|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Tech Help » Gorath's random hardware thread

Default Gorath's random hardware thread

February 21st, 2009, 22:22
1) I got a Logitch x-540 5.1 surround set. The manual is crap. How do I place the speakers correctly if I have a lot of (symmetrical) space in front and l/r but not more than ca. 30 cm to the back?

2) I saw a small ITX mainbaord on eBay which had an additional module with 3* 1 GB-LAN. What's that for? Why would anybody want so much LAN on a slow server mainboard?
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,845

Default 

February 21st, 2009, 23:58
A lot of aspects would effecting the sound you receive from a 5.1 speaker, including the room design, furniture and computer's desk placement, the quality of recorded sound from the media, positioning of subwoofer and satellite speakers, and even how you sit in a chair.

Year ago when i set up my 5.1 speaker i remember reading some tips including putting the satellites same distance from where you sitting, and because way sound travel in 5.1 setup, place the speakers at same level with your ears (try that and you'll perceive the different…). For maximum bass, put the sub at the wall corner; and i remember some saying the wall materials (wood, cement) also have certain affect). The four satellites should facing and angling toward you while the center satellite best position is little above and facing your (on the LCD or wall behind it).

More tips available from:
http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards…ment-help.html
http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messa…79/129023.html
http://www.avforums.com/forums/room-…placement.html
Remus is offline

Remus

Remus's Avatar
Antihero

#2

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,020

Default 

February 24th, 2009, 05:40
Thanks!
I'm quite happy with the set. Clearly better than the 2.1 speakers I had before. Getting it to run correctly was quite an adventure though. All cables are colour coded, it's impossible to make a mistake connecting the speakers. But finding out where to plug them into the mainboard was quite tricky. It turned out the manual was incorrect, I had to plug rear into another jack. Then I had to manually override the driver's auto-detect.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#3

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,845

Default 

February 24th, 2009, 16:05
Using on-board sound?

How the speaker performed so far? 5.1 best for movie and games, not great on music but personally i found that playing hardcore/trance/heavy dance music on bass heavy Logitech speakers always a huge plus. The amount of racket, roaring and cacophonic dance sound it produces is just crazy i told ya. I heard users reporting even the cheap x-540 performs admirably in pumping trance music that could blow you brain out…
Remus is offline

Remus

Remus's Avatar
Antihero

#4

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,020

Default 

February 24th, 2009, 18:55
Yes, RealTek onboard sound. The last PCI sound card I had was troubled by the Via Southbridge bug. I exchanged it for the comparable Terratec card, and when onboard surpassed that generation of sound cards I didn't buy an upgrade.

So far I'm very happy with the X-540. I got with a rebate through Amazon's own shop for returns they think they cannot sell as new. Which means everything is new except for a missing sticker somewhere. It cost me 56 EUR instead of the usual 80., both including VAT.
I've read lots of reviews about how much the Logitech sets suck, how weak the bass is under load, and I know that you get what you pay for and that everybody (really, everybody!) says to start at www.teufel.de and only buy something else if it's clearly cheaper. I wasn't willing to spend the 160 EUR on Teufel's entry level system though, so something cheaper had to do.

Obviously a cheap set with 5 roar cubes and a small subwoofer isn't the best choice for a music lover. It's made for sound effects, (talking) voice and noisy music. I'm pleasantly surprised about the pretty decend way it plays most kinds of music though. I find the quality of different music is heavily dependent on the quality of the source material and the presets in the software equalizer though. My standard setting is "Rock" because I prefer music with lots of guitars. That's fine for such music and of course also for films and games. Dido sounds like crap on it though.

Here's a short list of footage I tried:
- movies: Afro Samurai & AS Resurrection; great sound track by The RZA. Sounds absolutely stunning on "Rock". Heavy, pumping bass, but quite diverse in other instruments. RZA isn't limited to Wu-Tang stuff.

- Dido: Too calm for such a set. Sounds like crap on "Rock", it's somewhat tolerable on "Pop" and "Live". Generally speaking I think such precise, calm high quality pop with a lot of filigree things going on in the background and a supersweet voice in the foreground is too demanding for such a cheap speaker set. If you want to listen to such music buy at least a good 2.1 set for 100 EUR.

