Originally Posted by Phos
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.
Originally Posted by obobskivich
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.
Originally Posted by Cheapy
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.