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Old Jan 30, 2002, 02:46 AM   #1
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Dr. Beer
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Red face Best sound card for gaming... possible creative cards killing performance

Is it possible that my sound card is causing my 3d performance to suffer? I know the creative live cards aren't great cards and can be hard on a CPU. Is it possible (especially in UT under 2k or XP, but also in 3dmark and other 3d programs) that my sound card is killing my system? I've got hte latest drivers, latest BIOS, blah blah. I've checked IRQs etc etc.
Could it be my NIC possibly?
Any ideas?

Which is the best soundcard on the market for gaming? Don't tell me the creative cards. That is a joke. Possibly the Turtle Beach card? What about the Hercules card? Any input?
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 03:00 AM   #2
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Philips Acoustic Edge 5.1

Better I hear than the audigy, and there driver updates are very speedy and good when a problesm occures. And for $65 retail box, not bad bargain =)
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 03:01 AM   #3
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Dr.Beer, I have two systems running one with the Audigy MP3+ and one with the Hercules GTXP both work exceptionaly well. I did not see a big difference in performance on my gaming system with or with out either card.Both have there +s&-s but I stick with my Audigy for digital sound.I have never tryed the other cards on the market,and have never really had a problem with either of these cards.
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 03:09 AM   #4
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Damn, why is the Philips so cheap where you live? Here it's well over 100$.
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 03:16 AM   #5
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hehe Yeah but check out my other posts. There has GOT to be a culprit for my CRUDDY 3d performance and I'm GOING to find it! muahahaha The soundcards are my next victim!
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 03:59 AM   #6
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I live in New York City.

Online you can get it for about the same from a PriceWatch store probably.

If i were to go to BestBuy, they would probably sell it for $100. But we have alot of mini stores around here. And sometimes those stores have a large selection of itmes tha fell off random trucks =)

But, there's quite a few stores near here, that have it for $65-$70 Brand new, plus tax to get it out the door. My concern of how they obtained this product to sell so cheap isnt a issue =)
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 04:14 AM   #7
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If you want to check benchmark and then disable the sound card and benchmark
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 04:32 AM   #8
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How is the Santa Cruz card?
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 05:18 AM   #9
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A few things,

www.3dsoundsurge.com is really the place to ask about sound card CPU use. Also what are your memory settings?

Control Panel > System > Advanced > Peformance Settings > Advanced

Has some memory options, make sure that your optimizing for programs and not backround stuff.
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 10:04 AM   #10
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The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz gets my vote as best card for the time being. I wouldnt touch any of Creative's offerings after all the trouble I've had with their Live series cards (I am a systems admin for an educational institution, and have bought a significant number).

As far as compatibility and sheer sound quality, the Santa Cruz is where it's at. Unfortunately, up here in the Great White North, Philips cards are impossible to acquire, so I've never had the opportunity to try them. One other good thing about the Santa Cruz, is that you can use drivers from either Turtle Beach, or Videologic (for the Sonic Vortex) - they're both the same card.

Dont swallow the hype, Creative sucks.
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 11:36 PM   #11
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hey orrimarrko, quick question about the Phillips card.

With my current card (Aureal Vortex2), I can have my speakers/sub hooked up to one input and my headphones hooked up to another. I never have to hook/unhook them or fiddle with anything, I just turn off the sub and put on the headphones. Can I do this with the Phillips card? Thanx for any help you may give
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Old Jan 30, 2002, 11:44 PM   #12
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The hercules Fortissimo II is da best ,check this out for more info
PS : If you have Win Me and plan to buy this card it's resonable to wait for the begining of febuary when new cool drivers will be released. They're supposed to offer better performance and less bugs
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 12:17 AM   #13
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Iam personally getting the SantaCruz card myself. I was thinking about getting a AE 5.1 but as said earlyer there impossable to get here in Canada :\

The GameTheater rocks also. It's the same as the SC but has a break out box and tons of inputs and out puts(There only 29 bucks more *sniff* but I Can't find one :.( )

[edit] Scratch that found a GameTheaterXp WOOHOO!
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 03:05 AM   #14
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One other good thing about the Santa Cruz, is that you can use drivers from either Turtle Beach, or Videologic (for the Sonic Vortex) - they're both the same card.

