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Creative sound cards and vista

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April 6, 2009 3:37:45 AM

i know this has been an issue for quite a while, i havent been following. I recently switched to vista and am determined to get use to it. But their are things stopping me. For example my sound card sounds ALOT better on XP than on vista. I know the creative vista drivers are crap. Are there any drivers out there that fix this? perhaps beta drivers or something? If my post is similar to someone else, plz point me in the right direction.
April 6, 2009 3:42:45 AM

oh yea my sound card is x-fi xtreme audio, also if someone can suggest a good $100-$200 non creative sound card that would b awsome too.
April 6, 2009 5:06:10 AM

For a good replacement card you go with an Auzentech or an Asus Xonar.

In order to unlock much of your functionality of your current creative card you will need to scour the net for the Daniel K drivers. Honestly ever since the whole Daniel K thing I won't buy creative anything, and I use to like their speakers and even a few models of their Zen MP3 player. There are different versions and Daniel K did remove some features to get Creative off his back, so pay attention to what version your downloading

I was gonna buy a new creative card myself when that crap hit the fan, so I've held on to my Audigy 2 and use the Daniel K drivers for Vista. I was gonna get a Xonar when I move to Vista 64-bit, but haven't gotten around to it yet ^_^. Probably in the next month or two.
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April 6, 2009 5:36:51 AM

I wouldn't recommend the Xonar as I'm using one and I must say that although the card sounds good, its drivers are worse than Creative's (I used the X-Fi Titanium). First off, no WHQL driver, but just skip that we actually don't care about that certification much as long as it works. So look at their forum http://vip.asus.com/forum/topic.aspx?board_id=21&SLangu... : channel mismatch, mic delay, back panel mic jack does not work... some were fixed and some were not and some were even compatibility problems between the card and MB/chipset.
For an all round sound card, for now I recommend Auzentech X-Fi Forte. It's around 130 bucks on newegg. For music only I recommend Onkyo SE-200, if you can find it.
April 6, 2009 12:25:22 PM

Actually, if you bothered to read some of the threads, most of those issues have long been solved. And BTW, anyone who uses a mic can tell you theres a microphone delay; even Creatives cards has some lag with mic input.

And if you go to a support forum, you always get a list of what DOESN'T work. I could do the same exact thing with Creative, and come to the conclusion there is no reason to buy a sound card, period.

As for the driver, I have no clue what you are talking about, as my D2X has had a Vista certified driver for a while now; maybe the new card that just came out still needs a certified driver for Vista, but other than that, it would be the first time I ever head of a lacking driver...
April 6, 2009 1:50:45 PM

It depends on your configurations but there're unresolved problems: and I have two: back panel mic does not work on Vista 64bit which is my main OS as I have 6GB RAM, in linux it works fine; the other is it does not work well with my old mainboard, due to the PCI to PCI-Express chip even after updating this chip firmware, channels swap around after UAC prompt, or lock station and as it's an isolated case (don't think my mb is that popular) it won't be resolved I guess. The X-Fi titanium which is a native PCI-Express card does not have this problem

The mic delay is there for most sound card, you're right, but 500ms is not acceptable, isn't it? Fortunately this is also a chipset and the bus converter chip case so not everyone has it.

All in all I find that Xonar is not worth it.

The driver, if you need to check its WHQL status, please look at its driver properties under driver tab: Digital Signer should be: microsoft windows hardware compatibility publisher if it is WHQLed.

Well I remember some more problems: new driver after 17.38 introduce GX 2.5 which has a new global hook implementation that somehow f*ckup windows compatibility mode to run old software and steam client.

To be honest, after using it for some time it makes me totally biased and think that every ASUS audio card is a piece of art audio quality wise but a POS driver and tech support wise.
April 6, 2009 7:55:33 PM

I've never had these issues; the bridge chip is a pain, but thats what you get for getting a PCI based card to fit into a PCI-E port...(really, thats essentailly what it does). And 500ms is extreme, I get nowhere near that. Must be something screwy going on in your config somewhere...

As for the driver, all I care about is that its digitally signed so Vista 64 runs with it (Looking at you, Razer; 2 years for a signed driver?). As for WHQL, all that is a way for M$ to make $$$ by saying "Driver works!". I could care less, personally.
April 7, 2009 9:38:51 AM

Yeah, the bridge chip is a pain. I agree with you, but I also think that ASUS should drop the PCI-Express line if that will cause troubles for users. Being an engineering myself in CSE, I knew the risk but I thought trying it out was okay.

As for the mic delay problem, as stated in my post I don't have it, but a bunch of ppl have and when they came to tech support they were answered along this: "we know that there's a delay there, but we won't fix it, this card is for playback (gamer, music listener only)." And I was being ignored entirely about my channel jumping around. Now I wonder about their attitude.

WHQL I don't care, too. But at least it can be considered a mark for driver quality. At its current state I doubt ASUS driver can pass it. As MS seems to be tighten on quality control there (see Windows 7).

All in all, at the current state, I won't recommend any Xonar card as the best choice for trouble free experience and good audio quality. It can be considered though after these better (IMHO) cards I mentioned. Personally I really like the sound of the Onkyo SE-200. At unmodded state, I haven't heard anything better.
April 7, 2009 9:43:43 AM

thepinkpanther said:
i know this has been an issue for quite a while, i havent been following. I recently switched to vista and am determined to get use to it. But their are things stopping me. For example my sound card sounds ALOT better on XP than on vista. I know the creative vista drivers are crap. Are there any drivers out there that fix this? perhaps beta drivers or something? If my post is similar to someone else, plz point me in the right direction.


