future creative sound card
Has anyone heard anything about future creative sound cards coming out after the x-fi line? When will the new line be out? Do you think that they will go to a pci-express card?
True, I seem to remember Creative said they had issues to resolve before they could do that though, something about PCIe not being well suited to the kind of data packets they use in sound processing. I guess it will happen sooner or later though.
What I'm interested to know is where can Creative go from here feature wise? My feeling is that sound processing has kind of reached a point of diminishing returns, would you really be able to tell the difference between a file sampled at 192kHz, 24 bit and one thats higher? I guess they could maybe improve EAX and the crystaliser, but it seems to me that there dosn't seem like that much more room for improvement in this area.
I agree... we've gone from mono, to stereo, 4.1, to 5.1, to 7.1... it's kinda like DVD audio... sure, I know it sounds better than CD audio... but if the level of improvement is minute, why bother? Maybe Creative was thinking this in the back of their minds when they didn't release a PCI-E card... that'll definitely cause people to buy as newer systems drop PCI slots all together in the future.
Yeah, I'm wondering about that... all the changes between Audigy 2, 4, and X-FI have been minute, to the point where any one of those sound cards all work fine for 99% of the population. What else can Creative improve? We already have more speakers than we can shake a stick at, and sound quality can only be marginally improved.
I really don't know...
This taken from a Creative KB article on Vista:Quote:Direct Sound 3D HW Acceleration - RIP
In addition, unlike Windows XP, there is no "Direct" path from DirectSound applications to audio drivers or hardware at all. DirectSound is emulated into a Windows audio "Session"Quote:Note that the Vista DirectSound emulation sends mixed audio content to the standard OS audio path, and offers no "direct" path to hardware at all. Since the whole point of DirectSound acceleration is to allow hardware to process unmixed audio content, DirectSound cannot be accelerated in this audio model.
Game Audio Issues
This results in bugs such as loss of EAX functionality in games to complete incompatibility, depending on how the game title was authored and how well the Microsoft DirectSound emulation code works. In addition, given this model any and all bugs that are exclusive to DirectSound games could not possibly be due to Creative audio drivers or any other IHV (Independent Hardware Vendors) audio drivers.
Custom Audio Effect APOs
Vista does support insertion points for custom audio effects
depicted above as APO1 and APO3. Forthcoming Creative audio products will use APOs to implement certain features, but these custom effects do not allow acceleration of DirectSound because as mentioned above they receive mixed content, not unmixed content.
Creative supported hardware acceleration for Gaming and Music Creation
The good news here is that, as depicted above, Vista still permits proprietary user mode to kernel mode driver stacks, which means that Creative products may continue to support non Microsoft driver models and technologies such as
OpenAL (http://www.openal.org) for 3D gaming,
SoundFont Management System (http://www.soundfont.com)
ASIO (http://www.steinberg.net) for audio content creation.
As was the case in Windows XP, these audio interfaces will continue to be thin pedal-to-the-metal APIs that allow user mode applications to access hardware features directly.
OpenAL - the key to optimum audio for gaming in Windows Vista
OpenAL continues to be the most widely used API for optimum 3D sound in PC gaming and the direct to hardware path offered by this API is the only way to access the hardware accelerated audio processing offered by cards in the Sound Blaster range.
As for PCI-Express, they have indicated problems as mentioned by others in this thread. The bandwidth isn't an issue, so PCI is still viable for sound cards, but boards are starting to offer fewer and fewer slots. For most devices, I'd go with PCI-Express just for longevity ... my next build might run integrated sound until the issues are sorted out (be it Creative or other brand), as I view a sound card as something that can last at least a couple computer rebuilds.
Quote:all signs point to a new Creative series comming out soon.
the biggest one: The price drops. They're slappin HUGE rebates on those things left an right. '
Just look at the X-FI fatality edition on newegg.
It could be true but I doubt it will be pci-express.
They have just added 4 new X-Fi cards. That's why price for the old ones dropped, I think.
If you check their website
there are new ones:
1) USB X-Fi Xmod
2) X-Fi Audio (no EAX, just for music)
3) X-Fi Gamer (EAX 5.0, standard front panel connection, no X-RAM )
4) X-Fi Gamer Pro (with X-RAM)