X-fi titanium HD game mode.

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by headoncollision, May 20, 2012.

  1. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    so yesterday I was playing red faction armaggeddon and noticed it sounded crispier and and more balanced when I switched to entertainment mode, when using an external amp and headphones, does this mean game mode will not give any advantage for newer titles such as borderlands and red faction armageddon. these games are not listed in alchemy supported game list so using game mode and cmss3d is useless?.

    I don't know much about sound protocols and technical stuff, and I would really appreciate some help.

    thank you all :)
     
  2. applejack

    applejack Master Guru

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    although newer titles don't support EAX, you could still benefit from game mode + headphones if using CMSS3D, as it will filter/down-mix game's surround to virtual surround on your stereo headphones, instead of using "regular" (real) stereo with entertainment mode.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  3. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    thank you for the reply.
    so ur saying I should enable cmss3d when playing games to get better positional audio and better surround effect ?, but my game mode doesn't sound as balanced and crisp as entertainment mode, am I missing any eq or settings?
    thanks
     
  4. DirkHardpeck

    DirkHardpeck Master Guru

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    Use whatever sounds better to you. That's the simple answer! Not everyone enjoys CMSS-3D.

    Now, to elaborate on that, I used to never use CMSS-3D because I felt it muddied up the sound and nothing really sounded any more 3d at all. Then I read the sticky on here about configuring it, you should check that out. Basically, make sure you go to Device manager in Windows, right click speakers, Configure, and set to 5.1 and hit next. Make sure in the Creative option CMSS-3D is checked and it is set to headphones.

    I switch between 2.1 speakers and headphones often and basically and up having to reconfigure all of this every time, including the Windows 5.1 option. I cam definitely tell a huge difference when I forget, I immediately realize 5.1 isn't set or CMSS-3D isn't on.

    If you've tried all of this and is still doesn't sound as good for you, that's ok. Its just preference. Note also, however, some games sound better than others. Borderlands, for instance, never gave me very good positional audio at all, though it's a pretty sloppy port. Try games like Skyrim or BF3, they sound amazing with CMSS-3D configured as above.

    Finally, your headphones will make a difference. If you're using the white iPod earbuds, for instance, dont bother lol.
     

  5. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    thank you for your long and detailed reply, it was very helpful, here is the thing I don`t have 5.1 option in windows sound manager only 2.1 channel, this is kinda weird, I get good positional audio, but no 5.1 both in headphones out and rca., I will backup my system and try re-installing or updating the titanium hd drivers and see if the option appears or not, I would appreciate any other suggesstion you have. o and my headphones are denon ah-d5000 connected to asgard external amp through RCA, so yeah thats why am complaigning, lol jif i have some cheapo headpones I would automatically put the blame on them.
    thanks for the help :)
     
  6. DirkHardpeck

    DirkHardpeck Master Guru

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    Ok, good to see you are using good headphones, had to make sure lol. I find that, like alot of people, CMSS-3D headphone requires windows to be set to 5.1 to work properly.

    [​IMG]

    If you don't have that 5.1 option then you are probably correct in it being driver errors. Ensure you uninstall all Realtek drivers as well as Creative, use driver sweeper or equivalent if desired, disable mobo sound from bios (thats a helpful one that I think is often forgotten). Then reinstall Creative drivers from scratch. After that, I wouldn't know what to do if it doesn't work :(

    On a side note, since you were running your external amp through RCA, I don't believe the Titanium HD will apply the appropriate headphone settings and CMSS-3D will be all wonky. I think that, unfortunately, you have to go through the headphone jack for optimal gaming, although at 25 ohms it shouldn't be an issue. I am under the impression that those Denon's still benefit from amps even with the low impedance however, I would still use the amp for music.

    At the end of the day, you owe it to yourself to try to get the 5.1 + CMSS-3D headphone through the headphone jack working, at least to try it out properly. It sounds quite wonderful for most games. But, worst case scenario, I'm sure it still sounds pretty great in stereo, maybe not best positional but quality should be top notch with such a great gear setup.
     
  7. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    I have just backed up my system and installed the latest beta drivers from creative support website, and the 5.1 option appeared on windows again :) !, everything seems to work properly without removing the realtek driver, as for the RCA or headphones out, last time I tried there wasn`t any different in sound quality, I will give it another try with the new settings and see if there is any different, one last question, should i keep it 5.1 at all time or should I turn it to stereo whenever I want to watch movies or listen to music?.
     
