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Best sound card for World of Warcaft under Linux?

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  • Best sound card for World of Warcaft under Linux?

    Hi,

    I have recently bought a new PC, one of whose uses will (eventually) be playing World of Warcraft. However, this PC only has on-board sound and so I am considering installing a dedicated sound card instead. Can anyone recommend a sound card, please? Something with lots of hardware channels and a decent ALSA driver would seem to be appropriate. (My current WoW PC has an Audigy2, which has 32 channels.)

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • #2
    i think a better question would be: whats the best sound card for linux systems in general? This is a question i myself wish to know.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by L33F3R View Post
      i think a better question would be: whats the best sound card for linux systems in general? This is a question i myself wish to know.
      Of modern available consumer class cards it would probably have to be the 8788 or 8768 based cards such as Asus Xonars, B-Gears, etc. Not that under basically any card in linux running wine your sound will only be 2 channel.

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      • #4
        Best is a relative term

        Originally posted by L33F3R View Post
        i think a better question would be: whats the best sound card for linux systems in general? This is a question i myself wish to know.
        The best soundcard is always going to depend on what you plan doing with it. In my case, I am looking for a large number of channels and hardware acceleration, to give me a "step up" from Warcraft with an Audigy 2.

        ALSA's feature matrix for the X-Fi seems too sparse to be worth my money, particularly when it explicitly says that it doesn't support the "crystallization" feature yet.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by chrisr View Post
          The best soundcard is always going to depend on what you plan doing with it. In my case, I am looking for a large number of channels and hardware acceleration, to give me a "step up" from Warcraft with an Audigy 2.

          ALSA's feature matrix for the X-Fi seems too sparse to be worth my money, particularly when it explicitly says that it doesn't support the "crystallization" feature yet.

          If your looking for hardware channels then your best off sticking with what you have now. Just as a FYI multi voice hardware mixing is not present in the linux x-fi drivers.

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          • #6
            Which begs the question...

            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
            If your looking for hardware channels then your best off sticking with what you have now. Just as a FYI multi voice hardware mixing is not present in the linux x-fi drivers.
            Warcraft considers 32 hardware channels to be "low", and supports 64 channels. So which are the cards that have 64 channels?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by chrisr View Post
              Warcraft considers 32 hardware channels to be "low", and supports 64 channels. So which are the cards that have 64 channels?
              Hardware wise your not going to find such a beast for linux. Even then your going to be bottlenecked by wine's audio capabilities which do not support sound effects, multichannel surround sound, 3d positioning, or doppler effects. openAL support in W0W would also be required. You are running into a software limitation of wine and alsa as your present card can do 64 hardware channels but only through Direct Sound or openAL.

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              • #8
                Wine's support seems to be slightly better than that.

                Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                Even then your going to be bottlenecked by wine's audio capabilities which do not support sound effects, multichannel surround sound, 3d positioning, or doppler effects. openAL support in W0W would also be required.
                Here's what WoW thinks of my current sound system:
                1/17 20:35:47.879 => Version 3.3.0 (11159) Dec 9 2009
                1/17 20:35:47.881
                1/17 20:35:47.882 => Setting up Game Sound:
                1/17 20:35:47.883 - SESound Engine Init
                1/17 20:35:47.883 - FMOD Memory Init
                1/17 20:35:47.884 - FMOD System Create
                1/17 20:35:47.943 - FMOD version 00040907 detected
                1/17 20:35:47.944 - Hardware is ENABLED
                1/17 20:35:47.945 - Reverb is ENABLED
                1/17 20:35:47.947 - 2 Output drivers detected
                1/17 20:35:47.948 --- [0] System Default
                1/17 20:35:47.949 --- [1] ADC Capture/Standard PCM Playbac
                1/17 20:35:47.951 - Using [0] System Default for Game Output
                1/17 20:35:47.952 - 64 Channels Requested.
                1/17 20:35:47.953 - Querying Sound Driver for Available Hardware Channels.
                1/17 20:35:47.992 - Sound Driver Reports: 32 Hardware Channels Available.
                1/17 20:35:47.994 - Too many channels requested. Using max available instead
                1/17 20:35:47.995 - Using 32 channels.
                1/17 20:35:47.997 - DSPBufferSize = AUTO DETECT
                1/17 20:35:47.998 - Detected Control Panel Speaker Mode = STEREO
                1/17 20:35:47.999 - Setting WoW Speaker Mode to STEREO
                1/17 20:35:48.008 - FMOD System Init OK!
                1/17 20:35:48.009 => Game Sound is ready.
                So I get "hardware acceleration" and "reverb", even if I only get 32 channels.

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                • #9
                  That's a hell of a lot better than my laptop sound chip.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chrisr View Post
                    Here's what WoW thinks of my current sound system:

                    So I get "hardware acceleration" and "reverb", even if I only get 32 channels.

                    Sorry but you don't, you are getting false positives.

                    http://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=10603

                    http://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=13852

                    http://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=11764

                    http://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=11499

                    http://source.winehq.org/git/wine.gi...5;hb=HEAD#l266


                    Don't trust what apps "report" and what is actually capable. Fmod in wine is horrible at reporting audio capabilities. My Chaintech AV-710 for example reports 4096 voices even though it is a pure audio controller with no DSP capabilities.

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