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Most Stable SoundBlaster?

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July 15, 2002 2:37:40 PM

Hello everyone I'm a diehard Aureal fan but since getting XP it has been one problem after another.. I don't think they are going to improve the drivers to even support quad speakers so it is rather pointless for me to stick on with my SQ2500 as a P4 user who gets crappy performance under win9x. I don't want to bust my wallet but I've decided I want a company that isn't going out of business anytime soon, Creative. My question is about compatibility mostly, I want to use my 4 speaker system and I don't want problems due to crappy drivers and so forth. I don't want to bust my wallet either, so basically I am looking for recommendations on which SoundBlaster to get, I'm pretty much torn between a PCI512, an OEM Audigy or an OEM Live 5.1.. The best price for the PCI512 I've found is $17, Live I've found is $25, and the audigy would be $50. I'm wondering about performance differences and stability questions, as it is now I have to rollback/upgrade drivers to run different programs... it isn't very fun. Thanks for any and all help!

My Box:
WinXP
P4 1.4ghz
Abit TH-7 RAID mobo
512mb (4x128) kingston rdram
ATI Radeon VE
Oldass Realtek Combo NIC

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by DarrenFrost on 07/15/02 10:41 AM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : stable soundblaster

July 15, 2002 9:46:17 PM

Well, I can honestly say, in my humbled opinion, If you are looking for a Creative soundcard, then go for the Live!, there may be a difference between the Live! and the Audigy, however, there isn't enough to warrant the price difference. There's no need to spend as much unless you are looking for a near-proffesional quality card ( which the Live itself will serve as more than adequately ). However, I would also suggest looking into the Philips Acoustic Edge, or the Seismic Edge. ( high, and mid range cards respectively ). the Acoustic Edge has great clarity, and stability, not to mention is both Aureal, and EAX 1.0, and 2.0 compatible. It also has support for 5.1, 5.0, 4.0, 2.0, and headphones. ( it uses Qsound technolgy, which was a pioneer in sound technology for many years in professional soudn equipment ) The Seismic edge has basically less speaker setup (4.0 and below only), and less midi voices, but is still just as clear a sound. And Philips is not going to be bought out any time soon.
July 15, 2002 9:57:18 PM

Oh yes, and I forgot to mention, If you want anyone to blame for the lack of Aureal Driver support, blame Creative, they are the company that holds all of Aureal's intellectual properties. They bought, and Stifled Aureal's technology, because it was doing better than theirs. Creative has not implemented Aureal technology into anything. Basically, they did it so that they could oush their EAX technology
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July 15, 2002 10:31:32 PM

tell me about it creative isn't exactly pumping drivers even for their own products.. I think its sad after all this time the SQ2500 is still basically a better card than most creatives.. perhaps I will go for phillips then unless the cost is much higher. I've heard less flak about phillips in tech support situations as well. The thing is the market share for pc sound is basically 70% creative and I'm tired of compatibility issues so I was hoping going for them would mean less, but I've been doing more research and it seems that creative cards have more than their fair share of hardware conflicts and such. EAX doesn't sound anywhere near as good as A3D -_-
July 16, 2002 12:30:07 AM

Quote:
but I've been doing more research and it seems that creative cards have more than their fair share of hardware conflicts and such.

Nearly all of these conflicts are related to VIA chipset motherboards, due to the bugs in VIA's PCI bus that they still haven't managed to get rid of. However, you have an i850 motherboard which should mate perfectly with an Audigy. Generally, Creative sound card + Intel chipset = zero problems.

Ritesh
July 16, 2002 1:05:42 AM

What about ATI graphics cards? I've read a lot that audigy's don't like radeons -_- if phillips is $10 + shipping though that settles it right there..
July 16, 2002 2:23:25 AM

Think of a Creative product like leprosy. You definitely don't want it. Just get a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz or a Hercules Game Theater XP. Hallelujah!

To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
July 16, 2002 6:16:07 AM

Well, I've owned just about everything Creative, and been horibly disappointed when comparing them to the SQ2500. There are some driver fixes at www.vortexofsound.com, and someone once published a location for a 3rd party controll module for the on-chip hardware features, for XP drivers, you might want to look around a bit before you give up.

A lot of guys said they like the Turtle Beach Santa Cruiz when forced to replace their Aureal cards.

<font color=blue>At least half of all problems are caused by an insufficient power supply!</font color=blue>
July 16, 2002 10:18:09 PM

Actually, The seismic Edge only uses the same chipset if it is the new revision. And I have used both, the sound quality is the same, the only difference is in features, both are wonderful sound cards. However, Crashman is also correct, the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz is a great card too ( I prefer the sound quality of the Philips better, but a Santa Cruz is still by far better in quality than a Creative, and is comparable to the Philips ).

The only Creative card I suggest buying, and actually recommend is the Ensoniq PCI, card, because this was a card created by one of the main Synthesizer manufacturers. ( Ensoniq ) it was to be released right before creative bought them, suffice it to say, Creative just saw it as a cheap card, and marketed as such.. In reality, at the time, it was a great card, with great performance. It's a bit outdated now, since it only have 2 speaker support, and not what you wanted for your setup, but it still is a good card to have laying around ; ) They never stop making drivers for those.. ; )
July 17, 2002 1:35:02 AM

Ritesh is absolutely correct, and I have much first hand experience in the Audigy realm.

Do NOT get a Live! board over a Audigy, the live is completely inferior to the audigy in sound quality IMO.

This is a repost from another post in this forum but I think the same answer applies here also-

Many people (early adopters) had problems with audigys on first release but they've gotten perfectly stable now..
I've had many problems myself but its all fixed now with the new unified driver and the newest via 4in1s.

I've found creative isnt perfect but their stuff is stable, they just get a unnecessarily bad rap from crappy hardware like buggy via based boards.

If your gaming theres no reason not to use audigy the sound is rich, positioning is great and is the only card to support EAX3 acceleration in hardware.
You can hear EAX Advanced HD on other cards but it will have a fairly large performance hit (because the CPU has to do the calculations).
It also has the lowest cpu utilization rate of any gaming card and has the onboard firewire port.

I'm about to try Jedi Knight 2 with the latest EAX3 patch and will report back here on it.. but it sounds fantastic in Grand theft auto 3 (eax 3 that is). Some reviews say that using an audigy for sound almost is like having no sound being played, that low of cpu utilization.

One note of suggestion if your getting a athlon board dont get a VIA based board but a Nforce preferably or a SIS.

The problem is VIA has problems with tons of hardware, Creative's Audigy only has a problem with VIA boards, so if that doesnt tell you whos at fault I dont know what does!
But it works great with any other motherboard chipset I've seen.


Athlon XP 1700+,KT266A,Geforce3, Audigy.. 'nuff said.
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