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What do I need for a good sound in DCS World?


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I am thinking about buying a new sound card.

I have a i7-2600 and a GTX-Titan.

 

Currently I am only using the on-board sound of my mainboard: Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec (up to 7.1 CH HD Audio).

 

Does anybody know if upgrading my system to a sound-card (e.g. Creative Z or ZxR) will improve the sound quality and/or a little bit the frame rate? A standard 3D-Sound (like Direct-X or X-Fi) doesn't seem to be supported by DCS World.

 

I am using very good headphones and earphones.


Edited by GKOver
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That's not quite correct.

 

A soundcard delivers a better sound with basically no CPU-load. It's superior in stereo and it's world apart with 5.1 or 7.1 !

 

The only problem is: If you use a 100$ Soundcard and a 10$ headset or speakers, you won't hear any difference from the onboard sound.

 

 

If you decide to invest some money in a decent 5.1 system or buy a Hifi-Headset plus seperate microphone, though, the difference will be :surprise:

 

Question is, how much of that you will notice with A-10C. The sound is great, but given the nature of flying an aircraft, it's pretty boring. If you play egoshooters, a soundcard with its clearer stereo-seperation is a definite advantage.

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You remind me of myself 10 years ago. I can't say i agree. Modern decent on board sound and x-fi type pci cards are no longer that different in quality.

 

I should know as i have both running through decent equipment. NAD amp & very high quality B&W speakers and a set of true 5.1 Kave headphones.

 

The difference all comes from the setup of equalisers & effects etc IMO. Maybe an expert running specific test could tell, but this game & music lover certainly can't hear the difference.

 

**

 

Regarding frame rates, it is true that a certain amount of CPU is needed for on board sound, and DCS is very CPU hungry.. so taking this load to an external card might help fps.. but i wouldn't expect much gain.

 

Kave? The Roccat Kave? Well, that explains it. I have one of those, too.

 

Try a Hifi-Headset, not one that cutts off bass at 50 Hz and transforms it into vibration. You will learn to love the difference and you will only use the Kave to collect dust, just like I did.

 

Besides that: it's undoubted, that you can use an equalizer to make the sound of an onboard prettier. But that was not the question, was it?

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@MadTommy and Feuerfalke: Thanks you for all of your answers. All of them were useful and believe all of them.

 

I think I won't buy a sound card unless DCS World will support a special standard (like e.g. the X-Fi, EAX etc.) and the on-board-sound won't support this standard.

I think there is currently no listenable difference for DCS World between on-board-sound and a soundcard. Which such support the sound should be much better.

 

May be that I will buy a sound card in the near future. But there is another reason for that: I just want to record old tapes and some vinyl into my computer.....

 

NAD amp & very high quality B&W speakers and a set of true 5.1 Kave headphones.

You have a good taste. NAD and B&W were (and may be are) really great systems when I was working in this area some years ago. But: May be that it would be better to have a stand-alone headphone together with a stand-alone mikrofone instead of this Kave Headset.
Edited by GKOver
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I myself use a Creative X-FI Titanium Fatality Pro, along with a set of Klipsch 2.1 speaker/sub setup. I absolutely love the sound I get out of this combo.

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The Realtek ALC892 Audio Processor Codec isnt **THAT** bad.

 

For Best sound, I'd recommend a PCI XFi Extreme Gamer,

I still havent found a Audio Card that matches them, the Recon3d, Cor3d and Z Chips (Cor3d re-hash) from Creative arent worth it.

 

For an X-Fi PCI card off Ebay, I think I got an Extreme Gamer without breakout box for like $30 for my brother and he was vastly happy with the difference.

 

Here's the thing though, 90% of the Xfi Cards on ebay and amazon are open Box or OEM Cards,

 

When Dell/Alienware discontinued Carrying them, they sold them off,

 

So there are tons of OEM Cards on Ebay for $24, for the XFi Extreme Gamer 7.1 Cards (Analog 2.5mm jacks + optical input/output)

 

None of my games utilize the X-Fi's XRam, so looking for one of the Fatal1ty Cards for the X-Ram is prolly pointless.

My Card has 64 MB of X-Ram on it, most of the X-Fi's had 4 or 8 MB, not completely sure.

 

The PCIe versions are a bit different, but I went back to PCI versions as they had driver issues at launch.

 

If you ebay search, you can get the complete platinum set

(Card, Ribbons, Remote, 5.25 Bay box) for like $50 if you bid wisely.

(most of them are set as Buy it now for $200 still, for good reason).

 

I use the Platinum Fatal1ty with 5.25 Box, as I have Optical out to my Surround system or headset.

 

Even with a standard gaming Stereo headset, the Jacks on the front are Amped. and with the Software, you can simulate 5.1 very Nicely.

 

I also run custom EAX Templates for 1st Person Shooters and Flight Sims.

 

There's also Custom Drivers for the Xfi Cards that add a ton of features.

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Forgot to say, for Creative,

 

Just avoid Anything other than XFi.

 

Audigy/Audigy 2 is old, support is done.

 

Recon3d, Core3d, Z, Zx, ZxR are all Chips that Offload ALOT to software, meaning more CPU Usuage.

 

If you look at the list of formats and frequencies and SnR Ratios for the X-Fi Cards, then look at the same data for the new cards, you'll see why :)

 

 

X-Fi, has a serious backing in 3rd Party Drivers, and has a ton of hardware features that work despite MS's New Audio Stack in Windows Vista, 7, 8.

 

the $30 Dell OEM X-Fi Cards are well worth the money.

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The XFi Extreme Gamer is a good soundcard.

