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[Expertreviews] Sound Blaster ZxR review - Page 5

post #41 of 150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutuz View Post

The difference being Creative mostly deserves their reputation for bad drivers, whereas AMDs seem to be the result of a loud minority. (ie. Dual cards)

:::shrug::: Never had issues with them.

Also to the poster who asked, THS studio software replaced CMSS-3D and does the same functions, and it (positional audio) does work with headphones and speakers. The positional audio in games and movies is quite excellent.
post #42 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoleras View Post

:::shrug::: Never had issues with them.
Also to the poster who asked, THS studio software replaced CMSS-3D and does the same functions, and it (positional audio) does work with headphones and speakers. The positional audio in games and movies is quite excellent.

Does it sound similar or identical to CMSS? Because I know there was some perceivable difference with the Recon3D cards.



Obviously set Windows speakers to Stereo and disable CMSS or THX and use a normal pair of headphones for this.


And here is a CMSS vs Dolby Headphone:


Edited by zinfinion - 1/5/13 at 4:49pm
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post #43 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfinion View Post

The weird thing is the Creative press release says "The Sound Blaster Zx incorporates all the hardware and software features of the Sound Blaster ZxR except for the DBpro daughter board."
Yet as mentioned above the SNR on the Zx is lower, as well it's not clear if the Zx has swappable op-amps.
Creative needs to clear this up, because right now it's rather confusing.
Edit: Haha, later in that same press release it says "The Sound Blaster Z incorporates all the hardware and software features of the Sound Blaster Zx except for the ACM."
So there is clearly a ton of FUD in there because the hardware on the Z board is obviously far different than what is on the ZxR board. This release makes it sound like the Z is a ZxR minus the daughter board and the volume knob which it obviously is not.

The hardware as you say is totally different between the Z (and Zx) to the Zxr as the pictures below show:



NB: pics found on [H]
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post #44 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reworker View Post

The hardware as you say is totally different between the Z (and Zx) to the Zxr as the pictures below show:

NB: pics found on [H]

LOL. Do you know if there are any Z vs Zx board shots, or are the boards identical? I could have sworn someone mentioned the Z would be using inferior caps than the Zx but at this point who knows.

Edit: Never mind. I found the [H] thread (so much cat fighting in there), which I had actually read a few weeks back. Looks like the person who posted the board pics confused the ZxR for the Zx which is why I was confused as well since they hadn't been corrected at the time I read it.

So to summarize:

Zx = Z + Audio Control Module (and it looks like they both use the same quality of caps)
ZxR = A totally different beast all together.
Edited by zinfinion - 1/5/13 at 5:24pm
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post #45 of 150
I think the Z and Zx probably have the same PCB, but this is just an educated guess as I haven't been able to find a shot of the actual Zx board without the red aluminium cover. This is the thread at [H], but there is some confusion there as well as to the specs of these cards.


http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1733502


I'm waiting for the Zx card to become available at my favorite online retailer, but this card is tricky to find at the moment.
Edited by Reworker - 1/5/13 at 5:12pm
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post #46 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reworker View Post

I think the Z and Zx have the same PCB, but this is just an educated guess...

I'm going to presume the same until proven otherwise. I'm half tempted to order a Zx from Amazon right now (9 left in stock) just to satisfy my curiosity, and then return it if it's not a real upgrade over the X-Fi. I mean hey, they took back a $700 display no problem, so I don't think it would be an issue if it turned out I didn't want to keep it. biggrin.gif
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post #47 of 150
So how is the actual sound quality?
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post #48 of 150
ZxR look like a card who can actually finally come close/match STX for music playback
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post #49 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoleras View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutuz View Post

The difference being Creative mostly deserves their reputation for bad drivers, whereas AMDs seem to be the result of a loud minority. (ie. Dual cards)

:::shrug::: Never had issues with them.

Honestly, apart from a few really bad proven issues around the time of Vista's launch Creative isn't that bad anymore, but discrete audio drivers from ASUS and Creative tend to suck in general in my experience. (Owned an X-Fi and own a Xonar DX)
    
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post #50 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoleras View Post

I've used a xonar STX soundcard and the titanium HD was definitely better in terms of positional audio hands down. Not that the xonar was bad -- let me be clear in that the xonar is an excellent card. But it is not good at positional audio even compared to the X-fi Titanium HD.

I disagree. In games that don't use EAX or openal which is beyond dead these days Dolby headphone sounds better than cmss and THX, in my opinion.
Quote:
The ZX/ZXR are even better than the Titanium HD in terms of 3d positional audio...

rolleyes.gif

How so?

Do you know how positional audio works in modern games? The channels are premixed by the audio engine. The sound card has nothing to do with that. You do have to option to take a 7.1 (in the case of the STX) or 5.1 (with the titanium hd and probably zxr) signal and mix that to create a virtual surround with headphones.
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