Videologic SonicVortex2 - Part 8
Impression #4

In game performance probably mattered most. Well, playing with a pair of headphones, Half-Life no doubt best brought out the powess of A3D 2.0. I could feel that positional audio was taken a notch higher - sounds of enemy fire were distinct enough to giveaway their positions.

However, once I switched to quad speakers mode, the effects became a little hazier and after installing LiveWare 2.0 onto my SBLive! test system, positional audio had been much improved and distinct. No longer I see the advantages of wavetracing over EAX so clearly. (Check Page 3 of Alive's LiveWare 2.0 Review)

Unreal was another game I played on both cards. I was unable to discern any appreciable difference between the Vortex2 and Live!. Strolling about the infamous Nali Falls didn't disappoint on both cards. Performance was about on par with each other.

Next, I started up (my personal favourite) Need for Speed 3. Due to explicit support for EAX (as well as A3D 1.0), the game performed nicely on the Live! with appreciable reverb effects as you raced through tunnels and canyons. With the Vortex2, missing out on these effects took away the fun of that added realism. The problem arose again in MotoRacer2, the game appear to lack something when I raced through the tunnels minus EAX. However, 3D positional sounds still worked very well, you could  definitely hear if the bikes passed you from the right or left.

The EAX enhanced FIFA 99 had the most overly done stadium reverb ever. But I cannot deny that it added a certain immersiveness into the delightful game. Once played on the SonicVortex2 then I realised I was missing a considerable amount of action, excitement and the "feel of being there".


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