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Should i upgrade my sound card?


jaz
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I was at best buy todayto buy Stalker, and saw the bioshock box on the back recommends an x-hi gamer extreme at the least, saying that getting a card with the 64mb of onboard ram will help framerates.

 

Quite a few of the new titles have that little pic of bioshock saying the game recommends a better sound card. I don't think it's PURELY a marketing hype thing, although I'm sure it's part of it, so i don't know what to make of it.

 

What i can tell you is that on my dfi nf3 board, i installed doom and the latest eax patch, wich enables echos and better effects, and the game almost instantly crashed on me after 3 installs. That indicates a sound card problem as i never had any problems running it before that patch.

 

So i came home and dug up some opinions and reviews on this, and some say as games get more demanding, that "x-ram" is going to come in handy, even now it's suggested to upgrade, as i saw a couple posts about sound problems with the audigy2zs plat.

 

anybody got any suggestions, advice or experience to share here?

 

The audigy2zs series is becoming obsolete. :sad:

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Let me be a smart *ss for a minute. If game coders can't make games that play on the majority of PC's out on the market shame on them! Not everyone that wants to play a game are hardcore enthusiasts like we are. Sounds like some of the game makers have crawled in bed with video card and sound card makers to me :(

 

If I ever found a game that wouldn't play right because of my lowly Audizy2 ZS I'd promptly return the game and tell the store and the game authors to kiss my butt.

 

With my little rant out of the way . . .

 

If I were ever to retire my Audigy2 ZS, here is what I'd get;

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16829127002

 

Be aware that it doesn't have functional drivers yet to support OpenAL with hardware acceleration enabled.

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Let me be a smart *ss for a minute. If game coders can't make games that play on the majority of PC's out on the market shame on them! Not everyone that wants to play a game are hardcore enthusiasts like we are. Sounds like some of the game makers have crawled in bed with video card and sound card makers to me :(

 

If I ever found a game that wouldn't play right because of my lowly Audizy2 ZS I promptly return the game and tell the store to kiss my butt.

 

With my little rant out of the way . . .

 

If I were ever to retire my Audigy2 ZS, here is what I'd get;

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16829127002

 

Be aware that it doesn't have functional drivers yet to support OpenAL with hardware acceleration enabled.

 

 

If that were the case, I'd be bringing most of the new and upcoming games back to be told you can't return an opened game. You should know that by now. So you'd be kissing the stores butt, not the other way around.

 

Your smrt a** rant wasn't very helpful, but i thank you and respect your opinion and reply. Whether or not we like it, if we want to play these new demanding games, we have to keep upgrading our hardware. And the fact that doom3 kept crashing after i instelled that eax patch that my audigy2zs doesn't support, it seems time to uograde the sound card as well.

 

That experience was in indication that games are coming out that are going to need certain resources from even sound crads, for example eax5.

 

If you look at creative's site, it seems they are slowly phasing out the audigy series anyway. Maybe they are in cahoots with the gaming industry, maybe not. I don't know, but i do know that now that creative has some more competition, they have to get off their asses and provide good products for a reasonable price if they want to stay on top of the heap.

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The audigy zs isn't going to be able to play the newer games that have eax5 in them. I think that is why doom kept crashing on me. While it was running, i could here more reverb, and the sound was quite a bit better, more vibrant...then crashtime.

 

I did some reading up on sound cards, (i should've saved the url's), and it seems the next card up that actually supports eax5 is the gamer extreme for about $100. For about $30 bucks more, you get the Fatal1ty pro with 64mb of "x-ram" which both game makers and creative say improves sounds AND framerates, and has eax5 support.

 

But i tend to agree with you on this one, wevsspot, gaming industry and creative are in cahoots, that the on-board ram is kinda gimmicky, but what if it's true? For $30 more, it would futureproof me bigtime, as i always seem to walk in the "store" as the sale ends. I know I'm gonna be p*ssed if i go out and buy these games and i have probelms with them(could be a number of symtoms...mostly crashing though...lol

 

Maybe I'll jusr DL a demo of an eax5 game and see how my card handles it. I'll post back my findings.

 

By the way, The card you refered to didn't say anything about eax5 support, but does look like a nice card with lots of features. I think eax5 is going to be a major change for the newer games.

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Don't bother with the Xram hype. Honestly it really has almost no effect on frame rates. Not worth the extra $30.

 

That's pretty much my opinion too, but do you know for experience? or has a friend of your tried it? I'd just like to be re-assured by someones practical experience.

