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View Full Version : QuantumForce goes Creative Xi-Fi



saaya
09-12-2008, 01:05 AM
Hey Guys,

We were thinking of using Creative Xi-Fi for future boards and i figured id give you guys a headsup and check what you think.
yay or nay? :D



EDIT: latest update
I discussed your comments and feedback with the team and we decided to go for the software solution! :D
Our sonar card is pretty damn good, and there really isnt much sense in dropping it for an old creative chip that is about the same or inferior to our sonar card while costing a bunch more.

now what does this software solution mean?

We will use the same add-in SONAR soundcard as on the blackops and avenger, its very low profile/short and will not occupy a pciE x1 slot! :D
We will use a slightly updated codec from realtek, the latest one, which supports more features (Dolby DTS etc) and is a tad more powerful.
We will offer you a driver that enables CMSS 3D, EAX 4.0 and other creative Xi-fi features
We will offer you a SONAR2 sound driver based on the realtek driver, for those of you who dont want to install a creative driver :D


So basically nothing really changes, we will provide you guys with a better audio hardware solution, the Sonar2, and we will offer you an optional upgrade to get CMSS 3D, EAX 4.0 and other Creative XiFi features via a special driver. For free! :D

This solution is a very nice compromise between added cost and added features imo, as the added costs are very small, the added features are entirely optional, and for those who want them, are very useful and appreciated :toast:

what do you guys think?

negev
09-12-2008, 01:18 AM
Great idea, but would it be any less powerful than having a separate pci-x card?

saaya
09-12-2008, 01:31 AM
Just talked to our engineers, the sound quality and the performance will be the same between a pciE add in card and a custom Audio Interface Card using the same chip. The difference between the Realtek 88x and the Creative Xi-Fi is that the XI-Fi chip supports EAX 5.0 and CMSS 3D, but we are not sure how important you guys think this is... :D

Rattle
09-12-2008, 01:56 AM
I love cmss 3d for gaming and couldnt live without it, my xtreme music capacities in a small 1x pci-e add in card would be SWEET I think.

saaya
09-12-2008, 03:01 AM
I love cmss 3d for gaming and couldnt live without it, my xtreme music capacities in a small 1x pci-e add in card would be SWEET I think.
I checked many reviews and while theres a lot of criticism for xifi, after all its still better than the realtek and other audio solutions... :)

I think it will come in a custom form factor though that only fits in foxconn boards, it wont be pciE x1 i think, but let me check :D

negev
09-12-2008, 03:01 AM
Would having an x-fi onboard rather than a separate card put more strain on the board?

jolliffee
09-12-2008, 04:38 AM
I like this idea but would not want to have this on the Mobo but as an extra.... Does this mean a new rev to BlackOps is on the cards

zanzabar
09-12-2008, 02:00 PM
its a good idea but i remember having a board withan intergrated creative back in the day, and it wasnt anything like a card. can u guys just cut audio out of the board and make an add in card (like asus) but with cms3d

filmbot
09-12-2008, 02:07 PM
If it's going to be the same quality as if I was to buy a stand alone card, how can you go wrong?

Go for it :up:

saaya
09-14-2008, 03:51 AM
thanks a lot for the feedback everybody!!! :toast:


Would having an x-fi onboard rather than a separate card put more strain on the board?it wont be onboard, itll be a add in card just like on blackops :)


I like this idea but would not want to have this on the Mobo but as an extra.... Does this mean a new rev to BlackOps is on the cardswhile thats not impossible, i was actually referring to future boards (x58 and ongoing :D)


its a good idea but i remember having a board withan intergrated creative back in the day, and it wasnt anything like a card. can u guys just cut audio out of the board and make an add in card (like asus) but with cms3dnono, itll be a add in card, just like our current audio card :)


If it's going to be the same quality as if I was to buy a stand alone card, how can you go wrong?
Go for it :up:
well im not sure if itll be the same as a creative sound card, but even if its not, itll still beat regular audio codecs everybody else is using, that relie on the cpu to do most if not all the work :)

ill check and keep you guys updated on the details! :toast:

hrahn
09-14-2008, 01:47 PM
Just remember not to do the same dumb thing like MSI, adding Audigy SE / X-FI Extreme Audio chips to their mainboards which are in essence die-shrinks of the old SBLive-Chips (check the parts number from Creative) and can´t do EAX4&5 in hardware - and only half as many hardware voices than the normal Audigy cards.

