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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 9

post #121 of 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Am I seriously the last person on Head-Fi who still plays older PC games? Just because future games don't use hardware acceleration doesn't mean it retroactively changes how those older games handle audio...but believe me, if there were any sort of software OpenAL implementation that could function as perfectly as a real X-Fi card could, I wouldn't be tying myself so tightly to the Titanium HD.

 

Too bad Creative of all companies can't even get a software OpenAL implementation right.

 

You are probably amongst the few that still play older games. To me, hardware acceleration really only matters in FPS, that's where sound processing can flex its muscles. But why play BF2 over BF3? Graphics and gameplay still prevail over sound. The last older games I've played in the past few years was Colonization and Day of the Tentacle. But here it was not hardware acceleration that I was missing, but a Roland MT-32! :D

 

I am pretty sure a proper OpenAL software implementation can be done. Games barely use the power of more than 2 full cores. With most gamers having quad, there's power left for sound processing. But that's not the problem. The problem is that devs don't support OpenAL anymore and no one really knows the reasons...

Let's hope DirectSound3D will be making its way back with a new release of DirectX for Windows 8. It's our only hope. Or make OpenAL somehow attractive again.


Edited by Kel Ghu - 1/20/13 at 6:51am
post #122 of 2103

I wish 3D sound for games was fully rendered the way 3D graphics is. I wouldn't then mind buying a 3D sound card for $400+.

post #123 of 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel Ghu View Post

You are probably amongst the few that still play older games. To me, hardware acceleration really only matters in FPS, that's where sound processing can flex its muscles. But why play BF2 over BF3? Graphics and gameplay still prevail over sound. The last older games I've played in the past few years was Colonization and Day of the Tentacle. But here it was not hardware acceleration that I was missing, but a Roland MT-32! :D

 

I am pretty sure a proper OpenAL software implementation can be done. Games barely use the power of more than 2 full cores. With most gamers having quad, there's power left for sound processing. But that's not the problem. The problem is that devs don't support OpenAL anymore and no one really knows the reasons...

Let's hope DirectSound3D will be making its way back with a new release of DirectX for Windows 8. It's our only hope. Or make OpenAL somehow attractive again.

 

For that underlined part, gameplay IS the biggest reason. BF2 may have had a basic unlock system, but it was more of a nice extra, not made into the total grindfest that ruined the series since BF2142. (Which is a shame, as I liked the sci-fi setting of BF2142 and the Titan gametype.) There was no crazy overpowered M60 + Magnum Ammo crap that anyone without instantly became fragbait even a month from release. I hadn't seen a Battlefield game with that much weapon imbalance since Vietnam's infamous M60 + LAW kit!

 

In the old days of FPSs, Battlefield included, every player pretty much had all the options available to them from the get-go (save a few unlockable primary weapons that weren't really all that game-breaking in BF2's case), which is how a competitive FPS should be. No being forced to grind through the game just to get the decent equipment on a game-wide scale, which is made harder when you're fighting against people who have said decent equipment and are thus dying all the time. It's just bad game design to me.

 

They also still supported mods back then, something that stopped happening with Bad Company 2, along with users being able to run their own dedicated servers (they're really just renting servers from EA and DICE). The former point may not have been taken advantage of much, but remember that BF1942's Desert Combat mod was what paved the way for BF2.

 

That latter point means that every post-BC2 Battlefield game on PC (maybe even 2142 as well due to its heavier dependence on a player account for unlocks compared to BF2, for which you could set up offline accounts and LAN play that could be tunneled) will eventually die out when EA pulls the master server plug, as they've been known to do in the past. They will never be able to do that for 1942, Vietnam, or BF2, and thus they'll survive for as long as the community keeps playing them...and believe me, there are still a fair number of people playing those games right now.

 

Also, in terms of graphics, BF2 doesn't look like it's trying to give me eye cancer with overdone lens flare effects. BF3 seems like it's screaming "Hey, check out these fancy pixel shader effects we can do now!" without really considering whether it's actually a good stylistic choice or not.

 

Finally...who thought having a Web site for a main menu was a good idea? Seriously, I want to slap the guy at EA or DICE who decided to do that crap for BF3.

 

So, yes, I have a number of reasons for preferring older FPSs to newer ones in general, not just the Battlefield series in particular, and most of that actually does boil down to gameplay.

 

Now that I've got all that off my chest, I do agree in that the central issue at hand with modern games, audio-wise, is that they aren't using OpenAL or at least using a software audio mixer with some sort of binaural HRTF headphone 3D surround mix option, and instead treating it as one-dimensional stereo. I'm not sure what it'll take to get the game developers to care at this point, but it'll probably take a robust, easy-to-use middleware like FMOD or Wwise to get their attention.

post #124 of 2103

Hahaha! I agree with all you have said. Even though it's not really about the actual gameplay mechanics you are complaining, but rather game balance, user interface and a problem of convenience which is grinding (because we don't have time for that which is a consequence of not being 10 years old anymore. But the "great" idea now is paying for it.). Though, it doesn't make it worth enough for people to remain on older games on the long term. Community is, but it is often hindered by ******** kids. And no matter what we say, newer games will almost always steal the show. Photorealism is king in the mainstream market, which I understand. Gameplay comes 2nd. And sound realism, dead last...

post #125 of 2103

I really did hate the unlock system for BF3. Especially the vehicle part. I bought the game for PC for $10 and haven't really played it because of it. I wasn't a huge fan of having to grind to unlock simple stuff in the console version(it shouldn't take several hours just to unlock ground missles for a jet) and I don't want to do it over again.

