Welcome guest. Before posting on our computer help forum, you must register. Click here it's easy and free.

Author Topic: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?  (Read 2476 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

beermigz

    Topic Starter


    Newbie

    • Experience: Beginner
    • OS: Windows XP
    Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
    « on: June 28, 2013, 03:10:41 AM »
    What do you think about Hi-fi 3D Biostar "Z87x"? I have heard its new but i dont know if it is good? Does anybody have some experience with it??? Advantage/Disadvantage?

    I am totally thinking to try 1 of this type of motherboard for my gaming to outstand and see what would be the experience like but anyway if you have anything to give an advice for this please tell me some reviews.. I would be glad to hear it from your experties.  ;)

    Calum

    • Moderator


    • Egghead

      Thanked: 238
      • Yes
      • Yes
    • Certifications: List
    • Computer: Specs
    • Experience: Beginner
    • OS: Other
    Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
    « Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 03:28:33 AM »
    There are no real reviews out for the Biostar boards with this feature, but I would expect it to be much the same as previous boards with "Creative X-Fi" and similar - i.e. a cut down version of a good product making it no better than others, or in fact the same product with some fancy drivers and a new interface, which is still no better than others.
    Onboard sound is better than it used to be but still, IMO, no match for a good dedicated sound card.  Sound cards aren't exactly pricy, the Xonar DG or DGX starts from less than 20 and is miles better than onboard.

    Mrfreddy



      Rookie

      • Experience: Beginner
      • OS: Windows XP
      Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
      « Reply #2 on: June 30, 2013, 06:42:52 AM »
      much better? i am not so sure about that. I would not spend any penny for a discrete graphics card these days. its tough to hear the difference at all. better rely on a motherboard that has already good quality sound. That also means: dont go with the cheapest, especially if output should be analog.  :)

      here is a (german) review on another biostar Hifi that says sound is good here: http://www.technic3d.com/review/mainboards/1506-biostar-hi-fi-a85x-und-asus-f2a85-m-pro-im-test/13.htm#Biostar_Hi-Fi_A85X

      also tweaktown gives biostar Z77 boards good grades for quality http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/5213/biostar-hi-fi-z77x-intel-z77-motherboard-review/index12.html

      anyway the Z87X seems not be available yet :-\

      Calum

      • Moderator


      • Egghead

        Thanked: 238
        • Yes
        • Yes
      • Certifications: List
      • Computer: Specs
      • Experience: Beginner
      • OS: Other
      Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
      « Reply #3 on: June 30, 2013, 10:46:00 AM »
      much better? i am not so sure about that. I would not spend any penny for a discrete graphics card these days. its tough to hear the difference at all. better rely on a motherboard that has already good quality sound. That also means: dont go with the cheapest, especially if output should be analog.  :)

      Can you give any examples of motherboards with good onboard sound?  Sound quality is subjective, what sounds good to one person may not to another - as opposed to say, a graphics card which can manage 60fps versus one that can only manage 30fps, that's a difference that is easy to tell - so I'm speaking only in general terms.  I would never use an onboard sound chip unless I tried it and it really was good.  I've had motherboards with supposedly good onboard sound, and installing a good sound card has always drastically improved the quality, not to mention giving many more options.  Of course, if you're talking about bargain basement sound cards, or bargain basement speakers/headphones, then there will likely be no difference.

      Quote
      here is a (german) review on another biostar Hifi that says sound is good here: http://www.technic3d.com/review/mainboards/1506-biostar-hi-fi-a85x-und-asus-f2a85-m-pro-im-test/13.htm#Biostar_Hi-Fi_A85X

      I don't speak German and I'll have to pass on letting Google translate maul the review, so I'll take your word for it.

      Quote
      also tweaktown gives biostar Z77 boards good grades for quality http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/5213/biostar-hi-fi-z77x-intel-z77-motherboard-review/index12.html

      They say in that review that the onboard sound is "probably not" as good as the CA0132 on the Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3, which in itself is not top class.  So, that's not exactly saying to me that the onboard sound is as good as a decent sound card.

