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Best Non-Creative card?

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April 21, 2006 12:48:01 AM

Ok all, lookin to start building a new PC & well.. need a good solid card... I thought about xfering this one over but thought I'd check in & see if there are any newer modles that I might see an inmprovement in.. main purpose of the new machine is gaming,
the New toy is getting (so far)
K8N Neo4-F
7600 GT
at least a GB of corsair 3200
& still deciding on the cpu/case
I just really hate (&have had problems in the past with) Creatives little additions & conflicts in general.. so I need an alternative..
so.. any opinions/thoughts?

More about : creative card

April 21, 2006 1:19:03 PM

Hi Deslock,

You can try the Turtle Beach TBS-3300-01 Montego DDL.

I can't even tell how much i love this card. I run it on one of my media PCs and gosh it rocks! If you are a serious audio fan or if you have a media center, DDL is the only way to go. I've been waiting for this technology for years and it finally came out. Realtime AC-3 encoding is great!

However, the card desen't have front panel audio connectors - so if you want those, then you have to go elsewhere.

Of course, before choose and buy that sound card, you also need to consider why you need it. Is it for gaming? Or for music? Are you an audiophile?
April 21, 2006 11:45:33 PM

Quote:


Of course, before choose and buy that sound card, you also need to consider why you need it. Is it for gaming? Or for music? Are you an audiophile?


To be honest it's almost strictly a game machine.. but movies on occasion...I don't do any strenuous sound trelated activities...just want something clear & crisp...
Related resources
April 22, 2006 12:40:14 AM

Then you need a Creative X-Fi, but that's going to be a problem for you. :lol: 
April 24, 2006 11:17:58 PM

Quote:
Hi Deslock,

You can try the Turtle Beach TBS-3300-01 Montego DDL.

I can't even tell how much i love this card. I run it on one of my media PCs and gosh it rocks! If you are a serious audio fan or if you have a media center, DDL is the only way to go. I've been waiting for this technology for years and it finally came out. Realtime AC-3 encoding is great!

However, the card desen't have front panel audio connectors - so if you want those, then you have to go elsewhere.

Of course, before choose and buy that sound card, you also need to consider why you need it. Is it for gaming? Or for music? Are you an audiophile?



One of the best sound cards I have used!

I dumped Creative after trying 3 of their latest and greatest, complete junk IMHO. In the last 3 rigs it has been the Santa Cruz, Riviera, and now the Montego. I've yet to have any issues with any of them in any games I play.


Quote:
Then you need a Creative X-Fi, but that's going to be a problem for you. :lol: 


One look at their support forums will tell you why you don't want one of these....................
April 26, 2006 1:37:46 PM

Quote:
One look at their support forums will tell you why you don't want one of these....................


That's kind of unfair... considering Turtle Beach don't even offer support forums.

Cards based on teh Envy24HT or any other VIA sound processor are supported mainly through VIA's support forums.

VIA Arena Audio Support Forums

There are more driver issues with non-creative products per card sold then there are for Creative products. Reason we mainly hear about creative problems is because 90% of the market is Creative. So there's a BIGGER chance of driver issues.

I have yet to experience any with the X-Fi. Come to think of it last issue I experienced with creative was the infamous VIA/Creative bug. Notice a pattern here... VIA bug. There southbridge didn't like the Creative cards need for PCI bus mastering.
April 26, 2006 2:11:32 PM

M-Audio or Prodigy 7.1 are better than most....
April 26, 2006 11:29:20 PM

Quote:
can you please be more specific. there aint a product in the world which doesn't have some bad and some good. alot of people will say this motherboard is rubbish if you go on asus's website yet it works for me.

to the OP what sort of problems have you had and with what creative products have you had. ever since my first audigy 2 i ain't had a problem.


last problem I had was back on an old atalon/via setup & that was when the soundblaster live was new...kept haveing odd lock-ups, since then I've just used heculese cards.. but.. trhere doesnt seem to be any newer drivers.cards coming out,,but if there doesnt seem to be any issues with creative/nforce boards.. I may need to re-think my budget....
Anonymous
April 28, 2006 11:23:56 PM

Quote:
you need to keep a open mind when companies release new products.


You might think that was a good idea, and I used to too. Then I actually bought Creative Labs top of the line sound cards for 2 generations in a row. Close to $500 spent total. Well, that is the last time. Both the AWE32 and SBLive had crackling, popping, squealing of death and this was on my BX chipset Intel board. The fact that these exact issues are still showing up in brand new systems using the latest CL card of the week would lead me to be extremely cautious about buying from them again. I would have to buy from someone with a very liberal return policy and have a block of time available so I could thoroughly test it in all of my apps to maske sure I didn't have to return another faulty Creative Labs sound card.
May 1, 2006 7:03:48 PM

Quote:
can you please be more specific. there aint a product in the world which doesn't have some bad and some good. alot of people will say this motherboard is rubbish if you go on asus's website yet it works for me.

to the OP what sort of problems have you had and with what creative products have you had. ever since my first audigy 2 i ain't had a problem.


last problem I had was back on an old atalon/via setup & that was when the soundblaster live was new...kept haveing odd lock-ups, since then I've just used heculese cards.. but.. trhere doesnt seem to be any newer drivers.cards coming out,,but if there doesnt seem to be any issues with creative/nforce boards.. I may need to re-think my budget....

That's the problem I was reffering too in my post.. ;) 
May 1, 2006 8:38:27 PM

For a while I had static noise on my X-fi Eliete Pro when it was on game mode. I examined every connection and every volume panal until at last i found my problem. In game mode it if you change the volume in a program such as a media player etc. it changes the master volume as well. The noise was introduced, for me, from the excessive volume driving the card at to high of levels. After fixing the problem I have had absolutely no problems with my card. I use a MSI K8N Neo4 MB with 1 GB of corsair ram, AMD Athlon 64 3000+, and a BFG 6800gt. I use my X-Fi for games ,movies, music, and music creation and i can't speak high enough of the card. The CMSS and Crystalizer functions are incredible. Even if I did not like past Creative products I would still consider this card or maybe one of the cheaper ones.
May 8, 2006 9:01:40 AM

dont get talked into buying an x-fi card i have had so many problem with both fatal1ty and extreme music. I just had to sell them in the end and i went back to onboard sound which i know is not very good but its better than having your pc crash 10 times a day and having the sound cut out all the time with horrible squeeling and crackling noises.

if you have an nforce4 motherboard then deffinatly dont get an X-fi as there are some big issue with that.
Anonymous
May 8, 2006 9:46:01 AM

I have had quite some creative cards and never even needed support. So they seem to work out for some people...
May 10, 2006 4:29:13 PM

For games, nothing will take the load off your CPU like a Creative card, but if your CPU is hefty enough to take the hit, and like me, you've had compatibility problems with Creative drivers and hardware (the Creative firewire can sometimes really be a bear, if you already have firewire, for instance), then an envy-based card might be for you.

I've also heard somewhat positive things about X-Mystique Gold, which is somewhat innovative with their use of (marketing term and definition follows) "Dolby® Digital Live, a real-time encoding technology, converts any audio signal into a Dolby¨ Digital bit stream for transport and playback through a home theater system. With it, your PC or game console can be hooked up to your Dolby¨ Digital-equipped audio/video receiver or digital speaker system via a single digital connection, ensuring the integrity of the audio signal."
May 10, 2006 5:13:33 PM

The best non-creative card I've ever used is the M-Audio Revolution 7.1. This is an excellent card that performs well for music, movies, and games. Albeit is does not have a dedicated apu like creative, I have never seen it use more than 2-3% of the cpu. I've recently played CoD2, FEAR, and now am in the middle of The Godfather with no gaming slow down or stutter to thr framerates.

