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Really cheap sound card for game pads

By wirm · 6 replies
Feb 7, 2006
  1. Hi folks, I've got a weird question.

    I've got a pair of old Micosoft Sidewinder gamepads that only plug into the game port in sound cards (no USB). Unfortunately, my current Dell computer (Dimension 2400) does not have a game port. As a matter of fact, I don't know that any computers come with game ports nowadays.

    Since I really like my Sidewinders, is there anything wrong with getting a $10 sound card (I saw a $7.50 one on Newegg) just so I can use that game port? Why spend $40 on 2 new gamepads if I can spend $10 and use my old ones?

    My computer uses integrated sound, so wouldn't any PCI sound card be an improvement? It's not like I listen to music on my computer, or anything. The only time I turn on the speakers is to watch the occasional anime or play games.

    I'm not a hardcore gamer either, so the volume is always turned way down anyway.

    My main concerns are 2 things:

    Will a faulty sound card damage my computer? I've rarely had a computer component fail on me before.
    Will a cheap card sound incredibly awful?
  2. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer TS Rookie Posts: 394

    A cheap sound card will damage only one thing, your ears!
  3. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Can you link the card you found on Newegg?
    A cheap card won´t damage your PC. Don´t worry about it.
    The quality of the sound should be on par with the integrated audio, and MAYBE better. Please link the card. :wave:
    Also, there may be an adapter to use your controller on USB. I´ll try to find one.
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +420

    It might be easier to add serial port connectivity by using a serial to USB adapter instead. Click here to see an example.

    That said, before you go through all that trouble, make sure you have a driver for your gamepad that is supported by Windows XP, which I presume you have. I have an old Sidewinder Force Feedback joystick which used a serial connection that I bought for a Windows 98se Dell machine. A few years ago when I bought a new Dell with Windows XP Home, that joystick was not supported by XP and no driver was available to make it work. I had to get a new XP compatible joystick. Both PCs had a serial connection.
  5. wirm

    wirm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

  6. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    It looks like a decent card. Very cheap too!
    Respecting the driver, I´m not very sure, but maybe XP will recognize your controllers. I saw in XP some drivers for Sidewinders.
    Or do a search in google for XP compatible drivers.
    I have an old, no name joystick and XP makes it work PERFECTLY.
    They should work, as they are made by microsoft.
    Tell us when you recieve the card.
    Good luck :wave:
  7. wirm

    wirm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Well, I've put in the card, and I can't tell any real difference between it and my older integrated one. :grinthumb

    And the gamepad seems to work perfectly with XP. Sure, the programming software doesn't work, but it's not like I ever used it anyway.

    thx for your help, folks. :wave:
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