NT support: Creative's site says no to NT, but see here.
Link to the original Creative Lab's Download Site (dead).
TESTPMCV Reads I/O address, Interrupt and DMA channel settings from CMOS RAM (plus DSP version from SBP) and tests those settings. If the test fails or system hangs, re-configure settings with Reference Diskette and run TESTPMCV again.
ctsbk2.exe Sound Blaster Developer Kit, 2nd Edition (for DOS only)
Sound Blaster MCV (CT5320)
SB 1.x vs SB MCV
The Sound Blaster/MCV is based on the original Sound Blaster 1.x design. The main differences between the two are as follows:
Other than that, the cards are identical feature-wise.
Sound Blaster Pro MCV (CT5330) (Original image from Niels C. Grønlund)
CT1336A is referred to as an ISA Bus Interface... Another case of a poor chipset crippling an adapter? Like the Olicom OC-2335?
SBPRO, SBPRO MCV use DSP version 3.xx
There are two versions of SBPRO. The difference is in the FM chip used. The earlier version uses a two-operator FM chip, while the later version uses a four-operator FM chip. To distinguished them, you can read the value from I/O port 388h, two-operator cards will return a value of 06h, and four-operator cards will return a value of 00h.
There are two versions of FM synthesizer chips used on Sound Blaster cards; YAMAHA OPL2 and YAMAHA OPL3. The OPL2 chip is used in earlier versions of Sound Blaster Pro, SB2.0 and Sound Blaster. The later version of Sound Blaster Pro, and Sound Blaster 16 use the YAMAHA OPL3 chip. (SB Pro MCV included as well?)
Passions of the SBP MCV (Screen Corruption on 9553 w/DOS Games)
Brandon Cobb was trying to get some 9553 and SB Pro MCV action:
Michal Necasek Throws Down:
Garbage Ad Lib sounds are typically caused by “too fast” CPU/software. The OPL2 chips (and I think OPL3 as well) are very sensitive to fast writes and if the required delays aren’t observed, things go wrong. The behavior depends on the CPU, bus speed, and the chipset (“I/O recovery” cycles or whatever OEMs call it). The 9533 is significantly newer than P70 I think, so that may well be different.
The CT5330 is old and from what I have heard, a quick and somewhat ISA to MCA conversion.
On a clone I’d suggest slowing down the bus speed and adding I/O recovery cycles. If and how that can be done on a 9533 I don’t know.
In general, it is worth double and triple checking the sound card configuration (base I/O address, DMA, interrupt) and how the game handles it. Some games must be manually configured, others have automatic detection, some rely on the BLASTER environment variable, others ignore it. Games may be unable to handle some DMA/IRQ settings. The standard is base address 220h, DMA channel 1, IRQ 5 or 7. Anything else may cause problems with some games, while others will handle it just fine.
I have the "Sound Blaster: The Official Book”. It was written in late ’91 or early ’92, shortly before the SB16 showed up, so it couldn’t possibly have information directly related to the 9553. It does mention (page 338) problems with Windows 3.1 on PS/2 machines, especially with models 55sx and 57sx.
One suggested remedy is running Windows 3.1 in Standard mode, exiting, and restarting in 386 Enhanced mode. No idea what that’s supposed to do. Another suggestion is changing the base address from 220h to 240h (and good luck with games which assume 220h). They also suggest putting the SBPRESET utility in AUTOEXEC.BAT.
There should also be a test utility called TESTPMCV. Running that might even give some clues. Installing the SB drivers in Windows 3.1 and seeing how that behaves might also give some clue.
The CL-GD5426 is a pretty vanilla (Super)VGA chip, it doesn’t do anything outrageous. Simple, reliable chip, not a speed demon when it comes to acceleration but a solid workhorse. At least that’s the case with the ISA/VLB variants.
From Us, the Royal god-Emperor:
Prompt "Base I/O Address" choice "220 Hex" pos=00100001b pos=11110000b io 0220h-022fh 0230h-0237h 0200h-0207h 0380h-038fh choice "240 Hex" pos=01000001b pos=11110000b io 0240h-024fh 0250h-0257h 0200h-0207h 0380h-038fh
BASE ADDRESS CONFLICT
Some of the PS/2 systems may use the address range that conflict with the base addresses of the Sound Blaster Pro MCV. Should this happens on your system, please change the base address settings on your card.
