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FastM
09-27-02, 08:03 PM
I just just opened the box so i'll comment on sound quality and game perfomance later. I have in front of me the sound card and on it is a CS4624-CQ Chip. hmmmmmm?

budd_wm
09-27-02, 09:10 PM
OEM or Retail?

Frank_L
09-27-02, 10:32 PM
Me too I just got my GTXP 6.1 today and it is also the CS4624-CQ chip on it. I thought it would have been a CS4630 since that is what the hercules website says. Sound is pretty good to my ears but I didn't have time to do much tests. My card is retail. I'll post more comments later.

FastM
09-27-02, 10:41 PM
Retail. Its a different looking box than on the website, says 6.1 on it now. When i ordered it the guy told me it would be at least a week because they had just revised it.

It installed pretty quickly with the latest drivers (unlike creatives 10min process) and fired up ut2003. The first thing i noticed that was kinda weird was when i double jumped the guys voice would sometimes be louder than other times, both with Hardware and EAX. Then the next thing i noticed was the complete lack of Bass. Before the shock rifle secondary explosion would rattle the walls, now i cant even feel the sub under my feet.

In the menu's i can force an EQ and maybe help with the bass, but maybe there is an option im missing.

Right away in RTCW the gunshot effects sounded very dull, reminded me more of a SBLive5.1. And also the bass was much better than ut2003 but not perfect. Apart from that ut2k3 did feel a touch smoother on the outdoor map and my mp3's sound the same.

Maybe not tonight but i will be trying out the audigy again before i decide what to keep. Although i wish i could of heard the GTXP with the C4630 if it actually made a difference at all.

FastM
09-28-02, 12:03 PM
I put my Audigy back in for testing purposes this morning. In UT2k3 all my bass returned and i could actually hear when the rockets hit a wall, distances are much clearer with the Audigy. Not to mention the everything sounded just a bit clearer. In RTCW the Gunshots have More sound to them now, not dull with the GTXP. Every sound just has more Volume with it.

I think bottom line the GTXP is a good price if your really going to take advantage of the Breakout Box but hands down the real Gaming Soundcard is the Audigy. At this point im not sure what im going to do, the GTXP 6.1 cost me a pretty penny but i really dont know if i can give up the Audigy. Creatives Drivers may suck, (although never give me problems) but their HardWare is defiantly the best out their for gaming sound cards.

SnakeEyes
09-28-02, 12:33 PM
I wonder if it's the new chip responsible for those issues FastM? I know my setup DOES rattle my walls with UT2003's shock combos and my GTXP. Of course, mine has the original chip, and was bought back before they even announced it as the 6.1 (now 7.1..)

Sigh.. Oh well. It sort of figures. All the companies have taken to cutting corners. I wonder if there'll be a quality alternative available anywhere before long. :(

budd_wm
09-28-02, 02:06 PM
FastM, the reason you get more Bass with the Audigy is because it actually handles bass management as a seperate channel and lets you control it if you want whereas the GTXP does not. I guess your speakers do not have their own bass management...

thcdru2k
09-28-02, 06:23 PM
one word, terratec.

budd_wm
09-28-02, 07:45 PM
LMAO. Terratec will do the same thing the GTXP does for him. Only card so far that is a true 5.1 soundcard is the Audigy (sad but true).

SnakeEyes
09-28-02, 09:37 PM
Hmm.. Doesn't the XP support a true bass channel with the analog outputs in 5.1/6.1? I don't know myself yet, since I still haven't got a set of speaker that do that (BOTH 5/6.1 and true digital inputs, instead of that crappy Creative-specific spdif thingamabob), but I thought part of the additions to the newer drivers back when it became 6.1 capable was the ability to have the sub's bass output through a single channel.

thcdru2k
09-28-02, 11:09 PM
terratec isn't a true 5.1 soundcard? i know it doesn't have bass redirection, but i'm sure it would produce enough bass.

SnakeEyes
09-28-02, 11:33 PM
The .1 in the 5.1 means there is a separate dedicated channel for the subwoofer. I believe the Herc definitely qualifies on that basis as a true 5.1. However, it doesn't support bass management, so if you have speakers with only 4 channel input (front stereo 1/8" in, rear stereo 1/8" in), you lose the bass.

On the other hand, I think you can get it if you have speakers with a dedicated input for the sub, which is what I meant above (the input needs to be amplified by the speakers though). The same thing goes for the center channel, and I also believe it's that way for the extra surrounds.

FastM
09-29-02, 01:09 AM
Well i have to admit the GTXP is starting to grow on me. The only place im missing Bass is in UT with the Shock rifle and Rocket laucher. Im hoping it could just be a software thing and when the full verison of UT2k3 comes out it will be different.

