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EAX sound card

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April 19, 2012 12:25:00 AM

I like older games and I want an soundcard which supports all of EAX 1, EAX 2, EAX HD 3, EAX HD 4 and EAX HD 5. Can you please list any soundcards like that, and if there are more than one, recommend the best one? I'll probably get home theater-like 5.1 speakers in order to make the most of it. Is Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD like that? Its website only lists EAX 5.0 and says nothing about the previous ones.

P.S. I'd prefer one with enough analog outputs for 5.1, since I heard that using the optical of cards like Creative X-Fi Titanium HD would require a very expensive DAC in order to output the same or better quality in comparison with the card's built in DAC.

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April 23, 2012 3:53:42 AM

After seeing a few reviews I think I'll go for the Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD, but I wanna know how does it compare to the Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional and Titanium HD, and also if you can think of a better card than that which will suit my needs.
April 23, 2012 4:14:18 AM

Anybody has better drivers than Creative, but Creative is sure to have support for all the EAX formats. Another card to look at would be Asus's Xonar line.
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April 23, 2012 4:24:03 AM

I know Xonars have excellent sound quality, but I haven't seen even one of them with full hardware EAX support for all EAX-es

p.s. what a bummer, I've just found out that the hometheater hd emulates EAX in one review :(  i guess I'll have to go with a X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional, since I couldn't find a better card :( 
April 23, 2012 4:36:44 AM

That's true, for most manufactures it's software emulation. The Auzen is the only non-branded Creative one that I know of with hardware support.
April 23, 2012 2:00:26 PM

EAX is basically a dead spec at this point. Any X-fi card [aside from the ExtremeAudio and Bravura] supports every EAX mode. ASUS cards, while not X-fi based, emulate EAX 5 [which is the only one that really matters anyway, since EAX 3-4 were rarely used].

Most all chipsets, even onboard ones, can support EAX 1-2 nativly, since EAX was still an open spec when EAX 1-2 was defined.

Also, EAX is only emulated in SW as of windows Vista, since there is no longer any way to execute a Directsound API extension in hardware.
April 23, 2012 4:14:13 PM

That is true, the Vista and 7 audio stack changed vastly from XP in the way it handles API's.
April 23, 2012 5:41:06 PM

gamerk316 said:
EAX is basically a dead spec at this point.

Yeah, but most of my favorite games support either eax 2, 3, 4 or 5, so I want a sound card that has them hardware accelerated, and second to that to also have good sound quality for music and movies. The Creative X-Fi Titanium HD is definitely all that and a cherry on top, but connecting it to a 5.1 analog system would be a pain in the a**
April 23, 2012 5:59:15 PM

GodOfGaming said:
Yeah, but most of my favorite games support either eax 2, 3, 4 or 5, so I want a sound card that has them hardware accelerated, and second to that to also have good sound quality for music and movies. The Creative X-Fi Titanium HD is definitely all that and a cherry on top, but connecting it to a 5.1 analog system would be a pain in the a**


In Vista/7, EAX is NOT HW accelerated. The Directsound API [EAX was simply a Directsound extension] no longer has any way of reaching the soundcard driver, as it was re-designed sorely as a SW API. All the soundcard does is output the finished product.

Creative gets around this by intercepting all EAX calls and converts them into OpenAL calls [in software, using Alchemy on a per-program basis], which then go off to the soundcard. ASUS handles this through its drivers [automatically when GX mode is enabled]. Neither approach is foolproof though, and EAX in some games simply no longer work in Vista/7.
April 23, 2012 8:18:21 PM

I still use XP :D  To be more exact, I'm dualbooting, and installing all games and programs older than 2005 on XP. And since I play them the most, I stay in XP almost all the time, and only restart to boot Win7 if I decide to play a newer game, which is about once or twice a week at most. I know a lot of these older games work fine on 7 too, but there are also a lot of them that either don't work properly or don't start at all. And since I'm too lazy to check them one by one I simply go the simple way and put them on XP :) 

BTW I think I'll give up on the Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD since I found out the frequency range is too narrow, and maybe get Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional, since I can't find any better card with these APIs. Sure I'd love a X-Fi Titanium HD, but god knows how expensive would a good external DAC be...
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