Although our base address are set at 220H & 240H, the following addresses will be decoded. Please make sure that other cards do not make use of these addresses.
220 - 23F 240 - 25F 388 - 389 620 - 63F 640 - 65F 788 - 789 A20 - A37 A40 - A5F B88 - B89 E20 - E37 E40 - E5F F88 - F89Comparison of Reply 55SX TurboBoard PE3FE and IBM 9553 Planar PE3FE
NamedItem Prompt "Cache enabled at startup" choice "Yes" pos=XXXXXX0Xb choice "No" pos=XXXXXX1Xb
After looking at both PE3FE.ADF, the sections mostly call the same pos[x] sections. But not all. There is a slight chance that the 9553 L1 can be turned off, but that depends if IBM left the registers alone. They didn't...
Can the Extra Decoded I/O be Fixed?
Yes, Creative did most likely do a simple ISA conversion, and not a very good one. But they didn’t decide to add extra I/O ranges, it is simpler/cheaper/faster to decode fewer address bits. It’s more like they didn’t bother making it into a proper MCA adapter.
The IBM PC only decoded the low 10 bits of I/O addresses for all onboard devices. Some adapter cards did the same, which in turn made it much harder for other adapters to use full 16 bits of the address. MCA/EISA/VLB/PCI normally don’t have these problems. The issue is that if you have one old card (like the SBP MCV?) which ignores some address bits, it has the potential to mess up the whole system because it “grabs” more I/O accesses than it ought to.
I note in Technical Ref. that the I/O address ranges for any one "choice" are limited to 16, so we cannot develop an ADF that caters for the upper nibble of address bits not being checked.
>"On the Sound Blaster MCV Card the shunt across the JP5 Jumper is required only for system such as Model 70 and 80 which have higher I/O channel transfer rate. REMOVE the shunt across JP5 Jumper, if you have a PS/2 system with a slower I/O transfer rate such as PS/2 Model 50 and 55."
Darius Vaskelis replies:
Oliver Kluge originally posted as Subject: Re: Here's some info on MCA Sound Blaster
While all audio-related parts of the card work wonderfully in my IBM PS/2 Model 80 (16 MHz 386, 1 wait state), the joystick interface chokes! I debugged the board with an oscilloscope, finding that the IO interface circuitry on the Sound Blaster are too slow to follow a 16 MHz CPU!
Creative Lab provided a jumper J5 to initiate a Card Channel Ready (CD CHREADY) signal to the bus signaling to the bus that the card will take some more time to process the operation. This really works and makes the joystick interface work flawlessly. However, the Sound Blaster fails to release this line timely to not disturb basic system operations, so unpredictable system crashes occur randomly within 0-3 minutes!
This malfunction probably stems from the fact that CL equipped the joystick interface part (not the audio part!) with Low-Power Schottky (LS) TTLs that might be too slow, especially if your machine is faster than my 16 MHz 1 wait. As any other MCA board manufacturer does, CL is best advised to use only Advanced Low-Power Schottky (ALS) or Fast (F) in the future. Perhaps the PCB layout needs better design.
This is obviously a design fault by the Creative Lab EE designers. This has to be considered a serious bug in the circuitry of the board. Obviously they have failed to recognize that a Micro Channel runs at somewhat higher clock speeds than the normal AT bus and failed to use the proper TTL IC family for this task. Low Power Schottky (LS) is just not fast enough, compared to Advanced Low Power Schottky (ALS) Advanced Schottky or Fast (AS or F). I am sending a fax to Creative Lab suggesting them to stop delivery of the board until the bug is fixed.
If a 74 LS 32 is soldered in there, try getting Creative support to fix it.. If there are 74 ALS 32, 74 F 32 or 74 AS 32, the board should run OK.
And here is how to solve the problem if you already bought one, it does not run the joystick and if you are experienced in handling TTL ICs! Apply all the usual precautions against static electricity. Carefully desolder U23 (74LS32) using a vacuum solder pump. Solder in a 74F32 or 74ALS32. This should be it.
> Is the MCA Creative Sound Blaster (Pro) a usable soundcard, MIDI, W95/98 e.g.?
From Peter (edited):
>My nephew has a Sound Blaster Pro running in a 76 Lacuna with DX2/66, Win95 FAT16. Clean sound. Can't think of a solution, if timings is the problem.
