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Mufflore
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Default 08-16-2012, 04:12 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by uVSthem View Post
Will these card support blu-ray audio decoding? I need my 7.1 lossless TrueHD and DTS-MA. Hell, gimmie DVD-Audio playback while you're at it. It's why I never upgraded from my Audigy ZS.
If they support PAP (Protected Audio Path) then they will be able to play high bitrate audio on Blu Ray.
No PAP = no support.

Although there is a way round it
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-16-2012, 09:46 | posts: 10,850 | Location: Finland

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Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
What does it have over Wasapi exclusive mode?
Well, for starters I can play music while gaming and still hear other sound if needed. It also seems more stable since wasapi have caused some really weird issues and I had to reinstall drivers. I have cubase and it is the best output to use in that case.
   
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Mufflore
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Default 08-16-2012, 19:54 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Well, for starters I can play music while gaming and still hear other sound if needed.
In which case you are still using a mixer, not clean audio throughput.

Quote:
It also seems more stable since wasapi have caused some really weird issues and I had to reinstall drivers. I have cubase and it is the best output to use in that case.
Wasapi is part of Windows 7, if its unstable, its worth reporting.
   
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Default 08-16-2012, 20:41 | posts: 2,104 | Location: Medford, NY

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Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Event the cheapest Z has 120dB SNR and headphone amp. That's really great for $99 card. But do they have ASIO support, that's the question.
On paper, the Z might displace the DX as the sub $100 card of choice. We'll see what the full spec sheet says.
   
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gamerk2
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Default 08-16-2012, 20:42 | posts: 2,104 | Location: Medford, NY

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meocene View Post
there is a chart somewhere - someone posted it in this forum.
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-16-2012, 20:54 | posts: 10,850 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
In which case you are still using a mixer, not clean audio throughput.



Wasapi is part of Windows 7, if its unstable, its worth reporting.
No, it bypasses the Windows mixer completely. It's pretty damn easy to test. I disable Widnows' audio service and sound keeps playing. Windows volume panel doesn't recognize any sound when using ASIO out either. Real ASIO implementation is not comparable to ASIO4ALL at all really which is kernel streaming ASIO wrapper.

Last edited by Anarion; 08-16-2012 at 21:02.
   
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Mufflore
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Default 08-16-2012, 20:58 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

If 2 audio signals are being mixed together, then you ARE using a mixer.
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-16-2012, 21:04 | posts: 10,850 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
If 2 audio signals are being mixed together, then you ARE using a mixer.
The point is that it bypasses Windows mixer, result is much better when playing two sources. Also ASIO out seems to be priority one when doing bit-matched playback.
   
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Mufflore
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Default 08-16-2012, 21:14 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Thats not the point I am making.
If any mixer is used, the signal isnt straight through.

Unless your audio app has exclusive access to the sound hardware, there will be some mixing.
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-16-2012, 21:18 | posts: 10,850 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
Thats not the point I am making.
If any mixer is used, the signal isnt straight through.

Unless your audio app has exclusive access to the sound hardware, there will be some mixing.
ASIO driver has direct access to X-Fi but it doesn't block Windows from playing sound either. Sure, some kind of mixing has to happen when two sources play at the same time. WASAPI's biggest annoyance is that it blocks everything.

Last edited by Anarion; 08-16-2012 at 21:20.
   
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Mufflore
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Default 08-16-2012, 21:26 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

You have it back to front.
Wasapis biggest advantage is that it can block everything except what you are playing (exclusive mode).

If you want your source to be played without interference, Wasapi (exclusive mode) is perfect.
If you need to play 2 audio sources at the same time, you cant have pure audio from a single source so theres no point in doing a quality comparison with exclusive mode.
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-16-2012, 21:37 | posts: 10,850 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
You have it back to front.
Wasapis biggest advantage is that it can block everything except what you are playing (exclusive mode).

