Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

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Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby hifidelitygaming » 2012-2-26 @ 20:30

I am trying to verify some information i've been researching elsewhere and was hoping someone here more familiar with things could help me...

I'm trying to find which Aureal Vortex card was the absolute best in terms of quality.

This is the list i've seen elsewhere of having the 8830 chipset which is supposed to support A3D 2.0:

Using the Aureal Vortex 2 (8830) chipset

Absolute Outrageous 3D Sound
Aureal Vortex2 PCI
Aureal Vortex 2 SuperQuad 2500
Aureal Vortex2 SuperQuad Digital PCI
Diamond Monster Sound MX300
(Monster Sound MX25 daughterboard)
Hi-Val PCI 576 A3D
TechWorks Power Vortex 2
OEM Turtle Beach Montego II
(Digital & Optical I/O daughterboard)
Turtle Beach Montego II Home Studio
Turtle Beach Montego II Plus
Turtle Beach Montego II Quadzilla
Turtle Beach Montego II VoiceXpress
TerraTec XLerate Pro PCI
VideoLogic SonicVortex 2
Xitel Storm Platinum

-------
Now my points of confusion are I see discussion of an A3D _3.0_ version alternately being mentioned as supported or not supported by various cards like the Monster MX300 and similar. Is this something that was enabled by some later driver? Is it supported on ALL of the above 8830 chipset cards or is it unique in drivers or hardware to some of them?

The next question is the SQ3500 doesn't seem to be on the list, yet at least one person on the internet claims to have actually owned one. And talks of A3D 3.0 support again, and possibly additional features which maybe weren't even on the Vortex 2 chipset at all. Was this some totally new chipset barely released? Was it another 8830 in some later revision with actual new features? Was the card ever released at all and did anything support it's features beyond the handful of things listed to support A3D on the Vortex 2 already? I definately want a card with 3.0 support and I can't tell if it's all 8830 cards or not.

The titles I have a list of suggesting 3.0 support are:
Experience The Whole Experience
FMOD Firelight Multimedia
Halo Bungie Software (is this true?? Halo on the PC used A3D 3.0??)
JHexen Raven Games
MDK 2 Interplay
Messiah Shiny Entertainment
Soldier of Fortune Raven Software
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Raven Software
Unreal Tournament Epic Games


Finally, which A3D card is "the one to have"? Is there actually any quality difference between them? I saw a review suggesting the Aureal Vortex 2 SQ2500 had a distinct framerate advantage over the MX300 in Half Life... which should be irrelevant with any kind of modern cpu I should think (?) because I can't imagine a solid Pentium 4 win98 rig being slowed down by a little audio overhead. Four channel (or more) output would be nice but I expect to mostly use headphones normally since this sounds like where the system really shines. (just like Sensaura did)

I've seen VERY confusing commentary on how many voices are supported ranging from 16 to 576 voices depending on which card i'm looking at and under what conditions (headphone or 4 speaker) - yet all have the 8830 chipset and use the same drivers and I can't imagine there being that huge of differences. <-- hence my reason for posting. :(

A couple cards offer an optical out (Xitel) - this is nice but is not necessarily critical to me IF it has some lower quality (less sample voices for instance, or some older less impressive algorythm).

Does ANY card support A3D in 2000/XP or is a win98 system an absolute requirement? It's sounding like the cards work as general cards in XP with disabled A3D. :P

Does ANY card actually support EAX modes as well since it seems some games used both A3D and EAX 1.0 or 2.0 on top of it? There are very mixed signals again, suggesting the MX300 does or doesn't depending where I read.

Is there ANY modern card (or card not on the above list) that actually works for A3D? I see A3D 2.0 listed as supported by various modern 7.1 cards... claims elsewhere are that these are poor quality hacks routing thru directsound3d. This may be the case. I know that I have a win98 Sensaura card that claims A3D 2.0 compatibility - but if it's routing the A3D 2.0 calls through Sensaura (instead of DS3D) i'm already impressed - the extreme directional accuracy seems to be there in games i've played. But it's possible its only A3D 1.0 and is not as good as it could be either! Perhaps a modern Sensaura card with their HRTF will do it as well??
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby AdamP » 2012-2-26 @ 22:10

hifidelitygaming wrote:Does ANY card actually support EAX modes as well since it seems some games used both A3D and EAX 1.0 or 2.0 on top of it?