 

A lot of games are guilty of systems like this though. The worst is Mass Effect 3, where you can literally never unlock everything, but at least they use it as a means of funding DLC. It's like modern games are taking ideas from facebook games and just trying to make them addictive for completionists.

post #126 of 2103

http://www.creative.com/soundblaster/z/z/

 

Specifications differ a bit  (SNR).

post #127 of 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post

http://www.creative.com/soundblaster/z/z/

 

Specifications differ a bit  (SNR).

 

Nothing new. They first annouced the SNR for the DACs which are 127dB and 120dB, for ZxR and Z/Zx respectively. Then the end-ouput, 120dB and 116dB.

post #128 of 2103
I thought id share my experience with this product which might help some out.

I recently purchased the Z about a week ago. I was using an essence STX for gaming primarily before this. Needless to say I wasn't impressed. Even though the DAC and amp were amazing for music, games had all sorts of audio glitches and problems. Crackling, popping, static. Also the lack of EAX and proper openal sucked. ASUS's implementation was mediocre at best.

So as much as I wanted the zxr I couldn't justify 250+ for a control module and daughter board of which I wouldn't use. Plus I can't find it for sale anywhere

So I bought the Z and I couldn't be happier. Honestly I don't notice a single difference in clarity or quality when using either my HD 598 or PC 350's (fpshero mod). The cards drivers are also amazing no hiccups at all and properly working EAX and openal (even though its software). The control panel is also easy to use and not.clunky like ASUS's. Surround hrtf is also superior to Dolby headphone in my opinion.

So I have now committed to this card and will be selling my stx.

I rather have the zxr for the increased snr but if I don't notice a difference from my stx then why bother?

Anyway if anyone has any questions I'd be happy to answer them.

Take care
post #129 of 2103

zxrs should be out around this week or so. been waiting for one. although i dont see the need to upgrade from  my z atm unless the zxr goes on sale for about 200
 

post #130 of 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by kinubic View Post

zxrs should be out around this week or so. been waiting for one. although i dont see the need to upgrade from  my z atm unless the zxr goes on sale for about 200
 

Please update us when released, as I also need one.

post #131 of 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel Ghu View Post

 

I am pretty sure a proper OpenAL software implementation can be done. Games barely use the power of more than 2 full cores. With most gamers having quad, there's power left for sound processing. But that's not the problem. The problem is that devs don't support OpenAL anymore and no one really knows the reasons...

Speaking about cores, the majority of major titles use 3 or 4 nowadays. I speak as someone who owned a Radeon HD 7850 and AMD Athlon II X2, and got subpar frames on low-mid settings until I upgraded my CPU.

post #132 of 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaWolf View Post

Speaking about cores, the majority of major titles use 3 or 4 nowadays. I speak as someone who owned a Radeon HD 7850 and AMD Athlon II X2, and got subpar frames on low-mid settings until I upgraded my CPU.

But those 4 cores are almost never fully loaded. There is plenty of overhead for sound processing in a modern quad core. And after proper optimization I don't.see why it wouldn't be a viable option.

The only reason why you see sub par performance from some games utilizing all cores is most likely a bad PC port from consoles. When companies get lazy they just offload majority of the game to the CPU(consoles do.this because their gpus are sub par).
post #133 of 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaWolf View Post

Speaking about cores, the majority of major titles use 3 or 4 nowadays. I speak as someone who owned a Radeon HD 7850 and AMD Athlon II X2, and got subpar frames on low-mid settings until I upgraded my CPU.

 

No. That's because the 2 main threads were running on low speed cores. After 2 threads, you get the well known diminishing returns because they have troubles loading multiple cores with calculations for graphics. It's far from being as easy as it sounds. For 1 core, your old CPU was much slower than you new CPU. Try disabling 2 cores, you will see the impact (or the non-impact should I say).

post #134 of 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted in Creative's Forum by an Admin

Hi guys,

Cut it out. And please be more tolerant of one another here. 

I'm pretty sure none of you meant what you've posted, cos I can already see comments with a lighter note. 

But still, the nature of text postings makes it hard to convey emotions, and that's where miscommunications can happen.

Back to the SBZxR launch, I'm REALLY sorry about the delay guys, but as I've mentioned before, Creative will not launch something if we feel it is not ready yet. So again, do give the engineers some time to iron out any teeny kinks. 

My latest intel tells me that we could see something in the early part of February. Unfortunately the stocks are really limited, so rather then to hold you guys back even more in anticipation, I'm not sure how this piece of news is swallowed.

In anycase, for those of you lucky enough to get a hand on it, do share your thoughts here.


Cheers,
Colin

 

Sigh... I don't want to wait anymore...

post #135 of 2103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel Ghu View Post

 

No. That's because the 2 main threads were running on low speed cores. After 2 threads, you get the well known diminishing returns because they have troubles loading multiple cores with calculations for graphics. It's far from being as easy as it sounds. For 1 core, your old CPU was much slower than you new CPU. Try disabling 2 cores, you will see the impact (or the non-impact should I say).


I know that the Athlon II X2 isn't the best dual core, but it was still powerful enough to run the Dolphin GameCube emulator at full speed, something very intensive that's only optimized for two cores. Mine was 3.2 GHz, essentially as fast as a Phenom II X2 without the L3 cache. On most PC titles, one core would be fully loaded, and the other would be more than halfway loaded. And I'd get a horrible framerate. While a Phenom II X2 or Core 2 Duo would have probably been "better", it wouldn't have been enough to pull my framerate completely out of the gutter.

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