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Creative soundcard driver nightmares

Last response: in Components
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October 16, 2010 6:31:21 AM

I've heard an endless number of stories about people experiencing horrible driver problems with creative sound cards like the X-fi.

If I'm going to get an aftermarket sound card and use it for gaming, which is going to give me higher quality audio? A creative X-fi or an ASUS card? The ASUS cards really don't have any major problems that I know of. The creative drivers are notoriously flimsy.

The Auzentech sound cards use creative hardware, but have much better drivers.

In your opinion, which sound card gives the absolute best gaming sound performance?

Read this about something called "audioDG" memory leak which is the prime concern for creative cards.

http://www.winvistatips.com/audiodg-exe-t73399.html
October 16, 2010 7:33:20 AM

I've always enjoyed my Xi-Fi Titanium card. No driver issues that I can think of in relation to Windows 7 that I have ever experienced. It's always been a hassle free card with great sound via the optical out to my Sony receiver.
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October 16, 2010 2:58:10 PM

If you can source one the Auzentech Forte is the most balanced card out there.
It has all the features of the best Creative cards plus more.
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October 17, 2010 6:10:21 AM

davcon said:
If you can source one the Auzentech Forte is the most balanced card out there.
It has all the features of the best Creative cards plus more.


What about for gaming?

The Fatal1ty X-Fi has the best gaming sound quality. But I've heard horror stories about the drivers.
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October 17, 2010 4:12:46 PM

Ive had boot problems with the Titanium, the drivers have been clashing with my video drivers, Ive only found a temp fix
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October 18, 2010 1:10:53 AM

ambam said:
What about for gaming?

The Fatal1ty X-Fi has the best gaming sound quality. But I've heard horror stories about the drivers.

The Forte has the exact same chip EMU20K2 and XRAM it's exactly the same thing.
Plus it has a dedicated headphone amp and upgraded components.
It's an improved card for less money.$100-120 usually on sale.
The drivers are fine they may be Creative drivers but the download comes from Auzentech.
Haven't had a problem yet since installing card in May including updating drivers once.
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October 18, 2010 2:01:53 AM

ive never had any problems with creative drivers with my audigy4. The trick is, if it works, then dont update drivers. Some people are fanatics when it comes to updating drivers but its not always necessary, particularly not with sound cards.
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October 18, 2010 11:17:36 AM

davcon said:
The Forte has the exact same chip EMU20K2 and XRAM it's exactly the same thing.
Plus it has a dedicated headphone amp and upgraded components.
It's an improved card for less money.$100-120 usually on sale.
The drivers are fine they may be Creative drivers but the download comes from Auzentech.
Haven't had a problem yet since installing card in May including updating drivers once.


So the Forte is the EXACT same chip as the Fatality X-Fi? But with much more stable drivers?
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October 18, 2010 3:13:58 PM

Auzentech basically licenses the Creative X-fi chipset, but uses MUCH higher qaulity components, and offers a much higher audio quality as a result. Their drivers are more stable overall, but it needs to be noted thier drivers come from Creative...I typically don't hear horror stories though...

ASUS (and HT Omega) use C-Media's high end chipsets, which offer an audio output quality thats about equal to Auzentechs cards, or above what Creative currently offers. As a downside, they lack the X-fi chipset, and thus lack support for EAX 3-5 (ASUS offers EAX 5.0 emulation, which works VERY well, arguablly better then Alchemy does...). Personally, I see EAX as a dead spec, so its not a major downside, but one worth noting...

Finally, minor pet peve here: "Gaming Audio Quality"? Sorry, EAX is the only thing that increases a soundcards quality while gaming, and even then just for a subset of the audio. All of the surroundsound processing is handled via Directsound/OpenAL, not EAX. When I measure audio quality, I lean heavily on the analog SnR, where Creative is behind all its major competition.
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