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View Full Version : Vista: X-Fi or HDA?


Buck Armstrong
11-14-07, 08:12 PM
I'm about to build a new system and have a copy of Vista Ultimate standing by. Motherboard will be a DX38BT with Intel High Definition Audio, I have 5.1 speakers, and I generally game and listen to music. I've read a bit about the HAL issue and developers moving away from EAX, but the first thing I've done with every PC is immediately disable onboard sound and pop in a Soundblaster...

Do I need a sound card (X-Fi) or will the onboard HDA be good enough? I understand what I lose with EAX, but beyond that, how much is general gaming performance affected?

crainger
11-14-07, 08:16 PM
No real loss at all these days. If you don't mind missing newer EAX just use onboard.

$n][pErMan
11-14-07, 08:20 PM
Gaming Performance or Gaming Quality? If you want good Quality get the X-Fi. Any TRUE gamer knows how important sound quality is in a game. Almost as important as graphics. I don't care what anyone says, no onboard sound at the moment can beat or match an X-Fi card. Also, beside EAX, X-Fi offers amazing 3d sound for headphones.

Buck Armstrong
11-14-07, 08:32 PM
OK, so assuming I use Alchemy or whatever Creative's Vista bandaid is called, is an X-Fi going to work pretty much the same as it did in XP, including in older EAX games?

Also, how much difference does the XRAM make? Is it worth the extra $? And does the game specifically have to support it, and if so, how many games do?

Sorry for all the questions, but my current card is an Audigy2 ZS in XP, so I've never had any particular concerns with functionality, compatibility, etc. Just install it, tweak the settings, and blow sh*t up. :)

jass
11-15-07, 11:35 AM
Also, how much difference does the XRAM make? Is it worth the extra $? And does the game specifically have to support it, and if so, how many games do?


games have to be EAX 5 to specifically support XRAM, there are a few titles (Q4, BF2, Prey come to mind..)

Sound cards offload CPU not only at gaming but also at music playback, ripping CDs etc. Dedicated components are always going to be more efficient and higher quality then integrated ones.

Dr.Nick
11-15-07, 12:03 PM
If you got the cash go for the X-Fi; you will gain a few fps in games. I wouldn't worry about the X-ram too much but its nice to have if you can afford the price difference(the game has to support it and there aren't many of them). If you game with headphones you'll be very-very pleased the purchase.