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X-Fi Xtrememusic questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So I picked up this card about 2 months ago after realizing the onboard sound on my motherboard was not only failing to realize the full quality of my speakers, but it was also taking performance away from the CPU.

Got it, set it up just fine. Now I've a couple of questions.

1. Is it necessary to switch to Game Mode every time I want to play a game? Does this actually boost performance a good bit or is it just a flashy mode that makes you think the card is more awesome than it is? I do it anyway, but its a pain in the ass because I have to switch back to Entertainment mode to listen to music and stuff (I have the Crystalizer and some other settings enabled in this mode that I don't in gaming mode).

2. Occasionally when switching modes, I get a high pitched whiney noise out of the speakers. It is solved by switching back, and then back again... does this happen to anyone else? I hope this card isn't borked already. It was too expensive for me to have to deal with this crap.

3. Any optimal settings I should be using for the Bass and Treble in the Advanced Play Control thing in Windows? Right now I have Bass to about 40% and Treble to about 60%. This would be mainly for music listening quality. My gaming audio quality is just fine.

Thanks for any help.
    
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post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarton View Post
So I picked up this card about 2 months ago after realizing the onboard sound on my motherboard was not only failing to realize the full quality of my speakers, but it was also taking performance away from the CPU.

Got it, set it up just fine. Now I've a couple of questions.

1. Is it necessary to switch to Game Mode every time I want to play a game? Does this actually boost performance a good bit or is it just a flashy mode that makes you think the card is more awesome than it is? I do it anyway, but its a pain in the ass because I have to switch back to Entertainment mode to listen to music and stuff (I have the Crystalizer and some other settings enabled in this mode that I don't in gaming mode).

2. Occasionally when switching modes, I get a high pitched whiney noise out of the speakers. It is solved by switching back, and then back again... does this happen to anyone else? I hope this card isn't borked already. It was too expensive for me to have to deal with this crap.

3. Any optimal settings I should be using for the Bass and Treble in the Advanced Play Control thing in Windows? Right now I have Bass to about 40% and Treble to about 60%. This would be mainly for music listening quality. My gaming audio quality is just fine.

Thanks for any help.

1. it is not necessary, but advisable.
For example, I have gaming set up to use headphones with CMOS 3D enabled. Entertainment mode is set up to have 2/2.1 speakers (even though I use headphones) and CMOS 3D and all other things are turned off.
Audio Creation mode is set to bitperfect playback (I have an external DAC)

2. sometimes there is a noise when switching... updating your software/drivers should help

3. I don't use any EQ when listening to music (bitperfect) but you should use the EQ in the Creative console not the Windows one. For EQ use whatever sounds best to you.

on a side not... you will get better SQ by lowering frequencies instead of raising them. ie. if you want a bass boost, instead of raising the bass bar, lower the trebel bar.
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post #3 of 8
Game mode utilizes the X-Ram on your card. BF2 will say you don't have an X-Fi if you don't gave it on Game mode.
As a general rule, for gaming, keep it on game mode, turn EAX on at max (12dB), and Crystalliser sounds best (to me) at 60%. CMSS-3d is a must for Headphone gaming, so keep it on at Stereo Surround, 50% [Even with surround speakers, for good measure =)], and make sure SVM is off - I had it on for a while by mistake, and wondered why games sounded poor all of a sudden. Just get in the habit of switching. I seem to open coolbits, overclock, switch X-Fi mode and open FRAPS at least 12 times a day. Would feel wierd not to do that now =)

As for the high pitched noise, I get that occasionally. Most people (like for my system) pin it to a problem with nForce 4 compatability, but as you're running an intel chipset, that can't be it. No idea on this one. Usually I get this problem when I switch with a sound using program open - Usually Cubase SL.
As for Windows EQness, I agree with solo - Use Creative's EQ if any. Also tweak the THX setup console to get the bass to the sweet spot for you.
Hope that helps
~Kahuna
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ah yes, the THX settings that never installed for me (like another poster posted a thread about a bit down from mine). I guess it's cause instead of grabbing the drivers off the CD, I just went and downloaded the newest ones. Next time should I install the drivers from the CD, and then install the newer ones over it? Right now all I have is the Audio Console, which has no EQ settings or THX mention.

Thanks for the recommendations on gaming settings. I'm gonna try those out. Should I even have CMSS3D on for music listening in Entertainment mode? I have it on now but I don't know if its worth bothering.
    
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post #5 of 8
Depends on your speaker configurations as to whether CMSS-3d is worth it. For surround systems, I recommend it to be on and set to Stereo Surround 50% [So it's out of all speakers equally], but, of course, season to taste.
Download Driver Cleaner pro [Works with Creative drivers and is free], run it, and re install the drivers from the CD. You should get a tick box asking what you want installed [If not, look for a 'Custom Installation' tick box] and make sure THX is there. Then grab the updated drivers. I installed them straight on top with no cleaning. - You've got the idea =D
It's your sound - Its mostly personal preferance. But these are my guidlines =)
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much again. I think I'll do that when I re-format Windows (should be soon, this installation is past 6 months now and we all know a Windows installation cannot function well beyond that )

I found a little utility to help me with changing modes, it's awesome.

http://www.freewebs.com/spectra9/xfmc.html
    
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post #7 of 8
i have an xtreme music and when i am in game mode, for the cmms headphones thing there is no surround/meter bar option like in entertainment mode. how would i enable this? i can also switch to 5.1/7.1 speakers (even though i have headphones) and it will make it show up, is that bad?
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I can switch to the different speaker modes as well. I'm sure it doesn't harm anything, it just obviously wouldn't function as it should for that mode. I also don't seem to have a slider for CMSS3D in Gaming Mode... just a couple of drop down boxes that are set to Auto. Not sure if thats supposed to be like that or what.
    
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