It can be argued that creative is the best for gaming because of having a dedicated apu, however, if your're gonna get a dual core, then that arguement holds no water. A dual core cpu can take the hit of 2-3% without any hit to your fps or gameplay.
May 16, 2006 2:03:56 AM

I don't know why nobody has said this yet (I'm sure to find out...) but,....
I don't think you can beat Auzentech cards for quality right now - especially if you want to avoid all the problems with Creative. I just got an XPlosion 7.1 to replace my A2ZS, which was a constant headache.
Just my $0.02! 8)
May 16, 2006 2:32:48 AM

wats with the creative hate, i see a lot of it in this forum, ive used creative cards for years and no problems or anything.....jus wondering
May 16, 2006 3:17:15 AM

Was was gonna mention Turtle Beach too, I opted for the AA Micro version which is basically a USB optical output for Digital DTS to my receiver. I am using it on my media center PC but was blown away at how well I made my Media center PC sound. and only 29.99 USD

I opted for a turtle beach because it was going to be used for this purpose, to watch movies and listen to music so the optical out in the rear of my PC rather than a front panel keeps it cleaner. I would have bought the Optical dongle from Creative but mysteriously there was a worldwide shortage of them for some time...

They are now back in stock though, and I am entertaining getting a creative card for the future :p 
May 16, 2006 3:21:02 AM

Quote:
I don't know why nobody has said this yet (I'm sure to find out...) but,....
I don't think you can beat Auzentech cards for quality right now - especially if you want to avoid all the problems with Creative. I just got an XPlosion 7.1 to replace my A2ZS, which was a constant headache.
Just my $0.02! 8)


just wanted to add linkage , just checked this card you are talking about and got a huge e-boner!! nice stuff for not much money. comes with fiber optic cable too!
https://secure1.nexternal.com/shared/StoreFront/default...
May 16, 2006 1:07:26 PM

Quote:
wats with the creative hate, i see a lot of it in this forum, ive used creative cards for years and no problems or anything.....jus wondering


Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Creative's products, they make an OK sound card. They make horrible CD/DVD ROMS. And, their MP3 players are middle of the road. But, as far as them being the end-all-be-all of sound cards, they are not the best available. Creative has enjoyed most of their success from good marketing and longevity. The non-creative sound cards mentioned throughout in this thread offer better fidelity and sound quality, but they seem to get a bad rep by not having a dedicated apu.

My personal experience with Creative has been sketchy, at best. The last Creative product I had was the Live 5.1...that, mixed with the VIA southbridge + crap drivers = horrible experience. Now I read that the X-Fi series are having issues with nForce chipsets...wtf?!

Looking at the big picture, any non-creative sound card I've used has been a no-brainer and you would think that a company as large as Creative would have excellent support and release drivers fully compatible with all platforms.
May 16, 2006 10:00:08 PM

They are sold at the usual suspects; Newegg, ZZFly, etc.
When I bought mine Newegg had the best price but ZZFly had a $30 rebate which made it a better deal (with the free shipping!). Unfortunately, the rebate offer expired yesterday :(  .
Good luck! I love this card. I hope it spurns Creative to offer better products at better prices.
May 16, 2006 10:01:05 PM

They are sold at the usual suspects; Newegg, ZZFly, etc.
When I bought mine Newegg had the best price but ZZFly had a $30 rebate which made it a better deal (with the free shipping!). Unfortunately, the rebate offer expired yesterday :(  .
Good luck! I love this card. I hope it spurns Creative to offer better products at better prices.
May 22, 2006 7:41:37 PM

I'm also looking for a new sound card, and i'm thinking about getting a X-Fi but i 'm not sure about the price... a little expensive and it does not have an optical output on the card unless you buy the I/O drive which would not work with my antec case, seeing as it has a front closing panel.

So i'm wondering if anyone knows which card on the market has the BEST sound quality without being too expensive considering that i'm on a limited budget of around or under $100. 8O
May 22, 2006 8:12:08 PM

If I dont go for creative I usually will go for Auzentech.
May 22, 2006 8:36:11 PM

Quote:
if you have an nforce4 motherboard then deffinatly dont get an X-fi as there are some big issue with that.


huh? mine works fine. Never one issue.