Peter Wendt opines:
I had that with the Pro MCV2 as well... until I decided to remove the card. The Reply Vibra suffers the same symptom - if you run them with the original SB drivers. With the updated versions it runs much better. Have one in my 9595-S20 "aol-gate" along with a Pentium 133 just now.
Nonetheless the sound is a bit choppy when many tasks run at the same time - particularly at Windows startup. Sounds odd. So it is a basic design problem of the SB compatible cards based on ISA technology. (As is the MCV2, Pro MCV/2 and the Reply Vibra-16).
William Walsh wrote:
AOX MCMaster and SB Pro
Due to my experiences with said Model 80 and AOX (now Kingston) CPU boards I am of the opinion that the SBPROMCV is indeed borderline hardware. But after much digging I appear to have found success.
"Hint: I had to change the AOX boards "flush mode" to mode 1 or 2 which changes the way the AOX board's cache is flushed. This has resulted in much better sound from the sound blaster - including it being able to find its DMA channel!!? So, it would appear that you have to treat the SBPMCV as something like a bus mastering device due to its extreme timing sensitivities, when using it in conjunction with other devices eg Kingston boards and SCSI controllers."
Speakers Activate when Printing
>I also have an interesting "thing" happening with the Sound Blaster pro driver. When ever my printer starts to print the speakers are activated!
That's easy! The standard IRQ for the Sound Blaster (7, I believe) is the same as for LPT1. DOS doesn't use the printer interrupt, but multitasking systems (such as OS/2 and Unix) do use them. Thus, you have an IRQ problem. The simple solution is to move the Sound Blaster to another interrupt. Of course, if you're out of interrupts (which can easily happen with a fully loaded system), you're out of luck.
Bus Timeout under Windows 3.1
Some of the PS/2 system may encounter a "BUS TIME-OUT" error
when starting Windows in enhance mode after bootup. We have included a driver
"VDMAD.386" to counteract this problem. The program "WINSETUP.EXE" will copy
this driver to your Windows \SYSTEM sub-directory and change the following line
under the [386Enh] section in your SYSTEM.INI file.
[386Enh] ; change this line DEVICE=*VDMAD ; to this line DEVICE=VDMAD.386
8237 DMA Controller needs MCADMA=off
If your PS/2 system uses the basic 8237 DMA controller (not the extended 82037 DMA controller), you MUST manually add the line "MCADMA=off" to the [386Enh] section in your SYSTEM.INI file. E.g.:
Currently, we have identified that the PS/2 system model 57 is using the basic 8237 DMA controller while systems such as model 60, 70 ,80 and 90 are using the extended 82037 DMA controller.
If you have difficulty implementing the above procedure, please change the line "DEVICE=VDMAD.386" back to "DEVICE=*VDMAD" and follows the steps to start Windows in enhance mode.
SB Pro MCV will not Reset on 55sx and 57sx
Some PS/2 machines do not reset the Pro MCV card properly. Models 55sx and 57sx are known to have this problem with the Sound Blaster Pro MCV. As a result, Windows 3.1 will not start in Enhanced mode. To remedy this problem, install SBPRESET into your AUTOEXEC.BAT file as outlined in SBPRESET.TXT.
SBPRO MCV and Audiovation Coexistence
>Has anyone gotten the SB Pro MCV and Audiovation/A to coexist in a PS/2? I'm running a 9577 and I can't seem to get the little (*) to go away in the ref partition.
Yes, it works... after patching the ADF file. What's conflicting is the addresses of the game port, defined in both ADF's as fixed resources and therefore the conflict cannot be managed by the POS itself. If you choose to keep the game port on the SBPro, just as I did, your Audiovation ADF file @8FD6.ADF should look like the end of this message. Alain
Also, does anyone have a copy of FORPS2.EXE, the program that can modify other programs to work with SB/MCV?
There were some bad ADF files distributed with some SB Pro MCV cards. They were missing some 'h's in the ADF file, causing incorrect address configurations.
General Hardware Info
AdapterId 5084h "Creative Labs, Inc. - SOUND BLASTER/MCV"
I/O Address used
AdapterId 5103h "Creative Labs, Inc. - Sound Blaster PRO MCV CT5330"
Base I/O Address