under $30 for OEM or used versions, you might not the CDs with the software extras. I have only some of them installed and so far have used only one of them. If you want the games that might come with it, they'd be old and often are demos so I don't think you would miss much. The real concern is if you need the aux card that plugs into the sound card, occupies another slot, and has all the extra inputs and outputs. I've got it but never bothered installing it because I never needed more than front & rear speakers (1 sub, 2 front, 2 rear) and don't do any video editing or music composition, so the connectors just on the sound card itself are enough for me. When I got the SB Live!, this aux card came bundled with it. You might now have to order it separately; I haven't checked for awhile what comes with the SB Live! (from Creative in their retail version of the product). So if you don't use all those extras, then don't pay for them.

But I would suggest you check if you can first download the most recent drivers for the sound card that you intend to order just to be sure you can actually get them.

15th Jul 2003, 03:31

Never had a problem getting in or reaching Tech support.

16th Jul 2003, 02:21
Since I was switched from attbi.com to comcast.net as my broadband provider (ATT is stepping out and handed it off to Comcast), I've had problems getting to many sites ("cannot find server or DNS error"). I can do a nslookup of the site and try to use their IP address instead of their IP name but that doesn't work, either. I can ping the site (if they haven't disabled it) but that uses UDP and the ICMP that's part of the IP protocol and just tells me that TCP/IP is responding on that host and has nothing to do with HTTP traffic from their web server. I can do a traceroute to their host okay. I just cannot get to their web server and exchange some HTTP traffic over port 80 (the default). I can use www.anonymizer.com to connect okay to www.soundblaster.com so taking a different route (by going outside Comcast on a different route and then to the web site) so their web server is up. It's just not reachable through Comcast. Trying to get any response from Comcast is as painful as having to yank out your own wisdom teeth, root, nerve, and all. I didn't want to go to Comcast because of their horrific reputation regarding customer support but ATT is dumping their customers at Comcast. I didn't want to leave MediaOne, a local cable provider, when they dumped me on ATT. I went from a technically professional and expert carrier (MediaOne) to an oversized telco that hadn't a clue about their service and their tech support took almost a year to become proficient without hour-long waits on the phone (ATT) and now to a carrier who's 1st-level techs are autobots reading from knowledgebases and who almost refuse to get a 2nd-level tech involved who can actually check something or knows of the problem or how to handle it (Comcast). I hate monopolies. I only have one choice for a broadband carrier in my area: Comcast (which still uses ATT as the carrier provider). I'm still waiting for other providers to give me broadband service in my area, all of which will still end up using ATT as the broadband carrier but at least I might get a top-level provider that knows their job and doesn't assume all their customers are newbies or idiots.

Okay, enough of my tirade. Hopefully TR can download the latest drivers so he can be ready to start off running when he gets a new sound card.