  8. DirkHardpeck

    DirkHardpeck Master Guru

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    If you are watching movies with surround, like blu-rays or DVD's for instance, then CMSS-3D will also simulate 5.1 (through CMSS-3D) with the stereo headphones, so certainly try that out. When listening to music I usually switch to Entertainment or Audio Creation mode (depends on if I am using OpenAL or ASIO) which will disengage CMSS-3D. No need to change the Windows setting, although you may want to do like me and put a shortcut to the Windows audio settings on your desktop next to the Creative control panel so you can check on that thing before you do anything. It likes to switch back to 2.1.

    You should still uninstall those Realtek drivers and disable the chip in the BIOS, to save future headaches and instability.

    Since before you were only getting stereo sound anyway, certainly the RCA to your amp should actually have been the superior sound. Only with 5.1 and CMSS-3D engaged in a game that has good surround audio, with your headphones plugged into the headphone jack and "headphone" checked in the Creative suite (then double check that Windows is in 5.1 again!!!) will you be able to test drive the difference. Like I said, try it in a variety of games as well!
     
  9. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    thank you for ur help, it was very helpful, u mean I shouldn't change Windows settings to stereo when am watching movies in entertainment mode?, and about the headphone out I can always connect 3.5 jack to rca to the external amp and then to headphones. before I bought this sound system I have checked with head fi and the amp manufacture and they confirmed that the positional audio will not be effected, but I will double check and connect the the headphones both way and report back here.

    :)
     
  10. applejack

    applejack Master Guru

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    you could use the creative console launcher alone:
    selecting any speakers configuration inside CCL, except headphones, automatically set windows to same speakers config as well.
    this means you can skip configuring windows, and switch to 7.1 in CCL right before you select headphones. it falls back to stereo whenever you choose 2.1.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012

  11. DirkHardpeck

    DirkHardpeck Master Guru

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    Hey thanks, that does work lol! Will save me just that little bit of pain.

    OP: I really am pretty sure that the headphone jack => RCA => amp would yield the best surround results. Although, I believe the T-HD's RCA has a better SnR ratio, so if you decide you don't want to use CMSS-3D in the future, I'd go back to plugging the amp directly to the RCA out.
     
  12. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    i will try both tomorrow and let u know if there is any difference, its late here and I have to go to bed :) thanks for the replies
     
  13. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    sorry for the delay, had lots of work to do and didn`t have much time to test or investigate anything, I have e-mail creative support and got a reply confirming that rca supports cmss3d.


    I havn`t tested this in person yet since I have an exam to prepare to, and I will need lots of gaming time to see if there is any difference. but this email is encouraging and giving the fact that I have tested before with two channel and there was no difference.

    however I do have aquestion regaring the sample rate, I have noticed setting 5.1 doesnt appear if I set to 24bit, 192khz but when I set it to 24bit 96khz the 5.1 option appear, are there is alot of quality difference between the two, I have tried some tracks up to 320 but couldn`t spot any difference, both in stereo and 5.1, from my understanding there isn`t much material available at 96khz or 192khz, is that correct.

    appreciate the input
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  14. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Actually the headphone mode option on the creative panel for the card does work with the RCA output's. I used to own a X-FI HD PCi-E and thats how I had my card set up with my External amp. Thru the RCA outs on the card, with headphone mode and cmss3D headphone with the 5.1 speaker settings that was mentioned.
     
  15. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    thanks for the quick input, yes thats what creative made it clear, as long as I have headphones checked in the creative panel everything should work the same, I am hesitated to connect my amp through headphones out cuz of the lower frequency respond and lower snr.

    if you don`t mind me asking what sound card do you own right now ?
     

  16. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    I went back to a Xonar STX, but mainly because I had to sell the X-FI HD Pci-e For cash that I needed.
     
  17. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Op, I found the same with with my Auzentech Prelude.
    It also uses the X-Fi chip and sounds better using entertainment mode.
    I still use it for gaming and 5.1 audio, in entertainment mode only.
     
  18. DirkHardpeck

    DirkHardpeck Master Guru

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    Cool, I stand corrected. All that's left is setting Windows to 5.1. OP have you had a chance to try that yet?
     
  19. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    I did try gaming in 5.1 mode both in entertainment mode and gaming mode, it sounded better, but I only played red faction armageddon, music sounded the same as it was in stereo, there wasn`t much of a difference between game mode cmss3d and entertainment mode except there was more in game effects with cmss3d is enabled, still havn`t had a chance to compare rca and headphone out regarding cmss3d capability, but creative confirmed it and one Mr GenClaymore did, so I will try it to see if there is any difference :)
     
  20. headoncollision

    headoncollision Member Guru

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    thanks for the reply! both sound cards are great.
     

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