Either have a full-blown X-FI chip accompanying the board, or leave it out.

YukonTrooper
09-14-2008, 04:54 PM
Saaya, will it be hardware accelerated with an actual X-Fi chip, or will it be the dumbed down version like the XtremeAudio?

saaya
09-14-2008, 06:12 PM
im checking with the engineers on the details and will let you guys know :)

saaya
09-14-2008, 07:13 PM
i didnt get a reply yet, but after doing some research i suspect we will use the audigy SBlive chip, which doesnt offer hardware acceleration for the latest eax, but it DOES support more features and has better sound quality than conventional intel HD audio codecs. i googled around and i only saw good comments about it in all reviews. the sound quality is about the same as the asus xonar and the xifi fatality soundcard, which is pretty damn good for onboard sound imo...

http://hothardware.com/Articles/MSI-P6N-Diamond--NV680i-with-XFi-Audio1/?page=9


just about every comparison went in the X-Fi Fatal1ty's favor with a lower reported Noise Level, higher Dynamic Range, and lower distortion and crosstalk values. With that being said, though, taking a closer look at each set of comparisons shows that the differences between the onboard audio and the add-on card are very slight. Typically we don't expect the values seen in the X-Fi Xtreme columns for integrated audio solutions.

Looking at the results, we see that there is no real performance advantage for spending the money on the carded version of the X-Fi Fatal1ty (or other variants) when compared to the integrated X-Fi Xtreme Audio solution.

yiancar
09-15-2008, 04:38 AM
Thats a great idea there , for sure foxconn is gona made the best enthusiast mobo EVER :D

negev
09-15-2008, 05:14 AM
Saaya, IMHO if the chip is any less performing than a real X-fi card (i.e. no hardware eax) then most gamers are just going to disable it and buy an x-fi card, which ultimately just pushes up the cost of the board for zero gain.

The Sonar card annoyed the p1ss out of me, going "You have plugged in headphones"..... "ohhh wow.. have i? i wondered what i was doing..."

Seeing as its clearly such a clever piece of hardware, I tried filling the headphone socket with sand to see if it knew how to count. It didn't.

saaya
09-15-2008, 10:38 PM
Saaya, IMHO if the chip is any less performing than a real X-fi card (i.e. no hardware eax) then most gamers are just going to disable it and buy an x-fi card, which ultimately just pushes up the cost of the board for zero gain.the cost is very low... and the gap to xi fi that has hardware acceleration is huge, it costs more than 10x more... so implementing the latest xi fi will be way to expensive, not to mention many people dont care about it that much and wouldnt want to spend that much extra on the board.

i asked creative if we can add audigy2, but im afraid itll cost too much to be worth it :/


The Sonar card annoyed the p1ss out of me, going "You have plugged in headphones"..... "ohhh wow.. have i? i wondered what i was doing..."

Seeing as its clearly such a clever piece of hardware, I tried filling the headphone socket with sand to see if it knew how to count. It didn't.:lol: sorry about that m8... its not our guys fault tho, its the realtek codec we use and the realtek driver that does this. let me check with realtek if we can disable this and other annoying messages.

zanzabar
09-15-2008, 10:41 PM
what about a via envy chip could u guys do that
http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/audio/controllers/

those chips are in cards that go from $15-250 for full cards with the cheap ones being as good or better than a full xfi card for openAL and ASIO

saaya
09-15-2008, 11:07 PM
im sure we could do that, but im not sure how much it would cost to add that chip...
it might cost the same or actually even more (!) than the SBlive chip aka xifi xtreme.
and it doesnt have CMSS 3D which a lot people seem to like, and it doesnt support the EAX stuff either as far as i know...
the creative chip at least supports it in sotware and offloads it to the cpu, which is fine since even dualcore cpus dont have both their cores fully maxed out with most of the current games, and lets not even talk about quadcores, while we will have 8 threads in high end systems soon... :D

