Creative announces quad-core Core3D audio processor

The pace of progress in the PC audio market can probably be best described as glacial. Brace yourself, though, because another chunk just fell off the old iceberg. Creative has announced a new Sound Core3D audio processor that underpins a fresh lineup of sound cards. The chip itself has quad cores, but it’s unclear how the audio processing workload is distributed between them.

What is clear is that this is a highly integrated solution. The Core3D incorporates analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters usually consolidated in a separate codec chip or split between multiple bits of auxiliary silicon. The DAC is a six-channel unit with a 102-dB rating (presumably, that refers to the signal-to-noise ratio), while the ADC has four channels rated for 101 db. Both support 24-bit audio streams, although Creative isn’t specific about sampling rates.

In addition to integrated DAC and ADC components, the Core3D has its own headphone amplifier, a digital microphone interface, and S/PDIF connectivity. The whole thing is wrapped up in a purportedly power-efficient chip with a mere 56 pins. Two versions will be available: an HD model designed for PCs and an “embedded configuration” intended for consumer electronics devices.

Like previous Creative audio processors, the Core3D supports the EAX Advanced HD 5.0 introduced with the original X-Fi way back in 2005. The focus with this new design seems to be noise reduction and general improvements for voice communication. The chip also offers a smattering of THX TrueStudio Pro enhancements.

Creative’s new hotness will be found in several audio products, including the newly announced line of Recon3D sound cards. The base model, which will be available this year, will only implement some of the features available on pricier Fatal1ty versions of the card. Professional and Champion flavors of the Fatal1ty variant are due in 2012.

I’m always excited when new PC audio products are announced, so I’m rather curious to learn more about what Creative has cooked up with the Core3D. The high level of integration suggests that this is something we could see sold on inexpensive sound cards and integrated into motherboard designs. Indeed, the Core3D press release includes a snippet of praise from someone in Gigabyte’s motherboard division. We’ll have to get one of the new Recon3D cards in for testing to see how it sounds.

Comments closed
    • moose17145
    • 8 years ago

    Personally I haven’t had many issues with Creative products. I have been using my X-Fi XtremeMusic since it was released back in 2005 and it still works great. The only time I ever had issues was during the first 6 months of Vista’s release. But considering it was windows Vista I am having a hard time blaming Creative… (haven’t had any sound issues since moving to Windows 7).

    At any rate I still like my XtremeMusic and it absolutely blows my mind that the X-Fi is still top of the line after all these years…. I have never ever had any part in my computer remain top of the line for 6+ years… Also i miss EAX and hardware acceleration… Audio has seriously gone backwards since Vista came out IMO.

    • Draphius
    • 8 years ago

    i will never buy an creative labs products. had one card fry two motherboards, the drivers are flaky, and updates leave all the old junk on your harddrive which conflicts half the time,and it took em a year to get win 7 drivers. half the options dont work in there control panel. everything about creative just sets my teeth on edge now.

    • not@home
    • 8 years ago

    I had a Creative XF-I card with a front panel audio thing that went in a 5.5 inch bay. I loved it, especially the headphone amplifier with its own volume control and 1/4 inch jack in the front panel. It was too bad that it only worked with 1 motherboard that I ever owned, the drivers were extremely flaky and it died after only 2 years. Between the driver, compatibility issues and short life-span I will not buy creative again.

    Man I miss that headphone amp on the front panel.

    • sluggo
    • 8 years ago

    CL Finance Guy: “Why are we spending money on these codecs and DACs from Cirrus and Wolfson? They’re expensive!”. CL Marketing guy: “Yah, and their logos are visible in some of my product shots – why do we need ’em anyway?”. CL Engineer: “I think it has something to do with their fab process … “BiCMOS?” … it’s supposed to be better for analog, I think.”. Finance Guy: “Can’t we just move all that stuff onto our main die?”. Engineer: “Sure, but it’ll sound like crap”. All laugh. The End.

    • Sahrin
    • 8 years ago

    I tried to write a comment about how cool this will be on my machine with an X-Fi, but I BSOD’ed halfway through.

