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Does the "Squeal of Death" affect Audigy 2?

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November 3, 2002 8:54:09 AM

About 4 months ago I "upgraded" from my old SB Live card to the new Audigy. But many reboots, new driver installs, and supposed fixes later, realized that it was just not meant to be. My computer at the time (XP Pro) was one of the ones effected by the infamous "squeal of death." For those of you not familiar with this go <A HREF="http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,48708,00.asp" target="_new"> here </A>. Now I'm pondering whether I should give the Audigy 2 a try. But before I lay down the cash, I thought I'd give the good 'ol THG community a chance to warn me against any particular issues, caveats, or gaping bugs that will make me want to pull what is left of my hair out. :eek:  I'm not bitter...really.

<font color=blue> <i> There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. </i> </font color=blue> --J.S. Anderson
November 3, 2002 8:07:35 PM

I bought the Audigy 2 yesterday and did experience the "squeal of death" 3 times when starting SimCity 3000. 3 reboots later with Windows freezing upon startup (meaning actually 6 reboots later) the problem mysteriously disappeared.

In the meantime, I updated my BIOS, reinstalled my video drivers, Audigy 2 drivers, and the PCI latency patch, and now the crackling sounds that plagued SimCity 3000 the first time I got to play it with Audigy 2 appears to have disappeared as well. I am now afraid to reboot the computer as this may just be a wonderous fluke that shows itself once during a lifetime.

edit: I also played around with my IDE (using 'PIO only' transfer mode - although later changed it back to 'DMA if available') and BIOS settings (IRQ and Latency).<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by knight0 on 11/03/02 05:13 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
November 3, 2002 8:59:30 PM

What's your setup, if I might ask?

<font color=blue> <i> There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. </i> </font color=blue> --J.S. Anderson
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November 3, 2002 10:13:37 PM

Asus A7V133 motherboard
Athlon Thunderbird 1.33 GHz CPU
384MB RAM
128MB GeForce4 Ti4200
SB Audigy 2
ATI TV Wonder
modem and ethernet card
Windows XP Professional

If you still have the Audigy, I'd recommend trying to reinstall the latest drivers for it as well as the latest PCI Latency patch before deciding to purchase the Audigy 2.

edit: I believe this "squeal of death" bug is due to the VIA chipset. This was the case with the SB Live! 5.1 as well, which is why I decided to upgrade yesterday. Do you have a motherboard with the VIA chipset? Windows XP also doesn't seem to help as it forces the sound card to share IRQ's.

edit2: Just noticed this is documented on Creative's website:

http://dmzweb4.europe.creative.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI....(5005)

This is their 'advice', not necessarily a fix.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by knight0 on 11/03/02 07:21 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
November 3, 2002 11:21:26 PM

I took my Audigy card back months ago for a full refund. The problems happened on my old PC which was a hand-me-down Dell. It still crashed randomly even after I tried all of their suggestions from that web site. My new PC has a Gigabyte 8iHXP mainboard (850e chipset). Plus I'm using Win XP Pro, just as with my last PC. Maybe I'll give the Audigy 2 a try sooner of later. Worse case scenario: it crashes and I get another refund. But if that does happen I guarantee you that'll be the last Creative sound card I ever buy. Thanks for the insight.

<font color=blue> <i> There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. </i> </font color=blue> --J.S. Anderson
November 5, 2002 5:02:06 AM

I'm using a cheap via chipset (which i havent been happy with) a audigy (1) and the computer will play a continous playlist of 400 mp3s and my computer (with xp pro) will and can stay running for at least a month without rebooting or having any errors. its all in your configuration.
i believe with the latest 4in1s and the latest creative drivers you should not get the squeal of death.

one thing that (i stress) greatly improved my stability was changing interrupt request handling to PIC instead of APIC in the bios. Some via chipsets do not handle apic correctly and going back to pic gives you no disadvantages, just limits your computer to the original 16 irqs.
creative isnt perfect but via is junk imo, i wont buy any more of it after all the stability problems i've had (not all are creative related either).

one prop to microsoft, the last computer problem i had, the computer would restart randomly (wouldnt stay stable without rebooting every few hours) and after i sent my error report it came back and said the problem had been investigated and the latest nvidia drivers would fix it.

well lo and behold i now have perfect stability, it all proves that blaming hardware is not correct in most cases and its all about system config.. and microsoft kicks a$$ in my opinion even after that simple fix.
edit- i was blaming the problem 100% on the audigy at this point also, mostly due to listening to all the horror stories posted by tweakers on the net!

Athlon 1700+, KT266A, 512MB PC2100, Geforce 3, Audigy, Z560s<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by kinney on 11/05/02 02:04 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
November 5, 2002 5:04:02 PM

It's not 'all in your configuration'. My config was perfectly stable until I bought Audigy. Specs : P4 1.4 in i850 board, 512MB RDRAM (Samsung), GF2MX, Win2k. While using old'n good AOpen AW744Pro sound card, I scored 19 days uptime while playing lots of 3D games, watching demos, movies, listening mp3s during gaming, etc. And the only reason my uptime was 'only' 19 days is I had to connect friend's HDD to my computer :) .
Since I bought Audigy, I have regular crashes once every 2-3 days, sometimes even with just WinAmp and explorer running. Full reinstall on clean HDD didn't help.
So, it IS Audigy & it's driver which causes crashes. And saying "tweak you config, change this, set that" doesn't mean anything to me, I expected Audigy to work without problem in my comp right after installing. Other sound cards do.
BTW I personally dream about XG being implemented on Audigy, I terribly miss MIDI quality of my old ISA Yamaha SW60XG :) .
November 5, 2002 5:09:24 PM

Quote:
BTW I personally dream about XG being implemented on Audigy, I terribly miss MIDI quality of my old ISA Yamaha SW60XG :) .

There are probably Soundfonts out there that have XG samples.

Ritesh
November 5, 2002 6:05:05 PM

It's the fact that Creative does not admit these incompatibilities that pisses me off. VIATech at least acknowledges the problem, but they can't fix it without the help of Creative. Until there is a real fix, Creative should put a warning label somewhere.
November 5, 2002 6:31:39 PM

XG is more than new instruments, there are new effects and controllers too. Generally, with good sound font (I use Reality GM sound font, found it on DC) Audigy sounds ok, but still SW60XG sounded way better to me :) . Good I made all those mp3 of some of my midis before moved to new mobo without ISA :) .
BTW DS-XG synth (all YMF7xx cards) also sounds like crap when compared to SW60XG, but it seems to be only option for those who badly need XG and don't have ISA slot (SW1000XG is a bit... expensive? :) 
Yes, you guessed right. I'm a midi freak :D . Have lots of midis and love to listen to them.
Ooops, we got a little off-topic here ;) .
November 5, 2002 10:39:30 PM

Quote:
Generally, with good sound font (I use Reality GM sound font, found it on DC) Audigy sounds ok

I use Utopia, an excellent soundfont available <A HREF="http://utopialive.com" target="_new"><font color=green>here.</font color=green></A>

Quote:
Yes, you guessed right. I'm a midi freak :D 

Yes you are. :lol:  Well I'm an old games freak so for compatibility reasons I'm forced to hang on to some old MIDI hardware. Running alongside my Audigy 2 is an ISA AWE32 with a Roland SCD-15 daughterboard and a Roland MT-32 connected to the MIDI port. :redface: All runs fine in Windows Me DOS boxes. Great for them old games!

Ritesh
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