zanzabar
09-15-2008, 11:22 PM
via has their own cms3d like thing (QXpander) and it works with virtual 7.1 instead of 5.1, and i think that the chip also has a fire wire controller so that via firewire chip that everything has wouldent be needed (atleast most of the sound cards have fire wire with those chips while they were popular). and via has real openAL and EAX dosnt work in openAL so there is no point anymore

saaya
09-16-2008, 07:45 PM
hmmmmm so are you sure the via chip is the same or superior to the SBlive chip? i mean just sound feature wise...
even then id rather vote for creative xifi xtreme simply cause its well known among gamers while via... doesnt really have a good name in gaming or the hardware world in general...

YukonTrooper
09-16-2008, 08:28 PM
The X-Fi logo would definitely sell you more boards, and it is still the better gaming chip, regardless of the lack of hardware acceleration. Hardware acceleration would be awesome, though. Perhaps the software solution for low-end and hardware acceleration for high-end? Wishful thinking?

crazy1323
09-16-2008, 08:38 PM
Could this possibly be going in the X58 Quantum Force.....

In all honesty, I think most people would prefer the extra PCIe X1 slot rather than a slot that would only accept a Foxconn card. Unless you meant a card that is software locked and not a specific slot.

I personally do not mind buying an extra audio card. My theory has always been as follows:
buy speakers from people who only make speakers
buy Monitors from people who only make monitors ect..

naokaji
09-17-2008, 05:35 AM
how about scrap onboard sound completly and bundle a regular pcie x1 sound card with the board?

negev
09-17-2008, 07:16 AM
saaya, i guess it really depends on what you're trying to do. Are you trying to sell as many boards as possible (to anyone) or are you trying to make the ultimate xtreme enthusiast board?

If you want to sell boards, X-Fi on the packaging will no doubt increase sales.

If you want to create the ultimate enthusiast board, then get rid of onboard sound as all the extreme enthusiasts will get a card anyway.

saaya
09-17-2008, 04:42 PM
The X-Fi logo would definitely sell you more boards, and it is still the better gaming chip, regardless of the lack of hardware acceleration. Hardware acceleration would be awesome, though. Perhaps the software solution for low-end and hardware acceleration for high-end? Wishful thinking?how do you mean? we only make high end boards so then we SHOULD offer hardware acceleration... the thing is that this would increase costs a LOT, and not all people will want this soundcard... so in this case it would make more sense to just bundle the board with a xifi soundcard...


Could this possibly be going in the X58 Quantum Force.....

In all honesty, I think most people would prefer the extra PCIe X1 slot rather than a slot that would only accept a Foxconn card. Unless you meant a card that is software locked and not a specific slot.

I personally do not mind buying an extra audio card. My theory has always been as follows:
buy speakers from people who only make speakers
buy Monitors from people who only make monitors ect..
yeah, even if the card we make works on other boards, we couldnt really guarantee it does... and if its a foxconn only solution making it an expensive one isnt a good idea imo. having a real xifi solution with full hw acceleration for all the sound features is a lil bit of an investment, and then having that investment stuck to one board or one series of boards isnt that nice...

not to mention again that quite some people dont really care or definately dont want this solution, which doesnt mean theyd boycott the board if we do use creative, but they sure dont want to pay a bonus for it... :D

about buying hw only from a mfc who doesnt do anything else...
im affraid this is almost impossible with hw nowadays, depends on how you define it though... there are large contract manufacturers like foxconn and palit and pcpartner etc who produce a huge percentage of todays hardware for all the different companies who then sell it as their own branded stuff.


how about scrap onboard sound completly and bundle a regular pcie x1 sound card with the board?
exactly! :D
BUT, a sond card costs notably more than adding our own soundcard or onboard sound... notably! so then again it would mean 25$ more for the cheapest sound card with barely any improvements on sound quality or having even worse sound, or 50$+ more for an improvement in sound quality, BUT... how many people wana spend an extra 50$?


saaya, i guess it really depends on what you're trying to do. Are you trying to sell as many boards as possible (to anyone) or are you trying to make the ultimate xtreme enthusiast board?

If you want to sell boards, X-Fi on the packaging will no doubt increase sales.