    • Abdulahad
    • 8 years ago

    I like their products, good sound quality at sound prices

    • Coulda
    • 8 years ago

    From press release:
    “It incorporates Creative’s innovative Quartet DSP with four independent processor cores”

    From anandtech’s review of X-FI from 2005:
    “the Quartet is made up of 4 independent two-issue SIMD engines”

    So….it’s the same thing but now it’s called quad-core?

      • ShadowTiger
      • 8 years ago

      “The Core 2 brand was introduced on July 27, 2006”

      I don’t think quad core was a cool marketing term back in 2005…

      • tfp
      • 8 years ago

      Sounds kind of like how graphics card companies define things for GPUs.

    • Coran Fixx
    • 8 years ago

    Creative refuses to get in the wheelbarrow, proclaiming “I think I’ll go for a walk”

      • LoneWolf15
      • 8 years ago

      Like them or not, good for them. Many others have taken that ride.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    I think this product hints that Creative may have realized it’s doing the same mistake AdLib did back in the 90’s and is trying to change course. If you’re old enough to remember and you cared a lot about FM stereo sound back then (I believe most folks did due to the big gap between FM and PC beeps), you know that AdLib beat Creative to the punch in releasing an FM sound card. But it was Creative later on who not only provided FM sound, but realistic sound effects and speech with their Sound Blaster, something AdLib couldn’t do with their original product. AdLib fired back with their AdLib Gold 1000, a fully capable FM + sound effects sound card that, at least on paper, was good enough to topple the Sound Blaster. But it didn’t. Why? Because it arrived when Sound Blaster was already enjoying critical mass and AdLib did not equip the Gold 1K with Sound Blaster compatibility. Many games already supported Sound Blaster back then but AdLib was too arrogant not to support SB (not Sandy Bridge), and insisted that game devs made their games support Gold 1K. As it happened, not only were gamers hesitant to buy the Gold due to the fact that they just couldn’t feel confident that all their current and future games will support it while Sound Blaster just felt more attractive, but many game devs also didn’t bother to support the Gold because it’s not very popular. If ONLY AdLib made the Gold 1000 compatible with Sound Blaster instead of insisting that everyone bite into their Gold Sound Standard. AdLib’s mistake? It’s too arrogant to follow the trend of the computing landscape.

    Now we see that same mistake being committed by Creative. Although I fully understand the value of having Creative and Asus come up with better sound cards, the reality is, most people just don’t care about popping $100 for a sound card that they fail to see the value of. Perhaps X-Fi’s really do sound better, but until a person actually hears the difference with a good pair of speakers, most won’t bother buying it even if there are models that cost only around $50 or less. Most find the integrated solutions sufficient. Creative’s mistake? They stuck to building their Sound Blasters while failing to realize that few people care and that they should have made a [u<]serious[/u<] effort in getting into the Integrated HD Audio Codec market. That's the landscape today. If they capitalized on their Sound Blaster branding many years ago and moved into Integrated earlier than Realtek they could be enjoying 'Sound Blaster Inside' popularity today. This 4-core sound core thing may be all hype, but as people have noted, having so few pins and so few caps on the card hints at the possibility that this is a software solution. Perhaps Creative is admitting its own arrogance and is seriously thinking about getting into the integrated audio market. Time will tell.

      • ronch
      • 8 years ago

      I just read through their press release. The second paragraph confirms it: This thing is for motherboards. Seems Creative has finally woken up to reality.

    • can-a-tuna
    • 8 years ago

    I probably don’t do anything with this let alone hear any difference between this and x-fi but I gotta have this :).

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    I’d welcome the new chip if I thought this was the end of software solutions that rely mostly on the host system’s CPU but call themselves Sound Blaster powered. However, with a board looking like that, I fear they may ALL be going host CPU-powered software solutions…

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      Hardware-based DSPs are DEAD.

      The CPU overhead for software based DSPs are trivial on modern chips. Developers usually off-load audio processing onto its own separate thread making a dedicated hardware DSP a moot point.

    • brothergc
    • 8 years ago

    Oh no, not another sound blabber product !
    Dont know about anyone else , but I been burned too many times from creative , bunch of idiots that cant write software , bloated software that does not work right, and it will probaly need 200 services running in the background just to work

    • dale77
    • 8 years ago

    Er… 6 channel DAC? No 8 channel sources need apply?