I think the Sound Blaster Live! "emulates" A3D. Though I haven't tested this so I'm not sure.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby hifidelitygaming » 2012-2-26 @ 23:30

No it definately doesn't. :P That much i'm sure about. >_< It does like a poor version of A3D 1.0 or something with the far poorer Creative head transforms. :(
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby Davros » 2012-2-27 @ 09:57

I dont remember a3d 3.0
and halo wont support a3d aureal died in 2000 halo was 2001
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby hifidelitygaming » 2012-2-27 @ 10:38

It's listed on the supported games list though which was taken off some Aureal site. :P I don't have the url handy/from a saved webpage. A3D 3.0 definately exists in discussions elsewhere however. It was right during the lawsuit with Creative released in basically beta drivers something like a few weeks before they were shut down for good. That several games supported it showed it was in the development pipeline.

I still cant verify whether the SQ3500 was actually ever released however outside of one internet claim of someone owning one. It's possible, but perhaps very rare.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby ratfink » 2012-2-27 @ 11:16

I used to play Diablo2 on a windows 2000 machine, and I'm pretty sure 3d sound was selectable [that relates to A3d, as opposed to the environmental effects option which was greyed out and referred to EAX]. I was using some black-PCB'd vortex2 with an SPDIF output, and then an MX300.

Quake 3 used to have some A3D support too, but I have a feeling you could select it on one of my boxes [again with an MX300] but it would never "stick".
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby Davros » 2012-2-27 @ 12:25

I cant imagine creative ever releasing a3d drivers, they wanted a3d dead
also a3d needed hardware support and for a3d 3.0 to work there needed to be a3d 3.0 hardware

edit: just realised you never said creative released a3d drivers
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby NamelessPlayer » 2012-3-04 @ 20:29

Here's what I know:

-Just about all DirectSound3D-compliant sound devices support A3D 1.0. (Unfortunately, that's the version before the wavetracing...)
-Aureal not only used "A3D" to refer to their 3D sound extensions, but by A3D 3.0, it was also a sound system middleware not too unlike the Miles Sound System or FMOD. (Damn buzzwords...)
-The SQ3500 Turbo was basically an SQ2500 with a DSP daughterboard attached. This DSP was supposed to take the major load off the CPU that A3D 2.0 imposed for the wavetracing and other features, but alas, it never really made it to market. A few prototype boards are floating around like Voodoo5 6000s, but don't expect to get your hands on one.

Also, don't assume that just because a game was released after 2000 that it won't support A3D. Halo doesn't use it, but PlanetSide does, likely as a side effect of the Miles Sound System's feature set. So does Tribes 2.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby swaaye » 2012-4-16 @ 02:26

On the topic of Miles Sound System, I seem to recall A3D popping up in the strangest places. I'm fairly sure that I saw A3D in the list of sound options in Painkiller. So it might be available in a lot of older games that used MSS.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby silikone » 2012-5-13 @ 02:12

Are there any official reference drivers for Windows XP?
Is A3D possible in Linux? I saw the option in Quake 3 while using Ubuntu.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby NamelessPlayer » 2012-5-13 @ 17:32

There were only beta drivers released for Windows 2000 that also happen to work in XP. Aureal presumably didn't have time to finish them before being devoured by Creative, and Creative didn't bother with supporting Aureal-based hardware in favor of their own.

I tried them, and while A3D does work, EAX doesn't, not even 1.0. I obviously can't have that, since the number of games I have that use EAX (even just the ones that only go up to EAX 2) outweigh the ones that use A3D.

As for A3D in Linux, I'm not sure either way. Since Linux obviously doesn't have the DirectSound3D API that most Windows games used to access the sound card hardware directly and Loki Software may not have created OpenAL yet, that could be a major barrier, but maybe Linux has other means of allowing sound card DSP access. Of course, whether the ALSA drivers have support for the DSP effects or not is another major barrier; I'd think that current Linux audio drivers are mostly centered around getting basic audio output and input working, since a lot of the hardware sound acceleration in games is proprietary tech, which doesn't really mesh well with the Linux community.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby peasant » 2012-5-19 @ 04:24

I tried them, and while A3D does work


Really? I was under the impression A3D was a no-go on 2k/XP, even with the beta drivers.

Actually, this page seems to have the most accurate information on the subject. It appears that A3D was only ever partially supported with those drivers.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby NamelessPlayer » 2012-5-19 @ 22:27

I'll admit, my testing was limited, but I do recall it working for Heavy Gear II, which uses Extreme Audio Reality's Interactive Around-Sound middleware.

Getting that working at its best is complicated because of the DLLs they use for supporting certain sound cards; the Vortex earias.dll worked fine with my Turtle Beach Montego II and beta Win2000 drivers, but the SB Live! earias.dll doesn't play nicely with modern X-Fi cards.