If you want your source to be played without interference, Wasapi (exclusive mode) is perfect.
If you need to play 2 audio sources at the same time, you cant have pure audio from a single source so theres no point in doing a quality comparison with exclusive mode.
Huoh... I know that and it wasn't the point.
   
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  (#38)
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Default 08-17-2012, 00:25 | posts: 205

what i'd like to know about wasapi is whether or not allows a sound cards drivers to directly access the audio buffer...

that's all i wanna know.
   
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  (#39)
Mufflore
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Default 08-17-2012, 00:37 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meocene View Post
what i'd like to know about wasapi is whether or not allows a sound cards drivers to directly access the audio buffer...

that's all i wanna know.
It appears to have the feature
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...=vs.85%29.aspx

Quote:
IAudioClient Enables a client to create and initialize an audio stream between an audio application and the audio engine or the hardware buffer of an audio endpoint device.
   
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  (#40)
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Default 08-17-2012, 04:17 | posts: 16,174 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Event the cheapest Z has 120dB SNR and headphone amp. That's really great for $99 card. But do they have ASIO support, that's the question.
That is, well standard for todays cards.

The 120 dB rating is a specification, so in the real world you may hit about 116-117dB. Newer entry level cards should start hitting those marks for the next couple of crops.

Nice to see they put some good DAC on thos SoundCard chips. Not sure where they get their marketing guys but they need new ones.
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-17-2012, 13:18 | posts: 10,850 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
That is, well standard for todays cards.

The 120 dB rating is a specification, so in the real world you may hit about 116-117dB. Newer entry level cards should start hitting those marks for the next couple of crops.

Nice to see they put some good DAC on thos SoundCard chips. Not sure where they get their marketing guys but they need new ones.
Yeah, DAC specs are different that the actual output since at least something gets lost after it comes out of the DAC but it's nice to see such a boost compared to the Recon3D.

I might actually pull the trigger and get Zx or ZxR. The volume knob can be handy since the thing on my keyboard isn't that convenient with its two step volume change. I hope that this card would have better way to adjust the volume since even 5% Windows volume is rather loud (and the sound stops at 4%; headphone amp out is too loud at any volume level).

I wonder what's the driver situation with my current card in Windows 8... I should be able to get Windows 8 next week from Dreamspark Premium.
   
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  (#42)
IanM
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Default 08-17-2012, 14:12 | posts: 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
Nice to see they put some good DAC on thos SoundCard chips.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Yeah, DAC specs are different that the actual output since at least something gets lost after it comes out of the DAC but it's nice to see such a boost compared to the Recon3D.
I am confused about these new cards. If you can excuse such a vague question: I remember reading threads about the Recon3D and some of the more knowledgable posters saying that there wasn't much point in Creative offering 'high end' versions of the Recon3D because there is a certain limitation built in to the 'quad core' chip i.e. since you can't change the key component/output from the chip, swappable op amps and/or higher quality DACs would be utterly pointless?

I can't find the old posts with search so probably I will have to go through the Recon3D threads again, but have I misremembered? does anyone else remember this type of discussion?
   
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Mufflore
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Default 08-17-2012, 15:47 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

There are lots of pointless conversations
It needing or not needing a quad core processor has zero effect on sound quality.
It might change effect processing power but it has nothing to do with DACs and opamps.

As for a better DAC and opamps being pointless, that may depend what you are comparing (ie if they are of similar quality).
But in this case it looks like they have put some effort in, results are yet to be heard.
Its sure to beat the DAC in AV amps except cherry picked high end gear.

I use a very high quality external stereo DAC and have been waiting for a good 5.1 DAC to complement it.
The DAC and analogue components can make a HUGE difference!
   
