Auzentech X-Meridian 7.1 review

Soundcards and Speakers 105 Page 10 of 14 Published by


Page 10 - Benchmarks RM3D

RM3D CPU Utilization and Info


Well, every hero has their weakness, and the X-Meridian seems to have some CPU utilization problems.  Again, it is quite possible that C-Media and Auzentech can refine the driver more.  RM3D 2.3 tells us that the X-Meridian has DirectSound hardware, including 128 buffers, EAX 1.0 and 2.0, and that lovely 192000 sample rate.




With just a few differences, notably EAX 3 through 5, RM3D reports the X-Meridian is nearly the same as an X-Fi.  First the DirectSound 2D tests:




Ouch.  Not too pretty.  DirectSound3D...


DirectSound 3D


And finally, DirectSound 3D+EAX:


DirectSound 3D+EAX


Ouch!  The X-Fi is crushing the competition here.  Yeah, 40% CPU at 128 voices is not something one wants to see when considering a card for gaming.  The good news is that the EAX implementation costs just about 5-10% more.  We also see the action of the nForce4 drivers reporting 32-voice support, but only processing 16 of them.


I am torn as to which is more impressive, 128 voices, or 40% CPU utilization.  While it is great to have the extra immersive possibilities, the price to pay is fairly steep.  And it's not just the X-Meridian, even the X-Fi pays.  In any event, the only games that Im aware of that supports this mode are BF2 and BF2142, which are brilliantly branded as a Creative X-Fi games.  Anyway, the very high 40% CPU utilization could very well be the reason we experienced some crackle in BF2142.  Keep the X-Meridian at 64-voice (high) and you'll be okay.

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