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Any great gaming sound cards that aren't Creative brand?

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  • Sound Cards
  • Sound Blaster
  • Creative
  • Components
  • Product
Last response: in Components
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February 26, 2007 4:03:02 AM

I was getting the SCP (snap crackle pop) problem with my Sound Blaster Live, so I upgraded to a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS, but still had the problem. Apparently ANY Creative sound card has the SCP problem. After researching for a solution, it seems like there's billions of different things that could be causing the problem (I've read stories about people trying billions of different things to fix it, and putting 5,000 dollars into their computer trying to fix it, and didn't work). I've tried a lot of things to fix it, but nothing worked. It seems like the only thing to do now is get a sound card that isn't Creative brand (and doesn't have the SCP problem of course). Any non Creative brand sound cards comparable or better than the Audigy 2 ZS out there? Don't worry about the price of it.

More about : great gaming sound cards creative brand

February 26, 2007 7:13:14 AM

Try TerraTec SIXPACK5.1.
Around $50.
Related resources
February 27, 2007 9:17:45 AM

I used Audigy and now using X-Fi card. No crackles, pops etcetera
I had both cards on at least three motherboards (starting with infamous Via KT233 based ECS one, then I had MSI board with ATI IXP150 Chipset and finally moved to nForce5 board) I flashed bios on ECS and never had problems.

X-Fi cards is the best audio card if you think of gaming or internet multimedia.
No other cards have full EAX support and no other cards can process sound in hardware under Vista...

This barracuda is pure hype to me. Fully generic implementation of CMI chip with proprietary extension. I doubt anyone spending their own money would consider getting one, especially that you can have similar (Theatron or X-Meridian) or better (X-Fi) for less.

@Chasemo,
sometimes we forget about basic things and this could be the case , e.g.:
did you disable onboard sound in Bios?
did you remove all Live drivers?
What else did you try to fix it?
March 17, 2007 3:36:41 AM

Sorry for delay in my reply.

uncle_ben, I disabled onboard sound in Bios, I have reformatted my harddrive a couple of times since I got my Audigy 2, so no Live drivers, I have every process that isn't necessary turned off in MSconfig, I've tried different speakers, moved my sound card to different slots, and I tried Windows Classic Style.
March 19, 2007 6:06:08 AM

I pretty had the same cards as you, went from the SB Live and Now I have the Sound Blaster 2 ZS and I have no problems at all. Either you kept buying cards from a crappy place or just unlucky i'm not too sure. There was a point when I upgraded my ZS drivers and had some problems with sound but I got it fixed eventually, never had the Snap Crackle or Pop. Maybe you can try returning it if its under warrenty in exchange for another one?
March 19, 2007 7:16:10 AM

You could try Auzentech - available at the egg and zzf.
I've never had any problems with mine - get the newest drivers - and they have more features for the $ than Creative.
March 19, 2007 7:19:37 AM

if u could do make do with the onboard for now I heard Asus is getting out some PCIe soundcards pretty soon which should be quite good. May be worth the wait, I don't know. I hope they give Creative a run for their money cause they really are getting quite big-headed.
March 19, 2007 8:02:37 AM

BTW the problems i had with my SB 2 ZS was because I installed SB Live driver by mistake, then installed the SB2 ZS drivers :p  heeh
March 19, 2007 8:27:29 AM

turn down hardware acceleration?

wrong speaker setup? (2.1 or 5.1 etc - reapply)

bad psu rail (or noisy) causing issues?

i heard theres something to do with the "PCI Delayed Transaction" and "PCI Latency Timer" that can fix it too...

and if its a VIA/SiS/ALi based board then look at them directly first
March 21, 2007 11:57:12 PM

Quote:
turn down hardware acceleration?

wrong speaker setup? (2.1 or 5.1 etc - reapply)

bad psu rail (or noisy) causing issues?

i heard theres something to do with the "PCI Delayed Transaction" and "PCI Latency Timer" that can fix it too...