Its the Videologic Sonic Fury, not the vortex. Damn fine card!
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 10:32 AM   #15
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I despise creative for all the problems the live cards gave to win2k.
It took over 2 years for creative to release half way decent drivers.

If you want a card thats got good clean sound and good game support then look at the terratec dmx 6 fire 24/96.

It has true 24bit 96khz sound input and output unlike creatives cards.
It even surpasses the turtle beach santa cruz in sound quality.

Really a great overall card. Pricing is higher than the average pc card but for the quality sound this thing puts out, its just amazing compared to other pc soundcards in that price range. Its in the 200.00 range.


Tomshardware did a comparison between it and the audigy platinum. LOL poor creative there card looks like crap in comparison. Especially in the sound quality.


http://www4.tomshardware.com/video/0...rratec-09.html

Link to full article: http://www4.tomshardware.com/video/0...rratec-01.html

But like the review says its not the greatest at gaming using slightly more cpu time. The problems with sound dropping in games has been fixed with new drivers.

After hearing the card though I will never go back to a card that can't do true 24/96 sound. Its just soooo much better.




Specs on card are :
SoundSystem DMX 6fire 24/9 - Technical Details:

•PCI-board
•3 analog stereo outputs (3,5mm jack) - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 analog stereo input (3,5mm jack) - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•2 analog CD-Audio outputs (Molex, On-Board) - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 analog AUX input (Molex, On-Board) - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 digital CD-Audio TTL input (Molex, On-Board)
•1 analog stereo input (Cinch) on front module - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 analog stereo output (Cinch) on front module - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 analog stereo phono (MM, 6 mV ) input (Cinch) on front module- 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 analog mono microphone input (6,3mm jack) on front module - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 analog stereo headphone output (6,3mm jack) on front module - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 digital stereo in- and output (TOS-Link, optical) on front module - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 digital stereo in- and output (Cinch, coaxial) on front module - 24 Bit/96 kHz
•1 MIDI in- and output (5-pin DIN) on front module
•Control range of : 9mV - 500mV
•Output power of headphone output : 60 mW
•Bus master transfer supports ‚24bit 4byte mode' (32bit)
•Simultaneous recording and reproduction of all channels with up to 24bit/96kHz
•24bit/96kHz AD converters with 100 dB dynamical range (S/NR)*
•24bit/96kHz DA converters with 110 dB dynamical range (S/NR)*
•24bit/96kHz stereo digital input (S/PDIF with up to 24bit/96kHz)
•24bit/96kHz stereo digital output (S/PDIF with up to 24bit/96kHz)
•Digital input may also be used for digital audio output of an internal CD-Rom drive (TTL)
•Input control of AD converters with +18dB increment in 0,5dB steps
•Hardware with internal resolution of 36bit
•VU-meter in control panel (hardware based)
•"None-Audio" mode for transmission of AC3 and DTS streams via digital interface
•Connection option for microWAVE PC!, DXR and DXF , alternatively to DMX 6fire 24/96 front module

Software
•WDM driver for Windows 98SE/ ME/2000 and Windows XP Supports ASIO 2.0
•WDM Kernel Streaming (e.g. for Sonar ™)
•MME- and DirectSound
•DirectSound 3D, Sensaura 3D, A3D 1.0/2.0 and EAX 1.0/2.0 as well as Macro FX**
•ControlPanel for Windows 98SE/ME/2000 and Windows XP

Last edited by Tisual : Jan 31, 2002 at 10:39 AM.
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 10:39 AM   #16
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Default Hey Doc!

I am curious about your NIC suspicion. . .I have a cheap D-Link, and noticed for the first time yesterday that it was not complying with PCI Latency as set in BIOS. While all my other cards are set at 32, this punk is running at 128, even though its specs state it is bus mastering compatible.

