Creative's New X-Fi Audio Processor

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by swaaye, May 9, 2005.

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  1. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1813719,00.asp

    Great article about what Creative's been up to in their R&D division. An awful lot of audio technology developments coming our way soon.
     
  2. _xxx_

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    Now this is something I'm looking forward to. I just hope there'll still be some competition in the future.
     
  3. ANova

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    There's only so much you can do with audio.
     
  4. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    I hope they improve their drivers. Creative need an ATI-like push in improving their drivers massively.
     
  5. MasterBaiter

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    And we haven't hit the limits yet, so your comment is moot. :twisted:
     
  6. Sxotty

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    True, so true.
     
  7. ANova

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    I think we have. Anything beyond this point will offer a marginal advantage and more then likely be used primarily for marketing imo.
     
  8. DudeMiester

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    Bill Gates said the same thing about 640KB of memory. To put an arbitrary limit on something is non-sense. There is always room for improvement. Now I'm sure a lot of it will get used for marketing as you say, but I'm sure if you owned a quality surround sound system, then it would make a big difference to you. Also, this seems useful for getting those atmospheric audio effects. For example, having sounds dynamically react to their environment, be it a stone chamber or a sound proofed room, rather then just canning all the sounds. I think you could ligitmately say that PC audio stands around the same relative quality as Quake does today. Some of it's done in software, some in hardware, everything is canned (lightmaps/sound-clips), and it's all terribly antiquated.
     
  9. jvd

    jvd
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    I think there needs to be a leap in the out put hardware (speakers) before there is much more need to increase the processing power of the sound .
     
  10. MasterBaiter

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    Anything specific? There are quite a few good speakers out there, and many are designed for close field use, but come @ a premium. Are you just referring to what is available, and labeled as "computer" speakers?

    If Creative delivers on the software side this could be a very nice chipset. Time will tell the tale I guess. I think I'm more curious to see the E-mu line of cards @ this point though.

    Since Creative seems to be pointing to OpenAL as one of the leading future API's... might not be a bad thing to read up on it if you are interested: http://www.openal.org/oalspecs-specs/index.html
     
  11. Reznor007

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    No, speakers are years ahead of PC game audio. When speakers can handle stuff like DVD-Audio which is losslessly compressed 96KHz 24bit surround(or 192KHz 24bit stereo), PC games just don't seem to stress speakers at all.

    I just did a quick check of some Doom3 sound effects, and all I found were 22KHz 16bit. At that sampling rate you can start to have distortion around 11KHz sound frequency, which is well within the limit of human hearing.

    One thing that I hope is added to sound cards is HDMI/firewire for multichannel digial audio. Soundstorm/Dolby Digital Live is great for now, but a lossless connection would be great.
     
  12. ANova

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    Yes a 5.1 or 6.1 surround sound system does make a noticable difference between 2.1 but current sound cards and integrated solutions are already well capable of such setups. What's next? 10.1? 15.1? Sure you can keep adding on speakers, subwoofers and channels but there comes a point when a person will not be able to tell a difference. Yes there are all of these extra 'features' like THX, EAX, etc; you can always find little improvements to add to things but like I said, most of it is merely to keep sales up, not to actually improve quality in a noticable way.
     
  13. _xxx_

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    You know, there are some people who don't only play games but also do some other stuff with audio... :wink:
     
  14. Killer-Kris

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    Well frankly I'd find true 3D audio, and wave tracing to be a huge step back towards where we once were. So I'd say we still have a lot of potential growth in the audio field.
     
  15. _xxx_

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    ??? care to explain what you mean by that?
     
  16. Killer-Kris

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    After Creative took Aureal out of business I haven't been aware of any decent 3D audio solutions on the market. And I'm pretty certain that A3D3.0 (or was it 2.0?) supported rudimentary wave tracing.
     
  17. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    In terms of gaming, all this extra processing power could indeed give us new things in the realm of gaming sound.
     
  18. _xxx_

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    Oh. But AFAIK we never saw that in a commercial product? Or at least not of any use, speed-wise?

    What I'm more interested in are all these *flops of proc power for recording purposes. Right now I'm using an Envy24 based solution just because of the possibility to mix ~20 wav-tracks without any hitches simultaneously and rock-solid ASIO support. It'd be nice if I could involve some nice DSP power as well and it seems like this card will make it possible (of course, it's possible right now as well, but only with MUCH more expensive gear).
     
  19. MuFu

    MuFu Chief Spastic Baboon
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    Looks good. Interesting to the see the ring-based internal topology mentioned.
     
  20. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    The original Half Life used A3D 2.0's audio wavetracing. It's pretty crazy. Problem with HL1 though is that the audio is like 8Khz or 11Khz...it sounds so awful.

    Regarding the Xi-Fi I found it pretty scary to read just how much processing power they devoted just to SRC! WTF! Is that really necessary? I guess it must be if the engineers thought so....but, yeah, I was really hoping for some crazy innovation for 3D audio. Though I gotta say my Audigy2 ZS is pretty damn good at it with my 4.1 speakers. Lot better than Live.
     
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