I recently bought a Logitech X-530 5.1 system which works fine on my onboard 7.1 sound card, but much to my disssappointment, games like mass effect and rome total war refused to run in surround sound mode, which made me realise that EAX and all that jazz isnt actually supported by my onboard soundcard.
What do games usually use in terms of a a surround sound engine (like EAX), and what card should I buy in order to have surround sound in these games? I'd also like to know if it's actually worth buying a sound card. I mean, does it really make that much of a difference if i have EAX enabled in a game, is it really THAT more immersive and exciting? I have a choice bewettn Creative, Azuntech and Asus. What should I go for?
let me start with good choice on the speakers.
Id advise, as i do most people, to go for an X-Fi card.
These are the most popular cards for sound in games and hence support all the major formats.
You can also get them incredibly cheaply atm with the basic card retailing (in the uk) for around £40
Eh, EAX is more or less for older games now, as even Creative admits it has depreciated the spec. Nevermind that Creatives own HW is sub-standard compared to the competition.
Best choices are:
Auzentech: Prelude/Forte; Both use the X-fi chipset, but use much higher quality parts then Creative does
ASUS: Xonar DX, Xonar D2/D2X; Does not use X-fi chipset, but like Auzentech uses higher quality parts. Emulates EAX5 through drivers, allowing decent compatability with EAX5 in most games.
HT Omega Striker; Very good soundcard that uses better parts then Creative, at a very affordable price. Lacks any EAX support.
To me, I'll take higher overall quality ahead of a few extra effects. If X-fi means that much to you, at least go Auzentech...