Asus Xonar DS? DX? - OR CREATIVE!

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by ArCElM, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. ArCElM

    ArCElM Banned

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    Hi,


    I am a long time user of the outdated Audigy 2 Platinum eX - which has served me so very well tbh. (I never even acknowledged the EXISTENCE of other soundcard manufacturers)

    however after a short spell on vista, and a useless attempt with creatives alchemy, back to XP I went due to abismal audio (positional audio)

    Anyway that was a while ago, and now, I am on WINDOWS 7 ULTIMATE (nice!)

    BUT HERE WE ARE AGAIN! CRAP SOUND.

    I decided to have a sniff about and what did i find..

    THE ASUS XONAR!

    "With the introduction of Windows Vista, the whole audio architecture landscape has been changed. "

    "to provide full support for surround sound and hardware accelerated features by translating DirectX to the DS3D GX. While other solutions like OpenAL requires special installation and game support, DS3D GX doesn't. Gamers can enjoy DirectX gaming with hardware enhanced surround sound and EAX effects automatically and immediately after installation."


    omg... I WANT IT, NOW! lol

    ok, here is the thing, my ONLY interest is GAMING, positional audio, sound quality, EAX etc.

    So I do not want to spend twice as much on the DX if the DS would be fine, both the DS and DX have the same AV200 HD audio processor.


    FOR EXAMPLE - "Although the AV200 traditionally supports both Dolby Digital Live and DTS Interactive capabilities, in the case of the Xonar DS only DTS encoding support is offered"

    how can I put this, I dont give a...edited by mod.

    so what I really want is perhaps some clever ppl with experience of these soundcards who could maybe tell me if I would be losing anything relevent (to me) by choosing the DS instead of the DX, on account of its all tech gobble-de-gook to me.

    Oh the DS is PCI and the DX is PCI-E I dunno if that makes any difference, I will be happy to go for the DX if its worth it, I just want to be sure it IS worth it, for ME!


    THANKS very much in advance any advice rly will be appreciated.

    OH one other thing to think about, what with the DS being ENTRY LEVEL, and my soundcard, although old, was HIGH END, would the sound quality be better or worse?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2009
  2. momomo67890

    momomo67890 Ancient Guru

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    x-fi forte .
     
  3. live4life

    live4life Banned

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    ASUSSSSSSSSSS man xonar 4tw dont waste ur money on something futured cut and driver policy messedup! go to xonar and u see the real fidelity of pure sound engine!
     
  4. ArCElM

    ArCElM Banned

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    appreciated guys but, im not sure u read my post lol

    :D

    I admit, it is a bit large.
     

  5. kitch9

    kitch9 Ancient Guru

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    My Dx is in my PC, and my old X-Fi Extremegamer is gathering dust in a box somewhere. DX sounds much better IMO.

    Dolby Headphone is joy to behold in itself......
     
  6. ArCElM

    ArCElM Banned

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    Cheers mate,

    May I ask, what is dolby headphone?

    thanks.

    TBH though, I think I did the whole post all wrong.

    Perhaps I could make things a tad more simple.

    could anybody with great knowledge and gloooorius bigness! please list a few things that make the Xonar DX
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=SC-002-AS

    a better purchase than the DS
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=SC-006-AS

    THIS way I can simply have a look and see if it is anything significant for me and my pure gaming requirements.

    THANKS plenty all, MUCH appreciated.
     
  7. gamerk2

    gamerk2 Ancient Guru

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    DX, end debate (unless you want to get a D2 instead...).
     
  8. ArCElM

    ArCElM Banned

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    oh man..

    lol THANKS mate but WHY? what does the DX have the DS does not?

    Are u SURE what the DX has over the DS, is WORTH WHILE for me?

    (me as in, pure gaming with 1 pair of good quality Sennheiser HD595 headphones)

    I REALLY am sorry to be a pain, I just want to be VERY SURE, before I spend double the money, + having all hell trying to fit the DX in 1 of my PCI-E 1X located so close to my 4870x2, is WORTH it, when I could have spent half the money and got the DS and slithered it in my very spaciously placed PCI slot HAHA

    trying to be as concise and clear as possible but im afraid I am not very good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  9. tuco

    tuco Ancient Guru

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    I much prefer my gamer over the D2, music and games.
     
