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EAX - What's the big deal?

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March 16, 2009 7:52:06 PM

I keep hearing people talk about how EAX is a big deal when buying a Sound Card, so i'm going to take 5 minutes to go over why buying a card just for EAX would be a mistake.

First, keep in mind most cards, and even most onboard sound solutions support the EAX 2.0 spec:
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32 simultaneous voices processable in hardware
Occlusion Effects
Material-specific reverb parameters


EAX 3.0
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64 simultaneous voices processable in hardware
'Smoothing' between 3D audio environments
Direct access to all reverb parameters
Environmental Panning
New reverb engine
Beginning of the AdvancedHD Designation from new reverb engine


EAX 4.0
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Real-time hardware effects
Multiple simultaneous environments
Flange
Echo
Distortion
Ring modulation effects


EAX 5.0
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128 simultaneous voices processable in hardware and up to 4 effects on each
EAX Voice (processing of microphone input signal)
EAX PurePath (EAX Sound effects can originate from one speaker only)
Environment FlexiFX (four available effects slots per channel)
EAX MacroFX (realistic positional effects at close range)
Environment Occlusion (sound from adjacent environments can pass through walls)


The issue I have with EAX is this: based on testing I have done with diffrent effect, EAX 3.0 features can also be done using my onboard Realtek device (64 simultaneous voices, 'Smoothing' between 3D audio environments, Environmental Panning ). Even some EAX 4.0 effects (echo being the easiest to test) seem to be done using my Razer Barracuda, which coincidentally supports the EAX 5.0 standard of 128 simultaneous voices. While EAX might give some advantages using EAX enabled games, for general use, there is no diffrence between using EAX vs. a non EAX sound card...

Didn't that sound just like the PhysX argument? Too bad PhysX has more supported games then EAX...

Also, from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_audio_extens...)
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According to Creative's OpenAL 1.1 specification, EAX should be considered deprecated. New development should use OpenAL's EFX interface, which is more tightly coupled with the overall OpenAL framework.

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March 17, 2009 7:49:14 AM

EAX is proprietary technology developed and owned by creative therefore no razer has it. you're just acting an employee of a different sound card company to grief others into not buying what they might enjoy more than other sound card's non-EAX stuff. cause creative owns this tech and only they have it. the rest are just imitators
March 17, 2009 11:04:21 AM

bpogdowz said:
EAX is proprietary technology developed and owned by creative therefore no razer has it. you're just acting an employee of a different sound card company to grief others into not buying what they might enjoy more than other sound card's non-EAX stuff. cause creative owns this tech and only they have it. the rest are just imitators

Wrong. The EAX 2.0 spec is supported by most every card out there. And the effects from EAX 3.0-5.0 have largly been implemented in various discrete sound solutions, hence the reason why I fail to see why EAX is worth buying a card over, especially since Creative admits is been replaced by its new OpenAL standard.
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May 14, 2009 12:17:01 AM

"i'm going to take 5 minutes to go over why buying a card just for EAX would be a mistake."-That sounds like you are using guilt and making people feel bad for a choice they made. I don't like how you are using the whole guilt thing to get people to not buy a Creative soundcard, and have them miss out on something they could have liked better than what you are reccomending. Even if you cannot understand why people choose something that you don't prefere really doesn't call for you to blame them for their decision, or calling it a mistake (which is your personal view) and I feel you really could go without telling people and pressuring them that it IS a mistake when it's just your personal view on the issue. I dislike how you use the guilt factor and saying it's a mistake to ALL the people reading, when it is, just the opinion of one individual.

On to things that I CAN agree on with your post, for me, the EAX 4.0 was my favorite. I loved the effects it had, and the fact that they worked in real time. In my view, they were great. I learned so much from their EAX effects. But, here's the downside. The later models is where I thought, they began to suck. They lacked the effects, and now, their "Advanced" HD is limited to just reverb effects. Nothing too special for me.

But, the thing I don't like about the EAX so-called "advanced HD" is how Creative removes effects and just leaves us with reverb based effects! Like, on the Live! series, they had pitch shifting, reverb, chorus, ring modulation, frequency shifter etc. I was very upset when I reccieved my X-Fi soundcard and it didn't hve those effects.

That's my problem. It seems with every "upgrade" for "new" EAX, something is missing from the previous models, which, for me, is a real shame.

So, in THAT case, buying a soundcard just for EAX effects CAN BE mistake. It would be much better if Creative actually kept the other effects instead of stripping a (in my opinion) a great set of effects without giving a clear definition of the contents and what effects the EAX carries.
May 14, 2009 12:21:34 AM

bpogdowz said:
EAX is proprietary technology developed and owned by creative therefore no razer has it. you're just acting an employee of a different sound card company to grief others into not buying what they might enjoy more than other sound card's non-EAX stuff. cause creative owns this tech and only they have it. the rest are just imitators


Very well said. This person is making it sound like it's a bad thing to buy something that individual doesn't like. To add, the whole guilt thing is very correct. This person sounds like some butthurt fan of another soundcard who is trying to pressure others into not buying something that they may like more than what they are recomending. Shame some people have to resort of name calling and snobby tactics and go about forcing their opinions on others when it is just their own personal view.
May 14, 2009 12:33:37 PM

I was pointing out the fact that everyone was going on and on and on about how EAX was the main reason why people were buying from Creative. I was mearly trying to show that EAX is about as useless as PhysX. Heck, at least PhysX has some actual support these days...
May 14, 2009 6:09:02 PM

Please, OpenAL is an OPEN standard; its been around for ages. Creative simply threw on some functionallity on top of it (as is allowed by the API), and started calling it one of its standards. I created a Java project using OpenGL and OpenAL 6 years ago while in college.

