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kawboy
04-06-03, 08:19 PM
I started out using the onboard sound of my P4PE and had some sound problems (breakups) when overclocked in NFS:HP2 and stuttering in NFS:HP2 and Rallisport when my CPU wasn't overclocked. Concluded that the onboard was crap and put my Live in.

Guess what? I still get stuttering at points in NFS and Rallisport, but though the sound is clean in NFS, Rallisport gives me all kinds of breaking up problems.

I've heard that the 2000/XP Live drivers are crap, so the question becomes whether or not the Audigy drivers are crap. too. Also, how reliable are the Philips and Hercules Fortissimo drivers? I don't care about fine points in audio quality, just 5.1 support and NO MAJOR PROBLEMS.

I find it hard to believe that a P4 running at 2.7 and a Ti4400 can't run current games at reasonable (10x7 or 12x10) resolutions without choking something awful.

Serath
04-06-03, 09:24 PM
Quick question. does the game run fine, then get a little hiccup, then go fine, hiccup again, and so on?

Smokey
04-06-03, 10:49 PM
If your a gamer there is only one soundcard, the Audigy2. As far as drivers go, the SBLive and Audigy drivers for XP are fine, I would go as far to say exellent. I say this because they are 100% stable, and Ive only had one problem regarding sound in one game(well 2 GR/SOAF) which was fixed with a driver update. I did have a sound problem with my Audigy2 and Ravenshield, but fixed that by installing the Via IDE miniport driver, so in which case, its not the soundcard that was the problem ;)

madthumbs
04-07-03, 01:21 AM
I wouldn't even consider another piece of crap from Creative. Philips Acoustic Edge is great for gaming, Turtle Beach Santa Cruz isn't bad either.

Chalnoth
04-07-03, 05:03 AM
Tomshardware just put out a new article on this very subject:

http://www.tomshardware.com/game/20030405/index.html

For once, it's actually quite a concise article. But it does cut straight to the point: the best sound, as far as performance is concerned, comes from the nForce2. The Audigy 2 follows a close second.

One side note on drivers.

I will say that I was very, very disappointed with the drivers for my old SB Live!. But, unfortunately, the nForce doesn't have the best drivers either. Sometimes it has problems with multiple sound streams causing static (ex. playing MP3's while playing a game).

I will say that the SB Live! tended to make my machine unstable when running EAX, while my nForce2 has been completely stable for a few months now.

Smokey
04-07-03, 07:00 AM
Originally posted by madthumbs
I wouldn't even consider another piece of crap from Creative. Philips Acoustic Edge is great for gaming, Turtle Beach Santa Cruz isn't bad either.

Call it crap if you want, but the fact is the Audigy2 is the best gaming card there is, and that what was being asked.

Chalnoth,
It isnt possible that EAX games made your pc unstable could have been for another reason? I had my SBLive for about 4 year, without problems, no cracking and pops, how hard is it for people to understand? Creative soundcards are the only soundcards that support eax in hardware.

Chalnoth
04-07-03, 09:46 AM
It was probably due to the fact that I also used a VIA chipset motherboard during that time, something which I don't ever want to do again.

Regardless, whenever there is an incompatibility, I think it's fair to place blame squarely on the shoulders of each company.

kawboy
04-07-03, 03:35 PM
Serath- that's precisely the problem in NFS:HP2, and it seems to be associated with the sirens and cop voices. My current problems with Rallisport are quality related (breakups, static, etc), but I also get sporadic choking alternated with smooth gameplay.

Chalnoth- I read the article at Toms, but it left out many important factors for me- no mention of where the Live fit in, and no mention of driver problems in games, although games were tested and you'd think they'd bring up things like that if any were experienced.

Also, for a fair apples to apples comparison for framerates, each soundcard and onboard chip would have to be tested on the same motherboard, which is impossible when you're including Realtek, C-media, and nForce chips with dedicated soundcards. Also, no mention was made of which OS the test was run under, although I assume it was XP. They might have gone so far as to test, say, all ASUS motherboards because I'm pretty sure they offer options with all of the different onboard solutions, but not using the same chipset, which can affect framerates more than enough to invalidate the conclusions that the author drew.

I'm also not running a Via chipset (never have, never will) or AMD processor, although I've got nothing against their processors, just the chipsets. Now if Intel could just be persuaded to put out a chipset for an AMD chip... :) Anyway, pile all of that into one spot and I'll use that large hill as the reason for not treating Tom's article as gospel, particularly when I run an Intel chipset. Whew...