If you want to create the ultimate enthusiast board, then get rid of onboard sound as all the extreme enthusiasts will get a card anyway.
well said! that brings it all to the point... the goal is of course to achieve both... :D

YukonTrooper
09-17-2008, 06:17 PM
how do you mean? we only make high end boards so then we SHOULD offer hardware acceleration... the thing is that this would increase costs a LOT, and not all people will want this soundcard... so in this case it would make more sense to just bundle the board with a xifi soundcard..
Do you not have different tiers for the same platform, even though they are all high-end?

saaya
09-17-2008, 07:49 PM
Do you not have different tiers for the same platform, even though they are all high-end?
so far we dont, but i think we should have different versions of the board.
at least one full blown feature version and one cost reduced version with the basic features for those who dont care.

YukonTrooper
09-17-2008, 10:10 PM
I see. A software X-Fi solution would still be fantastic, considering how powerful today's CPU's are. Very good marketing as well. As far as I know, you guys will be the first to implement such a solution, correct?

Hardware would be killer, though. But I'll shut up about that now. :D

Ruroni
09-18-2008, 10:20 PM
I for one like the onboard sound solution removed, with a pci-e 1x card bundled in. I like the empty backplate look with only usb, nics, and esata ports. :p

zanzabar
09-18-2008, 11:12 PM
not exactly related but is there any chance of a dedicated NIC with cash, it would lower pings and since its an enthusiast/gamer platform it would be great

HDCHOPPER
09-19-2008, 01:32 AM
can you overclock it :D

dont care really unless it helps overclocking :rofl:

negev
09-19-2008, 01:42 AM
hey Saaya,

Instead of polling us to see whether we want the x-fi chip on a new board, why don't you poll everyone to see **what sound solution they use** (i.e. onboard or a card) and then you'll know what to do :)

If everyone uses x-fi cards, then there's not much point in having any onboard sound..

Also if you decide to bundle an x-fi with the board, you'll also need to make a non-bundled version as many people will already have x-fi's..

Broken
09-19-2008, 01:10 PM
So the audio won't be a true X-fi. It will be a dumbed down X-fi using an old SBLive chip, much like Creative's X-fi Xtreme Audio(Over glorified Audigy???) So creative can call it an x-fi to sell more to unsuspecting people thinking they are in fact getting a X-fi. And now you want to follow in their steps and put an "X-fi" onboard to help sell it, when it doesn't really have a X-fi.

I sure as hell wouldn't use it. I already have a X-fi, the real one.( I can has Dolby Digital Live!, EAX 5.0, etc) If you bundled a real one I would pull my existing X-fi out and use the one that came with the board. If you put in a cheap knockoff, I would leave it in its box, same place the card that came with my Blackops is. Much like any other enthusiast( You are selling these to enthusiasts right?) would. So why bother wasting money on a cheap, but slightly better audio solution? Put that money towards the board. Make it better.

If you ain't first, your last! ;)

Update:
Wow, SB Live!, EMU10K1 chip. You do realize this chip came out way back in 98 right? I have a SB Live! 5.1 in my closet somewhere. they then milked it with the Audigy series. If you are going to waste your time with this chip, at least make sure it is the EMU10K1 and not the EMU10K1X, which was a cut down version( I keep seeing this with Creative... ) or the SB Live 24-bit , which was a stripped down Audigy Value that didn't even have the EMU10K1 chip..

hrahn
09-20-2008, 12:15 PM
@Saaya: the audio quality of the Creative Emu-Chips does NOT, I repeat NOT depend on whether it is called Audigy, Live! or X-Fi. It does NOT depend on the Chip either, it depends on the DACs / ADCs which are NOT part of the chip.
These digital/analog converters are what has been upgraded the most between the old Live! series and the current Audigy generation, and since they´ve reached an almost even quality among all cards produced these days by creative it is no wonder why a "cheap" card sounds as good as an "expensive" one with a completely different chip on it - their digital audio is processed by the same chips and then sent to your speakers.

Don´t be fooled by creative, the real X-Fi chips are more expensive because they are more powerful, a completely new design from the old EMU-series (you can easily spot it, all new designs are BGA chips whereas the old ones are standard surface mounted), and they have MORE features than the audio series, not the other way around like they told you.

