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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 6

post #76 of 3105

Please let me know what are the pros & cons of these and which one is best and any more cheaper and best stuff available, which are actually works and gives good performance as USB sound card amp for surround sound? are they work as advertised?

 

1. IOGEAR USB Theater Sound Xperience Audio Adapter
2. Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Go! Pro USB Audio System with THX
3. ASUS Xonar U3 Sound Cards (XONAR_U3/UAD/B/A)
 
i found these during search for good amps which can be used for my dell XPS 17.3" 3D blue-ray laptop to give more digital surround sound...basshead.gif i read that these are very good for laptops for using to watch 3d movies, listening music and games. whoever used these please PM me.
 
Btw my head-phones are Creative Aurvana Live and Koss KSC75.
 
Thanks in advance.

Edited by ARaees - 2/2/12 at 1:37pm
post #77 of 3105
Thread Starter 

I can safely say that none of those do any DSP processing in hardware, though I don't think it'll hinder modern CPUs much.

 

The X-Fi Go! Pro is said to be cheap crap in terms of audio quality (worse than the prior X-Fi Go! non-Pro, even), but I've heard the same thing about the Xonar U3, too. Can't speak on the offbrand IOGEAR thing. Then again, expecting hi-fi audio out of a $30-40 device is rather unrealistic...

post #78 of 3105

Does anyone have any tips on keeping the windows sound settings from changing along with the X-fi settings?  So far the only one that doesn't change the windows settings are the headphone setting, otherwise the two setting remain in sync. 

post #79 of 3105

A double post but it's about something different so whatever: Does anyone know a way to tell if a game uses OpenAL?  

post #80 of 3105

Oh no, what I'm thinking of is much older, it's pre-X-Fi. It had it's own product line, and was out around the time Creative started to realize that people were plugging their computers into home theater receivers. THX TruStudio is a co-marketing re-pack of the X-Fi features; it still has many of the same features at least in name (like Crystalizer, EQ, etc). 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phos View Post

Is this the Creative outboard device that allows transcoding to binaural audio?  FYI, It doesn't do CMSS, it does THX true studio surround malarkey, so it's kind of been replaced by that recon3D thing.  



No problem, didn't mean to jump on you, it was just bothering me. The Audigy SE has the same problems as the card I mentioned; there's no HW processing and it lacks many features - they're actually the same card.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SniperCzar View Post



Ugh, noob derp there. Sorry about that. Fixed now. In my defense, there are about 50 hits for the wrong acronym when you search for it on the forum. As to the $25 card I saw, it was an Audigy SE on Newegg and it looked looked like it did CMSS. If there are people here who desperately want to get in on the virtual surround goodness, all it takes is Win7, a $25 Creative card whose hardware need never be actually used, a spare slot in your PC, and 5 min of software tweaking. Link here - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102003


They should change together. What are you trying to do?

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Phos View Post

Does anyone have any tips on keeping the windows sound settings from changing along with the X-fi settings?  So far the only one that doesn't change the windows settings are the headphone setting, otherwise the two setting remain in sync. 


The X-RAM comment is interesting. If memory serves, when the X-Fi originally came out, there was an X-Fi PCI card that was available as "model X" (I don't know what it was called, it wasn't the Audigy SE re-pack) and then there was a "Platinum" which was the same thing with the tried-and-true Live Drive. These had 2MB of X-RAM, and neither lasted very long. The Fatal1ty boards, the Elite Pro, and the Prelude are all 64MB boards. The non-X-Fi re-packs lack X-RAM and other X-Fi HW features altogether. I believe the second-gen (20k2, first on PCIe) like the Titanium are also 64MB cards, I don't know about the new HD, but I believe the expensive PCIe card is a 64MB board. All of that said, I don't recall X-RAM making a huge performance difference in games except when EAX 5.0 was used (running 128-voices; I recall one of the Battlefield games showing something like a 20 FPS gain over software processing thanks to the X-RAM card; remember that you will never "gain" performance with an X-Fi (in other words, EAX 5.0 with a Prelude will not be faster than non-EAX playback, but non-EAX playback costs you features), you will just prevent a "loss" compared to S/W processing for the same amount of re-touching or calculations that you're doing) - EAX 5.0 is fairly rare from what I've seen (I'm aware of one Battlefield game that uses it; EAX 4.0 seems somewhat more common - it's really surprising how readily developers will adopt something that has an incredibly limited support base and incredibly large buy-in).

