[SOLVED] Any Sound Card for EAX Experts ? | Building Legacy WinXP Gaming PC and I am confused about 'Creative' EAX Sound Cards and which to get

Ancient_Fox

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TLDR at the end... ! I know how much some of you don't like to read essays :)

Hello! First of all, many thanks for reading and any help in advance. Longer thorough explanations are welcome.

As the title suggests, I am building myself (and my son) a Legacy WinXP Gaming PC. Sadly I didnt want to go for any fixed year, basically I am just getting any powerful hardware from
around the 2011-2013/14 which has official support for winXP, maybe except the GPUs which I have multiple, some for really demanding games, some for really picky ones which can
have visual bugs with some cards.

Everything so far was a smooth sailing until my dumb ass realized that many of those old 2000-2007 era games had EAX support.. Logically since I am trying to build like a "ultimate"
dedicated winXP machine, I want to take advantage of EAX in its original non-emulated way just as was intended, and from what I was reading so far around the internet the WinXP is
the last one which supports actual "hardware Emu processed EAX" and that I should aim for such a card.

Now see this is the issue for me, I am practically an anti-talent when it comes to dealing with something that has anything to do with sound or sound quality, and so I am now absolutely
confused as to what card I should choose, whether to buy some older one thru ebay or some of those which are still available for purchase in shops.. I was looking over some cards but I
wasnt able to find any extensive information on them, whether its HW accelerated or not, or if it supports all 5 of EAX versions, if it has proper drivers for XP and so on..

Also I should mention that unfortunately the Mboard I chose for this setup doesnt have any of those old "PCI" slots which are required for older sound cards, it only has additional
PCI-E x1 slots however I have now for a long time a working PCI-E x1 to PCI Adapter which does seem to be working from a quick test I made, and if it wont I guess I ll just get some
other Mboard which would have original PCI slot.

So I am clueless.. I ve been looking over some of these most popular cards, first the easily available cards like Audigy RX, which has PCI-E x1, but I dont know if it would work with all EAX
versions, I am not even sure if its hardware processed sound, then I was looking over this red one, the "Sound Blaster Z" card, its PCI-E but then again no idea if its HW processed and if
it supports all EAX versions. Then I was also looking over some of those less avaiable cards, esp. the pretty expensive "X-FI Titanium HD", has PCI-E too, from what I read I think it is HW
process. sound and supports all EAX versions but then again theres the high cost and I dont want to blow 150-200 bucks more if I wouldnt have to..

So what do you think,.. What card should I get? Is it right I should aim for actual hardware processed card since I use winXP? Do all of the above mentioned cards support all versions of
EAX? What card do you think that would suit this build best?

Again thanks to anyone who would try to help and please dont post any dumb comments like "WinXp bad, EAX not worth it" etc, I want to have it because it was a supported feature back
in the day, regardless of if it sucks or not, I am aware of it not being that great in some cases..

TLDR: Building WinXP Legacy Pc for Gaming --- I'll take anything powerful that is winXp supported and works as intended and desired --- Want Sound Card for EAX v1,2,3,4,5, ---
Since its WinXP, I read to get HW Accelerated Card is this right? --- Have PCI-E x1 on MBoard but I also have a working "PCI-E x1 to PCI Adapter or I'll swap Mboard if necessary" ---
Was looking over "X-FI Titanium HD", "Blaster Z", "Audigy RX" is any of these suitable? --- Thanks in advance
 
The X-Fi Titanium is your best bet, because it's still based on the EMU20K core which supports all of the EAX versions natively. The Audigy Rx is based off the older Audigy 4. The Z technically supports EAX through software emulation, but it doesn't have official support for Windows XP. It was meant to restore features that Vista dropped.
 
The X-Fi Titanium is your best bet, because it's still based on the EMU20K core which supports all of the EAX versions natively. The Audigy Rx is based off the older Audigy 4. The Z technically supports EAX through software emulation, but it doesn't have official support for Windows XP. It was meant to restore features that Vista dropped.
 

Ancient_Fox

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The X-Fi Titanium is your best bet, because it's still based on the EMU20K core which supports all of the EAX versions natively. The Audigy Rx is based off the older Audigy 4. The Z technically supports EAX through software emulation, but it doesn't have official support for Windows XP. It was meant to restore features that Vista dropped.
Thanks for the reply but I have to ask to be sure, you do mean the X-Fi Titanium HD right? I just noticed there's also just plain "X-Fi Titanium" card without the "HD" part. Also would you know what is the difference between these two? I read the HD is better sound quality but obviously I have no idea
 
Thanks for the reply but I have to ask to be sure, you do mean the X-Fi Titanium HD right? I just noticed there's also just plain "X-Fi Titanium" card without the "HD" part. Also would you know what is the difference between these two? I read the HD is better sound quality but obviously I have no idea
According to Wikipedia, Titanium HD is not supported on Windows XP.