- Scorpions: Sounds good on "Rock", but the source material was too old.

- Peppers: Sounds great. No surprise, because that's exactly what the X-540 can.

- Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms: No chance. That's even worse than Dido.
- Dire Straits, louder stuff: pretty good.

- Seeed: The only dancable stuff I have here. Sounds good although a bit different on both "Rock", "Pop" and "Live". A lot of bass and 11 people playing against each other is something the X-540 likes.

- Mark Knopfler, Sailing to Philadelphia: After the experience with Dido and Brothers in Arms I was quite surprised that Knopfler's solo CD sounds good. Maybe that's because it's not as extremely calm as the aforementioned CDs and because the sound is deeper and not in the usual pop range. The better source material compared to Brothers certainly also helped. Some experimentation with the equalizer was necessary.

Summary:
The X-540 is good enough for the occasional CD. If music is one of your primary hobbies the X-540 is quite okay for noisy music with lots of action. If you listen to carefully made pop or even classic, do yourself a favour and buy something better.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#5

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,845

Default 

February 26th, 2009, 10:39
Good summary.

For "something better," I'd suggest a decent pair of stereo speakers. They don't even cost any more. I've got a pair of Creative GigaWorks T20's, and they sound excellent for both music and games; almost like studio monitors… *IF* you're sitting where you're supposed to be, i.e., not more than 3 feet from them, with them pointed at your face. Stand up or move around, and the sound loses all three-dimensionality and becomes quite muddy. You don't get the sound effects of a 5.1 system, of course, but then they don't take up the space either. I've had them for about a year now, and am very happy with them — my only beef is that the power LED is blue, bright, and annoying. I've actually taken some black marker to it to dim it a bit.
Prime Junta is offline

Prime Junta

RPGCodex' Little BRO

#6

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8,540

Default 

February 26th, 2009, 14:33
Well i should do a simple review as well.

When i am buying z5500 i consider it as expensive, overpriced and a waste of money as i am not always into bass or loud music. I do like some trance and experienmental hardcore techno stuffs, but that's all.

In late 2007 i personally built a new system for three main purposes: movie, game and music. With that in mind i concluded i must have a very respectable Core 2 duo processor, a 22" LCD plus nVdia 8800, and the X-fi sound card. The remaining big piece of hardware i have to decide is a speaker. I am already reached the limit of my original budget, and thinking of getting the most attractive choices, the Logitech x540 speaker and the famous Aego M 2.1 speaker. The x5500 is not on my list until very last moment. I just tought that since i already have pretty much high-end stuff in my system, i may as well go for the best 5.1 speaker for computer.

The speaker and its 5.1 setup shines from three games that i played: Bioshock, Crysis and Dead Space. As i posted elsewhere on Crysis:

…. almost like you're in movie theater and you could hear the realistic sound of heavy rocks falling from hundred feets above, the noise of exploding helicopter crashing down near you, or the floor rattling sound of big aliens walking by, splashing of water, sound of rocket fired off, bullet whizzling by, or aliens shooting you from behind - fantastic stuff!.
On Dead Space:
One very notable thing about Dead Space is the surprisingly atmospheric sound effect implementation. It really multiplied the scare factor if you have high-end 5.1 speaker …When i tried playing the game with sound turn-off or using a headphone - the game just felt different and almost not scary at all.
How about when playing DVD? What happens when a big and noisy speaker come together with loud and frantic "Transformer" by Michael Bay? I tried it recently and surely it did not disappoint. Most spectacular are the sound of figther jets screaming through the city skyline, sound of bullets flying and hitting things, and the meaty lobbing sound of rocket fired by autobots in slow motion tearing through air and explode on impact.

When i do listen to trance and techno on high volume; the raw power of the speaker make you feeling like the high-octane music is cruising through your body (…no, i'm not on ecctasy drugs while listening to it). Full sound volume in windows and Foobar, 80% of bass, and 50% of speaker volume are the highest level i ever reached without worrying of something explode, the danger to my eardrum, or possibility of someone crashing through door and beating me up.