 

 

 

 

 

post #81 of 3105

It's my understanding that games that use fmod will sometimes look at the windows speaker settings to decide how to mix audio.  I also can't help but be paranoid that games that do let me pick the speaker settings are going to be downmixed to stereo before they get to my card. 

 

I dunno if the titanium has the large x ram, it seems like there are too many fatality boards in the line for that.fear uses EAX 5 to great effect, by the way. 

post #82 of 3105

Hello guys,

 

I red the guide Mad Envy wrote (thanks again for that!) and bought myself the Sennheiser PC 360. As a soundcard, I chose the ASUS Xonar D1. These are the default settings for game mode: CLICK. What do you guys think, are they okay for gaming?

 

- I chose 8 soundchannels (the higher, the better?)

- I also chose the highest setting for samplespeed

- Analog out: earphones (I use a headset)

- SPDIF out: The 'PCM' is not selected. I can chose between PCM and Dolby Digital Live

- 7.1 Virtual Speaker shifter. By default, it's not selected but I guess it should be turned on?

- What about the Dolby Headphone?

- In the right bottom corner, there is a 'GX' mode I can turn on/off. What does it exactly do and should I turn it on? Google learned me it is Asus' version of Creative Alchemy (whatever that might be) and it's better to turn it off.

 

Thanks in advance guys, I really appreciate your help! Have a nice day.

 

B.T.

 

post #83 of 3105

Hmm it looks like it may be worth doing a round up of what all the settings in the Asus/Creative menu do and adding it to your guide nameless. Lately there has been a good few people asking which channel setup to usse,should GX be enabled, etc.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brick T0p View Post

 

- I chose 8 soundchannels (the higher, the better?)

- I also chose the highest setting for samplespeed

- Analog out: earphones (I use a headset)

- SPDIF out: The 'PCM' is not selected. I can chose between PCM and Dolby Digital Live

- 7.1 Virtual Speaker shifter. By default, it's not selected but I guess it should be turned on?

- What about the Dolby Headphone?

- In the right bottom corner, there is a 'GX' mode I can turn on/off. What does it exactly do and should I turn it on? Google learned me it is Asus' version of Creative Alchemy (whatever that might be) and it's better to turn it off.


For soundchannels just pick what sounds best to you. Most people use 8 or 6 channel.

7.1 virtual speaker I dont use so carnt help with it.

Dolby headphone is the 3d simulation software. Most people like it but others prefere not using it so just try it out. The DH1, DH2, DH3 are kinda like the room size as I understand it with DH2 being the preferred one.

GX mode emulates EAX effects (these guys can tell you more about how it works) but it does seem to cause a lot of problems so most people turn it off.

 

Hope this helps a bit.

 

post #84 of 3105

I can't think of a single game where GX worked properly for me. It made Far Cry crash, it caused issues in Bioshock, I don't recall it working in Titan Quest, and it didn't work in Neverwinter Nights 2. I'm just using the Unified Xonar drivers with the C-media control panel with GX disabled. Thankfully I only play like 1 eax supported title a year.

post #85 of 3105

How does CMSS sound in BF3 in comparison to dolby headphone?  I'm currently using an astro mixamp on my pc but am interested in other options. 

post #86 of 3105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystere View Post

How does CMSS sound in BF3 in comparison to dolby headphone?  I'm currently using an astro mixamp on my pc but am interested in other options. 


CMSS sounds great for me in BF3, noticeably better than the ingame virtual surround. Don't have any experience with DH though.

post #87 of 3105
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phos View Post

A double post but it's about something different so whatever: Does anyone know a way to tell if a game uses OpenAL?  

 


If there's an OpenAL32.dll in the game folder along with the main executable, that's a dead giveaway. (For some reason, BF2 and BF2142 have BF2OpenAL.dll, but that's still just another obvious giveaway.)

