Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by M0r4h3us, Sep 3, 2011.
As an aside, here's Daniel K on the Core3D:
Some new drivers, Mr Chilled (and others who've taken the plunge) - from Creative Labs themselves! Mind you, the release notes are just as useful as the MS Update ones: "•Multiple fixes that improves the driver's overall stability and performance."
Grab 'em from here. 134mb - will report back if I notice anything about them.
PS I do enjoy laughing at that "report" by Daniel K. People shouldn't judge something without ever having used it - even if they know how to disect the drivers. I guess at least some of it is accurate.
Thanks Thalyn, just installing now
Well, as you probably noticed they're at least WHQL certified. They include a newer ALchemy as well, in case you use it as much as I do (I've had to rig up a batch file to update the 87 instances I've got of it, since I keep losing my ALchemy settings file). Otherwise everything looks identical on the surface.
Only real change that I've noticed is that they're more stable with the EAX/EFX output plugin for WinAmp, but I haven't used it all that much yet so it's possible there are other improvements. At least nothing appears to be any worse or broken.
So far nothing at all has changed for me, nothing noticeable at least.
CMSS-3D versus THX tru studio
So let me get this straight, for gaming with headphones, is THX tru studio better, worse, or equivalent to CMSS-3D in terms of positional audio?
I know that CMSS-3D with headphones in an OpenAL game gives 3D audio from any direction, as opposed to just emulating a set of 7.1 speakers. I know that dolby headphone (as on xonar) just emulates the speakers. What does thx tru studio do?
Put simply, for 100% gaming with a decent set of cans ($250ish), and wanting the best positional audio, should I buy a X-Fi with CMSS-3D (probably auzentech forte) or a Core3D with thx tru studio (probably creative titanium HD)?
The X-Fi Titanium HD isn't Core3D; it's a full-fat X-Fi with a CA20K2 chip.
I, personally, recommend the Titanium HD, based on my own experience with it and the Forte. The HD's been nothing but bliss. The Forte was nothing but trouble.
I was under the impression that the HD wouldn't allow you to use TruStudio unless you were in Entertainment mode, negating most of the other benefits of using an X-Fi for gaming purposes. Fine, naturally, if you're not using it for gaming - but a little disappointing if you are.
As for Boron Boy's question... I always found CMSS-3D to be a little "mechanical" in terms of output quality. That's not to say I didn't use it, but I would notice it quite clearly when I had it on that there was a negative effect on the output quality. TruStudio doesn't (to my ears) have the same negative impact.
Which is the better faux 3D, though? That, I'm afraid, I cannot answer. I only have one functional ear, so a lot of the 3D effect is lost on me. What I can say, though, is that the Recon3D (possibly as a side-effect of TruStudio, possibly not) seems to work more "accurately" with regards to 3D sound - effects on the left are still produced on the right, with appropriate muting, that more accurately reflects the way real-world sounds work.
Mind you, if the HD does let you use the TruStudio while in gaming mode than that would probably be having the best of both worlds. That would be something I'd be curious to find out as I recently learned, though unintented side-effects of trying to make a DiY amp, that a Recon3D doesn't appreciate having 9v run through its HDA connector.
I'd say five'll get you ten that CMSS-3D *is* Trustudio.
George Lucas might have a few words to say about that. Especially in today's litigious society, they'd hammer Creative into the ground if they used the same process without the licensed name on it. Unless, of course, they just licensed the name and stuck it on their own stuff... which would be counterintuitive for THX, given what the brand name is supposed to represent.
I did have an interesting realisation as I picked up my Recon's replacement earlier, though (a basic Recon3D, which I then transplanted my Fatal1ty's shroud to). I did a little more research on the subject (people still haven't reviewed them properly) and I suddenly had a technological flashback to before my time. People invariably comment on the Recon's board and the lack of "stuff" on it, but it makes me wonder...
...what did people first say of transistors compared to valves?
...what did people first say of operational amplifiers (op-amps) compared to transistors?
It's kind-of amazing to think that people are still skeptical of miniaturisation in today's world.
what???... you mean Creative would never strip out important componentry and functionality for the sake of increasing their profits?
That's pretty much ALL THX represents.
Or they're naive as to the desire for more profits, indeed.
Am I reading this right?? they took all the stuff that made the x-fi good; like, the stuff on the card and they replace it with stuff that is so-so and some basic software?
This is the new deal??
Five'll get you ten. I'm willing bet this is Creative's push into the mobile space; the Core3D is a mobile chip. The hardcore gaming stuff is software now; the THX stuff is the hardware.
