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X-Fi I/O Bay Titanium Now Available from Auzentech

Discussion in 'News' started by malware, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Bundy

    Bundy

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    I'm happy with onboard S/PDIF. Don't need to debate this at all....:laugh:
     
  2. Sihastru

    Sihastru

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    In the old days, when a company "invented" a product and tried to sell it by themselves, no one had any problem with it. Now, if a company tries to do that it is accused of "monopoly"...

    In the old days, Creative advertised EAX as being possible only with Creative's own sound processors. I think the majority of people still think it is. While the EMUxxK does support some nice features and it is much more powerfull then it needs to be (=expensive) it is not required for EAX.

    Today ASUS only has a license for EAX 2.0. It is inherited because they use C-Media Oxygen HD chips in their sound cards. They do not have licenses for EAX 3.0+.

    EAX 3.0 - 5.0 is exclusively owned by Creative.

    ASUS (by this I mean C-Media) found a way around this (hack?, trick?) by redirecting EAX 3.0+ calls to their proprietary DS3D GX 2.0 (by enabling 128+ voices, but, in essence, still EAX 2.0).

    What is funny is that Creative themselves can't use EAX 3.0+ on a hardware level in Vista so Achemy was born. Alchemy does the same thing for Creative sound processors as C-Media does for it's sound processors when it comes to EAX 3.0+.

    Off topic: (joke) Two moderators off topic in the news section is a rare thing. (/joke) Please don't ban me! :)
     
    Mussels says thanks.
  3. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    That era isn't gone. You have NVIDIA making you buy GeForce for PhysX effects in a game. It invites AMD to support it, but you know that won't happen.

    Which is true, because there was no way you could mix so many voices without a ridiculous amount of system overhead. Today's hardware can do it, which is why EAX is being featured on non-Creative hardware.

    Don't talk about Xonar alone, talk about ASUS SupremeFX X-Fi, which does not use a Creative chip. Its chip is made by Analog Devices, yet it has its EAX features licensed from Creative, and uses Creative's logos on the product.

    ...which is what I was bitching about. You had access to at least one good standard before Vista.

    At least it had some content. There isn't much to talk about a fancy panel with a few connectors :(. I'm happy with the front-panel my CM690 provides, and the volume control on my headset.
     
  4. Sihastru

    Sihastru

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    ASUS SupremeFX X-Fi (just one case, where they use the AD1200 chip if I am not mistaken) doesn't feature an audio processor. AD1200 is just a CODEC. All processing is done by the CPU. Other manufacturers like MSI for example have a similar product that uses Realtek 888D chips.

    Hell, I even have on my Dell laptop a Sigmatel STAC HD codec, that is branded as Creative Advanced MB when you pay 20$ extra for Creative software.

    Codecs like these can be found on any Creative sound cards. They use for output Crystal CMSS chips and for input Wolfson Media chips if I am not mistaken.

    These products are exceptions and at their core have nothing to do with Creative, they just come with Creative software that uses Open AL. All processing is software based. Asus/MSI have chosen to market them as Creative products because they look as a much more quality products then they really are and add value in the eyes of uninformed customers.

    In this cases, you pay for Creative's software which comes bundled with the product. Here is a link to a PDF that expains it better then I can. You can buy this directly from Creative and you can use it on any form of integrated sound cards (that feature HD CODECS) for like 20$.
     
  5. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    Sihastru has missed something. dont forget the realtek Xfi mod that ketXXX started and daniel K finished, that allows *any* realtek HD soundcard to run as a creative X-fi with EAX 4.0 and crystaliser.
     
  6. Sihastru

    Sihastru

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    No I haven't :). I just chose to not mention it. Daniel K has hacked Realtek driver so you can install the XFi MB software

    I myself am using Daniel K's moded X-Fi driver to "upgrade" my Live! 24bit sound card to X-Fi Extreme Music... but don't tell Creative... because it is not exactly legal...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  7. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Did I call the chip on SupremeFX X-Fi an audio processor? No. Is EAX possible on CODECs? Of course it is, given today's hardware. Was it possible in the 90's (software-acceleration)? Yes, but it posed too much of system overhead, which would kill the deal for many, for which Creative thought it could do an SoC that handled it all on a sound-card. You would note how the cheaper Creative cards that lacked audio processors were both slow and buggy compared to CODECs that didn't even support the standard. So what's the problem now? Microsoft's present standard prevents Creative from developing standards which it could license to others. It strives for uniformity in PC audio, which only works against competition, and the advancement which competition accelerates.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  8. Sihastru

    Sihastru

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    Hey, I'm not taking any sides here, personally I think the Advanced MB is great. I tried my sound card without it and it was crappy. It's a bit much at 20$, but it makes a difference.

