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Old 09-19-02, 01:34 PM   #1
SnakeEyes
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Default Speaking of Hercules Game Theater Soundcards..

I'm sure many of you know already that Hercules updated the Game Theater XP sound card from 5.1 to 6.1 capabilities toward the end of last year. Some of you probably also know that it was mostly a software (driver) change and allowed not only the GTXP's in 6.1 labelled boxes to use the new feature, but also the original 5.1 models too. This is because the chip is so flexible, and is able to use some connectors for either input or output, while also having much untapped potential. (DSPs are wonderful things).


A couple weeks ago I was checking on MS Windows Updates (I only get the itch once in a blue moon, and keep the auto-update stuff disabled), when I noticed a new driver available. There wasn't much detail about it, other than that it was for something to do with Hercules. Since I only have one Hercules product, I sorta figured it's probably the one the driver update applied to. So I allowed the update to be downloaded and installed.

Now I've noticed that I not only have 5.1 and 6.1 options in my sound settings applet, but there's ALSO a 7.1 option! (something like 2 rear, 2 middle rear, 2 fronts, and a center, + sub)

Just wondering if I'm insane, and this was always an options with the 4.x drivers, or has anyone else noticed the new settings? If so, did you figure out where to connect the extra channel?
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Old 09-19-02, 01:39 PM   #2
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you can use the mic and i think line in...something like the nForce control panel is doing...check out the pics Ash took that I'm hosting...(2nd pic down)
http://matthyahuw.com/ash/nForce.html
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Old 09-19-02, 06:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Speaking of Hercules Game Theater Soundcards..

Quote:
Originally posted by SnakeEyes
I'm sure many of you know already that Hercules updated the Game Theater XP sound card from 5.1 to 6.1 capabilities toward the end of last year. Some of you probably also know that it was mostly a software (driver) change and allowed not only the GTXP's in 6.1 labelled boxes to use the new feature, but also the original 5.1 models too. This is because the chip is so flexible, and is able to use some connectors for either input or output, while also having much untapped potential. (DSPs are wonderful things).


A couple weeks ago I was checking on MS Windows Updates (I only get the itch once in a blue moon, and keep the auto-update stuff disabled), when I noticed a new driver available. There wasn't much detail about it, other than that it was for something to do with Hercules. Since I only have one Hercules product, I sorta figured it's probably the one the driver update applied to. So I allowed the update to be downloaded and installed.

Now I've noticed that I not only have 5.1 and 6.1 options in my sound settings applet, but there's ALSO a 7.1 option! (something like 2 rear, 2 middle rear, 2 fronts, and a center, + sub)

Just wondering if I'm insane, and this was always an options with the 4.x drivers, or has anyone else noticed the new settings? If so, did you figure out where to connect the extra channel?
That 7.1 option is new.

http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/cgi-bin/...=5&o=14&fpart=
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Old 09-19-02, 06:32 PM   #4
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The 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 options are only emulations, not the real thing. The Hercules card is only a 4 channel card. The only true 5.1 sound card for gaming that's out is the Audigy.
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Old 09-19-02, 08:31 PM   #5
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What do you mean by emulation?

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Originally posted by budd_wm
The 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 options are only emulations, not the real thing. The Hercules card is only a 4 channel card. The only true 5.1 sound card for gaming that's out is the Audigy.
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Old 09-19-02, 09:28 PM   #6
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That it emulates via 4 channels. To have a true 7.1 setup, you need 8 seperate channels to run everything on. And I take back my last statement. Hercules is actually a 6 channel card, but it has no bass management, which is fine for everything but gaming. In games you still will not get a true 5.1 sound. Audigy is the only card that does this. However, I have heard that Hercules may enable some sort of bass management in a new driver release. If this is true, then it will be a much better card than the Audigy IMO.

EDIT: Maybe I should explain this a little better. You know how TV's have the Dolby Virtual emulation via two speakers? Same case here with 6.1 and 7.1 with these sound cards. Only soundcard that does true 5.1 is Audigy. Hercules Gaming Theater XP does it as well, but it lacks the bass management needed for games. However, if you have a set of multimedia speakers with their own bass management, then this shouldn't matter. Hope I didn't confuse anyone.

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Old 09-20-02, 07:54 AM   #7
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ONLY if the APP is designed to output in 5.1. Games use positional audio not surround, so perhaps for a DVD you have a point that an Audigy is true 5.1.

I got rid of my POS Audigy and got a Hercules card. Like I said, before, I'll never touch Creative Labs again.

I doubt you'd notice a difference.
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Old 09-20-02, 11:42 PM   #8
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My point was not with DVD. Any sound card would be fine with DVD for 5.1 sound as long as some form of decoder, whether it be software or external, is used. You can play any game in 5.1 surround if, like the Audigy, you can manage all channels in analog, esp bass going to the sub (that's only if your speakers do not have their own bass management like most multimedia 4.1 and 5.1 speakers have). Hercules might do this in the future, but I haven't seen it yet in the drivers. I am now also hearing about the Audigy 2 that will soon be coming out from Creative. They say it will be a true 6.1 soundcard.
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Old 09-23-02, 08:31 AM   #9
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5.1 will work with DVD most definitely. But games use positional audio, not surround sound. Correct me if I am wrong, but the game box would have to indicate it is using Surround sound. Don't think there are many games, that do. 5.1 is for DVD's primarily, don't know much else which would utilize it. Perhaps newer games would use it....
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Old 09-23-02, 12:10 PM   #10
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You can still play games in 5.1 if the sound card you use will allow you to adjust settings. That's why I say the Audigy is the only true 5.1 card for gaming, because it lets you adjust everything.
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Old 09-23-02, 01:08 PM   #11
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You keep saying that. While you play your games in anything less than High Quality I'll be enjoying 5.1 with all the whistles and bells and no slow downs.

Creative may have been around and bought out the competition, but the one thing Creative has never managed to do was complete a product fully. Look at Audigy 2. These guys pump out hardware and their drivers are miles and miles behind. Great to have the technology in your products but if you can't write drivers to utilize those functions efficiently, what's the point?

Creative simply is taking advantage in a market that people aren't knowledgable or experienced in. I mean, how many functions of your soundcard which you bought it for actually work? There are claims on Creatives newsgroups which Creative has, not surprising, not responded to. And the problems are with soundfonts not working as advertised or the sound to noise reductions that aren't within stated specs or other features advertised that don't even have software for them.

I've grown past Creative, to me they are second rate.

I'll keep my Hercules.
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Old 09-23-02, 07:13 PM   #12
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The only reason you are debating this is because you don't like Creative. Well, I don't either. I hate Creative. Their support sucks. It's sad that they are the only true 5.1 soundcard, but right now that's how it is (at least until Hercules comes through with their driver update). I'm just giving out the facts though, not playing sides.
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