The negative side? The only serious problem i ever encountered was a fuse inside the subwoofer blew within couple weeks i bought it. That certainly shocked me as i already blew a big hole on my wallet. Luckily i'm ready and knew how to solve it after weeks of research when looking for my dream speaker. It is one of the most common problem encountered by z5500 users. The problem was relatively easy the fix, just pop up the spoilt fuse and replace with compatible one and it's all good to go again, roaring and thundering as it should until now.
Last edited by Remus; February 26th, 2009 at 14:45.
Remus is offline

Remus

Remus's Avatar
Antihero

#7

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,020

Default 

March 14th, 2009, 04:54
I need a picture or website to correctly adjust the geometry of a 22" CRT. Any ideas?
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#8

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,845

Default 

August 3rd, 2009, 11:45
My 22" CRT dies. Thank god just when a friend wanted to sell his 22" TFT.

Now I have the 22" TFT as primary monitor and a 19" CRT as secondary display.

Is it possible to connect an application to a certain display? Right now I often get message boxes on the primary display even though I've moved the app to the secondary. This is slightly annoying.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#9

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,845

Default 

August 3rd, 2009, 11:59
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
My 22" CRT dies. Thank god just when a friend wanted to sell his 22" TFT.

Now I have the 22" TFT as primary monitor and a 19" CRT as secondary display.

Is it possible to connect an application to a certain display? Right now I often get message boxes on the primary display even though I've moved the app to the secondary. This is slightly annoying.
You could switch primary display

But otherwise, no, I don't think there's a specific way of telling your application where you want pop-ups. It would have to be part of the application, and I doubt that's the case with many of them.

I could be wrong, though, as I've never found much need for multiple displays.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#10

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,577

Default 

August 4th, 2009, 15:30
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Is it possible to connect an application to a certain display? Right now I often get message boxes on the primary display even though I've moved the app to the secondary. This is slightly annoying.
one of the better tool to manage apps on multi-monitors is UltraMon.

Intel C2D E4500 @2.20GHz Kingston 2GB RAM (DDR2 667) MSI NX 9800GT (512MB DDR3)
lanux128 is offline

lanux128

Sentinel

#11

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 461

Default 

August 6th, 2009, 17:15
Thanks.

Now I have the following problem:

After a restart Windows forgets resolution and refresh rate of the secondary display. I have to set it manually every time. Windows remembers the name of the monitor I have selected (Iiyama 1451 or something), but it overrides my selection and sets it to 1280*1024 with 60 Hz, which of course looks like shit.

Is there any way to force Windows to remember my settings?
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#12

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,845

Default 

August 19th, 2010, 15:35
Time to plan an upgrade.

Question:
How many CPU-cores does WinXP Pro SP3 support? I'm thinking about an AMD Quadcore.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#13

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,845

Default 

August 19th, 2010, 17:40
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Thanks.

Now I have the following problem:

After a restart Windows forgets resolution and refresh rate of the secondary display. I have to set it manually every time. Windows remembers the name of the monitor I have selected (Iiyama 1451 or something), but it overrides my selection and sets it to 1280*1024 with 60 Hz, which of course looks like shit.

Is there any way to force Windows to remember my settings?
From what I remember, as long as the screen is still plugged in, it should remember the settings. If it doesn't, I don't know why.

Why XP still ?
Pladio is offline

Pladio

Pladio's Avatar
Guardian of Nonsense
RPGWatch Donor

#14

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: London, uk
Posts: 3,194
Send a message via MSN to Pladio

Default 

August 19th, 2010, 19:39
The monitor remembers, but WinXP forgets the correct refresh rate. I still have to adjust it once per session.

Because I have an XP Pro System Builder license. The same for Win 7 costs 83 EUR.
Gorath is offline

Gorath

Gorath's Avatar
Prime Evil
RPGWatch Team

#15

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,845

Default 

August 19th, 2010, 20:08
I would strongly reccomend to go with win7, you're not going to be able to get by with XP SP 3 that much longer even if it is the 64-bit version. Games are going to begin to be DX10 or DX11 only… just a matter of time really.
GothicGothicness is offline

GothicGothicness

GothicGothicness's Avatar
SasqWatch

#16

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,241

Default 

August 19th, 2010, 20:34
Gorath,
One solution for refresh rate problems on Win XP is to use Powerstrip.
shaf is offline

shaf

Watchdog

#17

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto, Ont. Canada
Posts: 211
RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Tech Help » Gorath's random hardware thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:57.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch