Machine Build Things I Needed to Relearn

For the past week I have been diving into Battlefield 2142.  I bought the game with the intent of joining one specific server.  In fact it was the videos from one of the members which convinced me I might like BF2142.  Be that as it may one of the things they stress at Tactical Gamer is voice communications.  I’ve got my headset with a mic, I’m set.  Except everyone has been complaining my voice has been exceptionally quiet.

I couldn’t figure out why.  Same headphones, same mic, same crappy position down near my chin since the boom has no tension left to stay any higher.  People in other games didn’t have problems hearing me.  Only in BF2142 and Project Reality (a Battlefield 2 mod).  Since both games use basically the same engine I figured that the developers just munged their voice code.

Except today I decided to do a little experiment.  When I built this machine I decided to not use my old SoundBlaster X-Gamer Live!.  It’s so old SoundBlaster doesn’t have a product page for it any more.  For some reason I felt that the on-board audio on a brand new motherboard would probably provide better sound than a ~10 year old PCI audio card I bought when I lived in Pasadena, Ca.

Nope.  Plopped that card into my case, got WinXP to recognize it, hopped into BF2142 and into a squad led by the guy who lead the squad just 20 minutes prior.  I asked for a mic check and he heard me loud and clear.  I knew that the on-board audio/video just isn’t worth spit.  I just chose to ignore that nugget of wisdom many, many machine builds had tought me and hoped that maybe it could outperform 10 year old technology.  Silly me.


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