    The idea was that it's not ASUS that makes that thing tick, it is 100% Creative. Not a license, an indirect sale. And it is "only" capable of EAX up to 4.0. When you call support for that card, you're redirected to Creative, not to Asus. (As I was with my laptop)

    I agree, Creative has been slapped when Vista came out but mostly because they weren't prepared for it. Microsoft doesn't really keep Creative from licensing EAX 5.0. They are holding on to it becase it is the only thing they have to differenciate themselves. Without EAX (and some other things) Creative won't be any different from any other company. They just don't want to share it.

    What they lost with Vista was hardware acceleration, not EAX. In fact, EAX is about the only thing that keeps them going in this market segment.
     
  9. Kitkat New Member

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    ah i see, anyways i just got some creative t40s speakers had this convo in the last "fatality" oriented anouncment here. lol should just change the name to fatality and feature SOME creative products. gonna agree creative has TOTALY changed. I remembered they had a bunch of cool other stuff but i guess it wast EXACTLY how i remembered cause every one of those cool things had that fugly supersized fatality logo lol. I think they should focus on themselves no sub brands or resell or atleast a versions that dont have to use fatality to sell them. T40s / 20s were tha last cool things to come from them recently and by there quality im suprise fatality isnt on those too lol
     
  10. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Nice discussion, guys!

    Personally, my views echo bta's in this debate . . . the majority of the blame for the current situation of the audio market is from a lack of anyone else willing to help with development of new standards . . . and what were considered "de-facto" standards having been removed from Vista.

    Again, as well, it's not just Creative who've had numerous issues with software and hardware problems in Vista - both ASUS, Auzen . . . even HT and Razer have had countless issues with the OS. The reason it's not as prevailent - these manufacturers don't sell as many cards as Creative do, their market share is smaller - so the overall number of users with problems is much smaller than with Creative . . .

    but, it's funny, all manufacturers are having the same problems and issues - there's nothing really inherent to one brand . . . loss of multi-channel support in apps, loss of Dolby output, downsampling channels, crashing with more than 4GB installed memory, loss of playback with more than 4GB installed memory, etc. . . . these problems aren't found with just one audio manufacturer . . . but with ALL of them.

    Which, naturally, leads me to assume the biggest problems is with the OS - not the manufacturers.



    In regards to EAX . . . EVERYONE has free access to the majority of affects and processing calls available with EAX 4.0 (believe it or not) . . . it's called OpenAL.

    OpenAL is fully compliant with EAX 2.0 standard . . . but the API includes the vast majority of processing calls found with EAX 4.0HD/5.0HD - how do you think the ALchemy software is capable of translating EAX 5.0 calls into something OAL understands? OAL even includes support for X-RAM tech (which, as far as EAX is concered, is only available with EAX 5), multiple environments, environment occlusion . . . granted, OAL doesn't match EAX call-for-call, but there's still a good amount of implimentation there . . .

    the problem is, IMHO, no other audio manufacturer has gotten off their ass to help out with development of OAL. Kinda funny that this free API which has essentially become the backbone of the gaming in Vista, is being developed and funded primarily by Creative.

    On top of that, perhaps if there was more support from the gaming communtiy . . . but, developers tend to approach game audio more as an after-thought, than developing it alongside their title/engine. Although, games where a lot of focus is placed on audio - you can really see how it gives that final polish to the product . . . think FEAR, Thief, Crysis . . .



    Thing is, as bta pointed out, the audio market has pretty much ground to a halt since '05 and the release of the X-Fi.

    Creative keep pushing the performance envelope with the X-Fi lineup, but there are no other manufacturer's competing in this niche . . . ASUS is continuing to use their AV100/200 DSPs, which is really just a slightly tweaked C-Media CMI8788 (which is just as old as the X-Fi APU . . . going on 5 years on the market, now). ASUS have been repeatedly taking the same cards, slapping a new DAC on them, marketing the higher SNR rating, and repackaging the cards . . . Auzen have gotten lazy as well, the majority of their offerings recently have been borrowing the X-Fi APU from Creative . . .

