Is there a graphic equailzer for XP gaming?

By link590o ยท 15 replies
Sep 5, 2007
  1. I was playing this game, (name is not important), and I decided to muck around in the .wav files. And I realized that my Windows Media Player made the sounds so much better than the way my game renders the sound.

    Is there any way to force my applications to use a graphic equalizer? Or is that something exclusive to Vista?
  2. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Many soundcard drivers are accompanied by graphic equalizer applets as part of their driver suite. Creative and many integrated have this for XP.

    What soundcard or integrated set do you have? It's possible you may have a graphic EQ as part of your drivers but you wont find them in the control panel or normal audio properties. They may also be available but just not installed as there are basic Windows driver kits as well as extra tools/applications for most popular soundcards.
  3. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    i'm really honestly unsure of how exactly to check. but what i did was i went to my device manager...and i'm pretty sure that my audio device is a SoundMAX digital integrated audio sound card.

    anything beyond that sort of information, i don't know how to get or give.

    treat me like an ***** on this sort of thing. i know next to nothing. i can fix just about anything else. but not audio properties and applets.
  4. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi, the good news is- most forms of SoundMAX Audio Drivers DO have a SoundMAX Audio panel with graphic equalizer.

    The bad news is, SoundMax drivers can be for any number of different integrated soundcards. Is your PC a particular make/model of PC (like a Dell, Gateway, HP) and if so, what model? This will usually be on the front or back of the PC itself on a faceplate.

    If you can't find a nametag/make/model, or if this is a custom built or non-manufactured PC, you can run CPU-Z (download link: ), and look at the Mainboard tab at the top. Screenshotting or posting this information can help us find drivers for your particular motherboard.

    Lastly, look in your systray; that area on the bottom-right side of the windows desktop. If it has a little < arrow, click this to expand it and look for a little orange or blue speaker icon. If you double-click on this, chances are pretty good you have the EQ as part of the audio drivers already installed. If you have the SoundMax audio panel in there, you should be able to find the graphic EQ and make adjustments there. :)
  5. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    oh i know plenty of how to do that. its just messing with sound cards and crap that i don't know what to do. all of my specs are listed in my profile. but for the sake of expedience,

    i have a dell 2400 series dimension desktop from like....7 years ago. a.k.a. the stone-age. the only thing i get when i open the sound properties is the volume level where i can set balance, mic in, line in, and all the other junk listed.

    where there would be a graphic equalizer, i don't know. so i'll leave it to you for that.

    i actually went so far as to remove the sound options icon from the systray because i almost never use it.

    and i delved into the sound properties and i found the "mixer" but i can't seem to mess with the properties and such,
  6. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Well, it's quite possible you disabled or removed the soundmax audio panel that has the EQ. :D

    You can redownload the AC97 Codec for your particular Dimension 2400 at:

    This is assuming you have a Dimensions 2400 and *not* a Dimensions 2400C.

    If you are unsure, your Dell should have also come with some CD's, including drivers and software CD's. You could always re-install the audio drivers in hopes of the systray panel returning for perusal for EQ.

    This should be an ADI-198x integrated audio which either through dell or ADI should have an Equalizer as part of the systray/audio drivers.

    Lastly, that Dell also has PCI-slots. If you have a spare, you can buy a third party audio card if this is important to you. Even the cheapest Creative Audigy SE's (which you can find at Walmart or NewEgg for like $28

    This has a full suite of software, including EQ and advanced EAX controls for effects (reverb, echo, "Cathedral" sound lol..).

    Good luck!
  7. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    honestly i was hoping it wouldn't come to that...i'm already hard pressed in terms of cash. i'm trying to save it all to buy a new computer. so for now i'll try upgrading the codec. i do have a spare slot, but i'm not going to bother wasting my money on this hunk of crap.

    if you take a look at the specs i listed in my profile, you'll understand why....i had to modify the 5hi7 out of this thing just to make it usable.

    i changed the themes, added another hard drive, upgraded the video card, got a RAM booster, cleaned out the registry, all kinds of stuff...its probably the best computer in my house sadly enough, and it's all such old technology. celeron 2.2 ghz?...ew......the best things i have in this computer would be the video card, and the peripherals ^^;;....sad but true.
  8. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    well, i just installed and restarted. and it didn't change anything.

    i can change the volume of anything i want, but nothing more than that...

    if there really is an eq where i can adjust the bass and treble and stuff for better sound quality for applications, then i haven't found it yet.
  9. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Okay, it appears Dell is packaging the tiny/driver-old piece (3MB) when SoundMax makes a complete EQ/soundpanel (usually a little blue arrow icon in the systray).