EDIT: Yeah, the driver download page on Creative's website doesn't list Windows XP.
 

Ancient_Fox

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According to Wikipedia, Titanium HD is not supported on Windows XP.

EDIT: Yeah, the driver download page on Creative's website doesn't list Windows XP.
................. They have to be joking right.. The only card without XP drivers, for whatever the weird reason. Btw I just did a quick search and it seems someone did unofficial patch pack for many of these cards, winXp is listed there but I dont know if its meant just for some of those cards or all of them.. Idk if they allow links here, if you would like to see yourself google "Daniel-K Titanium HD driver" and its first two results that lead to his blogspot.

The only reason why I am still interested in this is because I just found a local listing where someone offers this card for just 20€/23 usd! Apparently he doesnt know if it works and it very well might not work as the price suggests, but its just like 30 min ride to get there so I might give it a try.. If it wont work I guess I ll just get the basic Titanium one..
Also would you know if other Titanium variants would work as well? Theres like two other "Fatal1ty" versions and one "Professional" version.. I mean if they would natively support all 5 EAX versions just like normal titanium that is, from what I see it is the same kind of chip but I have no idea other than that.. It would be probably also more convenient cos I didnt find many listings of basic titanium card
 
................. They have to be joking right.. The only card without XP drivers, for whatever the weird reason. Btw I just did a quick search and it seems someone did unofficial patch pack for many of these cards, winXp is listed there but I dont know if its meant just for some of those cards or all of them.. Idk if they allow links here, if you would like to see yourself google "Daniel-K Titanium HD driver" and its first two results that lead to his blogspot.

The only reason why I am still interested in this is because I just found a local listing where someone offers this card for just 20€/23 usd! Apparently he doesnt know if it works and it very well might not work as the price suggests, but its just like 30 min ride to get there so I might give it a try.. If it wont work I guess I ll just get the basic Titanium one..
Also would you know if other Titanium variants would work as well? Theres like two other "Fatal1ty" versions and one "Professional" version.. I mean if they would natively support all 5 EAX versions just like normal titanium that is, from what I see it is the same kind of chip but I have no idea other than that.. It would be probably also more convenient cos I didnt find many listings of basic titanium card
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster_X-Fi#X-Fi_line-up

As long as it has the EMU20K or CA20K chip, it should be fine. Though avoid the "Xtreme Music" variety or its replacements.
 
I'll throw out the Auzentech Prelude, though those are getting really hard to find these days. Otherwise I'd recommend the Creative Titanium which would be a bit easier to find.

And as noted above, avoid the "Xtreme Music" and "Xtreme Gamer" lineups; the drivers for them are rubbish.
 

Ancient_Fox

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I'll throw out the Auzentech Prelude, though those are getting really hard to find these days. Otherwise I'd recommend the Creative Titanium which would be a bit easier to find.

And as noted above, avoid the "Xtreme Music" and "Xtreme Gamer" lineups; the drivers for them are rubbish.
Yeah I did find stuff about that one in some YT video where the dude was recommending it, but it wasnt much info and so I am again not sure if its hw processed and if its all EAX versions. I noticed it has lots of chips and stuff so by that I learned to kinda deduce that those are probably HW accel ones but I am not sure and I did try to search on ebay and it returned almost nothing + I noticed its old PCI connector so I shifted my attention to Creative cards. Would you think its better alternative to X-fi ones from Creative? I have already ordered a pair of fatality cards so I hope its what I am looking for and that at least one of them arrives at a great condition (I ll pass the other one to someone after that I guess) but I wouldnt mind if youd shed more light on the auzentech card if you had any more info about it. From what I saw it nicely supports 7.1, that could be pretty cool if I had such a setup but I am more of a simple DAC+AMP and headphones kind of guy now as its a bit more close/forward sound and best thing about it for me is that my neighbor wont come blasting thru my doors if I turn it up.
 
The Prelude was EAX 1-2/5 capable (I forget if it could handle EAX 3/4 offhand, though only like 5 games ever used those), and was a very high quality card for it's time. Also didn't have to use Creatives drivers, which was an automatic plus.

A bit late, if you are primarily a headphone user, I'd recommend the Auzentech Forte for much the same reasons as above.
 

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