I should be upgrading my system soon. But though i am almost decided to go with the Santa Cruz i would first like to know if anyone got an Audigy yet and if their is any probs with the Via southbridge like their used to be with the Live line.
Any info will be apreciated.
Why do I use LINUX ? Cause its the BEST OS
Why do I use Windows? Cause its the BEST Nintendo..
So far, I have not seen or heard of anyone with the card yet. If you need the features it offers, it looks like a good deal. My soundblaster Live and Via chipset work very well together, as they always have. It would be nice to get a review form Tom on it and how it compares to other sound cards
"DREAM - Dynamic Repositioning of Enhanced Audio & Music
What DREAM does (enabled from within the new PlayCenter) is reposition the sound source across multiple channels. Wait, there's more to it that just that. It will take any stereo source and redirect the path of a frequency across multi-channel speaker systems and you can decide how low, mid, and bass will swirl around you and at what speed. This effect is not recommended with 2-speaker systems (it will work of course) but it will just make you dizzy (it made me dizzy after a while). With 4 or 5-speaker systems the effect is much better but it is up to each and everyone to decide for themsevels whether this is a wanted feature or not. Personally, I have it switched off. DREAM sucked up around 35% of my CPU-time on my P3-500MHz. Ouch."
Sound familiar? Aureal offered this feature in Hardware and it only sucked up 3% of the CPU time on a PII 350!
At the end they stated that the Vortex2 was also still better with 2 speakers-something important if you ever find yourself using headphones, or have no place to locate rear speakers. The Vortex2 can actually position sounds behind you from speakers in front of you! From everything I've read, Sensuara is much better than EAX, and those cards (with either ESS or Crystal soundchips) can be had for as little as $20 (OEM, $40 retail)! Personally, I'll stick with my HARDWARE (Vortex2) solution!
These cards had a retail price of $40, a wholesale price of $20, and a closout price of $10, at CompUSA. Yes, if you live near a CompUSA walk in there a couple times a week, they sell things at a loss quite frequently durring stock changeovers.
Back to you Tom...
According the review by www.gamespot.com, problems between the SB Audigy and Via chipsets still exist.
From the Article:
"There is one serious downside for those who own Athlon systems. The Audigy card has the same occasional difficulties with motherboards with certain VIA chipsets as the Sound Blaster Live! before it. Our initial installation on an Athlon PC with an Abit KT7A motherboard resulted in audio and system hangs as well as audible pops and burps. Most of the common patches and BIOS adjustments for this problem did not work, and only upgrading the motherboard BIOS finally fixed the problems, but this sort of tweaking is beyond most PC owners. "
Don't like that last statement acting like most PC owners are boneheads, but the article confirms what I feared about this card.
Here's the link to the main article with all details. They like it quite a bit but can't deny the problems that exist. They also comment that the Audigy install is just as "invasive" as other SB installs before it, including all kinds of drop down menus, etc.
It is interesting that the MB BIOS had to be changed, and not the Sound card. That means that it is a Via problem, not a Creative Problem. I wouldn't know about Via and SB live conflicts as mine has always worked very well.
If it works for you then don't fix it.
Actually I think the blame goes partially to both Creative and Via. Clearly the Via chipset has some issues in how it deals with DMA issues and PCI busmastering. At the same time, as the guys over at viahardware.com state (http://www.viahardware.com/686b_1.shtm), the SBLive series were made without giving consideration to PCI busmastering. (It wouldn't suprise me if some "bargain" sound cards didn't do the same thing). This causes the SBLive! to be a BUS hog. If you have a bunch of other stuff going on over the BUS along with an SBLive! and a Via 686B chipset, problems are a real possibility. PCI latentcy tweaks may do a lot to help alleviate these BUS saturation problems, but I would always be a bit nervous thinking that an "optimization tweak" instead of a true fix was the only thing between me and system stability or a corrupted hard drive.
As opposed to the SBLive!/Audigy boards, it appears both the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and the Philips Acoustic Edge gracefully deal with PCI busmastering. That does not appear to be much of an issue on Intel based motherboards, but it is with some Via chipsets.
The more I read about this issue, the more I believe that my problems came down to 1) Via 686B southbridge, 2) SBlive! 5.1 Platinum, 3) Hercules Geforce 3 vid card, and 4) Adaptec 2930CU SCSI card (busmastering). If you remove just one of those components (your choice), my system was stable. The easiest item to replace was the SBlive! People who aren't working the BUS as hard may not run into any problems at all and that appears to be the case for the many happy 686B/SBlive! owners.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. - Mark Twain