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...
And finally, 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.