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IanM
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Default 08-17-2012, 16:22 | posts: 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
There are lots of pointless conversations
so true...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
It needing or not needing a quad core processor has zero effect on sound quality.
It might change effect processing power but it has nothing to do with DACs and opamps.
...anyway, I started going through some of the old threads with 'Recon3D' in the title and so far I found this post: it lists Daniel_K's notes on Recon3D and the SounCore3D chip. My highlight:

Quote:
About the Sound Core3D quad-core processor:

- Not quad-core at all: even the original SB Live! could process as many sound effects at the same time.
- Design is based around the CA0110 PCI Express HD Audio controller with an embedded DSP and integrated DAC.
- EAX is software based, as it is supported through Host OpenAL.
- Pre-programmed DSP with as many sound effects you could find on any car stereo or home theater.
Now, I think this might be the point I was remembering - if this integrated DAC is the weak link and it can't be changed or bypassed because it is embedded, then what use are other high quality components?

Last edited by IanM; 08-17-2012 at 16:47.
   
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  (#45)
Mufflore
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Default 08-17-2012, 16:38 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

PCI-E HD audio controller is the clue.
Its not part of the audio processor.
   
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IanM
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Default 08-17-2012, 17:14 | posts: 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
PCI-E HD audio controller is the clue.
Its not part of the audio processor.
I've modified the quote to include the heading and all bullets, but I read it as the embedded DSP and integrated DAC are part of the 'quad-core' procssor?

I suppose I'm not too fussed about the actual techical details, what I'm hoping for is a Titanium HD quality card with a better implementation of THX TruSurround, and hopefully one day Creative will put such a card in an external housing so that mini-ITX users can benefit as well. Obviously Recon3D fell short, aside from some users reporting that the TruSurround is actually pretty good.

Last edited by IanM; 08-17-2012 at 19:04.
   
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Default 08-17-2012, 18:16 | posts: 2,018 | Location: Sweden

Looks good, but I don't see any reason to upgrade from the current one, unless positional audio is much better than X-fi.

I hope to see the 99 dollar card reviewed, complete with RMAA measurements (preferably not loopback).
   
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Mufflore
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Default 08-17-2012, 18:31 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanM View Post
I've modified the quote to include the heading and all bullets, but I read it as the embedded DSP and integrated DAC are part of the 'quad-core' procssor?

I suppose I'm not too fussed about the actual techical details, what I'm hoping for is a Titanium HD quality card with a better implementation of THX TruSurround, and hopefully one day Creative will put such a card in an extrernal housing so that mini-ITX users can benefit as well. Obviously Recon3D fell short, aside from some users reporting that the TruSurround is actually pretty good.
It seems you are right, the Recon3D has the DAC onboard, but its designed around a particular DAC which we can at least verify the performance of.
The DAC used on the Z cards series is a better spec.
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-17-2012, 22:50 | posts: 10,850 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanM View Post
I've modified the quote to include the heading and all bullets, but I read it as the embedded DSP and integrated DAC are part of the 'quad-core' procssor?

I suppose I'm not too fussed about the actual techical details, what I'm hoping for is a Titanium HD quality card with a better implementation of THX TruSurround, and hopefully one day Creative will put such a card in an external housing so that mini-ITX users can benefit as well. Obviously Recon3D fell short, aside from some users reporting that the TruSurround is actually pretty good.
It's irrelevant if these have integrated DACs in these chips. There's obviously a way to direct the digital to external DAC or these are different chips.
   
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  (#50)
IanM
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Default 08-18-2012, 00:46 | posts: 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
The DAC used on the Z cards series is a better spec.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
It's irrelevant if these have integrated DACs in these chips. There's obviously a way to direct the digital to external DAC or these are different chips.
How do you get to this conclusion based on the press release? because the press release says: "Studio-grade components, which include external digital-to-analog converters (DACs) that deliver 127dB signal-to-noise ratio?"

Why did they write external? I don't want to think the worst but I wonder if there is some smoke and mirrors here - just because there is a good component on the PCB doesn't prove it's doing anything meaningful. Of course I hope that there is no shenanigans going on and there is a true upgrade vs the Recon3D, but Creative don't have a reputation for honesty or great engineering.

At this point surely it's all speculation and we won't know for sure until people get the cards and do some proper testing?
   
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