Thanks for pointing the article out, though. I don't mean to seem to dump on you when you were trying to help. Much appreciated.

Smokey- I had great luck with my Live for ages under Win98, but I've had different luck under XP. I'm just trying to figure out if it's the card (drivers included) or a few bum games. I've read quite a few bad reports about Lives in 2000 and probably XP, but didn't pay too much attention to it at the time because it was working A+ for me in 98. I didn't switch to XP until I had to when I upgraded (98 doesn't work on processors faster than 2.1ghz unless patched, and I couldn't get the patch).

I guess the whole point of me asking was to get a better feel of how good the SB Live still is, and if spending more money on a soundcard would make my problem (with my current OS and chipset) go away or just make my money go away... :) I can get a Fortissimo III locally for $70 Canadian, or an Audigy2 mailorder for about $115 Canadian. Not sure about the Philips or Turtle Beach though.

I wouldn't mind an Abit A10 (I think it was the A10 with the remote control he had mentioned) either, because of some positive things I read about it on dansdata.com, but I haven't seen one for sale in Canada. It must be outdated, because Pricewatch doesn't mention any Abit soundcards. I didn't look very hard for one at the time because I had my Live and was happy with it.

kawboy
04-07-03, 03:38 PM
p.s. Smokey, my 5yr old daughter loves your Rainbow warriors. I couldn't answer for about 5 minutes because she was on my lap entranced. I had to scroll the screen up and down so she could see them in different positions. :)

madthumbs
04-07-03, 03:58 PM
Since price was mentioned;

Acoustic Edge here for $45; http://www.openlinx.net/english/product/product_category.asp

Guillemot Hercules GameSurround Fortissimo III 7.1 - RETAIL for $47 + $5 s/h at www.newegg.com

Tomshardware just put out a new article on this very subject:
http://www.tomshardware.com/game/20030405/index.html
For once, it's actually quite a concise article. But it does cut straight to the point: the best sound, as far as performance is concerned, comes from the nForce2. The Audigy 2 follows a close second.
One side note on drivers.
I will say that I was very, very disappointed with the drivers for my old SB Live!. But, unfortunately, the nForce doesn't have the best drivers either. Sometimes it has problems with multiple sound streams causing static (ex. playing MP3's while playing a game).
I will say that the SB Live! tended to make my machine unstable when running EAX, while my nForce2 has been completely stable for a few months now.

-Isn't Tomshardware for n00bs? I didn't find it to be concise. The review seemed to be selling Audigy 2's to people who didn't already have onboard Soundstorm, aside from this note; "The Audigy 2 is also an excellent choice, but the investment of $129 is only worth it if you are interested in its musical features." which has nothing to do with gaming. This review mostly dealt with performance.... who compares 2 onboard audio chips with 2 sound cards and calls that a "good review"? What mobo's/ cpu's were used? A good sound card is gonna help a p1 a lot more than a p4! Anyway, which is better sounding is debateable. I haven't checked www.3dsoundsurge.com in a while, but recommend anyone interested in "real" reviews and support; check it out.

Call it crap if you want, but the fact is the Audigy2 is the best gaming card there is, and that what was being asked.

-According to who? Neon's have the most powerful engine in their class.... but would you want one, or any Chrysler for that matter? MHz to MHz the Athlon XP's are better than the P4's, but XP's are prone to break easy, produce a lot of heat, and tend to have worse choices for chipsets... does the performance per MHz mean all that much when you take everything into account?

DaveW
04-07-03, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by madthumbs


Guillemot Hercules GameSurround Fortissimo III 7.1 - RETAIL for $47 + $5 s/h at www.newegg.com




I own one of those Hercules Fortissimo III (got mine from Newegg too). Although technically its a good card, the drivers suck, have always sucked, and will always suck. Hercules just doesn't put the effort into their drivers. I have to run most games in software audio because hardware 3D audio sounds so bad or doesn't work at all. Imagine how ATI drivers were 2 years ago... Hercules are worse.

kawboy
04-07-03, 05:31 PM
Originally DaveW
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I own one of those Hercules Fortissimo III (got mine from Newegg too). Although technically its a good card, the drivers suck, have always sucked, and will always suck. Hercules just doesn't put the effort into their drivers. I have to run most games in software audio because hardware 3D audio sounds so bad or doesn't work at all. Imagine how ATI drivers were 2 years ago... Hercules are worse.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK, guess that rules out the Herc... :(

fastguy94416
04-07-03, 06:22 PM
I have a game theater, XP, a nice mature card, even supports 7.1, and with the breakout box its very usefull. No problems with it.

netviper13
04-07-03, 06:46 PM
Ditto on the Game Theater XP. I love the breakout box, and the sound quality blows away my previous souncard (SB Live!).