    But, you see . . . evidence that the audio market has stagnated: Creative have been using the same APU since the CA20K1 was released back in 2005, there has been one update to the APU (CA20K2) which only brought in native PCIE support. C-Media's last noteworthy release was the CMI8788, brought to market in late 05 - early 06 . . . both leading audio processing solutions have seen NO MAJOR CHANGE OR UPGRADE IN 4 YEARS!!!
     
  11. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    EAX sucks anyway. It's nothing more than annoying echos. I don't even use it.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  12. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Crank up the "audio quality" setting in Crysis to Ultra High, and listen to your CODEC choke in intense gun-fights. EAX is there, but for games that use DS3D to make EAX calls isn't possible without middleware such as ALchemy. Can you use ALchemy on any sound card besides those which feature Creative hardware? Xonar, CMI8788, NVIDIA SoundStorm (assuming someone still uses it)?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  13. TheLostSwede

    TheLostSwede

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    Anyone remembers Aureal?
    Now A3D was the shit, until Creative killed them off by taking them to court and having more money than their smaller "competitor".
    These days no-one really makes anything all that great, but that seems to be in general in the market, just copy someone else and call it something new and off you go...
     
  14. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i have no problems with my realtek onboard (pre x-fi mod) or my auzentech. i havent had to run a game at anything less than its maxed out audio settings in years.
     
  15. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    QFT. Things were so much better with DirectX 7 graphics. No annoying shadows, fog, or glares to distract you :rolleyes:
     
  16. KainXS

    KainXS

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    I can only hope creative fails in the future or stops making sound cards and take on a role like ati or creative but in the sound card market because 1: Creative sucks at making drivers and 2: Creative sucks at making consistent good quality sound cards(Dacs, etc) and rely too heavily on their CA20KX chipset, which is why if you compare an HTOMEGA to even the X-Fi Titanium, the HT sounds better in music, X-Fi only compares if you enable both crystalyzer and CMSS3D and the surround is still not as good even with that, not to mention they love making people waste money, remember the CA0106 fiasco when creative was ripping people off but still said "oh its X-Fi" and it was a straight up lie, creative specializes in gouging people for money, thats it.
     
  17. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Graphics have nothing to do with sound. One would think that upgrading from onboard to an EAX capble sound card would bring you a little more than poorly implemented echos.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  18. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Riight, on the one hand you have a problem with sound effects (which intend to add realism to sound), and don't have one with graphics effects which aim for the same thing.

    And if you think all EAX does is produce "poorly implemented echos", you obviously haven't used much of EAX.
     
  19. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    again you use a poor example.

    Where are these graphics effects you speak of that makes games worse - are they in EVERY game? no? EAX is poor in almost every game its in. EAX provided two things: echoes, and a way for creative to make games only work in surround sound on their hardware.

    You just gotta realise you're a minority these days BTA - not many people like creative anymore.
     
  20. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    No, the example is fine. Remember Counter Strike 1.6? No fancy HDR, No soft shadows to distract you, etc., compared to CS: Source. According to Mr. hat, fancy effects tend to distract.

    You're better off confining your arguments to the hardware or technology being discussed, rather than who you're discussing it with. So far I've respected that line.
     
  21. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    fancy effects are one thing. crappy implementations are another.

    i'm sure i can find a good and bad example of HDR lighting for you if i tried, however i can only find you bad examples when it comes to EAX - i've never heard a game where it sounded better having it on. (and for reference, i have an audigy 4 and used it for a long time, until the x-fi came out)
     
  22. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Play Doom 3, and Quake 4 with EAX 4 HD enabled, play Battlefield 2, and Unreal Tournament 3. You'll find it's implemented very well. Sadly EAX implementation is on a sharp decline since ~2007, for obvious reasons. Microsoft doesn't want realism in sound, it doesn't want the PC audio hardware industry to advance.
     
  23. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    how so? EAX hasnt been blocked in vista or 7.
     
  24. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    That's not what you asked for. You asked me to give you examples of which games had good implementation of EAX.

    Yes, it's not blocked in Vista, but you'll note that despite Creative giving you the middleware to make use it, the implementation on the OS' side is imperfect. You can't blame Creative, or the Game developer for that. For EAX to work, apps should be able to pass several audio streams to the hardware, so reverberation effects could be made in real-time. With no direct access to hardware, you're forcing the CPU to juggle around with things. Not the best of output quality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  25. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i wasnt questioning that. i cant recall having a bad experience with EAX in those games, so i'm not arguing those points. my comment was directed at your last sentence.
     

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