Crikey, the gamer's X-Fi is pricey!

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by Pete, Aug 9, 2005.

?

How would you spend $200+ to enhance gameplay?

  1. GPU/CPU/RAM bump ("traditional" speed boost)

    43 vote(s)
    52.4%
  2. PPU (Ageia PhysX)

    21 vote(s)
    25.6%
  3. "APU" (Creative X-Fi)

    6 vote(s)
    7.3%
  4. Thank you, come again! --Apu (Sorry, couldn't help it)

    12 vote(s)
    14.6%
  1. MasterBaiter

    Regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well I'm thinking that it will get a fair bit of support, and I'm hoping very much that it does. I figure it's only a matter of time before I break down and buy one, but I don't need the remote or the I/O bay crap. Just a card with onboard memory will do. If the sound quality is on par with the Audigy 2 ZS line, that is good enough for me. I want the 128 voices! There's nothing like playing a game, and having bullets whizzing past you, fighter planes circling overhead, tanks coming up from the rear, and all the while an artillery barrage is in effect. The more 3D sounds they can throw at you the better! I want one for the simple reason of being immersed in a game. Graphics are important, but I think the sound is just as important. :)
     
    #61 MasterBaiter, Aug 14, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2005
  2. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Messages:
    8,457
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    WI, USA
    I was playing FEAR with EAX2+HD enabled yesterday. I couldn't help but notice that immediately in the beginning of the game when I'm in the car with that leader fellow that they had applied a reverb effect. Uhhh...how many car interiors reverb? LOL.
     
  3. MasterBaiter

    Regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    2
    Definitely not good but....

    " Previous versions of EAX® supported a feature called occlusion. This feature recreated the effect of sound passing through a solid object (see the other EAX® sections for a detailed description). However the basic Occlusion effect only occluded the direct sound, but not the environmental reverb associated with that sound. This reduced the effectiveness and impact of the overall effect. Environment Occlusion? improves the realism by allowing the reverb effect itself as well as the direct sound to be muffled due to occluding objects."
    http://www.soundblaster.com/products/x-fi/technology/lastinfo/eax5_6.asp
     
  4. Moloch

    Moloch God of Wicked Games
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    2,981
    Likes Received:
    72
    I noticed un UT2003/4 that enabling eax with my soundstorm (driver bug?) did the same thing.
    reverb where their clearly shouldn't be any.
    I don't find reverb to be something desirable in an open environment.
     
  5. MasterBaiter

    Regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    2
    It could be.. I have a Soundstorm solution one of my secondary systems, so I'll have to check it out!!
    I'm not the biggest fan of EAX actually. Sounds like version 5 may actually be getting closer to what Aureal was doing a long time ago. :p
     
  6. jvd

    jvd
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    Messages:
    12,724
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    new jersey
    My only gripe with creative is thier drivers . If they put a good driver team on the hardware and did at least 1 release every 6 months i'd be much happier .


    Everquest 2 with eax is just to nice to pass up.
     
  7. poopypoo

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    i agree wholeheartedly; open cans generally offer a much more balanced sound (at least on the cheaper end we are at), but more importantly, they are far far less fatiguing on the ears. i can scarcely use my closed senns for more than an hour.
     
  8. Andrew

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    5

    Sorry man. But high quality headphones do not get nearly enough power through PC sound cards or even home audio receivers than they need. Especially my Sennheiser HD580's which are 300ohm and when i ran them off a sound card, they must be cranked way up which creates distortion and very flat bass respons. Basically turns the music to mud.

    http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/icm_eng.nsf/root/04195#

    I'm a music fanatic. I've probably got over 600 albums on CD and over 100gb of music on my PC alone. When i got my HD580s, i was really not impressed for the money they cost.

    So in response, i went to a popular headphone forum: http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/ and had some discussions about audio and power required to have these headphones sound the best and the ending result was to buy an actual headphone amplifier.

    I got an Antique Sound Labs MG-Head OTL tube amp. The sound difference was INSANE. Glorious midrange, deep... full bass, and excellent hi's. Yes, it cost an arm and a leg but i run an optical cable from my PC to my Harman Kardon receiver where thee amp is plugged in using outlaw audio RCA cables.

    I've never looked back.

    [​IMG]


    Any headphone in the realm of 300ohm NEEDS external power amplification to sound right. Otherwise you'll be left with a flat, boring listening environment.
     
  9. Skrying

    Skrying S K R Y I N G
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    61
    Yes, highend, and even some lower end headphones need an amp. If you havent listened to say, HD580s with a amp then you're really missing out on about 50% of their amazing sound quality.

    You dont need to buy an insanely expensive one, generally a CMoy even will help a ton in bringing more quality to your sound.

    With that said, I've had some people say that they perfer stuff they can by at Best Buy for $40 than my $400 audio setup (headphones, CMoy, sound card). I personally cant go back anymore, I enjoy proper highs, mids, and lows much more than craptastic booming bass that drives me insane.
     
