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Xonar STX vs X-Fi Titanium HD for modern FPS games

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am currently considering purchasing either a Xonar STX or X-Fi Titanium HD.  I am also going to be purchasing a set of Q701’s. My primary use is going to be competitive gaming and I want to purchase the card with the best positional audio. I don’t play many older games and mostly play BF3, Counterstrike: GO and newer CoD games.

 

 I understand a lot of gamers prefer CMSS-3D over DH but my main question is if newer games even take advantage of CMSS-3D? I also am not sure the Q701’s will need an amp with either of those sound cards. I was leaning towards the Titanium HD because of its reputation with gamers but if newer games don’t even take advantage CMSS-3D I would rather get the STX to take advantage of its built in amp.

 

I am brand new to the audiophile scene and I am not sure about what tech works best with modern FPS games and any guidance is appreciated.

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandermannnn View Post

I am currently considering purchasing either a Xonar STX or X-Fi Titanium HD.  I am also going to be purchasing a set of Q701’s. My primary use is going to be competitive gaming and I want to purchase the card with the best positional audio. I don’t play many older games and mostly play BF3, Counterstrike: GO and newer CoD games.

 

 I understand a lot of gamers prefer CMSS-3D over DH but my main question is if newer games even take advantage of CMSS-3D? I also am not sure the Q701’s will need an amp with either of those sound cards. I was leaning towards the Titanium HD because of its reputation with gamers but if newer games don’t even take advantage CMSS-3D I would rather get the STX to take advantage of its built in amp.

 

I am brand new to the audiophile scene and I am not sure about what tech works best with modern FPS games and any guidance is appreciated.

I'm biased for Xonar cards, but for FPS gaming (new or old) I would think the TiHD (Titanium HD) would be a better choice.

The TiHD can process headphone surround sound thru the RCA ports, you can add any external headphone amplifier of your choice.

post #3 of 7
CMSS-3D can be applied just like Dolby Headphone, even if EAX is not present. Either would be a good choice for what you want to do, and paired with the 701, you'll be doing much better than conventional gaming headsets and cheap headphones.
post #4 of 7

Basically, they're on even footing...or, should I say, CMSS-3D gets dragged down to Dolby Headphone's level of virtual 7.1 instead of true 3D binaural sound because of the way current games mix their sounds in software.

 

CS:GO may be an exception, though, if they left the snd_use_legacy_surround variable in the Source engine for that iteration. You'll have to point ALchemy to the root CS:GO folder for it to work properly, though, since it activates the Miles Sound System's DirectSound3D implementation.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help guys. Looks like i'm leaning towards the X-Fi Titanium and an amp like the Fiio e9 to drive the Q701's. Does anyone know if CMSS-3D will get more support with windows 8?

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandermannnn View Post

Thanks for the help guys. Looks like i'm leaning towards the X-Fi Titanium and an amp like the Fiio e9 to drive the Q701's. Does anyone know if CMSS-3D will get more support with windows 8?

Highly unlikely; if anything it will see less support - it isn't a new feature, it's a dying feature, thanks to the Microsoft re-design of the audio stack starting with NT 6 (Vista).
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Basically, they're on even footing...or, should I say, CMSS-3D gets dragged down to Dolby Headphone's level of virtual 7.1 instead of true 3D binaural sound because of the way current games mix their sounds in software.

 

CS:GO may be an exception, though, if they left the snd_use_legacy_surround variable in the Source engine for that iteration. You'll have to point ALchemy to the root CS:GO folder for it to work properly, though, since it activates the Miles Sound System's DirectSound3D implementation.

 

Bit late to the party on this one guys, but I confirm here that the "snd_legacy_surround 1" command is working fine with CS:GO!

So yes, when you apply ALchemy to the game OpenAL (or DS3D, which it originally is) and EAX will work!

Because of that creatives CMSS-3D will blow asus' dolby heaphone completely out of the water because its not just 5 speakers downmixed to stereo, but the actual game coordinates of the source of every sound are used since these are retreived with OpenAL. (I might be biased here as a creative user, but I think you could call it a fact that in theory using raw coordinates of sounds should give more accurate positioning than 5 channels being downmixed)

I use a Q701 through an M-Stage with a Titanium HD and this is really the first time in a game I can truly say I can hear ANYTHING coming from ANYWHERE.

 

Of course it's still a bit personal since you just need to be lucky that the HRTF of your headphone surround emulation algorithm commendates with your own ears/head.

 

On your issue of support:

As long as the card stays supported, I guess it's CMSS-3D feature will do so as well. And as long as the operating system supports OpenAL you should be able to use ALchemy, because the only thing it does is "translate" DS3D to OpenAL, because Vista/W7 doesn't support DS3D but does support OpenAL.

So long story short, as long as OpenAL and your creative card is supported by your operating system (which it most probably will,.. at least with W8), all the old OpenAL/DS3D games will keep working just as fine with CMSS3D as before.

Wouldn't get your hopes high for fancy audio in games in the future though...


Edited by kazaakas - 11/16/12 at 6:51pm
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