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Lukey
13th July 1999, 01:17
Hey all, just a quick post, I need to know what you all think of two different sound cards, the SBLive and MX300 by Diamond..

Anyone that owns one of these, please could you post a little message just stating what you feel about the card (good, bad, indifferent) and any compatibility problems you've had with games (specifically when using A3d or the other standard which name seems to have left me)

Cheers

Lukey http://forums.gagames.com/forums/wink.gif

Steve C
13th July 1999, 02:08
I've used a first gen A3D PCI card for a long time (an orchid nusound pci), but about a fortnight ago I bought an SBLive Value, and that was a massive improvement. The 4 speaker surround is really cool. Make sure you download the LiveWare! 2 (and then the 2.1 update) for best results. Then cook next to your V2 SLI setup at gas mark 4 for 30 minutes until golden brown. http://forums.gagames.com/forums/wink.gif

Also, check out <A HREF="http://www.hoontech.com" target="_blank">hoontech</A> for addons for the card.

Cheers,

Steev

------------------
Yeah, you know the score...
(ICQ: 29468849)

Jammrock
13th July 1999, 08:37
I use a SB Live! full retail and my brother uses a Diamond MX300 full retail. The arguement is a bit lopsided though since I use Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Theater 5.1 speakers and he uses Altec Lansing ACS-45's. I used to use the ACS-45's, but that was a long time ago (I got the sound card on the first week it was out and the speakers in February).

The SB Live! has a much more defined and clear sound to it. The better speakers you have, the better sounding it is (the clarity of the amp is very important too). The Live! by far has a better sound to it. The 3D sound is much much better with LiveWare 2.0 and works best with 4 speakers. If you want the best sound there is, the Live! is the way to go (value sounds just as good, but not as many goodies for it).

The Diamond MX300 is a pure gamers card. If the game support A3D 2.0 you will defintely hear the 3D sound no matter the speaker configuration. The Live! produces VERY simular effects with headphones and 4 speakers, but with 2 the MX300 wins. The sound quality is good, but not a clear and defined as the Live!, mainly because it uses on board amplifiers and the Live! sends out a line signal, so there is less signal lose on the Live!. That and Live!'s DAC just seems to sound better. The MX300 is rather inexpensive and really is a great card, as long as the game is written for A3D.

That is my run down. Hope it helps. My ICQ number is 4704110 if you want to ask more.

Jammrock

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PIII 504 (112 MHz x 4.5 - 504), 256 MB PC133 SDRAM, 18 GB WD Expert HDD, Encore 6x DVD w/ Dxr3 decoder, (TEMPORARY!!!) Voodoo 3 2000 @ 175 MHz which will be replaced by a Matrox G400 MAX, Sound Blaster Live! full retail, MAG DX715T 17". A nice little toy don't ya think?

Flangor
13th July 1999, 11:39
Have MX300, and would not get rid of it for anything.

I think there is one very impotent thing to think about here. the MX300 is more of cpu hog than the Live!. Especially when using A3D in games.

The A3D 2.0 also has EAX support. Well it will once the drivers are finalized that is. (Has anyone heard that song and dance before?)

The sound the comes forth from my speakers are wonderous. And where talking el'cheapo's here. Paid more for the card than the speakers.

A friend has the SB Live! Value. And I do beleive audio cd's, mp3's and so on sound better on his. And games sound better on mine.

Hope that helps some.

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Flangor StrongAxe
flangor@matroxusers.com

System specs: One bourbon, one scotch and one beer

Lukey
13th July 1999, 16:34
Cheers man, glad someone cares, I'll ICQ you tonight about it mate....

Laterssssssss

chuck
14th July 1999, 00:08
Hi Guys,
I am looking at a new sound card too.
The SBLive seems to show up in a lot of the configs of people who are having problens.
Sould I be worried about that?
Thanks
chuck
(erstwhile cjolley)

NotEd
14th July 1999, 03:44
Hey Steve C,
I just checked out that Hoontech website. Am I right in thinking that if I get the SB Digital Bracket III they have advertised I can basically make my SB Live Value the equivilant of a full Live? I hope this doesn't sound like a stupid question, but I narrowly missed buying a full Live because of an especially good deal on the Value. If I could get all the functionality of the full Live for only $34 more I'd jump at the chance.
NotEd

Lukey
14th July 1999, 16:27
Steve, Jam, Flang (hey that rhymes!) thanks for the advice...