Regardless, it still looks like I'm going to have to build a Win9x system if that Montego II is to ever see its full potential unleashed.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby Kirben » 2012-5-22 @ 06:09

Any sound card using the Vortex 2 chipset would be fine, and completely support Aureal A3D 2/3. The SQ3500 was meant to provide hardware acceleration for new features, but didn't get released, or proper driver support.

EAX (1.0/2.0) was only supported under Windows 95/98, and Aureal A3D 2/3 (with reflections) never seemed to work quite right under Windows 2000 when I tried. It is a shame Aureal never got the chance to complete their WDM drivers for Windows 2000/ME.

Many sound cards offer Aureal A3D 1.x emulation, but none of the features of later versions.

I still have CD with last drivers released, if you actually manage to find an SQ3500.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby AurealDieHard » 2012-5-23 @ 20:38

I am Proud to say that i am one of the few owners in the world of a Aureal SQ3500 Turbo, as well as Official Aureal Mouse pads and other Memorabilia.
i have over 50 diff Aureal Sound Cards, and prolly have the most extensive collection ever.
Microsoft does have drivers for the SQ2500 that do work better than the beat, drivers, i also have tweaks and other apps for Aureal as well to work in XP.Damn i miss Aureal.......BTW.Aureal WAS NOT devoured by Creative!!!
Aureal won the battles in Court with Creative, But investors Pulled out fearing the worst, and thats why Aureal went Under.............Aureal was Spanking Creatives ass and prolly wouls still be if they hadnt gone under............
my sq3500 turbo board differs a little from the sq2500(coaxial ports are placed differnt)
but shes still a beast to look at and remeber the Days of a Mighty Sound card company.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby sepultribe » 2012-5-23 @ 21:18

post pictures of your collection please :)
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby AurealDieHard » 2012-5-23 @ 21:44

LOL gimme a few...........i have it all in my Junk room that im currently clearing up, but ill post either today or tommorow for sure.
its funny, i was just about to post on craigslist 15 brand new vortex soundcom v90 cards, when i stumbles on this post today and decided to give a shout out to any Aureal Fans out there.lol
im still always on the hunt for any elusive Aureal card that i dont have in my collection, but im sure i have around %80-90 of all cards that were made.
i have cards frim companys that few have heard about.lol
but yea gimme a few and ill get the digi Cam and take a few snaps.
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby AurealDieHard » 2012-5-23 @ 23:11

this is a small fraction of what i have.
ok here we go i just took these 30 mins ago.enjoy!!
i bought the sq3500 12 years ago from a guy in Dallas who was a DJ, and he says he bought the card at a swap meet or flea market brand new??
Image
By thealpha67 at 2012-05-23

the rarest sound card ever The SQ3500 Turbo[url][/url][url][/url]
Image
By thealpha67 at 2012-05-23

these are Areal Made 56k modems VHTF

Image
By thealpha67 at 2012-05-23

Diamond MX25 Daughterboard thats goes to the MX300

Image
By thealpha67 at 2012-05-23
the Mighty Diamond MX300(big ass DSP daughterboard eh?)

Image
By thealpha67 at 2012-05-23

Turtle Beach Montego II w/ DSP Daughter board adapter at bottom


Image
By thealpha67 at 2012-05-23
You guys remeber Aztech sound cards?

Image
By thealpha67 at 2012-05-23
Sonic Vortex2 now this was a great card as well

Image
By thealpha67 at 2012-05-23
Diamond MX300 w/no dsp board attached(different than above board

Image
By thealpha67 at 2012-05-23

SQ3500 Turbo side view

i would show more, but im limited on space in my home and my wife grumbled just to do this(she wants me to sell this all.lol)
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby vetz » 2012-5-24 @ 02:45

Nice pictures!

While some might wait for AurealDieHard to sell his collection there are new Vortex 2 cards (similar to Sonic Vortex 2) on Ebay for a fair price (4.99€) and fair shipping. Not my auction, but I bought a card from this seller and its pretty sweet. Seller has 8 left in stock so get them while you can. Be aware that he only ships to the EU.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TechWorks-Pow ... 715wt_1270
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Re: Aureal A3D _3.0_, SQ3500?? also, which A3D card is best?

Postby AurealDieHard » 2012-5-24 @ 03:48

hmm they are in the UK? do they sell to the USA?
btw, it looks to be a version 1 sq2500 thats been rebadged with another company.
no new or different tech, just the name differs thats all, but i still wouldnt mind having if they sold to the USA??
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