They say what I've seen on this board and many others, the xonar's better for music.
They're pretty down on the software equivalent of EAX in that thread, and I've seen many reviews that do suggest that eax is better than gx2.0 as far as "the sound came from deep inside the bathroom to your left" vs. "the sound came from inside the bathroom to your left"
I've also heard people claim it's not a noticeable difference. For a thorough summation:http://techgage.com/article/creative...s_ds3d_gx_20/7
Edited by JackArbiter - 12/17/08 at 1:01pm
|Creative's EAX technology has dominated the 3D audio landscape for quite some time now, despite the fact that every version of the specification after 2.0 was proprietary. But ASUS has managed to incorporate the same basic functionality of EAX 5.0 (128-voice environmental reverb and occlusion) into their DS3D GX 2.0 driver extension, challenging Creative's dominance and forcing us all to ask if the days of proprietary, hardware-bound environmental DSP could be behind us.
In the three games I tested, I found that while EAX effects on the Creative X-Fi had a slight edge in sound quality when compared to the Xonar, it was hardly a night-and-day difference. The strange artifacts I heard under BioShock were likely due to the fact that I was using a patched driver to conduct the tests - ASUS sent me an updated file to be included in the driver installation that would allow EAX to be enabled within BioShock.
It's clear that the Xonar drivers and ASUS' DS3D GX extension set both need a bit more work to bring them up to the level of Creative's hardware-based DSP, but the success of the ASUS card under both BioShock and Prey definitely proves that software-based DSP effects are coming of age.
The significance of the testing and conclusions detailed in the preceding three pages is thus: While ASUS hasn't managed to de-throne the X-Fi's hardware-accelerated EAX environmental and positional audio effects where sound quality is concerned, they've come extremely close, and have managed to duplicate much of the functionality of EAX 5 to boot.
In fact, as far as practical conclusions are concerned, in most games you're not even likely to notice a difference, and if you do, it's a slight one at that. There was also no perceptible effect on smoothness of gameplay when using the ASUS Xonar sound card, despite the fact that my 'reference' rig might have been cutting edge, oh, say, a couple years ago (with the exception of the video and audio subsystems).