Gaming Sound

  crosstrainer 10:38 05 Jul 08

A few years ago, before the advent of "Onboard" sound that was any good, I experimented a lot with top end sound card's from the likes of Creative, Gravis, Turtle Beach etc.

Over the last few years, onboard 7.1 surround sound has proved fine for my gaming (which is the only time I ever really use sound unless I'm online)

Last night, after a hard day rolling out Vista on a client's corporate network...I decided to try something new with my sound......So, I connected the onboard High Definition audio chip in my gaming PC to my aging (but still excellent) Pioneer surround sound system (used for Dolby films and music etc.)

"Don't put the volume up to high" I thought...Probably won't be that loud anyway..!

How wrong I was...I loaded a Crysis saved game, and I (and my neighbours, and probably most of Cardiff for a short time) was confronted by a wall of sound, Korean soldier's, friendlies, guns, rocket's coming at me from every corner of the room!

It completely took over the game play up to the point when I decided that if I wanted to remain on good terms with the rest of the street, I'd better disconnect the thing.

Trouble is....Having done it once, the sound from the 5.1's just isn't the same :(

Moral is I suppose leave it alone! I couldn't really cope with that level of sound in games anyway (or so I've told myself)

  Armchair 10:52 05 Jul 08

Hmmmm, I still use the cheapo stereo Labtec Spin 50 speakers that came with this PC, via a bog standard Realtek AC97 integrated soundcard, and it's wonderful. They're only one watt RMS each, but that's more than enough for any game or music track, and they really are crystal clear.

I was once tempted to buy a set of (critically acclaimed) Logitech X-230 2.1 speakers, but they didn't sound right. Too 'boomy', and no amount of adjustment made them sound right. I managed to get a refund on them (nice one, Argos), and reverted to the old set-up.

  crosstrainer 11:08 05 Jul 08

Has a ridiculous total wattage output of over 450 watts. Each speaker is adjustable independent of the others, sound angle etc. are all user definable.

I have it setup the way I want it for films and DVD's so didn't play with the settings. Impressive though.

  Coltch 07:55 07 Jul 08

Although onboard audio has improved, I would still rather use my X-Fi Elite Pro linked up to a set of Gigaworks THX 550W's.

The HD Audio codec on my motherboard does sound quite good, but can't match the X-Fi in gaming (or for watching films come to think of it).

The only problem is that once the volume starts creeping up (above 10) the whole street can hear everything! - Play Bioshock in darkness with the sound up and you'll know what I mean.

  Armchair 11:56 07 Jul 08

550w RAMS? Overkill, innit? I once left my PC on (it's upstairs) with IL-2 Sturmovik running, sound at half volume (2 x 1w RMS, remember), and I could hear it blasting out in the street with the window open a bit. Rather embarrassing, tbh. Anything more powerful would be total overkill.

  Coltch 16:33 07 Jul 08

The speakers are 310W the 550W is the model number(G550W) - although yes it is a little bit of overkill, but the sound is incredible.

  crosstrainer 17:16 07 Jul 08

I'm not going to plug the digital system in again :) It was very impressive, but far to loud for my room.

I would, however highly recommend it to any keen gamer who owns his / her own castle!

  Armchair 20:55 07 Jul 08

Well, I'm probably used to crappy sound systems anyway. I was gamingly "raised" in the arcades in the late '70s/early '80s, and my old Spectrum didn't offer much acoustically, lol. All this new fangled stuff is wasted on my worn out hearing sensors.

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