Another thing i found out is using WMP over Winamp to play my MP3's actually makes them sound much better. WinAmp has its own software decoder but i read in the Hercules FAQ the Hardware MP3 Decoder built into the GTXP only gets used with the Microsoft DirectShow API, or using WMP. Also with the Breakout box i can plug in my Big Sub (12inch 400Watt) into the Subwoofer channel and select 2.1 speakers if i want it on. As my main speakers i use the Altec Lansing ACS-48 2.1 setup. It does have its own Bass Managment but the nob is on the actual sub so i dont want to have to change it often.

SnakeEyes have you tried the Lastest Drivers for the GTXP ?

SnakeEyes
09-29-02, 01:33 AM
If you mean the ones with the 7.1 capability, those are the ones I'm using now (got them from the WindowsUpdate site). If there are an official Hercules release available from their sites other than the ones on MS' site, then no. I kept looking on Herc's site, but haven't seen them there yet. Right now I don't have a sub that I can connect directly to the sub output, but I have an extra set of Cambridge Soundworks that are running in the rear, using the 7.1 mode (basically no sub and no center, but the rears help a bit). :)

SnakeEyes
09-29-02, 01:37 AM
Thanks for asking about the drivers FastM. I just checked, and saw that the 5.01/5.02 drivers are now available direct from Hercules. I downloaded the 5.01s. I'm heading to bed now since it's after 1:30AM, but I'll install them in place of the XP Update version. (I'm guessing the XP set is the core drivers, and nothing else.)

sbp
09-29-02, 03:58 AM
This is not a great move by Hercules. That's not to say the CS4624 is a bad chip, but the CS4630 is more powerful.

Looks like the older GTXP 6.1's remaining are going to be snapped up. The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, which uses the CS4630 soundchip, will benefit from this move.

FastM
09-29-02, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by sbp
This is not a great move by Hercules. That's not to say the CS4624 is a bad chip, but the CS4630 is more powerful.

Looks like the older GTXP 6.1's remaining are going to be snapped up. The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, which uses the CS4630 soundchip, will benefit from this move.

I read on the Hecules Forum that the reason they switched to the other chip os because the CS4630 is not available anymore.

budd_wm
09-29-02, 04:37 PM
The 4630 had some problems recording sound. I heard it was some kind of echo issue and was a problem with the chipset. Might be why Hercules moved it down to 4624. Really there isn't much of a difference between them, and I doubt you'd notice any difference when listening. How is the 4630 more powerful?

styles-T
09-29-02, 07:03 PM
geez..so whats the verdict??

What is the best card on the market or most beneficial when it comes to sound?

Frank_L
09-29-02, 08:16 PM
Maybe it's not a bad move for Hercules to go from the 4630 to 4624. If you look at tom's hardware, they compared 5 sound cards in September 2001 and the Fortissimo II, which uses the 4624 was the fastest in all the benchmarks. The 4630 doesn't seem to be more powerfull since the benchmarks show that the 4624 offers better framerates. Tom's hardware also said that the sound quality of the Fortissimo II was exceptional. Since the GTXP has better DAC than the Fortissimo II and have the superb external rack, you get the best of the two cards. I have nothing to complain about it except for a minor sound issue in UT 2003 but that may be fixed when the retail version will be out.

FastM
09-29-02, 09:28 PM
Okay, after another day of using the gtxp, i have to take everything i said back. the GTXP 6.1 is everything the Audigy is and more, for a very nice price. I have never owned a Platinum series Audigy so i dont know how Rack/breakout box compare, but the pricing is way off. Im sure (crossing fingers) the small ut2k3 issue will be worked out quickly, but in the meantime i can up the volume on my 12" Virtuel to make up for the lack of Bass. Plus i can setup the sub much father away from my comp with the breakout box. So... bye bye Audigy.

budd_wm
09-29-02, 09:57 PM
If anyone is unsure about the GTXP, just get a set of speakers that have their own bass management (most pc speakers will) and you'll have nothing to worry about. As far as the chipset goes...higher number doesn't mean better.

SnakeEyes
09-29-02, 10:10 PM
That's true budd. But if there's an issue with the 4630, I haven't experienced it yet. No biggie for me anyway. The only problem I have is that I'd like a set of affordable PC 5.1 / 6.1 speakers that have both 5.1 (in other words 6) channels of analog input, as well as true DD / DTS decoder and digital inputs. My DTT3500's only have the DD / DTS with digital in's, as well as having 4 channels only for analog (along with that crappy creative proprietary digital din connector). This seems like the common connection scheme for most speakers. The few that have 5.1 analog inputs lack the DD / DTS and the digital inputs (standard optical and coaxial types).

If HT speakers could be bought cheaply enough (as in for your entertainment center), I'd probably just go out and buy a cheap DD / DTS consumer grade amp with 5.1 analog ins, and some of those speakers (the cheap ones, lol). The amps themselves have come WAY down in price, but the speakers don't seem to follow suit.

budd_wm
09-29-02, 10:21 PM
Why would you want the speakers to have a decoder when you will be hooking them up to your comp anyway and can do it in software?

thcdru2k
09-29-02, 10:29 PM
home theatre speakers need a amp, ht speakers and amp is way better than any 5.1 pc speaker system.