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Thread: Hardware acceleration benefit from X-fi in games

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    Hardware acceleration benefit from X-fi in games

    I have read that this card can reduce CPU load by up to 5% in games and offers greatly improved sound over headphones or good speakers. This is when compared with most motherboard onboard sound chips and the Audigy chipset.

    Can anyone verify this? I am looking at the Fatal1ty edition because I really want the front panel (ouch on the price).

    Cheers

    Chunks

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    AC97 onboard sound is CPU intensive.

    HD onboard audio seems OK.

    I wouldn't expect to see any performance difference between audigy and Xfi (hence I bought an Audigy 2 se).

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    Senior Member this_is_gav's Avatar
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    Any decent Audigy will probably be a touch slower at things like EAX, but to expect anything more than a 3% boost would be optimistic IMHO.

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Sound from X-Fi is indeed better in games (can process more sound sources at once), i.e. you can only hear 3 sources of gun-fire previously now you can hear 6 sources, music is slightly better due to the higher SNR ratio.

    CPU usage shouldn't improve much compared to an Audigy2 BUT will be a lot better than AC97.
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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    Couple of percent at most, it really doesn't make a massive difference - though as some have said, it will be an improvement over AC97 audio

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    Any sound card from Live! is better than AC 97 for gaming after that the performance difference is pretty small. Audio quality is higher though.

    The x-ram in the expensive x-fi models apparently does pretty much nothing.

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    Moderator chuckskull's Avatar
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    Any standalone sound card will take some load off the CPU. as for which one to get, if you got the £59 get the OEM X-fi you wont be disappointed, otherwise Audigy 2/4 are both good cards.

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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazy_olie View Post
    Any sound card from Live! is better than AC 97 for gaming after that the performance difference is pretty small. Audio quality is higher though.

    The x-ram in the expensive x-fi models apparently does pretty much nothing.
    The only onboard sound I know that goes against that is the NVidia Soundstorm - but that wasn't very successful (in sales terms)

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    OK then, here is a review of sound cards showing Audigy 2, 4 and HD audio. You get a few frames per second improvement over HD audio, and I'm sure I have seen reviews in the past showing HD onboard audio better than AC97 onboard.

    Note that the Audigy 2 is faster than the Audigy 4. There is also a newer review on Anandtech of the X-fi which shows the Audigy 4 as faster than X-fi. Seems as the cards get more complex, so do the drivers so with better quality sound you get a reduction in frame rate

    I spent £16-50 on an OEM Audigy 2 on the back of those sorts of results. Good enough sound quality for me, and very cost effective.

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    i went with x-fi for the pure reason that it has a 24bit sound crystalliser that umphs those sounds in games and music. also it makes sound more realistic in games. it helps that you can enable ultra high in BF2 also.


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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    If you are CPU limited in games then yes, having a dedicated sound card can help. If your CPU is sitting around waiting for the graphics card to draw something then it's not going to make much difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    If you are CPU limited in games then yes, having a dedicated sound card can help. If your CPU is sitting around waiting for the graphics card to draw something then it's not going to make much difference.
    I suspect most people are CPU limited.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Really? I thought you only need something like a 2ghz AMD64 part to not be limited up to something like a 7900GT - depending on the game/resolution of course.

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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Really? I thought you only need something like a 2ghz AMD64 part to not be limited up to something like a 7900GT - depending on the game/resolution of course.
    The goalposts keep moving and different games work differently.....

    I would highly doubt that a 2GHz AMD chip would CPU-limit you on a 7900GT....in fact I doubt it would on a 6600GT.
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    Moderator chuckskull's Avatar
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    You have to remember processor load varies wildy during the course of just one match, at some points during the game you will be running at 100% CPU and then you're CPU limited, 30 seconds later it may be at 50%, which means you'll be GPU limted.

    The best bet is getting a balance, for example dont put a 7950GX2 in with a 2800+ sempron. and viceversa, no point having a X6800 and onboard graphics.

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    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
    I suspect most people are CPU limited.
    Really? ...Depends on res I suppose, but most modern games are usually GPU intensive, esp at high res or high FSAA and AF levels
    Quote Originally Posted by Noni
    What the hell does "WTH" mean


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