  10. Jawed

    Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    10,873
    Likes Received:
    767
    Location:
    London
    My Sennheiser HD560 Ovations run off my SB Live Value without any volume or distortion problems.

    I haven't tried the HD650s on the sound card, but I doubt they'd be any different.

    Maybe my SB Live Value is magic? :mrgreen:

    Jawed
     
  11. Andrew

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    5
    Either they're magic.... or you're really missing out on how much better they'd sound with even an inexpensive headphone amplifier.
     
  12. _xxx_

    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,008
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Andrew: sure it'll sound better with a good amp, but it's still only something for freaks like you :) , "normal" people will be just as happy without one.

    Also, most high-end phones are layed out for a bit higher levels, that's why you'll use different, better suited ones for your mp3 player or your PC.
     
  13. Jawed

    Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    10,873
    Likes Received:
    767
    Location:
    London
    I know they could sound better - I've got the HD650s being driven by a 45W per channel amplifier as a reference :twisted: But the HD650s are SO much better [​IMG] in themselves that it's rather academic - and the 560 Ovations used to swap between the hi-fi and the computer, so I know what's going on.

    All I'm saying is that my soundcard can drive 300ohm headphones to VERY loud without any distortion or bass problems. It's a very musical, enjoyable setup, even with the 11 or 12 year old headphones. The 560 Ovations were the top end Sennheisers back then - erm except for the Orpheus headphones :cool:

    I don't see why other soundcards shouldn't be able to do the same. Unless, as I say, my SB Live Value is magic...

    Jawed
     
  14. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Messages:
    8,457
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    WI, USA
    Sound cards used to have amps, primarily to power crappy no-amp speakers. My Sound Blaster Pro had a amp built-in. Some cards used to have a speaker out and a line out (AWE32). Then everyone went line level no amp cuz it was cheaper and better overall audio quality.

    I don't think it's really reasonable to expect them to put high quality amps on all of their cards since most people wouldn't benefit and it would add cost to the cards. Also they'd have to add a line-out no-amp jack cuz you sure wouldn't wanna be stuck forced to use their amp.

    (see the analog volume wheel :) )
    [​IMG]
     
    #74 swaaye, Aug 15, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2005
  15. Moloch

    Moloch God of Wicked Games
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    2,981
    Likes Received:
    72
    Very true also, although my ears still ring at some what high listening levels (but would like higher).
    I'm unaware why I can listen to my guitar amp (30 watt but loud in small room) for a few hours at LOUD levels, but can't listen to headphones at such levels for more then a few minutes.
    The closed phones I've listened sounded some what muffled, maybe when I hear a 50+ dollar pair I'll like them a bit better, but with my limited exposure thats what I've found.
    The headphones that really are fatiguing are the cheap ones that come with walkmans and such, even after 5 minutes my ears hurt.
    edit- sorry about long replies.
    I like to talk alot things I'm interested in :eek:
     
    #75 Moloch, Aug 15, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2005
  16. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    14,079
    Likes Received:
    648
    Location:
    O Canada!
    It does want direct power:

    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=25423

     
  17. MasterBaiter

    Regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm wondering now if the PCIe version would require the power lead? :|
     
  18. Moloch

    Moloch God of Wicked Games
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    2,981
    Likes Received:
    72
    How come headphones have such high impediance?
     
  19. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
    Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Messages:
    8,183
    Likes Received:
    1,840
    Location:
    Finland
    I actually believe the "sound better than the original recording" stuff.
    Though, I must give, that anything with possibility to use "mute" will do that, considering what kinda crap they let out from the studios nowadays :roll:
     
  20. Snyder

    Regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I've got the 770 Pro and just love them. For me, they are the ideal headphones (in the 100-200€ price bracket, that is.) The sound is IMO perfectly balanced between accuracy and "niceness" - i.e. they have good bass and wide soundstage, but fine details are still not lost.
    And they are the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn - should fit even over the most monstrous ears, and the velours (for which replacements are available BTW!) is very nice to the touch. There are not many headphones I can wear for hours without them getting uncomfortable, these are one of them.
    Only caveat: If you have a very big head, things could get tight.

    And regarding the amp stuff: Weeell, they DO have 2x250 Ohms Impedance, nothing to sneeze at.
    My Audigy 2 ZS has no problems driving them (surprisingly, they even sound slightly better than on the headphone out of my old h/k 5.1 receiver), but both the onboard sound of my notebook and the Soundstorm/AC97 combo of my mobo have problems driving them (low max volume; weak, 'tinny' sound compared to Audigy/Receiver).
    Although in the case of the notebook, the headphone out is probably just plain crap.

    EDIT: Forgot to add - of course they sound best with a decent headphone amp, but IMO audigy is a good compromise.
     
    #80 Snyder, Aug 18, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2005
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...