Firewave vs. SB Live External 24-bit for true EAX sound in games in bootcamp. Which??

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Icaras, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #1
    Ok so I really am ready to plunk down my money for an external 5.1 sound card to connect my current penryn MBP (and later, my future imac) to. I want to be able to run my PC games in bootcamp and play them in their true EAX sound whenever applicable. Now I've searched high and low for a quick and easy answer 5.1 gaming on macs, and I know there are a ton of threads out there about it, but none really discuss which device can offer true EAX support.

    The two devices that are the two most obvious choices is the Griffin Firewave and Creative's Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit external. My knowledge on how windows behaves in bootcamp regarding EAX in PC games is sketchy at best, so I'm hoping someone might lend any helpful tips on whether or not I should go with the Firewave or the SB Live. I've already setup another thread in the mac perhipherals section at http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=461258. I just found out that the Firewave was discontinued and is now selling for $29.99...

    But will the firewave process EAX? or is that done through the game software? See, I'm not quite how it all works, but the SB live obviously supports up to EAX 3.0. Heres the product page at Creative's site: http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=206&product=10702

    The only issue is that the SB Live only supports windows according to Creative's requirements section. Does this mean that the SB Live external would just be a dud if I switch back to Leopard? That would really suck since I'd also want that 5.1 support in Leopard too.

    Ahhh, this quest for the right 5.1 option is driving me nuts. Any help would be heavenly right about now! :confused::confused::confused:
     
  2. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    I think I would try the SB Live as I don't think you are going to get any windows driver for the Griffin and a quick search seems to support this on the other hand a quick search comes up with the URL below which says the SB works with at least Tiger out of the box so probably Leopard as well.

    http://reviews.pricegrabber.com/sound-cards/m/4245123/discussions/thread/152809/ut=1859e0309cca26a4

    Searches

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...und+blaster+external+os+x+support&btnG=Search
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...t=result&cd=1&q=FireWave+winxp+driver&spell=1
     
  3. Icaras thread starter macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #3
    Thanks for the helpful links! Ok so I've learned that Firewave just isn't supported in bootcamp, which makes the SB Live the obvious choice for gaming. But since that doesn't work in OSX....

    Does this mean I need to buy both devices if I want 5.1 supported in both operating systems???? :eek::eek::eek:
     
  4. Icaras thread starter macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #4
    New thought: Maybe I won't need the Firewave for OSX afterall, if I am able to simply use the digital out on my mac to the optical in on my 5.1 reciever.

    New question: Using my 5.1 reciever, which has built in DD and DTS decoders, will I be able to get true DD or DTS if I am say, watching a DVD in iDVD, outputting via optical? If I can, then I say screw the firewave?
     
  5. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    No it means the SB should just show up as a USB audio device in OSX that you can configure and use so the SB Live External is the choice for use in both OS's...
     
  6. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #6
    I don't remember if DVD Player will output encoded DD/DTS over optical in OS X, but I know for a fact that VLC will. So, for pre-encoded stuff, no, you won't need a Firewave.
     
  7. Icaras thread starter macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #7
    THANKS GUYS. If i hadn't found out about Firewave not supported in Windows, I probably would have flipped out trying to get it to work later on. Thanks for saving me the torment :D

    Killmoms: Sorry, whats VCL?
     
  8. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    VLC is the Video Lan Client the Swiss Army knife of video players it works with damn near anything you can throw at it and has so many options to configure your head will spin trying to figure them all out, fortunately it just works out of the box so to speak as it is free software so no purchase necessary highly recommended works on almost all OS's there are as well.
     
  9. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    As a point of interest, it hasn't been actually called "VideoLAN Client" in forever, though that is what it originally stood for. Now it's just called the "VLC Player." You can find it at http://www.videolan.org/ :cool:
     
  10. Icaras thread starter macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #10
    Just found a really helpful and informative article on 5.1 on macs:
    http://www.thismuchiknow.co.uk/?p=24

    Hopefully this will help others too. Apparantly, OSX's DVD player can stream out 5.1 AC-3 afterall via optical out, and so can VLC.

    But according to this article, front row, or any other application that utilizes the Quicktime engine doesn't...
     

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