 

I had the chance to test a few modern soundcards and it's still one of the most easy cards to use. The problems Soundblaster had with it's drivers when Vista and Windows7 were new, are definitely history.

 

The Asus Xonar is also pretty neat. It offers a better soundrendering, but lacks some gaming-features. It's more designed for music in most regards.

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A soundcard delivers a better sound with basically no CPU-load.

Not true for DCS and any other title which uses its own sound renderer.

 

On the topic: any decent sounding card will suffice.

Just remember that the final quality is determined by the weakest link.


Edited by c0ff

Dmitry S. Baikov @ Eagle Dynamics

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Does DCS use DirectSOUND?

 

 

Onboard RealTek Chips usually have a nasty SnR, which effects alot, not to mention the Format and Frequency it supports, the Jacks on the mainboard.

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X470 Taichi Ultimate, 2x R7970 Lightnings Crossfired @ 1.1/6.0GHz,

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Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS + MFDs, CH Fighterstick+Pro Throttle+Pro Pedals

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One of these days i'm gonna take my motherboard to the university studio and run it in a loop with the audio precision 2700 series measurement amplifier we have there. I have been wondering for a long time how current on board sound cards compare to low-midrange pro adudio equipment like my EMU 1212m aaand I've been having this discussion for too long with no definitive outcome. :)


Edited by sobek

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most onboard chips are fine at low Volume levels, but as soon as you crank it up for movies and music, you start to get distortions in the music, especially on the lower frequencies.. and expecially when convertin or expanding from stereo to multi-channel.

 

with my X-Fi chip, I can run it from Optical out to the Surround Sound system and crank it with no static or distortions, at frequencies of 96Khz to 192Khz.

 

I'd like to see how much noise a Onboard realtek chip introduces when it converts samples from 44.1Khz or 48 Khz to 96Khz.

 

Also, with X-Fi The EAX, EQ, Crystalizer, CMS-3d, CMS Expand, etc etc, all them features were done on hardware.

 

with Recon3d, Core3d, Z, Zx, and ZxR, those functions were moved to Software Controlled Functions integrated in the Driver (Creative says it was due to the new Audio Audio Stack in Windows 7, yet my X-Fi does Fine with the functions still on the hardware.)

 

 

It comes down to power, with RealTek onboard, my brother was having constant static and hissing issues, and the sound was just FLAT. even when adjusting EQ via VIA AudioDeck or whatever.

$23+Shipping Later, Throw in a X-Fi and its alraedy tons better, then configure his headphones to do CMS3D and it's a whole new experience.

 

 

Friends would come over and I'd have a Concert on BluRay or HDTV playing, and they wonder why the Audio sounded tons clearer and more realistic,

Cuz I Use EAX Environments on the X-Fi, adjust and tweak a lil depending on the volume level but it's always better than listening to the stock filtered audio.


Edited by SkateZilla

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No. It uses XAudio2

 

 

I said 'decent' :)

If it plays music well for you, it will be sufficient for the DCS.

 

Doh, I was just looking at that in the log files..

 

Technically, family tree wise, XAudio2 is offspring of DirectSound and XAudio..

 

XAudio2 is the Reason Creative Neutered their cards,

Since the Driver Model and Audio stack from Vista Onwards to Run at the User Level and Offload most of the functions to the software environment removing the need for Complex device drivers.

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Technically, family tree wise, XAudio2 is offspring of DirectSound and XAudio..

Actually, DCS uses XAudio2 just to pump 32-bit floating point buffers to the card, so it may as well use ASIO or WASAPI or whatever works. XAudio2 works everywhere we need so we stick to it.

Dmitry S. Baikov @ Eagle Dynamics

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No. It uses XAudio2

 

 

I said 'decent' :)

If it plays music well for you, it will be sufficient for the DCS.

 

Hm, but if one plays music better, doesn't that still make a difference? ;)

Gigabyte GA-Z87-UD3H | i7 4470k @ 4.5 GHz | 16 GB DDR3 @ 2.133 Ghz | GTX 1080 | LG 55" @ 4K | Cougar 1000 W | Creative X-Fi Ti | TIR5 | CH HOTAS (with BU0836X-12 Bit) + Crosswind Pedals | Win10 64 HP | X-Keys Pro 20 & Pro 54 | 2x TM MFD

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Friends would come over and I'd have a Concert on BluRay or HDTV playing, and they wonder why the Audio sounded tons clearer and more realistic

 

 

Absolutely.

 

I've shown friends a quick trick on BF3 and they asked me, if I ran a soundmod for the game. Next day 5 of 7 had ordered themselves soundcard.

Gigabyte GA-Z87-UD3H | i7 4470k @ 4.5 GHz | 16 GB DDR3 @ 2.133 Ghz | GTX 1080 | LG 55" @ 4K | Cougar 1000 W | Creative X-Fi Ti | TIR5 | CH HOTAS (with BU0836X-12 Bit) + Crosswind Pedals | Win10 64 HP | X-Keys Pro 20 & Pro 54 | 2x TM MFD

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Massively a case of "what about the rest?"

 

With my cheapish retail-standard 2-1 speaker setup, there is no difference at all between my onboard Realtek and my expensive addin sound card.

 

With my 300 dollar Sennheisers? Oh yeah... there is a difference. ;)

 

(EDIT: And yea, Feuerfalke, I remember we hads this discussion way way back. You were right. :P )

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I really like the sound of the Creative X-fi cards and the PAX modified drivers. Use them in all of my systems. I never use the onboard sound myself and do not regret it one bit as I find them to be inferior in general terms. On the plus side my X-Fi cards have been around through several operating systems and new builds right up to and including my current Windows 8 installs and represent a good value for their great quality sound and long life in system after system.

 

Out

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