In a PC environment, this doesn't make sense. That THX stuff could probably be done easily on the CPU, whereas the tough, parallel stuff would be done on hardware...but it's not.
Why? You don't need 128 OpenAL voices or EAX 5 on a tablet. However, THX TruStudio, noise canceling, voice enhance, Crystalizer, etc, DO come in handy on a tablet or phone. They're great for cleaning up calls, or voice recording, or MP3 playback. Running them in hardware would save a lot of battery life and CPU cycles.
And, hell, the Recon3D cards wouldn't be so bad...at about a 66% discount.
Yeah, I'm readin' it right. damn.
Maybe they'll release a new non- xfi premium card for gamers to meet the exacting audio demands of the modern gaming studio?
"A green socket"??
Looks best to stick with xfi titanium for budget alrounder
I'm usually the first to be pessimistic. I thought I'd try something different for a change. Though the Fatal1ty series is clearly adding to the price with no reason, in the same way that shoes and clothes are sold for the name more than the product.
Realistically, the only people who know for certain are Creative themselves. They haven't exactly come out and made a claim either way, which could be taken as a sign that they have applied liberal amounts of snake oil in its creation.
As a case of pure theory, though, it's entirely possible that they have made some strides in miniaturisation. It's not exactly like there's any real competition to speak of when it comes to sound cards, requiring the marketing boys to come up with all manner of new and exciting buzz words like with graphics cards. The sound market appears to be fought on very, very different grounds which have only two levels: good enough and paper champion.
Realistically, all Joe Public cares about is the words "quad core", Dolby and perhaps SNR (despite anything over 96dB being redundant for everything outside studio purposes) - talking about much else related to the hardware doesn't help when your only compeition comes from the known software codecs of Realtek and Cirrus Logic. Though not talking about it clearly hurts them in the enthusiast market, so perhaps they need to find more of a middle-ground.
Still, I bought a second one after killing my first. No regrets. Still not convinced hardware acceleration is missing, either - I'm yet to find a means to confirm it through actual testing, rather than a simple capability list, and the tests I have been able to run suggest it's alive and well.
My thoughts on Recon3D are that the card is good for gaming. But that’s all.
I think its up there with the better X-fi offerings, again only for gaming.
I also think its a better gaming card than the Xonar range.
For music its not very good. It has a saturated bass - common with low-end audio gear.
The actual sound quality isnt too bad, but the ridiculous bass destroys the midrange.
Audio noobs should love that bass though.
As others have said above, it should appeal to the "average Joe".
My main gripe with the card is its "cheap" feel.
You open the cheap feeling box and you get a card with basically one chip on it, and that’s about it (and that chip has a plastic cover over it to make it look bigger).
I just felt ripped off as soon as I opened the box.
I def would NOT buy this card for music, If you don’t mind the feeling of being bent over by Creative, in all fairness it is a good gaming card.
I wouldnt but another one and the fatal1ty version looks to be a badge rip.
So if I have a 5.1 system that I'm not using thru a reciever (Swans M60) and want to both listen to music and game (have a decent set of cans as well), whats the verdict and what should I be using? I've currently got a forte which I'm kind of happy, but considering I'm going to move to a Asus Maximus V with XFI MB2 and is isolated with a headphone amp, I'm not sure where I should be going and thought about the Recon3D but is kind of obvious that its woeful for music.
"Woeful" is perhaps a bit harsh. Perhaps its timbre won't be to everyone's tastes, but it's hardly bad at reproducing music. I've fed it everything from Phantom of the Opera and Brassed Off to CoLD SToRAGE and Apocalyptica, with just about everything in between, and I've never been disappointed with the results.
But, for some people, "good enough" won't ever be good enough. If that's you, maybe you'd be better off looking into something like the ODAC (Objective DAC). While I can appreciate the ability of the guy who designed it, it goes back into the "paper champion" category I mentioned earlier - if it's as good as he claims, you'll never be able to hear how much better it is than anything else because your equipment (including your ears) simply won't be good enough.
I should mention that my own listening contradicts Smiddi's opinion of the bass. In particular, listening to the Brassed Off sountrack you're still able to hear the valves operate on their tubas during the quieter sections, as well as the musicians breathing. These are very small sounds which would easily be drowend out by heavy-handed bass. Having spent a number of years in my youth playing tubas (and other instruments), such sounds something I remember very clearly - and they're in no way diminished.