Creative EAX vs. ASUS DS3D GX 2.0 - TechAmok
Creative EAX vs. ASUS DS3D GX 2.0 - [hardware]
03:52 AM EDT - Apr,18 2008 - post a comment
Not long ago, we received word from ASUS that they had managed to incorporate
EAX effects into the drivers of their Xonar cards. Soon afterward,
everyone that was false
, and that ASUS "EAX" was not true EAX. Who's telling
the straight story, and will you even notice a difference?
This article seeks to answer one question
- Are you likely to notice a
difference between ASUS' DS3D GX 2.0 and Creative's EAX Advanced HD?
In the three games I tested, I found that while EAX effects on the Creative
X-Fi had a slight edge in sound quality when compared to the Xonar, it was
hardly a night-and-day difference. The strange artifacts I heard under
BioShock were likely due to the fact that I was using a patched driver to
conduct the tests - ASUS sent me an updated file to be included in the driver
installation that would allow EAX to be enabled within BioShock. It's clear that
the Xonar drivers and ASUS' DS3D GX extension set both need a bit more work to
bring them up to the level of Creative's hardware-based DSP, but the success of
the ASUS card under both BioShock and Prey definitely proves that software-based
DSP effects are coming of age.
The significance of the testing and conclusions detailed in the preceding three
pages is thus: While ASUS hasn't managed to de-throne the X-Fi's
hardware-accelerated EAX environmental and positional audio effects where sound
quality is concerned, they've come extremely close, and have managed to
duplicate much of the functionality of EAX 5 to boot. In fact, as far as
practical conclusions are concerned, in most games you're not even likely to
notice a difference, and if you do, it's a slight one at that. There was also no
perceptible effect on smoothness of gameplay when using the ASUS Xonar sound
card, despite the fact that my 'reference' rig might have been cutting edge, oh,
say, a couple years ago (with the exception of the video and audio subsystems).
In other news,
HardwareSecrets has posted a guide
called "How to Use the SPDIF Output from
Sound Blaster X-Fi Sound Cards".
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