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Damn right tomb. most reviews I saw "showed" a 1 to 2 percent increase in FPS. As soon as you add in all the usual statistical suspects (random noise, all the variances etc.) this is meaningless and in real world gaming you wouldn't notice the difference between 99, 100 and 101 FPS.

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Not to mention, how does this affect all of the people who are spending hundreds of dollars on the newest, latest, greatest motherboards that have included sound solutions, whether they are onboard or come with their own add-on cards?

 

Wouldn't you be pissed if you dropped 3 bills on the latest P35 or X38 board with an included sound solution and it wouldn't play one of these new games? I'd be fit to be tied.

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I was at best buy todayto buy Stalker, and saw the bioshock box on the back recommends an x-hi gamer extreme at the least, saying that getting a card with the 64mb of onboard ram will help framerates.

 

Quite a few of the new titles have that little pic of bioshock saying the game recommends a better sound card. I don't think it's PURELY a marketing hype thing, although I'm sure it's part of it, so i don't know what to make of it.

 

What i can tell you is that on my dfi nf3 board, i installed doom and the latest eax patch, wich enables echos and better effects, and the game almost instantly crashed on me after 3 installs. That indicates a sound card problem as i never had any problems running it before that patch.

 

So i came home and dug up some opinions and reviews on this, and some say as games get more demanding, that "x-ram" is going to come in handy, even now it's suggested to upgrade, as i saw a couple posts about sound problems with the audigy2zs plat.

 

anybody got any suggestions, advice or experience to share here?

 

The audigy2zs series is becoming obsolete. :sad:

I love my Augidy2 ZS and I would say it is absolutely NOT becoming obsolete. There are new new audio card technologies being implemented that the Audigy2 cannot handle, and as always, it's superior to any onboard sound and honestly any other pci audio card for gaming (any creative card is really).

 

If you are using onboard, then X-Fi upgrade is the best choice for sure. Anything is better than onboard sound, and a good Creative card will definitely help framerates by offloading a lot of audio processing to the APU instead of the cpu, but you won't see the type of difference you would say going from a 6600GT vid card to 7800GT vid card in games ;)

 

Definitely get an X-Fi for $50-$75 at newegg.com if you got some cash. It's well worth it!

 

The audigy zs isn't going to be able to play the newer games that have eax5 in them. I think that is why doom kept crashing on me. While it was running, i could here more reverb, and the sound was quite a bit better, more vibrant...then crashtime.

 

I'll tell you for 100% positive that the audio card IS going to play the newer games and not be a problem. The drivers...maybe, but I've yet to run into a single game that won't run with my Audigy2 ZS (Bioshock, Enemy Territory Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament 3, Crysis, World in Conflict, new FEAR, etc, all brand new games, all run just fine...including every Doom/Quake ever released).

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Then i wonder why doom3 kept crashing on my with the 1.3 patch that improved the eax. That was with my old nf3 setup. Maybe it just couldn't handle the extra cpu load?

I've been looking at a lot of sites and it says the 2zs will be fine with these new games.

Also, Travis, i have a question for you. a guy at neweeg told me i would get better performance trading in my evga card for an ultra instead of running another identical card in sli? What's your take on it?

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also, i found out that it isn't worth upgrading to anything less than a gamerextreme from an audigy2zs plat because anything less than the GE doesn't support eax5 and crystalization, which evga and a guy from newegg told me that the future of gaming will be implementing that, so it looks like a gamerextreme at shall be.

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Then i wonder why doom3 kept crashing on my with the 1.3 patch that improved the eax. That was with my old nf3 setup. Maybe it just couldn't handle the extra cpu load?

I've been looking at a lot of sites and it says the 2zs will be fine with these new games.

Also, Travis, i have a question for you. a guy at neweeg told me i would get better performance trading in my evga card for an ultra instead of running another identical card in sli? What's your take on it?

 

well, Quake4 with the 1.4 patch or later crashes the crap out of all my machines, so I gave up trying to play it. Doom3, never had a problem (keep in mind all 4-6 of the gaming rigs have an Audigy or Audigy2 ZS in them). BF2 sucked and was never stable, FEAR and World In Conflict, others never a problem. I usually link it to bad game bugs needing a patch for the fact that I don't have problems with most games I play (and I play a lot of random . lol).

 

As for your video question, the answer is: depends on your monitor's resolution.

 

If you play 1600x1200 (1680x1050 widescreen) or higher resolution, you'll get more bang out of a second card (especially at 1920x1200 and higher). If you play 1280x1024 (1440x900 widescreen) then you would get more bang out of the faster Ultra in single card config.

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