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Openal can need quite a bit of processing power i believe if a game uses the effects properly and most other soundcards don't have anything as dedicated as creative's chips.


Except Auzentech, ASUS, and possibly Turtle Beach and Razer...Sound processing isn't that taxing a job, most of the work goes to improving an existing signal and eliminating noise. I've considiered ASUS cards better for a few years now anyway.

Directsound3D can handle most everything mandated by EAX 5.0. Heck, BF2 uses EAX 5.0, and the game still sounds horriffic by todays standards. And most of the games I saw on Creatives site were from pre-2006; The newest title I saw with EAX support was Mass Effect. And quite frankly, when I tested it with my old ExtremeGamer against my Xonar D2X, I found that it sounded better on the D2X.
May 15, 2009 7:28:24 AM

gamerk316 said:
I was pointing out the fact that everyone was going on and on and on about how EAX was the main reason why people were buying from Creative. I was mearly trying to show that EAX is about as useless as PhysX. Heck, at least PhysX has some actual support these days...


Uuuummmm...first you say that EAX is ABOUT as useless as PhysX, and then you say how PhysX has more support? So...does that mean that because EAX is "about' as usless, that it does have some benifits over PhysX? I thought you were trying to say that PhysX was BETTER than Creative's EAX. Seems you've just contradicted yourself by saying that!

Sounds like you just don't understand period. Based from what you've said, you have never owned a Creative soundcard, nor experienced their features.

Though, you trying to "show" how Creative's EAX is useless, you cannot really show anyone that it is, or isn't useless, based on ap ersonal opinion.

But, all in all, you do have your view on things, and I have mine. I cannot change your views, and you cannot change mine.

I'm biased to Creative's soundcards. I love the effects they come with. Ring modulator and frequency shifter were neat effects. Too bad their most recent soundcards lack the previous EAX effects.

I do have to say that EAX for me, wasn't just entertainment. I learned from using their EAX effects. i learned about waveforms, frequencies, reverb and echo and how they worked, not to metnion the idfference between reverb and echo, how to read frequencies, and about hertz value. So, for me it was useful, it taught me so much, I learned a lot from using it.
November 26, 2009 1:51:52 AM

Everyone (excluding gamerk316) on this post need to CALM DOWN. It sounds like you guys are the ones who are working for creative and are bashing every other sound card company out there. The guy was just saying how EAX doesnt mean much when shopping for a sound card. Just cuz this guy doesnt think EAX is a big deal doesnt mean you need to start crying cuz "someone is bashing precious creative sound cards" dont crap your star wars tighty wighties over something so insuggnificant as a dumb sound card. Personally, I believe if you even buy a sound card you are wasting money. Buy a motherboard with intigrated and youll be fine!!! My motherboard doesnt even have EAX on it and it sounds just as good as my PS3 running Dolby Digital (and dont say i cant talk because i dont know wat im missing cuz i HAVE heard EAX 4.0 and there aint much difference at all).
November 26, 2009 3:25:19 AM

EAX had its day but progress changes everything, things changed when Vista hit the scene as has already been said, I still love to drop back to WinXP and play some of my games and take full advantage of the EAX capabilities of the soundcard I own.

I solidly remember the days when if you didn't have an EAX capable soundcard you really missed out on the experiences you could have using it, in every new game supporting it.

As I said times change, I still remember my first Soundblaster Live 5.1 surround card bringing Aliens vs Predator to life, and initially got me hooked on the EAX experience.

I fail to see the comparison to PhysX though, IMO PhysX has been useless from the very beginning theres just no comparison to the EAX successful gaming experiences through the years.

But we're in new territory now so Creative with Vista and Win7 have to rethink everything so EAX's days are really just a part of history now, but WinXP allows some great EAX gaming still, and will for years to come.

To the OP, thanks for this thread and chance to walk down memory lane, but EAX is really only worth anything, in First Person Shooter games, where you can hear an enemy coming up from behind you, or from the side, or ahead of you, theres the EAX key right there.

November 26, 2009 2:47:51 PM

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You brought this up why?

This was also an odd thread as you can tell by my exchange with gamer. That was a period where every thread degenerated into mindless arguing. No reason to keep it open really.


Well assuming you are addressing my post, EAX is no reason to buy a soundcard today if you're running Vista or Win7.

Those features are really emulated with the Alchemy Drivers in Vista, and any game played in WinXP with EAX fully functional compared to how you end up with the emulated experience in Vista, makes you feel completely ripped off, that the money was invested in the high end soundcard in the first place.

Anyone actually using the soundcards should already know this!

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You brought this up why?


FYI, I was confirming what you had already said, just walked down memory lane to do it and there was some sarcasm involved.

Whenever users here cannot make their points without major arguments happening you are right, there's no reason to keep this thread open.
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