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Sound Cards--EAX on a non-Creative card?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Tsen, 11 Apr 2008.

  1. Tsen

    Tsen Steeped In Romance

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    Okay, I'm looking for a sound card, as onboard just doesn't do my Z5500's justice. Mostly, it'll be used for music, but I game quite a bit, enough to want good gaming support.
    Originally, I was just going to go buy a Soundblaster X-Fi fatality/whatever edition. I've decided against that now, first off because Creative's blundered and threatening to sue a guy who makes custom drivers for their cards that fix what they never bothered to do themselves. Further, I keep hearing bad things about their cards, so I'd just like to stay away from them in general.

    So I was looking at an HT Omega Striker card, but unfortunately the only place in the US that sells them is Newegg. They got them in stock yesterday morning, and they're already sold out again. So I was thinking about getting the Claro series, but I found out they don't support all of the EAX settings, and they cost a whole lot more.

    Is it worth buying them in spite of the EAX bit? I don't exactly know how much of a difference EAX is going to make in gaming sound anyway, but if at all possible, I'd like good quality sound AND gaming support if possible.

    The only other requirement I have is that I need optical out. Any advice?
     
  2. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    AFAIK, EAX is (*cough*)Creative(*cough*)-only. :(

    And QFT about your description on their driver policy.
     
  3. Tsen

    Tsen Steeped In Romance

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    Well, I know that EAX 1.0 and 2.0 are supported by virtually everybody, but newer versions aren't. Oh well, I think I'm just going to go with the HT Omega Claro. It's a lot more, but I've heard nothing but good things about it.
     
  4. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    ASUS has the Xonar DX on PCI-Express (Yes, you can now use your PCI-Express slots), witch apparently support EAX 5. The card cost around 80$ US.

    Now it must be noted, that this sound card is not the high end model of the Xonar series. The highest models with all the fancy stuff, like MIDI ports, and the shielding and nice design is for the Xonar D2X (PCI-Express) and the Xonar D2 (PCI). The D2X model cost about 150-200$US. The high end model does not (yes, NOT) support EAX 5.

    Specifications between these 2 fine sound card are very similar as for sound output.
    They both fully support Windows XP and Vista (unlike Creative), and both have great drivers (compared to the abysmal drivers form creative), and doesn't not have any hardware compatibility (like Creative does for about all motherboard chipset or if you have SLI or Crossfie).

    Also, today, less and less games support EAX. The only games I know that support EAX is when Creatives pays A LOT of money to the company that makes the game, and usually these games are not "A" class games (however they are exception). Most of the "A" quality class games that support EAX, usually offers an alternative from Dolby (which is frankly does just a good, and sometime slightly better than EAX).
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2008
  5. Tsen

    Tsen Steeped In Romance

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    Alright, that helps a lot. I wasn't sure, only I kept hearing Creative cards were good for gaming but not music, and other cards were good for music but not gaming. I'll check out the Xonar cards too.
     
  6. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Today any high-end sound cards will give you excellent gaming performance...
    And you will see a great difference compared to your onboard sound card, with no or almost none static.
    EAX is nothing more than an effect it apparently do to make you feel that a sound is coming at a certain direction.
    However, today games have they own system (if you disable EAX), to make that. So basically EAX is just a big gimmicky feature, and will only piss ou off if Creative paid for the game company to put EAX in the game, and if oyu uncheck EAX there is nothing that tries to output a sound in surround sound. Such business plan such not be encourage.
     
  7. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    I got an HT Omega Claro Plus. I havent built PC yet but the reviews on it seemed real good. I dont care about EAX. I think very few games I play use it.
     
  8. darklord of chaos

    darklord of chaos What's a Dremel?

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    well there is Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 it uses the same onboard chip as the x-fi but the card is made by auzentech and the drivers have been modified by them to hopefully it should be more reliable than creative cards ( no support at all ).

    B.
     
  9. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    lol and omg tbh

    when i got my SB X-FI XtremeMusic for the first time[only a week ago] it simply blow me away with the ingame sound and music quality... and for only £54....
    Full EAX 5.0 support ofc and crystalizer make all the difference, trust me...games sound so much better, but you will need a good headset/sound system to get the full potential the card.

    Also running Vista U 64-bit....which some would say a total no go with Soundblaster, but it works perfectly for me!
     
  10. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    All games use it....

    it does not requer support.... it just takes the Audio and transforms it to EAX 5.0.
    Also i did try truning all the Creative techniques off... then go on CSS and COD4... my headset didnt give me the soundsound like before...so i truned it all back on agian [sounds MUCH better with it on lolz].
     
    Last edited: 13 Apr 2008
  11. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    [Deleted]


    4312312
     
  12. Tsen

    Tsen Steeped In Romance

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    Okay, I went to WalMart and bought an optical audio cable so that I'd be ready when the sound card got here. My onboard had optical out, so I hooked it up to reduce clutter. The difference was amazing. Really, there's no words for it.
    As for the SB, I took my friends for a couple of days, and honestly, there wasn't much of a difference. First off, it had no optical, so it was back to 6 channel direct. That already made things pretty unbearable in comparison. Music sounded like crap. I tried playing some Oblivion, and I honestly don't notice a difference from onboard at all--nothing. So I gave it back. Haven't thought twice about my decision on the HT Omega.
    And by the way, YES, I do have a good sound system. Trust me, it far outshines the potential of any card to come out of Creative Labs. On the whole of it, my opinion of the company has gone for doubtful to outright negative in less than a week of research. That doesn't bode well for any company.
     
  13. 1ad7

    1ad7 What's a Dremel?

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    ASUS xonar has eax 2.0 which is what "most" games use unless they are creative branded. I had the xfi with eax 5.0 HD and well the xonar sounds better....
     
  14. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Well what I found interesting, is I have an annoying X-Fi now, and I have the game The Witcher, it supports EAX4. I have EAX5 on my sound card, therefor I cannot use EAX in the game. So form my understanding, you need a sound card for every EAX out (so 5 sound card) to enjoy EAX on EVERY game that supports it. It just shows you how B.S the hole thing is.

    The Game has an option called Environmental Effects (EE) (you have to beside between EAX or Environmental Effects), and frankly from all the games I played were EAX worked, the normal EE that the game offer is superior. Also I did not see my CPU get any more "in use".
     
  15. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Actually no I am wrong, after some digging I realize (from my understanding form Creative forum) that if you are using Vista, EAX (well EAX 4 and bellow, so far I did not play any EAX 5 games) pretty much useless you install this Vista "crack" system (ALchemy) from Creative to bypass (destroy?!?) Windows new sound system so that EAX works. In other words, EAX was badly designed in the first place. Which leads me to understand on to why the X-fi did not work under Win2k when I got it, and requires WinXP SP2.
     

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