Seeing as I've got a PII333 not o/c'd (the board won't do it dammit!! Goddamn Intel boards) I need a card that will take away all the sound processing within games away from the CPU, thus freeing up alittle more power fo rthe CPU to deal with the rest of the stuff going on...

So with that, now whats the best option?

Cheers guys

Lukey

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PII333(no o/c), 16MB G200 Millenium, 128MB PC100, 10GB Quantum Fireball, IntelSE440BX+Snd, Sony 420GS 19", STB BlackMagic Voodoo2 SLI

"Follow your dreams, you can achieve your goals, I am living proof...beefcake....BEEFCAKE!"

Steve C
14th July 1999, 22:40
Hey NotEd -

"SB Digital I/O III allows SB Live!(Value) to use the
Optical IN, Coaxial In, AES/EBU In, Optical Out, Coaxial Out, AES/EBU Out & 4CH Coaxial Out for "SPDIF Digital AMP/4CH"
$ 34 US"

I can only assume so. The only possible catch would be you would have to use their "SPDIF Digital AMP/4CH" But I very much doubt it.

Sounds a little too good to be true, doesn't it?

Cheers,

Steve

------------------
Yeah, you know the score...
(ICQ: 29468849)

Jammrock
15th July 1999, 00:56
Lukey,

The SB Live! uses less CPU overhead. It has a programmable sound processor (very similar to flashing a BIOS, meaning that they actually reprogram the hardware everytime you update the drivers) and it does sound really nice. The MX300 supports EAX 1.0 and will supprt DX8 EAX functions, but it will not support EAX 2/3 functionallity. EAX 2/3 functionallity will be a larger feature set than A3D 2.0 has and it will support true 4 channel HRTF with EAX 3 (A3D 2.0 does 2 chanel HRTF). I say go for the Live!, but Flagnor may say otherwise.

Jammrock

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PIII 504 (112 MHz x 4.5 - 504), 256 MB PC133 SDRAM, 18 GB WD Expert HDD, Encore 6x DVD w/ Dxr3 decoder, (TEMPORARY!!!) Voodoo 3 2000 @ 175 MHz which will be replaced by a Matrox G400 MAX, Sound Blaster Live! full retail, MAG DX715T 17". A nice little toy don't ya think?

Lukey
15th July 1999, 02:45
Cheers again Jamm, think I will...

Laters

Lukey http://forums.gagames.com/forums/wink.gif

LAMFDTK
16th July 1999, 00:27
The SB live value is around 40-45 $$ the support is amazing ! Its a layup!
Lukey overclock that p-333 !!!

Wombat
16th July 1999, 05:55
Anyone know how the Linux support for the Live is yet? I know it was having major problems, but I don't know what the current state is.

-Wombat

Flangor
16th July 1999, 06:21
Since both cards are good ones I say go with whichever is the best solution for ya. In this case I would belive the Live! Value to be your best bet. It does use less of the cpu than the MX300 does.

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Flangor StrongAxe
flangor@matroxusers.com

System specs: One bourbon, one scotch and one beer

Lukey
20th July 1999, 03:40
Thanks for all your input boys, Flang, I'm with you, the Live sounds fine, but is there any performance difference between the Value and the full on pack?? Or is it simply what you receive in the box?

Cheers guys

Lukey http://forums.gagames.com/forums/wink.gif

Jammrock
20th July 1999, 16:20
Wombat,
Go to http://developer.soundblaster.com/linux to download the BETA drivers for Linux.

Lukey,

The drivers for the Live! can discern if you have the full retail or not. The Live! let's you connect up to 2 digital I/O boards and has more features in the driver set and software arena. For example, the Live! has a MD recording utility because it can do digital recording, the value cannot (unless you buy the $54 Optical digital I/O card). The Live! has 1024 midi voices, the value has 512, but the number of 3D wav channels is the same. The Live! also has 1 or 2 extra internal connectors (ISD2 and one other?) that are for digital devices. So basically, the Live is for the phreak and the value is for the everyone else (notice in my sig I have the Live!).

