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EAX Dead ? What is OpenAL ? better than EAX ?

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wolf2009

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#1
I heard every game developer is moving away from EAX . WHy's that ?

And what is this OpenAL ? Is it better than EAX ? is it hardware accelerated ?
 

jonmcc33

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If you guys want to check out something fun, check out OpenRT :D
 
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#4
EAX and OpenAL are two different things. OpenAL is the open source replacement for DirectSound3D (3D audio positioning), a technology only available for Windows. EAX is an extension of DirectSound3D. An easy way to understand it is that DirectSound3D is to DirectX as OpenAL is to OpenGL. The purpose of OpenAL and OpenGL is to giving other operating system the ability to use the technology other than Windows. Creative Labs are the lead developers for OpenAL, and it also uses EAX as an extension. For more info on EAX, OpenAL, and Directsound, check out wikipedia.
 
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#5
EAX was creatives proprietary 3D sound engine. It doesnt work in vista (not without a few tweaks) and so companies are moving to openAL.

OpenAL can mostly do the same things, but a lot cheaper, and it works on ALL soundcards - EAX you could only use on creative cards, and you had to upgrade each generation or you wouldnt get squat in the latest games.
 
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wolf2009

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#6
So Openal is being developed by Creative . So it can do better sound than EAX? Do Sound Cards benefit from it in any way ?
 
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#7
So Openal is being developed by Creative . So it can do better sound than EAX? Do Sound Cards benefit from it in any way ?
EAX is an extension of OpenAL, therefore there is no comparison on which is better. OpenAL is mostly, but not only, developed by Creative. The sound card does not benefit from these technology, but the user does...for s/he gets a more immerse experience with the game.

Here is a quote from the wiki:

EAX has nothing to do with actual 3D audio positioning. Positioning is done by Microsoft's DirectSound3D API. An alternative to DirectSound3D, called Open Audio Library (OpenAL), surfaced in 2003 in several titles. OpenAL allows direct hardware acceleration of audio, like DirectSound, including EAX. As of 2006, the API has been used in many popular titles including Doom 3 and Prey. These games support EAX 4.0 if audio hardware with an OpenAL-supporting driver is present. Because hardware acceleration for DirectSound and DirectSound3D was dropped in Windows Vista [1], OpenAL will likely become more important for game developers who wish to use EAX in their games.


@ Mussels

That is completely incorrect. EAX is not a 3D sound API. EAX is an extension to a 3D sound API. It adds more ambiance within games by more accurately simulating a real-world audio environment on top of 3D sounds API. At the moment, EAX only works for DirectSound, and there is no DirectSound for Vista. Therefore Creative came out with Creative ALchemy (AL is capitalized for it symbolizes OpenAL). Quoted from the wiki:
Creative ALchemy intercepts calls to DirectSound3D and translates them into OpenAL calls to be processed by supported hardware such as Sound Blaster X-Fi and Sound Blaster Audigy.
 
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#8
@ Mussels

That is completely incorrect. EAX is not a 3D sound API. EAX is an extension to a 3D sound API. It adds more ambiance within games by more accurately simulating a real-world audio environment on top of 3D sounds API. At the moment, EAX only works for DirectSound, and there is no DirectSound for Vista. Therefore Creative came out with Creative ALchemy (AL is capitalized for it symbolizes OpenAL). Quoted from the wiki:
Thanks for correcting me.
 
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#9
So Openal is being developed by Creative . So it can do better sound than EAX? Do Sound Cards benefit from it in any way ?
well - for the most part yes, but only because OpenAL is way more flexible than EAX is. OpenAL includes support for EAX 4HD, so if you have a soundcard that supports OpenAL, and you're running a game with native OpenAL support, you can run EAX 4. And seeing as how within the API, EAX is an extension, game devs have access to more audio procedures with OpenAL than they do EAX.

Sound cards can benefit from OpenAL, if the game natively supports it - but in the sense that it allows the game engine to use audio hardware acceleration directly, instead of having to rely on EAX or DirectSound calls which then have to be passed to the OS to interact with the hardware; OpenAL installs at the kernel level, instead of the user level; it offers better support across a range of hardware manufacturers, game developers, and operating systems, and also allows for the DirectSound/Vista workaround with Creative cards.


But, that's also not to say EAX is going dead anytime soon - Creative re-invents the wheel with each new major hardware series released. EAX was going strong for a long while, and still is, there have been a good 10-20 major games released this year so far that support EAX; but with Vista hovering over the industry, we'll start to see more support for OpenAL than EAX (seeing as how EAX is worthless in Vista) . . . and considering Creative is the major developer behing OpenAL right now, I think we'll start seeing EAX merged entirelly with the OpenAL project . . . EAX won't die, it'll just be re-incarnated.

Such is the way of Creative.
 

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#10
EAX and OpenAL are two different things. OpenAL is the open source replacement for DirectSound3D (3D audio positioning), a technology only available for Windows. EAX is an extension of DirectSound3D. An easy way to understand it is that DirectSound3D is to DirectX as OpenAL is to OpenGL. The purpose of OpenAL and OpenGL is to giving other operating system the ability to use the technology other than Windows. Creative Labs are the lead developers for OpenAL, and it also uses EAX as an extension. For more info on EAX, OpenAL, and Directsound, check out wikipedia.
Minor correction, EAX is not an extension of OpenAL. EAX requires ALchemy to even work with OpenAL.

Creative Labs wasn't the lead developer of OpenAL. OpenAL was developed by Loki Software and then continued to be open source. Creative and Apple took over the project and it remains open source (and not proprietary like EAX). They even state this at their website: http://www.soundblaster.com/products/gaming/article.asp?articleID=62367&categoryID=13

"OpenAL is neither a commercial product, nor under the control of a platform vendor. This means that the developers and hardware vendors who are involved in the project all have a say in shaping the API to suit the industry as a whole." <--- verifies that they have no control over it.

"OpenAL's popularity has sky-rocketed over the last couple of years with countless titles adopting it." <--- confirms that it is the standard and EAX is pretty much dead/dying/not worth considering.

"In the new Windows Vista operating system, OpenAL can be used to enable hardware audio acceleration and real-time effects..." <--- means no need for EAX enabled sound cards, such as those from Creative Labs.
 
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