I read on a creative forum the other day that one big issue was w/ ppl running single channel for ram. Not enough bandwidth in combo w/ pci-e hogging it and nforce blocking pci bus for milisec. which drained card buffer.

of course, why ppl would want to run single channel is beyond me...

Like the via/creative, via,Nvidia, or any other chipset/add-in issue there is more than one player in it and many tend to blaim the add-in maker assuming the chipset maker is ok b/c it works w/ other add-ins. This is just not always the case.

But my nf4 works fine, and I love the xfi.
May 22, 2006 9:56:35 PM

Quote:
If I dont go for creative I usually will go for Auzentech.

What does the Auzentech have to offer? Like, do they have a dedicated DSP for sound processing?

I was looking at Auzentech cards the other day and they looked pretty good, but i don't think i would ever use DDL or something like that.
May 24, 2006 8:18:58 PM

If you plan on recording music or just wanting an audiophile soundcard on the cheap, then the E-MU 0404 is a nice choice, as well; however, it belongs to Creative. Also, it's stereo only, but it doesn't bother me. 8)
July 5, 2006 7:59:27 AM

I have great experience with M-Audio Revolution 7.1.
I have been using it for over 2 years.
The sound quality is very nice and did not have any problem with driver.
July 7, 2006 12:11:20 AM

Erm, I can tell you right now that if you want a gaming card you should buy an X-Fi.

Its well known that the X-Fi:

- Gives the fastest framerate in games. The CPU overhead from using a card such as the M-Audio Revolution can cause a drop in FPS of far more than 2-3%, I can assure you.

- Has the best optimized drivers for gaming.

- Supports the most 3D audio standards/effects (because alot of them are Creative licensed anyway eg EAX).

- Has the more superior EAX/Directsound3D positioning support by FAR, especially with headphones. The Sensaura technology used on the Revolution is CRAP, I had that on my Yamaha YM-724 yearsss ago.


Read the above. If you are designing a gaming PC and consider the above reasons less important than your anti creative grudge then you obviously value your money less than I do.

For example

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/multimedia/display/rev...

Revolution 7.1 vs Audigy 2 in lowly Quake 3 Arena gives almost 20 percent drop in FPS! Vs an X-Fi the gap would be even wider. Although the example shows a P3 1000 in Quake 3, given that most modern games max your CPU then you really want all the power to spare you can get!
July 7, 2006 12:40:57 AM

I used to use the Soundblaster stuff before I got my first Turtle Beach Card. No specs or numbers to show you, but I'll never buy Creative anything again. period.
July 7, 2006 3:29:30 AM

funny, my experience was the opposite: went from turtle beach to sound blaster. The turtle beach Montego2 (aureal vortex) was crash prone, sound blaster drivers were not. 'nuff said. ;) 
July 7, 2006 4:13:45 AM

what about" Mad Dog Entertainer 7.1 DSP Sound Card " I thnink It's good, but the creative is the still darlin of soundcards.
July 7, 2006 4:45:18 AM

I might have an old gravis ultra sound I'd be willing to part with. :) 
July 7, 2006 9:12:42 AM

Quote:
I used to use the Soundblaster stuff before I got my first Turtle Beach Card. No specs or numbers to show you, but I'll never buy Creative anything again. period.


You may indeed find that such a blanket position burns you later, but I hope that you don't. Good luck.
July 19, 2006 8:39:04 AM

Quote:
I used to use the Soundblaster stuff before I got my first Turtle Beach Card. No specs or numbers to show you, but I'll never buy Creative anything again. period.


There would be no point in showing us numbers. All your games will be running slower than Audigy 1/2 or X-Fi, and you will not get the same degree of 3D sound effects in games.

Unless of course you aren't bothered about gaming, in which case your requirements are different from the creator of this thread.
!