      Mrfreddy



        Rookie

        • Experience: Beginner
        • OS: Windows XP
        Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
        « Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 05:17:41 PM »
        yeah you are right with that.

        I can only speak for the A85W that i am using myself and i think its a good motherboard overall.

        For audio you are right -- its too much subjective in the end. I am mostly using headphones. So you can hear the quality right away without any other components between motherboard output and your ear. Especially the integrated AMP allows to boost the volume a bit for higher Ohm headphones which helps a lot.  :)

        BC_Programmer


          Mastermind
        • Typing is no substitute for thinking.
        • Thanked: 1101
          • Yes
          • Yes
          • BC-Programming.com
        • Certifications: List
        • Computer: Specs
        • Experience: Beginner
        • OS: Windows 8
        Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
        « Reply #5 on: July 20, 2013, 05:52:11 PM »
        The issue with On-board sound is that they typically offload all processing to the CPU. Not really a huge deal but depending on the use case having that dedicated Audio Processor can be useful. "post-processing" features like X-Fi crystalizer are sometimes available with on-board, but they will use the CPU for processing tasks (whereas with an appropriate dedicated sound card they will use the sound card's Processor)
        I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

        Mrfreddy



          Rookie

          • Experience: Beginner
          • OS: Windows XP
          Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
          « Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 01:04:24 PM »
          The issue with On-board sound is that they typically offload all processing to the CPU. Not really a huge deal but depending on the use case having that dedicated Audio Processor can be useful. "post-processing" features like X-Fi crystalizer are sometimes available with on-board, but they will use the CPU for processing tasks (whereas with an appropriate dedicated sound card they will use the sound card's Processor)

          Thats new to me. Is there any chance to see the differences? I have no idea if its really worth to worry about that :-X

          patio

          • Moderator


          • Genius
          • Maud' Dib
          • Thanked: 1715
            • Yes
          • Experience: Beginner
          • OS: Windows 7
          Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
          « Reply #7 on: July 28, 2013, 06:06:44 PM »
          Any decent addon sound card is gonna be far better than onboard sound...
             
           
          " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

          BC_Programmer


            Mastermind
          • Typing is no substitute for thinking.
          • Thanked: 1101
            • Yes
            • Yes
            • BC-Programming.com
          • Certifications: List
          • Computer: Specs
          • Experience: Beginner
          • OS: Windows 8
          Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
          « Reply #8 on: July 28, 2013, 08:30:09 PM »
          Thats new to me. Is there any chance to see the differences? I have no idea if its really worth to worry about that :-X

          -With appropriate Sound cards, processing of audio is done on a separate Audio Processor. This is hard to argue as not being a good thing, since it frees up the main processor for other tasks.

          - To what extent?  Particularly prevalent for Game-based Audio and certain movie or video features such as 3-D positional Audio, EAX effects, surround sound, 3-D Virtualization, etc. EAX and similar post-processing effects are the most common and perhaps taken for granted the most. Game characters moving through a cave may make all sounds in the cave "echo"; underwater and the sound may be changed as well. They would use the same audio files, but the audio is post-processed using Audio-post-processing logic that is analogous to 3-D Shaders for a graphics card. In both cases lack of such a feature on the sound card would mean the processor deals with it; or, in some cases, you don't get the effect.

          As for sound quality, It's more difficult to say. Motherboard Audio could be more susceptible to interference from nearby components on the motherboard if they aren't properly shielded, and sometimes sound cards have their own RF shield to prevent interference with other Adapters or the motherboard. For MP3's or even standard PCM Waveform files I'm not sure if there would be much difference, unless using Post-processing effects or 'improvements' such as "X-Fi Crystalizer" or even sound normalization, both of which can utilize hardware which may improve the quality of that post-processing and will certainly improve performance. Otherwise, it's down to the Signal To Noise Ratio. Most on-board audio has a SnR around 100dB or so; In comparison, X-Fi's using the X-Fi Processor bottom out at around 109dB, while the higher-end models top out at 119dB SnR. The Sonar DG- an inexpensive card, at something like 30 dollars or so, if memory serves- claims around 106dB. The one 'danger' when purchasing a separate audio card is that many are "Value" cards that have a name brand such as X-Fi or the Sonar name, but do not posess any on-card logic and are essentially driven by their driver software. the "SB Live! Value" card doesn't contain a Live! Sound processor, and the Audigy SE doesn't have an Audigy Chip, and the X-Fi XtremeMusic doesn't have a X-Fi Chip either; the features that would normally be provided by such a chip are provided through software emulation. I do not know their particulars in terms of their SnR.