 

Less obvious are games like Bioshock that use an older version of FMOD or SDL with an OpenAL passthrough.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

The X-RAM comment is interesting. If memory serves, when the X-Fi originally came out, there was an X-Fi PCI card that was available as "model X" (I don't know what it was called, it wasn't the Audigy SE re-pack) and then there was a "Platinum" which was the same thing with the tried-and-true Live Drive. These had 2MB of X-RAM, and neither lasted very long. The Fatal1ty boards, the Elite Pro, and the Prelude are all 64MB boards. The non-X-Fi re-packs lack X-RAM and other X-Fi HW features altogether. I believe the second-gen (20k2, first on PCIe) like the Titanium are also 64MB cards, I don't know about the new HD, but I believe the expensive PCIe card is a 64MB board. All of that said, I don't recall X-RAM making a huge performance difference in games except when EAX 5.0 was used (running 128-voices; I recall one of the Battlefield games showing something like a 20 FPS gain over software processing thanks to the X-RAM card; remember that you will never "gain" performance with an X-Fi (in other words, EAX 5.0 with a Prelude will not be faster than non-EAX playback, but non-EAX playback costs you features), you will just prevent a "loss" compared to S/W processing for the same amount of re-touching or calculations that you're doing) - EAX 5.0 is fairly rare from what I've seen (I'm aware of one Battlefield game that uses it; EAX 4.0 seems somewhat more common - it's really surprising how readily developers will adopt something that has an incredibly limited support base and incredibly large buy-in).


I'm not sure how important the X-RAM really is, but this I do know:

 

-PCI X-Fi cards not touted as having X-RAM only have 2 MB, as you said.

-PCI-Express X-Fi cards not touted as having X-RAM have 16 MB.

-All cards with X-RAM have 64 MB, with a possible exception of some Gigabyte G1-series motherboards that may include 128 MB for whatever reason.

-In spite of Amazon's checkbox list and lack of advertising, the X-Fi Titanium HD does actually have the full 64 MB, going by its OpenAL capability flags.

 

As for EAX 5.0, I'm also not sure what uses it besides Battlefield 2 and 2142. Bioshock may use it, but I'm not certain. It doesn't help that a lot of later games have an "enable EAX" option without actually saying what version it is, and you have to read the fine print to find out what cards are supported or not.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapy View Post

Hmm it looks like it may be worth doing a round up of what all the settings in the Asus/Creative menu do and adding it to your guide nameless. Lately there has been a good few people asking which channel setup to use, should GX be enabled, etc.


For soundchannels just pick what sounds best to you. Most people use 8 or 6 channel.

7.1 virtual speaker I dont use so carnt help with it.

Dolby headphone is the 3d simulation software. Most people like it but others prefere not using it so just try it out. The DH1, DH2, DH3 are kinda like the room size as I understand it with DH2 being the preferred one.

GX mode emulates EAX effects (these guys can tell you more about how it works) but it does seem to cause a lot of problems so most people turn it off.

 

Hope this helps a bit.


I'll definitely consider adding something for Xonar cards (and other C-Media cards) later on, but it would really help if I actually had one of the cards to test with without having to pay up for it first.

 

Also, the virtual speaker shifter seems to go in hand with Dolby Headphone, from what I've heard.

 

As for the Dolby Headphone modes, DH2 adds a little reverb, while DH3 adds a lot of reverb. That's the functional difference. The slight reverb may be an important enough cue that a lot of people seem to prefer DH2 (and the processor used in the Mixamp and Ear Force DSS only supports DH2 mode), but I can get a good sense of direction just from using DH1 mode out of the SU-DH1.

post #88 of 3105

(Like I said before) F.E.A.R. also uses EAX 5.  

post #89 of 3105

is an essence st enough to drive ultrasone pro 900s?

post #90 of 3105


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamKing View Post

is an essence st enough to drive ultrasone pro 900s?



Yes, it's good for anything up to 600ohms.

 

As far as I can tell, the Ultrasone Pro 900s are low impedance (40ohms) similar to Grados of the same price range.

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