    If you can run CPU-Z from above and report on the Mainboard and other tabs (or just use the export function on the last tab and copy/paste this), we could try to find you reference drivers for that on-board chip with the full SoundMAX Software suite- which definitely includes the EQ and lots of other neato things.

    I'm 99% sure that board has the ADI 1985 chip and likely a stripped Intel board given most of those Dimension 2000 series. If this is the case, you can try the reference Intel board ADI 1985 drivers here (just click the "Download" on the right/middle side):

    Be sure to set a restore point in case you run into difficulties. If not, we can dig deeper once we know the precise chipset and mainboard your Dell has. :)
  10. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    Exact information from CPUZ is the following

    Mainboard Tab:
    Manufacturer: Dell Computer Corp.
    Model 0G1548 || A00
    Chipset Intel || i845G Rev. A1
    Southbridge Intel || 82801DB (ICH4)
    LPCIO SMSC || LPC47M10x

    Dell Computer Corporation
    Version A02
    Date 7/31/2003

    Graphic Interface:

    Hope that helps.
  11. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Rebranded Intel i845G based board... so the above Intel link *should* work for you provided they didn't tamper with the ADI integrated.

    1) Create a new restore point.
    2) Hit Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs and remove what sound drivers you have currently.
    3) Reboot. When/if the hardware wizard pops up, hit cancel.
    4) Try the driver kit from above. It should fail immediately if it doesn't recognize your chipset, at which point you can just re-install the Dell 3MB cheapo kit. :)

    Good luck!
  12. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    sure enough, it did in fact fail almost immediately. claimed something wasn't there. i didn't catch it in time. restored and everything is back to normal....

    course of action?
  13. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    One more thing to try. :)

    Download that driver kit. Be sure to uninstall your current drivers from Control Panel. This one has the basic SoundMax control panel and is encoded for Dell ADI198x so it should be kosher.

    Third time's a charm, right? :D
  14. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    so much for third time's the charm.....i tried to install it and it claimed my audio card didn't support the software, and asked if i tried uninstalling stuff without restarting. so i restarted and tried again and it gave me the same bull5hit.

    so "first i plan to soil myself. then i'm going to regroup and come up with a new plan. any thoughts?"

    (btw, i apologize for replying much later than the day you posted. for some reason i don't get any emails that there is a reply from this topic.)
  15. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Sorry man, I'm out of suggestions at this point. It seems to be Dell that's causing the grief as the ADI 198x series SoundMax driver kit includes all the fancy EQ and 3d/echo/reverb settings, but Dell has decided to not repackage this from the reference SoundMax drivers.

    You can try scouring for more ADI 198x series driver kits, or try getting custom, otherwise you may just decide to give-up or go with a cheap 3rd party soundcard for the drivers. In a nutshell, it's not an XP thing at all but a Dell thing causing your problem. They took the cheap way out by only certifying the 3mb basic driver set versus the 18-29MB full driver kit with tools...
  16. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    UGGGHHHH!!!!!! >.<!!!! I FU(K1NG HATE DELL!!!!

    This stupid 2400 series wasn't meant to be upgraded at all in the first place...and now as I go, I keep finding more and more shortcuts the Dell company took with this computer. It's absolutely ridiculous. I already busted my @ss trying to upgrade the video card as well as the other aspects, and NOW, I find out that the sound card was yet another shortcut. Just when I thought only the slots were limited....

    I've never been more angry with a Dell system in my life. I've run into a variety of Dell systems that had aspects that made no sense. But none so much as this one. WHY WOULD YOU EVER MAKE A BASIC NECESSITIES NON-UPGRADABLE SYSTEM?!? It doesn't make any sense at all!

    This is EXACTLY why I want a new computer. I'm sick and tired of running into all these barriers and constant problems.

    Screw it. I give up on this. I'm not even going to bother putting any more money OR effort into this 5hi7box than I already have.

    -_- thanks for the help though...i really appreciate the least it was a learning experience.
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