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Windows 7 Hardware Sound Processing?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Was reading over in another forum on a game and someone said that X-fi cards were worthless with Windows 7 as it doesn't allow for hardware based processing?

I have a SB X-fi Plat that I got in like 2006 and am still running it in my sig rig is this a mistake? I like the I/Os it offers on the front panel but if it isn't really doing anything I will take it out.
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post #2 of 7
That card sounds better than onboard audio any day.

If you have no problems with it, why not stick with it?
post #3 of 7
No its not worthless. Only older games struggle to make use of it due to a change in the sound api. Newer stuff uses the new api and you can use alchemy to make the older stuff works. so its not useless
post #4 of 7
Older games do not "struggle" at all.

They are simply not hardware accelerated if they were created for

1) EAX or
2) Direct Sound HARDWARE acceleration

Otherwise those older games will have simply stereo with no advanced effects that they were coded for, or have Direct Sound done in software and your CPU will take a small hit.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help!
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by chalkbluffgrown View Post
Older games do not "struggle" at all.

They are simply not hardware accelerated if they were created for

1) EAX or
2) Direct Sound HARDWARE acceleration

Otherwise those older games will have simply stereo with no advanced effects that they were coded for, or have Direct Sound done in software and your CPU will take a small hit.
well I call it struggling when they don't have direct hardware access. Wonder what is ds3d and alchemy for then?
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by chalkbluffgrown View Post
Older games do not "struggle" at all.

They are simply not hardware accelerated if they were created for

1) EAX or
2) Direct Sound HARDWARE acceleration

Otherwise those older games will have simply stereo with no advanced effects that they were coded for, or have Direct Sound done in software and your CPU will take a small hit.
well I call it struggling when they don't have direct hardware access. Wonder what is ds3d and alchemy for then?

Windows Vista features a completely re-written audio stack based on the Universal Audio Architecture . Because of thearchitectural changes in the redesigned audio stack, a direct path from DirectSound to the audio drivers does not exist. DirectSound and other APIs such as MME are emulated as WASAPI Session instances. DirectSound runs in emulation mode on the Microsoft software mixer. The emulator does not have hardware abstraction, so there is no hardware DirectSound acceleration, meaning hardware and software relying on DirectSound acceleration may have degraded performance. It's likely a supposed performance hit might not be noticeable, depending on the application and actual system hardware. In the case of hardware 3D audio effects played using DirectSound3D, they will not be playable.
Third-party APIs such as ASIO and OpenAL are not affected by these architectural changes in Windows Vista. A solution for applications that wish to take advantage of hardware accelerated high-quality 3D positional audio is to use OpenAL. However,this only works if the manufacturer provides an OpenAL driver for their hardware.
As of 2007, a solution to re-enable hardwareacceleration of DirectSound3D and Audio Effects, such as EAX, called Creative ALchemy was launched. Creative ALchemy intercepts calls to DirectSound3D and translates them into OpenAL calls to be processed by supported hardware such as Sound Blaster X-Fi and Sound Blaster Audigy . For software-based Creative audio solutions, ALchemy utilizes its built-in 3D audio engine without using OpenAL at all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectSound
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