  10. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    To be honest while I don't know much about the Xonar or Creative hardware "architecture" as it's called if you are a gamer with a decent speaker setup (Or headphones) and really want the best from games then you'll want a good Creative card, preferably PCI-E as the PCI devices have had some issues previously (Bit hard to explain, stuff like noise from the speakers, not really anything huge or some such but still noticeable, something about the PCI interface compared to PCI-E in terms of bandwith and how it's accessed.)

    I'd probably recommend a good titanium model, you probably won't need or use any fancy stuff like the frontpanel or such so the absolute highest-end product version might not be needed but XRam might improve performance a bit and proper support of EAX up to version 5.0 with hardware support for 128 sounds or what it's called up to 96 or perhaps it was even 192 Khz.
    (I'm not that good at explaining hardware specifics, sorry.)

    In comparison the Xonar D2X is said to use higher quality components and offer clearer and better sound (Improved quality that is.) albeit it depends again on what sound setup you use and what it's used for.

    Xonar supports up to 192 Khz with 128 "sounds" or again what it's called but in terms of EAX capabilities Creative owns and licenses it and they only offer EAX 2.0 to other companies so ASUS uses a sort of emulation for EAX 5.0 titles (The hardware "DX" mode.) compared to Creative that offers actual hardware support.

    ASUS and Creative both have had issues with drivers, recent ones from ASUS for example requires a slight patch to work properly on 64-bit W7 or 32-bit applications won't work at all pretty much breaking and crippling the OS.
    (It's on their forums, easy to fix though but it should have been part of the latest drivers as the patch was released first and the drivers later on, albeit they're primarily for RC1 - 7100 and not RC2 to RTM which is build 7200 up to 7600)

    Creative has improved a bit though and the latest (beta probably but shouldn't cause any issues.) should work just fine on any of the supported OS's and the early problems and issues should be mostly sorted, some people still report bugs and problems and as mentioned certain funcitonality needs to be "modded" via other drivers in order to enable for certain card brands of the X-Fi and Audigy serie. (Unsupported officially but supposedly it works pretty well.)

    ASUS drivers are also less "cumbersome" than the ones from Creative but Creative bundles in a bit more software so the drivers end up being pretty versatile (ASUS isn't bad or anything like that though.) albeit with many extra services and stuff running.
    (Asus has a few as well like HsMgr / HsMgr 64 which is the hardware-sound manager for 32 and 64 bit applications when using DX mode.)

    ASUS further has some compatibility problems with certain titles when DX is enabled, distorted sound to crashes depending on what you try to run with it, drivers help a bit but I still get that bug where many Direct Sound titles can crash and lock up the soundcard until disabled and re-enabled from the device manager while it loops part of the last sound played.
    (Unsure how widespread that issue is however.)

    In terms of Vista and sound compatibility Microsoft removed the HAL stuff from the DirectX API (Hardware access layer or something, basically a direct hardware path for the soundcard, kicks off standard EAX hardware acceleration but in return it won't BSOD or something when a title crashes.)

    Outside of Direct Sound the OpenAL layer (Creative API, used by many titles now), FMOD (UE3 mainly) and XSound2 (Microsoft, DirectX - used by a few titles.) are all used and do support EAX functionality via hardware, Direct Sound requires either the DX mode from the Xonar to work or ALchemy from Creative as it'll convert the "calls" into a OpenAL format instead. :)

    Hope this helps somewhat, I use a Xonar D2X myself but the Creative card I had before was quite good as well although early driver support was pretty bad so I sold it as I got the "Squeel of death" issue where the card crashed/frooze the OS with a high-pitched noise emitting from it, supposedly fixed now and even more fixed if you use a PCI-E interface or so I've heard so it's nothing to worry about anymore.
    (For Xonar as such I wish ASUS would slow down card development a bit and improve driver development but we'll see what happens, works great even without DX mode enabled although I guess it doesn't fully compare to a fully enabled EAX 5 situation, although most games seem to use 3 - 4 instead of 5 albeit those who use it properly supposedly sound fantastic due to the additional effects like in Battlefield 2142 and some others I don't remember at the moment.)

    EDIT: Heh, wrote so much it looks like a "text wall" :nerd:
    (And I only went into very basic stuff, check some threads in this section for more advanced info on Xonar and X-Fi cards and their functionality and hardware plus ofcourse user opinions and so on.)


