Saitek Cyborg 5.1 Headset

Posted on January 4, 2008
Author: Sean Potter
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Windows Gaming Peformance - Results

Unreal Tournament 2004 Results

Although UT2004 is an aging game, we should still be able to see any performance changes while using the headset in a botmatch. Multiplayer is capped at 90FPS to keep the game fair. Our test rig maxes multiplayer's frame limit out, so we're going to instead look at a spectator-mode botmatch. We used this benchmark on the 2GB of DDR2-800 Ballistix Tracer memory from Crucial a few months ago, and it does show a difference in performance when hardware is swapped. Let's look at the settings we used to perform the benchmark:
ut2004 dm-rankin?spectatoronly=1?numbots=12?quickstart=1?attractcam=1 -benchmark -seconds=77 -ini=default.ini
The benchmarks uses my default settings, so we'll have surround audio, and the highest video settings at a 1680x1050 resolution. After running this benchmark 5 times with the headset plugged in and 5 times using our dedicated sound card, we averaged our findings together for the table below:

Setting Min. FPS Avg. FPS Max. FPS
Soundblaster Audigy 43.5 160.1 415.8
Cyborg 5.1 Headset 39.9 152.3 406.1

Judging by these bencharks, the headset makes little or no difference in performance. The average FPS for both sound devices are only 8 FPS apart, and both are still more than your eyes will ever be able to see. Let's see if a newer game gives us different results.

Unreal Tournament 3

The latest installment of the Unreal Tournament series brings us never-before-seen eyecandy, even better than that in its sister game, Gears of War. The eye candy doesn't come without a price, however. It takes some serious processing power to push the frames in the game, so we're much more likely to see a decrease in performance using the Cyborg 5.1 Headset here than in Unreal Tournament 2004.

Unreal Tournament 3 still seems to be a work in progress, as there is limited documention on benchmarking features. Other features remain broken, such as demo replays. We discovered a unique tool called ut3bench. It allows you to run custom benchmarks, with the ability to adjust settings before use. I opted to put in 12 bots using the CTF-Coret map and run the game at 1680x1050 on low settings with sound and DirectX 10 for a total of 60 seconds.


Much like the UT2004 benchmark, I ran this benchmark five times on the Cyborg 5.1 Headset and five times on the Creative X-Fi.

Setting Avg. FPS % FPS over 30 Frame Count
Soundblaster Audigy 108.6 96.41% 6496
Cyborg 5.1 Headset 97.28 94.84% 5828

As expected, we saw a slightly larger performance gap between the two audio devices than we did in UT2004. However, this performance gap against isn't that huge. While the performance decrease in average FPS is 10%, it's not significant enough for the end user to notice anything. It would seem that the Cyborg 5.1 Headset gives solid Linux performance.

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