Smokey
04-07-03, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by madthumbs
I haven't checked www.3dsoundsurge.com in a while, but recommend anyone interested in "real" reviews and support; check it out.



-According to who?

According to alot of people on the forum of the site that you recommend people to check out :p thats where I go for all my sound related stuff as Im fairly new in this area.

There are alot of great sounding soundcards out there and are cheap, a big fav is the TBSC, and the FIII. The fact is that only Creative sound cards process EAX in hardware, the Audigy1+2 both have an entierly new effects engine, so even older EAX games will sound better. Go to the forum on 3dsound surge and read up on the Audigy2 ;) I did, and thats why I bought it, becasue first and for most, I use my pc for gaming :) Music quality is very good also ;)

Smokey
04-07-03, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by kawboy
p.s. Smokey, my 5yr old daughter loves your Rainbow warriors. I couldn't answer for about 5 minutes because she was on my lap entranced. I had to scroll the screen up and down so she could see them in different positions. :)

Hehe, glad she likes it :) Someone else on this board uses another one of a Rainbow soldier juggling granades :D

madthumbs
04-08-03, 02:14 AM
Originally posted by Smokey
According to alot of people on the forum of the site that you recommend people to check out :p thats where I go for all my sound related stuff as Im fairly new in this area.

There are alot of great sounding soundcards out there and are cheap, a big fav is the TBSC, and the FIII. The fact is that only Creative sound cards process EAX in hardware, the Audigy1+2 both have an entierly new effects engine, so even older EAX games will sound better. Go to the forum on 3dsound surge and read up on the Audigy2 ;) I did, and thats why I bought it, becasue first and for most, I use my pc for gaming :) Music quality is very good also ;)

I was under the impression that the Acoustic Edge had better EAX. I also will NOT buy products from a company that outright lied to me about their product on a phone call I had to pay for. Not only did they lie to me about it, it died just after 3 months. Everything else I've had with their name on it sucked though it seemed to "rate" well. I know I'm not the only one that hates Creative... there are literally whordes of people! Anyway, I'm not missing anything with onboard Soundstorm. Personally I didn't think the TBSC was as clean sounding as the AE, and I've owned both. Only problem with AE would be the support now.

Smokey
04-08-03, 06:39 AM
Originally posted by madthumbs
I was under the impression that the Acoustic Edge had better EAX. I also will NOT buy products from a company that outright lied to me about their product on a phone call I had to pay for. Not only did they lie to me about it, it died just after 3 months. Everything else I've had with their name on it sucked though it seemed to "rate" well. I know I'm not the only one that hates Creative... there are literally whordes of people! Anyway, I'm not missing anything with onboard Soundstorm. Personally I didn't think the TBSC was as clean sounding as the AE, and I've owned both. Only problem with AE would be the support now.


No you're right, that you and many others will not buy anything from Creative again, but alot of people also said that about ATI videocards ;)

kawboy
04-08-03, 08:44 AM
Madthumbs- what did they lie to you about?

Netviper & Fastguy- any problems in games with the sound breaking up, static, or whatever? No problems or glitches at all? If not, maybe I'll look into some reviews and see if the CPU usage is comparable to an Audigy or A2. Do you two play Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 or Rallisport Challenge? Any sound problems in those games?

Smokey- I hear you about ATI, but I'll take an "industry standard" like Creative only if I know there isn't a history of problems on my particular platform. I've had good luck in the past, and I'm willing to believe that the problems I'm having might be program-specific rather than a broad problem with my card/platform combination.

Heck, I love my Geforce, and I have ever since I switched from a V3 3000, but I haven't played a racing game I've enjoyed as much as NFS4 on that lowly card and my 466 Celeron. I've had nothing but problems since then with NFS products on my Geforces. NFS4 has been basically unplayable ever since, NFS:PU had horrible problems on my Geforce256 SDR and DDR, and NFS:HP2 is giving me grief as well on my G3 Ti200 and present G4 Ti4400, although with the seeming connection to cop voices/sirens, that might be sound related.

