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UNi Xonar 1788 with original C-Media Audio Center b1 & b2 (experimental) – [closed]

This is a experimental build that uses original C-Media Audio Center instead of Asus Audio Center. I began testing it from the DPC latency perspective, and thanks to Neker’s  feedback, it might be more to it than this. Besides having more settings it might also improve audio quality.  So anyone with free time and eager to contribute in making UNi Xonar drivers better, should check this out and report back your feedback even if its subjective.  Also someone that has RightMark Audio Analyzer  should give it try and compare these drivers output with UNi Xonar 1.0(1).

Some quick notes (updated 29.08.2010):

– DPC latency is low even with Control Center running in tray.

– DPC latency is lower even compared to UNi Xonar 1788 1.0 Low DPC latency . E.g. by enabling Dolby Headphones latency was ~410μs instead of ~500μs

– Download  Sample rate switcher for XP here. You will need to restart or Disable and Enable the Asus Xonar Card from the Device Manager. A quick way to see if its working is to see if DPC latency is higher.

If it doesn’t change look at this guide 5. Finding setting path in the registry & modify .bat switchers to your system. Please report if you had to change the registry path.

– This build still comes with ASIO 2.0, so you’ll have to install ASIO 1.0 Patch A if you used it previously .

Make sure you uninstall the previous drives, UNi Xonar 1.0 drivers may appear in Add or Remove Programs as UNi Xonar Audio

 

How to turn on GX mode (updated 29.08.2010):

1) Download and run one of these files (Right-click and Save (link) as).  XP or  Windows7

2) Download and run the corresponding  hsstart ***.bat file and add  it to Start->Programs->Startup for automatic startup. (thanks sl55)

If this doesn’t work. You may need to manually edit both .bat files. Guide is at 5. Finding setting path in the registry & modify .bat switchers to your system. Please report if you had to change the registry path.

Just as a reference, here is what Neker wrote ( “2 Win7” =  “Uni Xonar 1788 C-Media Center b1 Win7”) :

Hi there carvedinside!

I did a fresh windows install to confirm the results of my previous tests.

I have ran the enhance.bat program. Apparently sound quality is the same, I mean, it does not seem to improve sound quality neither to have any effect. However I have not measured any potential increase in sound quality with any kind of software of other devices (im not really a sound techie but I trust to what I hear :p ).

Concerning your question: “Did you noticed a difference in sound quality without any audio functions enabled as well ?”
The answer is yes.

a) Sound quality is richer when i used the test build “2 Win 7” with the “Oxigen HD configuration menu”. Sharp sounds in other builds are almost lost. And the quality of “bass” sounds is also better with the the test build “2 Win 7”. The true boost in sound quality comes by selecting 2 channels (audio input) and Dolby Prologic.

b) In your final builds, when I select “Dolby” through the “Asus configuration menu”, I do not have sound at all neither in the rear speakers nor in the front speaker (front right and left channels work… dont remember if the subwoofer works or not). In these builds, this is partially fixed by clicking in the “effects” window and adding a sound effect (for example the “Generic” effect). Another fix is to click “7.1 virtual speakers” in the main menu and have the sound of the loudspeakers circling around me, but it is crazy!
In summary, neither the rear speakers nor the front speaker work with other builds. They work using effects in the driver which somehow replicate the sound of the front right and left channels.

My conclusions:
The problem is that the Dolby option using the Asus configuration menu is not really creating 6 different sound channels, but only 2 channels: front left and front right (maybe subwoofer channel too, cant remember). Effects in the driver create the feeling that sound is generated for all speakers, but it is not. It is just replicating the sound of the front right and left channels and sending it through other speakers. Using the test build “2 Win 7” (with the “Oxigen HD configuration menu”) the soundcard is creating 6 true sound channels. And this is really a big difference in sound quality. I get these results by using “Dolby” which is a technology designed to create different sound channels (so apparently Dolby is working perfectly in the test build “2 Win 7”).

Further thoughts:
– In addition, the “Oxigen HD configuration menu” is richer than the ASUS configuration menu. It has more possible options and enhancements. For example, there is a blank square named “Panoramic” you can check under the “Dolby Prologic” settings (in the tab named PLIIx) which enhances sound quality. This is just to mention one feature which is lost in the Asus configuration menu.

– This information also could be helpful since the results of my tests could be affected by my specific hardware. My speakers are Logitech Z-5500 (http://www.logitech.com/en-us/speakers-audio/home-pc-speakers/devices/224). They come with a device to select the input channels, so I can select if input is “Direct” (this one using jack connectors) and “Optical”, “Coax” (these two with S/PDIF). I achieve the best sound quality using the following:

In the loudspeaker I select:
* Direct input (through jack connectors), 6 channels.

In the the “Oxigen HD configuration menu” i select:
* Audio input: 2 Channels
* Dolby Pro Logic (“Panoramic” enabled)
* 6 Speakers
* Audio output PCM

If the only difference between test build “2 Win 7” and your final builds in the ftp is the configuration menu (Oxygen HD and ASUS), then, according to my experience the Asus configuration menu is crap, as you pointed out.

Hope the content of this email to be helpful. Also note that the results of my tests have been confirmed by reinstalling windows. However, different loudspeakers may not report the same results. I think my Logitech speakers have a Dolby decoder built in (not sure if this is relevant, but its good to let you know about it).

Download 1788 b1: here or 1790 b2: here


103 Comments

  1. Jenyar    24 Aug 2010 @ 11:36   

    I've switched to the beta driver after using the 1.01 driver successfully for a while, just to see if it makes a difference. I'm not sure if it's just my imagination, but positioning, volume levels and sound quality seems better. I don't know how to test this objectively.