As for in the box differences, the Live! comes with the actual sound card (duh), a digital I/O daughter card (takes up a slot, but connects to the Live! card, SPIDF IN/OUT, MIDI IN/OUT and mini DIN I/O), all the cables you need to hook it up (Sony CD audio pass through, digital CD pass through, MIDI cables...), the drivers and a bunch of LE audio packages. The Value comes with the card, the drivers and a CD cable (I believe). OEM's are usually the card and drivers.

Performance wise they are the same. The more RAM you have the better since any Live! uses your local RAM to store the sound banks. The sound banks are 2, 4, and 8 MB in size, plus you will need a little extra for sound caching. I usually cache double the amount as the sound bank I am using (but I have 256 MB RAM). If you decide to run customs banks and load a crap load of MIDI intruments, you may need more. A lot of explaining for one little card. BLAH, I am done.

Jammrock

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PIII 540 (120 MHz x 4.5 - 540), 256 MB PC133 SDRAM, ASUS P3B-F, Winblows 98 SuckyEdition, 18 GB WD Expert HDD, Encore 6x DVD w/ Dxr3 decoder, (TEMPORARY!!!) Voodoo 3 2000 @ 175 MHz which will be replaced by a Matrox G400 MAX, Sound Blaster Live! full retail, MAG DX715T 17

Lukey
21st July 1999, 23:56
Jamm you de man...

Cheers

Lukey http://forums.gagames.com/forums/wink.gif

Jammrock
22nd July 1999, 00:27
hehehe...I build a lot of computers, so I got to know the numbers man.

Jammrock

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PIII 540 (120 MHz x 4.5 - 540), 256 MB PC133 SDRAM, ASUS P3B-F, Winblows 98 SuckyEdition, 18 GB WD Expert HDD, Encore 6x DVD w/ Dxr3 decoder, (TEMPORARY!!!) Voodoo 3 2000 @ 175 MHz which will be replaced by a Matrox G400 MAX, Sound Blaster Live! full retail, MAG DX715T 17

Brent
22nd July 1999, 11:41
The Live Value for sure. I had a MX300, made some games stutter which now run smooth with the Live Value. Audio is cleaner as well and support from Creative fantastic. Also software and utilities are great. The MX300 did have a "bigger sound" for some games but for extended play at high volumes, the colouration became stressful.
Such a small unassuming little board, lets hope for Intels sake that the same designers dont start designing CPU's.

Tn
22nd July 1999, 17:26
Just got my Live Value in the mail today and can't wait to install it but I have to go to work tomorrow and I don't want to install and "test" all my games out http://forums.gagames.com/forums/smile.gif. But from what I have read and from friends experience A3D is much better for hardcore 3d gamers that have high end systems but for people that want to do non-game audio stuff but they still play 3d games than Live is the way to go.

Jon McGarry
23rd July 1999, 05:25
I was wondering this same thing myself. I'm interested in a new 3D sound card, but have not been able to determine any noticeable difference in the reviews I've read between the SB Live! and the Aureal Vortex 2.0 boards (MX-300). The MX-300 OEM costs about $10 more than the SB Live value, so I'd like to know if there is actually a noticeable difference.

Since my CPU is relatively slow, the SB Live! might be better, but if there is a large difference in 3D sound effects, then the MX-300 might be better.

Any comments/suggestions are welcome.





AMD K6-2 300, 128 MB RAM, 11 Gb Hard Drive, Voodoo II SLI setup (2 8 meg Monster 3D IIs), Sound Blaster AWE 64 value.

agallag
25th July 1999, 14:52
I'm very happy with my Live (full version). I'm sure my choice of speakers is partly responsible for it's excellent performance. I've got the digital out plugged into a $2000 Dolby Digital surround system. You haven't lived until you've played HalfLife with 500W of noise blowing at you. Don't forget the 200W powered subwoofer. Rockin'.

It's not all the speakers though. It still sounds wicked through headphones plugged directly into the card. Very clear. I would recommend it to anyone. Only get the full live if you need the digital I/O though, the value is basically the same card.

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Andrew Gallagher - andrew@agallagher.com
Asus P2B-S, PII-350, 64MB PC100, 12.7GB Quantum Fireball EX ATA-33, 3.2GB IBM Deskstar3 EIDE, 2 Quantum Atlas I 2.1GB UWSCSI, Toshiba 6201 SCSI CD, WangDAT SCSI, MillG200 8MB (Anxiously awaiting my G400MAX), SBLive! Retail, Win98SE



[This message has been edited by agallag (edited 07-25-99).]