and if its a VIA/SiS/ALi based board then look at them directly first


I have two speakers and a subwoofer, so I use 2.1. My board is a ECS Elitegroup 755 A2 (which has SiS). I turned down my hardware acceleration, but that didn't help.
March 22, 2007 12:37:51 AM

update the bios, and check your IQ or whatever addresses for conflicts.
March 23, 2007 7:19:18 AM

Quote:
turn down hardware acceleration?

wrong speaker setup? (2.1 or 5.1 etc - reapply)

bad psu rail (or noisy) causing issues?

i heard theres something to do with the "PCI Delayed Transaction" and "PCI Latency Timer" that can fix it too...

and if its a VIA/SiS/ALi based board then look at them directly first


I have two speakers and a subwoofer, so I use 2.1. My board is a ECS Elitegroup 755 A2 (which has SiS). I turned down my hardware acceleration, but that didn't help.

Alright ECS = crap same goes for the sis chipsets
Anonymous
March 23, 2007 8:08:45 AM

"...5,000 dollars into their computer trying to fix it..." WTF?
March 23, 2007 8:32:33 AM

one of the nicest sounding sound cards is the m-audio revolution 7.1 i know it is $120 and the 5.1 version is 100 but they are the best you can get and it is way better than most of the x-fi and these are fully eax licensed so this may be what you are looking for and by the way i run professional audio for a company so i'm no wack job off the street who knows nothing
March 23, 2007 9:22:22 AM

Do you know what version of EAX the revolution supports?

Ive looked at the website and the manual and can't see any reference to specific versions.

afaik all non creative cards are only licenced up to version 2

if the OP is in to gaming, then this could be a big deal.
March 23, 2007 9:30:44 AM

i agree with apache

the board is most likely your problem not the audigy card

swap it out for a decent nvida AM2 board + cpu + ddr2 ram

or go intel core 2 and 975x!
March 23, 2007 10:03:31 AM

Bluegears B-Enspirer

currently 110 on the egg (yestiddy was 95)

its great, no Creative driver blunders or bloatware

EAX2.0, DTS, optical out.

It actually does EAX as opposed to my POS Audigy 2 ZS, which fails at anything (sometimes with the SCP)

If you are rich off your a$$ though I would try the Razer Barracuda AC1 with the HP1 headphones. Supposed to be superb. Personally though, im getting a Bluegears.
March 23, 2007 10:25:05 AM

Did you intend to reply to me or the original poster

regarding your statement, re driver blunders

ive never had a problem with creative cards or their drivers and as for the bloatware you speak of, then dont install the apps just the driver.

"It actually does EAX as opposed to my POS Audigy 2 ZS, which fails at anything (sometimes with the SCP)"

can you elaborate on the above. if it fails at anything then maybe thats an idication that it's faulty.
March 23, 2007 6:31:17 PM

Quote:
Did you intend to reply to me or the original poster

regarding your statement, re driver blunders

ive never had a problem with creative cards or their drivers and as for the bloatware you speak of, then dont install the apps just the driver.

"It actually does EAX as opposed to my POS Audigy 2 ZS, which fails at anything (sometimes with the SCP)"

can you elaborate on the above. if it fails at anything then maybe thats an idication that it's faulty.


Srry, to the original poster.
The reason that my Audigy 2 was a POS is probably because its a Dell OEM card. I just really got a good impression from the Bluegears card, its very good quality.
March 24, 2007 10:49:53 PM

umm im pretty sure youve tried this already, but when I had the wierd SCP problem It was because my input/Line In volume wasnt muted...
Anonymous
March 25, 2007 11:10:53 AM

Quote:
umm im pretty sure youve tried this already, but when I had the wierd SCP problem It was because my input/Line In volume wasnt muted...


Very good point. I guess lots of people with the problem forget to do this easy thingy...
April 3, 2007 6:53:06 AM

Quote:
umm im pretty sure youve tried this already, but when I had the wierd SCP problem It was because my input/Line In volume wasnt muted...


Tried it, didn't work.

I un-installed the Sound Blaster drivers, removed my sound card, then enabled on board sound and installed the latest Realtek drivers, sounded exactly the same.
April 3, 2007 9:00:50 AM

Wait .. let me get this straight. You took the SB card out, used the onboard sound, and still had the problem? Presumably you understand that this means that your problem has nothing to do with the card.