    EDIT: Ah, you are right I just checked the audio card's control panel and it's indeed called GX instead of DX.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009

  11. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    The DX was/is considered a entry level card when compared to the bigger brothers such as the D2, D2X..STX..HDAV 1.3.etc.

    Really your going to get a bit higher sound quality with the bigger brothers and from memory the DX has a few features cut from it such as DTS-Connect technologies -IIRC.

    The DX is about $80 and the D2 is about double.....there is reason for that.
    I have tested both these cards...

    @Jonas..it is "GX" mode.
     
  12. Redemption80

    Redemption80 Ancient Guru

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    Asus Xonar cards are more aimed at music and movies than games and beat any Creative card by miles in that regard.

    But is EAX even relevant anymore, all surround games i've saw are Dolby Digital these days, and a few oldish one's i've tryed like GRID dont support hardware audio on anything but Creative chipset cards, and in the year or so i've had my Xonar card i think i've used DS3D GX twice, and both times was old games.

    Most games use low quality mp3/ogg/ac3 sound anyway, so there wont be any benefit to getting a high end card anyway, so i would say for positional sound over speakers then the DS would be enough, but as you have mentioned using headphones, then maybe the DX would be better as the DS has no dolby technology on it, meaning no Dolby Headphone.
     
  13. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    ..there is a point to getting a great sounding card.

    What about Prelude or Forte?
     
  14. Redemption80

    Redemption80 Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, for music and movies, but diminishing returns when you go too high if your only priority is games.

    Auzentech cards don't have Dolby Headphone i've heard, and a few other dolby technologies apparently.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  15. ArCElM

    ArCElM Banned

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    THANKS guys for some rly great advice, jonas esp.


    YES, ONLY games, NO MUSIC/MOVIES!

    POSITIONAL AUDIO OVER HEADPHONES, AND GOOD QUALITY SOUND REPRODUCTION


    all im after.

    may I pester just a little more.. WHAT is Dolby Headphone? I hear it is EXCELLENT for simulating 5.1 surround through headphones? I think? is this correct?

    also, which soundcard is best for this? I am looking for accurate positional audio via my Sennheiser HD595 Headphones. (remember I am on WINDOWS 7! so NO DIRECT SOUND! which is why I was looking at the XONAR as I explained above.)

    THANKS GUYS!
     

  16. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Good sound is good sound no matter what your doing.

    Dolby headphone is a surround modelling technology which simulates surround sound over 5.1.

    Older auzen cards had Dolby headphones, the PRelude and Forte have CMSS-3D for headphones so there is really no need for DH.

    If gaming is your main concern, I suggest you go with the current champs for gaming...which is the Auzen Prelude or the Auzen Forte 7.1.
    These cards alos offer OpenAL which is still used in many games.
    However, the Xonars are also great cards.
     
  17. kitch9

    kitch9 Ancient Guru

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    Surround sound, using stereo headphones only. Get a good set of cans and its almost like you are there. You can place where all the sounds are coming from and the clarity is astounding.
     
  18. Postalisback

    Postalisback Ancient Guru

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    For me personally, the sound is much clearer without using CMSS-3D (which just destroys the sound quality IMO), and the positioning is perfect without CMSS-3D.

    Obviously with Dolby Headphone it's different so I can't comment on that as I haven't used a card that takes advantage of Dolby technologies.
     
  19. ArCElM

    ArCElM Banned

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    AHA! quote from some other forum, this I think could answer my question regarding DS/DX.

    A lot of people have been recommending Xonars based on their excellent performance with positional audio over headphones.

    Just thought I'd mention that I'm pretty sure this isn't the case with the Xonar DS. .

    Dolby technologies are not mentioned in the specs. Hence no Dolby Headphone, no Dolby Digital Live and no Dolby Virtual Speaker.

    The DS should still make a good HTPC card for use with DTS receivers. It won't work with Dolby Digital receivers or give positional audio (other than plain stereo) over headphones though.


    So, Xonar DX + Sennheiser 595 = a good chance of what I am after.
     
  20. ArCElM

    ArCElM Banned

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    what OS u using? coz positioning is fine for me in XP.

    Vista and W7 = DEAD.

    u using alchemy? or something?

    u say PERFECT POSITIONING with stero headphones and no CMSS-3D, thats some statement, R U SURE?
     

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