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The "Word" on Windows 7 Sound Drivers

Last response: in Home Audio
May 17, 2010 8:47:33 AM

I'm looking to put together a new PC - it's not going to be anything too fancy, but I definitely require a add-in sound board to do some processing for gaming and hobbyist audio apps. The issue I keep running in to with EVERY card that I look at seems to be drivers for Windows 7. Every single board I look at has forums or reviews flooded with users having driver issues with Windows 7 (64 bit, particularly).

Cards I've looked at include:

Creative's X-Fi Series (NewEgg, Forums)
  • Platinum Fatality - NewEgg
  • XtremeGamer - NewEgg
  • Titanium - NewEgg
  • Official Forums - Windows 7 Forum, SoundBlaster Forum

    Asus Xonar series
  • D2X - Official Forums, NewEgg
  • D2 - NewEgg,
  • All Others - Official Forum

    Auzentech X-Fi series
  • HomeTheater HD - NewEgg, Official Forums
  • Prelude - Official Forums
  • Bravura - Official Forums, NewEgg

    Diamond XtremeSound
  • NewEgg, Official Forums - Nevermind, apparently they got rid of their forums. Good move, IMHO.
  • Personal Experience - I own one and I've had problems with garbled VOIP in Windows XP. In 7 and XP, I've had problems with the card not multitasking properly; certain apps cause the card to go haywire and switch into chipmunk sound-mode. In their defense, I haven't checked for driver updates in about 3 months, but I doubt the situation has improved much.

    Now, I know that I'm simply pointing out the worst of the worst with these links. However, I have a good reason for doing this: I use the hell out of my hardware. Not in the sense that I abuse it, but I do tend to use ALL of the features of my hardware, not just a hand full. I don't want to install the thing just to find that a feature that I needed is broken and will probably stay broken for the next year or two - or worse, the company comes out with a "new" piece of hardware that supposedly works. I've been down that road with sound cards before and I don't care for it.

    All that being said, can anyone recommend a card or company that actually has their (expletive deleted) together as far as drivers go?
    a b $ Windows 7
    May 17, 2010 12:05:36 PM

    The Xonar line is fine; some "minor" driver issues when 7 first came out, but everythings been working fine for a while now. Creative...still has the same issues we've been complaining about for the past several years...Can't say anything about Auzentech personally.
    May 19, 2010 5:34:14 PM

    plus one on Asus Xonar line. I've not had any problems at all with mine.
    Related resources
    May 28, 2010 7:29:10 PM

    I use the XtremeGamer on W7 x64 with all games, AC3/DTS codec in kmplayer, foobar2000, audacity - etc and never had any issues at all! Rock solid. Yes, you will find many "bad" posts about whatever hardware - but keep in mind generally ppl post complaints, not praises. No doubt some ppl have driver issues, but I guarantee those people have no idea about computers - and they probably install every single "tool bar" and "free scan" that they come accross! Soundblaster has native W7 32 and 64 drivers.
    May 29, 2010 9:32:36 AM

    So, I manned up and got the Xonar D1 - they appeared to have their house in order. And I was not disappointed - this is a kickass card. Thanks for the recommendation, guys.
    June 2, 2010 5:22:43 PM

    avoid teh auzentech hometheatre HD its got way way too many problems.