This may sound insulting, but just to be certain ... when you were using the SB card, did you plug your speakers into a plug that is on the back of the card itself, or did you plug your speakers into the plug that is attached to your motherboard (the one that you use when you took the sound card out - typically this connector is right by your usb, ps2, and network inputs.). In other words, when you took the card out and tried using the integrated sound, did you plug your speakers into a different port?
April 3, 2007 9:42:09 AM

Quote:
Wait .. let me get this straight. You took the SB card out, used the onboard sound, and still had the problem? Presumably you understand that this means that your problem has nothing to do with the card.

This may sound insulting, but just to be certain ... when you were using the SB card, did you plug your speakers into a plug that is on the back of the card itself, or did you plug your speakers into the plug that is attached to your motherboard (the one that you use when you took the sound card out - typically this connector is right by your usb, ps2, and network inputs.). In other words, when you took the card out and tried using the integrated sound, did you plug your speakers into a different port?


I have the speakers plugged into the back of the sound card itself when I use Sound Blaster, and when I tested my on board sound I had the speakers plugged into the motherboard.
April 12, 2007 4:47:41 AM

When I go in Device Manager, I see Legacy Audio Drivers, does that have anything to do with this?

Also, after un-installing my onboard sound drivers and going back to Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS, C-Media WDM Audio Driver won't go away from Add or Remove Programs, no matter how many times I try to un-install it. Are the C-Media drivers not un-installed, or are they but it just still shows in Add or Remove Programs still for whatever reason?
May 21, 2007 3:59:45 AM

It sounds like you will need to disable you're onboard sound before you can get rid of those drivers. Depending on your MB you can do this in BIOS or by an online jumper.

As far as the SCP goes try this. After disabling onboard sound, install the newest drivers for your audigy card available.
May 21, 2007 4:39:07 AM

Quote:
update the bios, and check your IQ or whatever


Now why doesn't tele-support give great advice like this??!?!!? :p 
May 21, 2007 4:47:05 AM

I would recommend Auzentech, they have always been good and sound. IMHO better than Creative's cards. If EAX is a big deal to you then Auzentech is making a card based around the X-fi chip, which I am gonna assume is better than creative's version because they will fine tweak and add more features to the card.

http://www.auzentech.com/site/company/press.php
May 21, 2007 5:24:49 AM

I think your MoBo is crap, Anything ECS is crap.
There is a reason ECS,Jetway,Mach Speed, and PC Chips are so cheap. They are all CRAP.
May 21, 2007 6:11:36 AM

I have the Audigy 2 in my back up system and it has been my primary sound card up until I got my X-Fi Fatal1ty. I have never experienced any problems at all with Creative sound cards and I have to believe that it is either your MOBO or speakers/setup that is giving you the problem. In fact the X-Fi has given me a new appreciation for my speakers.
Anonymous
February 16, 2010 2:00:06 AM

Check to see if the plug going into the case is the problem, you know the light green one at the bottom... it seems that after like years of use the inside that touches the plug can cause the snap crakle pop. Maybe a check to see if the grips that bite the plug are not loose, or that the very small gaskets on the plug itself is not the cause. Either way it is a stand off issue with the plug and sound card.
February 16, 2010 3:14:22 AM

I doubt the problem is your soundcards, perhaps your sound system is faulty? try plugging headphones directly to the output jack of the sound card and see if the scp problem still exists.
February 16, 2010 6:53:18 AM

Dave Lee, this thread is nearly Three Years Old!
Please do not dig up old threads!
February 16, 2010 2:50:37 PM

this is a good thread still because alot of people still have this problem.
February 16, 2010 3:26:57 PM

SCP is simply creative's crappy drivers; I've yet to see a definitive solution (let along CAUSE) on affected PC's. I've even seen the Titanium do it from time to time, so its not strictly a PCI/IRQ issue...
March 4, 2010 6:17:31 PM

I have heard good things about the ASUS line of sound cards. It is what I'm planning on putting in my HTPC/gaming rig.
!