After I read about Daniel K drivers I tried them but all I got was issues trying to resume PC from sleep mode. I could not uninstall those drivers and had to clean the registry manually. No way I would recommend these "alternative" drivers. After reading up on them it actually seems that Daniel only took pieces from various Creative packages to allow for more features but the driver itself is not better, faster or more stable from the original. Quite opposite. Meanwhile Creative bowed to customers and realized several driver updates for X-Fi. I installed the current Vista driver for X-Fi from their website and have no complaints - everything works fine.
April 7, 2009 12:03:57 PM

uncle_ben said:
After I read about Daniel K drivers I tried them but all I got was issues trying to resume PC from sleep mode. I could not uninstall those drivers and had to clean the registry manually. No way I would recommend these "alternative" drivers. After reading up on them it actually seems that Daniel only took pieces from various Creative packages to allow for more features but the driver itself is not better, faster or more stable from the original. Quite opposite. Meanwhile Creative bowed to customers and realized several driver updates for X-Fi. I installed the current Vista driver for X-Fi from their website and have no complaints - everything works fine.


What Daniel_K did was re-enable features in older cards that worked in XP that were INTENTIONALLY disabled in Vista. Sorry, but thats a bit of a red light for me.

(And BTW, if it was NVIDIA that did this for its GPU's, everyone would be up in arms...)
April 7, 2009 1:20:58 PM

gamerk316 said:
What Daniel_K did was re-enable features in older cards that worked in XP that were INTENTIONALLY disabled in Vista. Sorry, but thats a bit of a red light for me.

(And BTW, if it was NVIDIA that did this for its GPU's, everyone would be up in arms...)


I don't know about intentions. Do you? How?
It is widely known that there were numerous changes to audio in Vista and so most companies struggled to deliver good Vista drivers, on time. (Turtle Beach has never succeeded at that, M-Audio did - after about 2 years since Vista was launched) So, maybe they weren't able to write drivers with support for all features - or they crippled the features on purpose, as you want - but that would be short-sighted, to say the least. Many companies do that, though.

Funny you mentioned NVIDIA. Actually NVIDIA this to its GPU and everyone was up in arms, you might be too young to rememember or you want to explain the difference between 6600GT and 6800 to me? At some stage they also disabled SLI for Intel chipsets, not accidentally, of course.
Not that Intel remains a victim only. Take Core 2 Duo E6300 and E6400. They have a full, working 4MB cache, but 2MB was disabled on purpose - to sell E6600s and E6700s.

Either way - as far as I can remember Daniel_K wasn't bothered as long as he offered modded drivers without breaching the law. Creative were after him only after he started asking for donations on Creative own forums (!)

Now, that was retarded!

Despite his ignorance he has been elevated to the status of popular hero together with Robin Hood, Che Guevarra and the likes... Does it make his driver mod better?
No.
April 7, 2009 7:53:30 PM

My point is this: How do we know Creative won't pull the same stunt in the future?

I find Xonars better anyway, so I see no reason to ever buy Creative until they fix their own issues.

And BTW, I can get a Titanium to SCP on a X58, so don't blame NVIDIA or PCI latency. And no, I STILL don't know exactly what triggers it to beging with, but I only have one setup that actually works with a Creative card (Fatality Pro on a ASUS P5nd2-SLI (NOT P5ND) motherboard. All my other combinations SCP like crazy after an hour of gaming, regardless of OS or other devices (even tried an integrated chipset...).

I'll stick with the card I know works 99% of the time, thanks.
April 13, 2009 5:49:03 PM

What's a good card just for gaming and Z5500 speakers? I was going to get the Titanium Fatality because of a nice sale on newegg. I hear so much about Asus Xonar but im part hesitant because the reviews on newegg from other people are less than stellar. Someone even said that they arent for gaming. I saw on Amazon; the glowing rewiews by people using the D2x.

< I dont play any movies on my system which for the first time will have Vista; just games! Am, I going to loose anything since, the SB Fatality had the X-Ram?

Which is better for games?

Xonar D2x
Xonar D2
Auzentech Prelude
Auzentech Forte
SB-XFI Titanium
April 13, 2009 8:49:34 PM

The D2X isn't that much beter than the DX, although some people swear its a huge diffrence in gaming. I do think the DX is more a budget option compared to the others though.

I'd also put Auzentech ahead of any of Creatives offerings, leaving you with the Prelude, Forte, and D2(X) (I actually recommend the PCI D2 to avoid the bridge chip, otherwise the D2 and D2X chips are identical).

Look up reviews as much as you can, especially in regards to drivers and surround sound, ect. I know Guru3d has a ton of reviews on the individual cards, so that might be the best place to look.

Myself, I use the D2X as my primary 'all use' card, but for gaming, I still use my Barracuda (despite its crappy 64-bit drivers...)
April 13, 2009 11:51:26 PM

I was on the Guru sight and was reading the reports on the D2x and Forte. The Forte uses less of the CPU and both had glowing reviews. Interestingly it says that there is something better than the D2x...what??? lol. I guess, I cant go wrong between the 2 of them.

Stupid question alert: Is the Forte only for headphones or has the jacks for speakers?
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