    I have a Xonar D1 on Win7 Pro 64, using 8 channel in & headphones out, with no DSP enhancements (I think it's better to let the game/application decide the shape of the sound). I find the Xear3D control panel a bit ugly though 🙂

    PS. Does anyone notice a slight background noise when testing the right channel with headphones? This is evident in both ASUS and CMedia drivers, but I only pick it up when testing the left and right channels. Maybe the original recording was bad?

  2. rudi    24 Aug 2010 @ 18:54   

    Hello! CarvedInside.
    Asus created new 1790 drivers for Asus DG. Waiting Uni b2.
    Thanks for all your work.

    ftp://ftp.asus.com.tw/pub/ASUS/Audio_Card/Xonar_DG/

  3. sl55    27 Aug 2010 @ 14:49   

    For me i made a little batch to turn on GX automaticly.

    start %WINDIR%syswow64HsMgr.exe Envoke

    start %WINDIR%systemHsMgr64.exe Envoke

    exit

    Saved as a batch in all users autorun. I habe Windows 7 HP 64 bit.

  4. sl55    27 Aug 2010 @ 16:15   

    There is a new problem. If i played Spellforce 2 the game crasehd sometimes wit a BSOD. The eroor is cmudaxp.sys, any hints?

  5. sl55    27 Aug 2010 @ 17:50   

    Without xear 3d no crashes. ASIO is not installed. Ingame i can`t use some eax setting without xear 3d.
    With the origin driver from ASUS no crashes too if gx enabled.

  6. Rondel    28 Aug 2010 @ 22:09   

    Hey lads and gals,

    Tried out the xear driver version (without asio patch) under Win XP (SP3) on xonar DX – didn’t observe any significant differences from the uni 1.01 drivers.
    Idle DPC latency on my rig with xear is between 20-40us – approx. 5 points less then with Asus control centre, really marginally different. Under load (1080p playback) the xear produces between 1000-1200us.
    With regards to the Xear control center:
    pros:
    -less obscure then asus control center (better layout, less flashy)
    -most vital options readily available (at last, all mixer setting for recording and playback at one spot)
    -the speaker test option is back (yay!)
    cons:
    -no sample rate switch
    -no gx activation (doesn’t matter for me, I’ve scratched off that feature months ago)
    -no smart volume control – I often used that option for movies playback, since it produced better, clearer vocals on my speakers
    -the lest important: the xear control centre is uuuugly, I’d much rather have a standard windows control center layout with checkboxes, sliders etc.

    Once again, thanks Carved for your work and support for the community, I tilt my hat to you.

    cheers,
    Rondel

    PS – another pro is the ability to change volume for each used channel separately.

  7. Daichi    29 Aug 2010 @ 02:28   

    I've just instal this driver
    Test on Xonar DX, WinXP sp3, Logitech x-540 5.1 ( this speakers are not for music in my opinion 🙂 and AIMP2 russian music player )
    Basslines is like more clear than on official drivers – overall sound quality is better I think.. I'll soon test sound on Microlab solo2 speakers
    If you can please add sample rate switcher!!

  8. Daichi    29 Aug 2010 @ 15:39   

    I done all this but sample rate switcher did not appear 🙁

  9. Daichi    29 Aug 2010 @ 16:05   

    You mean all I have to do is to select "desired" bat file?

  10. Daichi    29 Aug 2010 @ 16:13   

    and just this – "Replace the bold part in this line: reg add “hklmSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlClass{4D36E96C-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}005Settings“
    In my case its same in bat files and in the exported registry file so I didnt have to change nothing

    • CarvedInside    29 Aug 2010 @ 16:26   

      If its the same you don't have to edit the .bat files . A quick way to see if its working is to see if DPC latency is higher.

  11. Daichi    29 Aug 2010 @ 16:48   

    Looks like won't work at all 🙁
    44.1 or 192 DPC latency is still the same 🙁
    In asus official control panel if I remember well when you change sample rate in music or films you can hear a like a crisp sound or like a lag and that is a signal that you change sample rate.. With this bat files nothing happens 🙁

    • CarvedInside    29 Aug 2010 @ 17:12   

      Thats because with the asus control center did a "refresh", with this bat files you have to manually do that by disabling and enabling the audio card in device manger or restart your system. Monitor your DPC latency with the 44.1 KHz sample rate then change it to 192 KHz .

  12. Daichi    29 Aug 2010 @ 17:34   

    Do you mean like this
    from 44.1 to 48 I must disable and enable the audio card in device manger and then from 48 to 96 I must again disable and enable xonar??
    I mostly use 44.1 for music and 48 for some movies – there is no need for 96 and 192

    • CarvedInside    30 Aug 2010 @ 20:44   

      Sadly yes. That's for now, but maybe I'll manage to enable them in the Audio Center.
      I would personally switch and stick to 48 KHz.

  13. rankena    31 Aug 2010 @ 06:14   

    What original sample rate on freshly instaled driver with C-media?

    • CarvedInside    31 Aug 2010 @ 13:00   

      In WinXP with b1 is 44.1 KHz . But with b2 from the 1.10 drivers is 192 KHz I think. I will release a new version that fixes this.

  14. Daichi    14 Sep 2010 @ 00:33   

    1790 b1 instaled 😀 Sample rate is 44.1KHz on this b1 default??
    Sample rate switcher in control panel is only missing but not a big problem 😀
    Welcome back X)

  15. bart    22 Sep 2010 @ 00:52   

    nice driver, sounds good, but, as mentioned before, what is still missing is the use of the built in headphone-amplifier in the ST. Sound is good, but too thin/low volume for my hd600. Please turn this feature on.
    Keep up the good work

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