          That said, the differences in terms of SnR between such a card and on-board is almost inconsequential. I cannot say that I've perceived any difference between my on-board audio and the Sound card I have.

          It really depends on what is being done with it. For games, a dedicated Sound card seems to be the ideal choice- while a game may run amicably  today, it could run better- or you could crank sound settings and Hz and so forth- if using a dedicated card. Additionally the off-loading of processing performed by such hardware could become invaluable for games that are released later that 'top out' the system, by offloading processing.
          I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

          Calum

          • Moderator


          • Egghead

            Thanked: 238
            • Yes
            • Yes
          • Certifications: List
          • Computer: Specs
          • Experience: Beginner
          • OS: Other
          Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
          « Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 04:17:27 AM »
          Quote
          the X-Fi XtremeMusic doesn't have a X-Fi Chip

          It's the Xtreme Audio that didn't have an X-Fi chip and was basically an older card rebadged, the Xtreme Audio was identical to the Xtreme Gamer.  You're correct though that a lot of lower end cards are simply rebadged older models, and nothing special.  It seems to be mainly Creative doing this, I haven't seen a Xonar like that yet as even the Xonar DG/DGX, which are excellent value for money by the way, have "proper" hardware and a headphone amp.

          That aside, CPUs nowadays are fast enough that offloading sound processing to a sound card doesn't noticeably increase performance in most cases, so it's more about audio quality and any software tweaks applied through drivers or bundled software packages.
          I could tell the difference between onboard Realtek (I forget the model) and my Xtreme Audio, and again between a newer Realtek chip and a Xonar DS.

          BC_Programmer


            Mastermind
          • Typing is no substitute for thinking.
          • Thanked: 1101
            • Yes
            • Yes
            • BC-Programming.com
          • Certifications: List
          • Computer: Specs
          • Experience: Beginner
          • OS: Windows 8
          Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
          « Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 01:45:14 AM »
          It's the Xtreme Audio that didn't have an X-Fi chip and was basically an older card rebadged, the Xtreme Audio was identical to the Xtreme Gamer.
          Ahh... well with all the renaming of things I'm sure it's understandable to get a bit confused over what became what and what it has. I think that's why they renamed stuff, probably. People started to catch on. I know I was more or less "tricked" by Creative when I bought my Audigy 2 SE, not realizing the SE meant "S--- Edition". Of course at the time my Processor was only 350Mhz so I really needed any amount of off-loading I could muster, and I wanted better Sound effects and capabilities. While I had that card installed about half the games I had were unplayably slow and the other half were reduced. I didn't even realize it was the Audigy- because I had assumed they wouldn't call a card an Audigy if it didn't have a freaking Audigy chip in it- until I swapped my older generic PCI Sound Blaster 16 back in and found everything ran much better, particularly games. Sneaky buggers.

          Looking at Wikipedia, it seems that the Xtreme Audio is a rebranded Audigy 2, with the same chipset found on the audigy 2 and same drivers. And the XtremeGamer was a rebranded XtremeMusic... It's like a game of musical chairs to try to confuse even the technically competent about which ones actually have the processing chip they claim it has, probably to encourage people to get their crazy priced higher-end models "just to be sure" that it actually isn't crap. Clever, but dishonest and annoying. "People are onto us... quick... rebrand all our editions!"