BTW, all features can be enabled via software which has time and again been proven by hackers (i.e. Dolby Digital decoding works on every Audigy under Vista, as well as CMSS works on most Live! cards, as do EAX4&5 (in software ofcourse, like on an Extreme Audio) - the list goes on forever).

If you just want good sound quality and do not care for accelerated audio - skip Creative altogether and turn elsewhere. For Enthusiast audio quality use good ADCs/DACs and you´re all set. Doesn´t matter what card is behind it, it just depends on the components used in the conversion of the signal and amplification stage.

If you want to build a board for gamers, use a full-blown X-Fi chip or leave it out completely. There´s no other choice.

saaya
09-21-2008, 01:19 AM
I discussed your comments and feedback with the team and we decided to go for the software solution! :D
Our sonar card is pretty damn good, and there really isnt much sense in dropping it for an old creative chip that is about the same or inferior to our sonar card while costing a bunch more.

now what does this software solution mean?

We will use the same add-in SONAR soundcard as on the blackops and avenger, its very low profile/short and will not occupy a pciE x1 slot! :D
We will use a slightly updated codec from realtek, the latest one, which supports more features (Dolby DTS etc) and is a tad more powerful.
We will offer you a driver that enables CMSS 3D, EAX 4.0 and other creative Xi-fi features
We will offer you a SONAR2 sound driver based on the realtek driver, for those of you who dont want to install a creative driver :D


So basically nothing really changes, we will provide you guys with a better audio hardware solution, the Sonar2, and we will offer you an optional upgrade to get CMSS 3D, EAX 4.0 and other Creative XiFi features via a special driver. For free! :D

This solution is a very nice compromise between added cost and added features imo, as the added costs are very small, the added features are entirely optional, and for those who want them, are very useful and appreciated :toast:

what do you guys think?

HDCHOPPER
09-21-2008, 01:22 AM
:up:

saaya
09-21-2008, 01:26 AM
PS: the Sonar2 should work in ALL Foxconn QuantumForce and many Foxconn Digital Life Mainboards! ;) :D
SO you guys can even upgrade your BlackOps and Avenger Boards and get the more powerful Realtek Codec or even Creative XiFi features on there :D

saaya
09-22-2008, 06:05 AM
sorry i took a while to reply to all of you guys, lots of work here...
I see. A software X-Fi solution would still be fantastic, considering how powerful today's CPU's are.
yeah, thats what i think as well, and considering the low cost of such a software xifi solution there really isnt a down side to this :)


I for one like the onboard sound solution removed, with a pci-e 1x card bundled in. I like the empty backplate look with only usb, nics, and esata ports. :pyeah, i know what you mean... me too, but there are a lot of people who want onboard sound cause its enough for them... and a bundled soundcard or no sound at all in the end mean for those people that our board will cost them a fair bit more than competing boards with onboard sound :/

a bundled soundcard like the sonar, or the dfi karajan or the asus (forgot the name) are really low cost if you bundle them with every board... i cant post any detailled numbers here, but trust me, the money youd save if wed remove the sound all together would be so small its not really making a difference, but for those people who do want onboard sound it would be a relatively big loss.


not exactly related but is there any chance of a dedicated NIC with cash, it would lower pings and since its an enthusiast/gamer platform it would be greatyou mean cache?
mhhhh is that really usefull? how would it lower the ping?
is there a NIC solution with cache?
I was looking for a way to get better and faster NIC solutions since it really makes a difference when your gaming... but everybody only has the usual 1gbit NICs... some support teaming, thats the only special feature that i could find :D


can you overclock it :D

dont care really unless it helps overclocking :rofl:weeeeelll not really...
but we dis-integrated the entire sound-circuit onto a seperate add in card, which reduces noise inside the pcb and helps overclocking. so by having an add in soundcard by itself its helping overclocking, or at least makes sure it doesnt stand in its way. plus we use the HDA bus and not pci or usb or pciE etc, hence audio should work fine even when overclocking to high speeds :)


hey Saaya,
Instead of polling us to see whether we want the x-fi chip on a new board, why don't you poll everyone to see **what sound solution they use** (i.e. onboard or a card) and then you'll know what to do :)
good point!, let me go and open one right away :D



So the audio won't be a true X-fi. It will be a dumbed down X-fi using an old SBLive chip, much like Creative's X-fi Xtreme Audio(Over glorified Audigy???) So creative can call it an x-fi to sell more to unsuspecting people thinking they are in fact getting a X-fi. And now you want to follow in their steps and put an "X-fi" onboard to help sell it, when it doesn't really have a X-fi.