Red Dog
04-08-03, 10:20 AM
Im happy with my nf2's SS digital out, but


Have you seen the M-Audio revolution?

this card is seriously kick ass!

http://www.legionhardware.com/html/doc.php?id=238


the features are very, very impressive.

it includes the VIA Envy24HT audio chip featuring 24-bit resolution, 96kHz sample rates.

the drivers appear to be very nice, although Ive yet to lay my hands on one.

now I also own a gtxp 7.1 and its a great piece of hardware, but if I say anything else about it Im gonna start on a rant about Hercules. what a great company that was, that is untill guillemot purchased them. dont expect picture perfect drivers.

madthumbs
04-08-03, 12:34 PM
@kawboy;

Tech support and Customer service told me that I should have no problem creating working backups of Playstation games using their 4-2-24 CDRW, and that they knew of people that were doing it. However, it became a common fact that you could not do this. I paid ~$300 for this drive, ~$5 for the phone calls, and ~$200 in coasters, and countless hours wasted because they (more than one rep) said it was capable and I just needed the right instructions (which don't exist). Take note; a "good" company doesn't charge for tech support, and provides "good" tech support! The Playstation was properly modified to play them as well. The cdrw died ~3 months after having it. Someone else I know bought one, same premature death for them as well.

Not just for that, but Creative has a horrible history of driver support. They created EAX, but were about the worst at implementing it in their cards. Going from an SBLive to an AE, I could not believe my ears! The AE was soo much better sounding and didn't give me the static on Via chipsets that the Creative cards are notorious for. Even "if" Audigy 2 were undisputedly the best card for gaming on XP atm, I'm sure there's gonna be a better one around the corner.


No you're right, that you and many others will not buy anything from Creative again, but alot of people also said that about ATI videocards

-I should have done more research into ATI first! I had no problems with Ati cards before I actually owned one for a while. I read complaints about the drivers, but none that indicated "system lock ups", "stuttering" or "instability". I assumed the complaints were about performance. I also heard that ATI had changed in regards to drivers. I actually liked working on computers with ATI cards for other people (non gamers). Anyway, I should have taken caution with people's advice about them. When I first got the card running cat 3.2's I got the stuttering in OGL which shouldn't be acceptable. Then I've noticed lock ups with particular games/ benchmarks that are specifically caused by ati's drivers. Both 9500's I've bought tended to display corrupted text at boot up, and the text gets corrupted on message boards while scrolling (line doubles). My advice?.... if people are warning you about a product.... at least research it. I had to dig deap to find that the crashes were caused by the drivers which have been doing it for a long time now!

I will say that the SB Live! tended to make my machine unstable when running EAX, while my nForce2 has been completely stable for a few months now.

-Like this isn't a "red flag". Until Nforce 2, many others and I have only used Via chipsets. Consider the amount of time it took to fix the problem. Many people saw a lack of concern regarding this issue from Creative. I've been very happy with Via Chipsets until I got a couple kt400's. Only problem I have with nForce 2's is possibly the BIOS, but that could be Asus's problem.

kawboy
04-08-03, 12:38 PM
I hadn't seen it until you pointed it out. Thx. It certainly seems like it has some wicked technology behind it. The review also mentions numerous driver updates, which is both bad and good. Good that they do them, bad that it needs them, although I suppose everything needs driver updates these days.

I think I'm going to stay away from anything produced by a company I've never heard of before, though. It sounds high-end with support behind it, but, in games at least, industry support is most important. Hopefully they'll keep their edge and kick Creative's butt!

Red Dog
04-08-03, 12:45 PM
this is m-audio's first consumer level card,

they primarily do high end professional cards and audio mastering equipment.

http://www.m-audio.net/


they are the real deal, how that translates into game support is yet to be seen. Im very interested in what develops.

kawboy
04-08-03, 12:47 PM
madthumbs- I can see why your thumbs must've gotten mad about that Creative burner. It's hard to believe that they would specifically state that it's possible when apparently nobody that bought one could manage to do it. I wonder if it was management telling the folks on the phone to say that or if the operators there actually thought that what other people were telling them was true.

Red Dog
04-08-03, 12:54 PM
http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product%5Fcode=300197&csearch=&cmid=&pfp=srch1

$64.00 for the Revolution 7.1


"107dB signal-to-noise ration" Wow!


PCI solution for high-quality surround sound up to 7.1
also supports DTS output and Dolby Digital 5.1/EX (6.1 DVD) decoding
high-resolution audio output up to 24-bit/192kHz
true professional 24-bit/96kHz recording
Incredible 107dB signal-to-noise ration
real-time stereo-to-surround conversion
SRS CircleSurround II technology delivers virtual surround for stereo sources
simple control panel for Bass Management and other features
supports all popular media players including Windows Media

interview with via, http://www.tech-report.com/etc/2003q2/envy-interview/index.x?pg=1

i wonder if via will provide reference drivers, since it uses thier chip. prob not