          Quote
          That aside, CPUs nowadays are fast enough that offloading sound processing to a sound card doesn't noticeably increase performance in most cases, so it's more about audio quality and any software tweaks applied through drivers or bundled software packages.
          I could tell the difference between onboard Realtek (I forget the model) and my Xtreme Audio, and again between a newer Realtek chip and a Xonar DS.
          Depends on what sound processing is taking place :P

          Actually, this makes me want to do a few simple tests, which is particularly helped by the fact that I happen to have both an on-board and a dedicated card installed for sound. This shall make an interesting blog post :P I shall see what difference, if any, there truly is- at least in terms of performance. Obviously there is no way to really quantify the quality.
          I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

          Calum

          • Moderator


          • Egghead

            Thanked: 238
            • Yes
            • Yes
          • Certifications: List
          • Computer: Specs
          • Experience: Beginner
          • OS: Other
          Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
          « Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 02:45:56 AM »
          It's really shady how they name their cards that way, general rule of thumb with Creative is avoid at least their bottom product from each line because it's almost certainly not what the name implies.  Like you said, with a slower CPU, offloading sound processing has a much greater effect on performance, and when a card has an almost identical name to one with hardware processing, you kind of expect it to have the same capabilities.
          I'd be interested to see a test on a fairly modern system to see what difference there is.  I don't claim to know much at all about how Vista and newer Windows OSes handle sound processing, all I know is there was a fairly major change from XP in terms of EAX no longer being particularly relevant, and things like OpenAL come into it, so I'm going to hazard a guess that software and drivers will have more of an impact than they used to, too - hence why the Uni Xonar drivers are popular, and the modded DanielK X-fi drivers (although they were partly for stability reasons and because Creative update their drivers roughly once a century).
          I can tell you that on my old laptop, with a 2GHz single core Turion and X1600 graphics, my Audigy 2 ZS made a small difference to gaming performance in games that supported EAX and hardware acceleration - thinking specifically of Battlefield 2142 here as that laptop couldn't comfortably max it out anyway, so the extra 2-3fps were consistently measurable whereas if I'd tried that on a newer system getting 100+fps anyway, the additional 2-3fps would be within the normal variance.  It also sounded much, much better through even fairly low end speakers and headphones, but I think part of that was down to the positional audio which wasn't fully available using onboard sound.

          BC_Programmer


            Mastermind
          • Typing is no substitute for thinking.
          • Thanked: 1101
            • Yes
            • Yes
            • BC-Programming.com
          • Certifications: List
          • Computer: Specs
          • Experience: Beginner
          • OS: Windows 8
          Re: Reviews on Hi-Fi 3D Technology>?
          « Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 04:08:40 AM »
          Ahh, I had forgotten about the change to WASAPI and how Windows Vista changed the architecture so that Sound Drivers were no longer at the kernel level.

          many games still seem to provide options about "hardware sound" and whatnot; Mass Effect being the only one I can recall seeing recently, personally.

          I guess now the problem is that it's actually a right bother to even get the hardware to work- is your Sound card actually processing things in the hardware, or is the Vista/7/8 Audio Stack doing it and pretending it's a "hardware" feature? This isn't helped by the number of people who don't think it's possible for the hardware to make a difference- which of course is supported since on Vista/7/8 it's more likely that (as you've said) the difference is in the drivers since all the kernel-level mixing is handled directly by Windows now, rather than each Sound Driver implementing a Mixer.

          (Vista also appears to have lobotomized MIDI support for no reason)

          Testing I only got a few variances between each, and it went both ways so it's probably within a margin of error (was only a few FPS either way, so I could have very well gotten the same results if I hadn't switched between them at all).

          I guess the best way would be to test on XP or Earlier to see what difference it would make when truly processed by the hardware, but otherwise it seems like Microsoft has decided that there is no reason for Audio to ever be accelerated and has forced everybody else to comply by basically codifying it into the Driver Development Kit. (In fairness I think it was done partly to provide support for the per-application mixing as well as address the fact that Sound Drivers seemed to have a reputation for causing BSOD's).

          Bit of a shame, really; most of the arguments against hardware-processed audio apply equally to hardware-processed graphics.

          More hilariously this pretty much means that hardware audio processors won't really be doing anything, since Vista and later just treat it as a thing they can send their software mixer's output to. Oh well.
          I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.