If you ain't first, your last! ;)hear hear... thats why i left cellshock and joined foxconn, there are engineers and employees from abit dfi msi asus and gigabyte here, and they really have the spirit to be the first in the oc segment :D


@Saaya: the audio quality of the Creative Emu-Chips does NOT, I repeat NOT depend on whether it is called Audigy, Live! or X-Fi. It does NOT depend on the Chip either, it depends on the DACs / ADCs which are NOT part of the chip.
These digital/analog converters are what has been upgraded the most between the old Live! series and the current Audigy generation, and since they´ve reached an almost even quality among all cards produced these days by creative it is no wonder why a "cheap" card sounds as good as an "expensive" one with a completely different chip on it - their digital audio is processed by the same chips and then sent to your speakers.

Don´t be fooled by creative, the real X-Fi chips are more expensive because they are more powerful, a completely new design from the old EMU-series (you can easily spot it, all new designs are BGA chips whereas the old ones are standard surface mounted), and they have MORE features than the audio series, not the other way around like they told you.

BTW, all features can be enabled via software which has time and again been proven by hackers (i.e. Dolby Digital decoding works on every Audigy under Vista, as well as CMSS works on most Live! cards, as do EAX4&5 (in software ofcourse, like on an Extreme Audio) - the list goes on forever).

If you just want good sound quality and do not care for accelerated audio - skip Creative altogether and turn elsewhere. For Enthusiast audio quality use good ADCs/DACs and you´re all set. Doesn´t matter what card is behind it, it just depends on the components used in the conversion of the signal and amplification stage.

If you want to build a board for gamers, use a full-blown X-Fi chip or leave it out completely. There´s no other choice.wow, you sure seem to know about soundcards, thanks for the headsup! :toast:
well how about the software solution then? im sure our hardware, the sonar cards, are pretty damn good and adding the xifi features is only a gain, not a loss... or would you disagree?
since you seem to know a lot about audio in general, can you recommend me a website that could test and review our audio solution?
Im really convinced its a very good piece of hardware and want it proven, OR, otherwise have an expert source to point out what needs to be improved to THEN ultimately have a very nice sound solution :D

hrahn
09-22-2008, 12:57 PM
Hi Saaya,
I´m really "only" an audio enthusiast when it comes to PCs, but on a moderate budget. It all started really with a Roland LAPC1 card and then I got hooked by the technically advanced Gravis Ultrasound enjoying 16 hardware mixable stereo channels with zero cpu load while all Sound Blaster 16 owners drooled over their single stereo channel :D

I do not know any audio review site atm I would really trust, I buy cards and evualuate them myself on the hardware I have (Microsoft Digital Sound System 80 to simulate a good pair of stereo desktop speakers, Plantronics 350 headset for the usual gaming tests, and a Technics SA-TX50 with two Visaton Vox 200 speakers for audio listening. For surround tests, an active woofer and a few Canton Plus XL are being hooked up to the Technics as well, sometimes I can get my hands on the Teufel Concept E Magnum of a friend (for surround gaming tests).
It´s all not top-of-the-notch stuff, but usually two to three steps above the things the masses are using, and more than enough to find most sound quality problems that may arise (i.e. distortion, compression, humming, general clarity (the VOXes really made me hate some of my old CDs, since on them you can already hear the difference between a good and a bad recording).

Testing sound cards in a studio and with proper equipment can give you raw numbers which are good for marketing, but it doesn´t say anything about the "feel" of the sound.
P.ex. most people I know leave CMSS3D and the Crystalizer switched on on their X-Fi cards, though both greatly change the way a recording sounds, even going as far as to add audible distortion. But many people do at least prefer the pseudo fuller, richer sound CMSS3D delivers.