So, what is it that makes you suspect your NIC?

rasta
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 10:40 AM   #17
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Which ever one you choose, be sure to pick based on bundles, connections, etc. The Santa Cruz, GTXP, and AE all use the same chip so you have to look at the rest of the card when making your decision.
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 12:36 PM   #18
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I enjoy my creative sblive. Its original with the daughter board in the back of my pc..Never had any problems with it, nor was it interfering with my fps, nor my irqs. I enjoy surround and EAX with digital capability in movies. Dunno why people are having problems, this card has been on my previous systems as well.. I dunno.....
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 09:47 PM   #19
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Rasta, it's not a specific suspicion towards my NIC. It's towards all of my PCI cards, which number 2. My SBlive and my Realtek NIC. SOMETHING is going wrong on my system and it is not software. I am thinking there some sort of problem in the hardware. This weekend I am going to be formatting for the 11th time in two weeks. I'll do it without my sound card and see how things work.
I've never before had a problem with either my sound or NIC though so...

I'm just frustrated because I see people with lesser rigs than I have pushing way more FPS than I do and they aren't OCed or have any tweaks going I don't. Even people with damn near exact same system specs get better performance. :/
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 09:51 PM   #20
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Default NIC

Hey Doc, does your problem resolve if you pull the NIC?

rasta
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 09:57 PM   #21
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Haven't had a chance to try yet. I was going to just pull the soundcard tomorrow if I had the time and then the NIC as well. Currently they are in the farthest PCI slots from my AGP but I might put them back where they were (closest PCI slots to AGP). I didn't notice any different when I moved them in the first place though. That was with a clean install after moving them as well.

I've got another post describing my problem exactly Rasta, not sure if you have read it so I will link to it here. Maybe you can shed some light on my problem...

http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthre...eadid=33601688
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 10:07 PM   #22
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Default DirectSound

I read your other post. Try opening your UnrealTournament.ini file, and changing the "DirectSound" entry from "1" to "0."

good luck,

rasta
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Old Jan 31, 2002, 10:07 PM   #23
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You guys to realize you links to tomshardware right.. no one in there right mind takes his(and his staff's) reviews seriously I use a sb128pci... how much better could it get for playing mp3s?
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Old Feb 1, 2002, 12:01 AM   #24
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Wink

Quote:
Originally posted by darksider15
Which ever one you choose, be sure to pick based on bundles, connections, etc. The Santa Cruz, GTXP, and AE all use the same chip so you have to look at the rest of the card when making your decision.
The Hercules Game Theater XP and Turtle Beach Santa Cruz use Cirrus Logic's SoundFusion CS4630 soundchip

Philips Acoustic Edge uses the PHILIPS ThunderBird Avenger soundchip.

http://www.3dss.com/reviews.html
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Old Feb 1, 2002, 12:19 AM   #25
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I'd go with a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
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Old Feb 1, 2002, 01:34 AM   #26
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I just disabled sound completely in my games. guess what? FPS soared through the roof and stayed up there no matter what was going on. I KNEW it wasn't the 8500. My 8500 had been running flawlessly on everything
Time to order a new sound card!
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Old Feb 1, 2002, 01:42 AM   #27
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Go with the SantaCruz if you don't want(or need) the inputs of the Hercules card and save your self some cash. However if you want a crap load of in's and outs and break out box then spend the extra and get the herc(thats what Iam doing! I finally found a place in Vancouver that carry's it )
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Old Feb 1, 2002, 01:48 AM   #28
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I do all my composing (heh real composing; I have a degree in music) in my head then I write in on paper. I don't need a soundcard for MIDI etc. I need a really good gaming sound card though. Good 3d positioning etc.
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Old Feb 1, 2002, 11:44 AM   #29
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Can you all stop thinking its his sound card. It is obviously his Radeon 8500. Since you peons don't know, ATI coded Trueform rendering that is supposed to work with most of the games that are out on the market. However, TR hasn't pulled its end of the bargain and is leaving gamers with horrid framerates and disappointed demeanors. I have found that in CS that you can disable TR by typing "ati_npatch 0" in the console (no quotes).

Good luck
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Old Feb 1, 2002, 05:01 PM   #30
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It IS my soundcard. I don't have any problems with my 8500 in CS or any other game, using truform or not. I disable my soundcard and everything works like a dream.
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