So to cut it short: If you want the card reviewed well, just look for sites which have already in the past given favorable reviews to the likes of Asus Xonar or Via Envy-based offerings - their reviewers are potentially not too swayed in favor of Creative cards which are seen by many as a total must-have for gaming and therefore praised above anything else, despite their abysmal drivers and shady marketing practices.
Search for a sites who do more than just "gaming" tests, who also do DVD playback and - most important - music tests, preferably also with classical music and Jazz. Pop music and Metal is too compressed these days, too tinny to really evaluate the quality of a good soundcard, or any sound output device for that matter. (not that I don´t like the music styles, I´m a metalhead at heart, but the recordings from the past 10 years are... lacking).

If you want to try some good music yourselves, I recommend discs from Chesky records (www.chesky.com), they also had some audio test CDs, don´t know if they´re still offering them.

I am sorry that I can´t give you any better advice, but to my knowledge, 100% of the audiophile magazine sector only features bought reviews and hypes completely non-working or overblown products in an attempt to cash on the unknowing wanna-be audiophile (have you ever seen how high the margins are in high-end cable manufacturing? If you´re low on cash, make some "innovative" new cables... you´ll be driving Porsches in no-time).
De-magnetizing CDs, yeah, sure...
Therefore, from the view of any pc hardware maufacturer, I can NOT recommend sending in your sound card to any sound-only-review-site, unless it has:
- an rf shield which hides any potentially interesting chips and is not removable without breaking the card
- high end bamboo capacitors made by tiny little japanese wizards in their huts along the coastline
- gold plated everythings
- at least 6,3mm headphone and microphone jacks, better yet a panel with symmetrical XLR outputs for every single channel. Even better, make the whole card external, with just a small internal board connecting to the PCIe bus for higher bandwith and clearer audio (all signals are being sent 4 times to insure the data is valid when it reaches the card, the card muxes the 3 best signals at any given time to create the perfect output signal)
- if you have any amplification circuits on the card, use a battery to power them to remove any humming from the power supply.

If you follow there rules,and put a price tag higher than 1000$ on it, a high score in any audio magazine will be guaranteed!

If you want to make a good sound card which appeals both to gamers and music lovers, you seem to be on the right track.
Please consider only using solid capacitors with very tight specs on this card.
Considering the EAX software route, you seem to have found a great way of adding features without adding cost. Normally, I recommend doing everything in hardware (i am an efficiency junkie), but these days, with quad cores starting at just over 100€ a piece, I think it´s reasonable to offload some stuff onto the CPU.

saaya
09-25-2008, 10:22 PM
hrahn, thanks! :toast:

well i do trust xbit in their sound reviews... and i read a nice review some months ago comparing some new version of the asus xonar with other sound cards, and they did both rightmark tests as well as subjective tests with 5 people iirc, and then added something like 3/5 preferred X and said it delivers a more clear sound etc etc. unfortunately i dont remember what site this review was on and havent been able to find it again :/

i totally agree, even if your solution does well in the lab, it doesnt mean your customers will actually like it. while labs might complain about overblown and distorted base sounds, that might exactly be what the customers like... :D

Anyways, thanks a lot for the suggestions, ill check if xbit or some other decent audio review site can check out how good of a job our engineers did :D

and yes, when i worked for cellshock my office/lab building was right next to Oelbach, so i DO know how much money you can make with high end audio and video (HDMI) cables :D


If you want to make a good sound card which appeals both to gamers and music lovers, you seem to be on the right track.
Please consider only using solid capacitors with very tight specs on this card.
Considering the EAX software route, you seem to have found a great way of adding features without adding cost. Normally, I recommend doing everything in hardware (i am an efficiency junkie), but these days, with quad cores starting at just over 100€ a piece, I think it´s reasonable to offload some stuff onto the CPU.thanks again :toast:
and yes, looking at how many cores people have idling is just nuts, using 5% of one of those idle cores really wont hurt. and since the lkatest games still dont use all cores completely, we should only see a single fps or so lost due to the cpu spending some few cycles on the audio, probabaly not even that :D

about the caps, all i know is that we use ultra low ESR caps... whatever that means :P