      • Madman
      • 8 years ago

      I wouldn’t be surprised, they’ve removed support for their own inventions before, like mini-din 5.1 on X-Fi+

      But, is there a point in 7.1 vs 5.1?

        • Cyco-Dude
        • 8 years ago

        oo, yeah that one pissed me off. thanks creative, now i can’t use my 5.1 cambridge soundworks setup (made for sblive 5.1 digital mini din). blah.

        for whatever it’s worth, i’ve never had a problem with creative sound cards or their drivers (awe64, sblive 5.1, x-fi) moving from win98se, to winxp, to win7. maybe i’m just lucky.

          • Madman
          • 8 years ago

          You can buy that DTS DD pack from creative, it installs, extends the driver, and encodes everything to DD/DTS so you can use optical or coax to pass data to speaker decoder, which then does the decoding.

          A sucky hotfix, but it works, sort of…

          And yes, you are very lucky πŸ™‚

    • Madman
    • 8 years ago

    Mixed feelings bout this one.

    I’ve been using Creative cards since SB16, and they are better than competition technologically, and on paper.

    YET… after SB16, none of the cards have worked for prolonged time without issues. (Live, Audigy, Audigy2, X-Fi).

    It’s so bad now that X-Fi only works for an hour or so, then random sound disappearance for 1-3 second occurs time after time.

    Also, I had to PAY to get the dam card working with their own speakers. DLC pack or something. Also, they reset their settings completely randomly, with no isolated cause. And sometimes you have to switch between modes because suddenly one of them doesn’t sound at all. Or reinstall drivers. Also switching between modes causes BSOD on W7 quite often.

    The quality of drivers they write is so poor, that anybody could write better ones. For example, ALSA (Linux drivers) have no problems with Creative cards.

      • Jigar
      • 8 years ago

      It’s only you my friend, i have been using Creative sound cards since 15 years now, XFI since 6 years and that thing is still running strong without any issue till date.

        • Fighterpilot
        • 8 years ago

        I’ve had the X-Fi Xtreme Gamer for years now and its always worked well.
        Thank God I got the hi performance Fatal1ty version.
        Best to stick with stuff that is fully endorsed by World Class gamers rather than some no name,unbranded rubbish!!
        πŸ˜‰

      • swaaye
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah I haven’t had problems like that with my X-Fi. It’s been a champ for years. I actually bought a Titanium model for my TV because I needed a PCIe sound card. My PCI X-Fi Elite Pro blocked the video card fans. That mobo has onboard VIA audio that is just horrible in its multispeaker output quality so it wasn’t an option.

      I’m guessing that the extras pack you bought was the Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect pack. They don’t include those with all X-Fi cards because yes they are penny pinching. The Titanium cards include both though. You can actually get those packs for Audigy cards too because it’s just a software encoder. I am just using 5.1 analog output myself though.

      • Kaleid
      • 8 years ago

      Sounds like the hardware is malfunctioning.

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    lack of hdmi and spdif…how much more would it have cost them? how about a normal full feature card?

    sorry creative, i run spdif coax passthrough to proper sound processing components, so i dont really worry about noise.

      • shank15217
      • 8 years ago

      And your assumptions fail you because maybe that card has better sound processing than your receiver. There is obviously no reason to buy a high end sound card if you’re not going to do the processing on the card itself.

        • Theolendras
        • 8 years ago

        Well unless your sound receiver is the actual sound card. I think JVC did it trought a USB connection a few years ago. Technically this could be the ultimate solution, but I don’t think there is enough of a market to sustain this idea.

        If well done, I could have adhered, I say could, because OpenAL support still seems shaky to me.

      • WarriorProphet
      • 8 years ago

      SPDIF is supported, it was mentioned in the writeup, and in the pic you can clearly see the shiny orange SPDIF minijack, it just uses a 3.5mm to RCA cable…fairly standard…

        • A_Pickle
        • 8 years ago

        Unless I really don’t know what I’m talking about (it happens), there’s… very clearly a TOSLink optical S/PDIF output on the back of the picture there…

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    HMS Creative is sinking.

    The era of hardware-based DSP solutions on the mainstream market is long over. Hardware-based DSP will only exist within certain niches.

    Everyone else has moved onto software-based DSP solutions, because CPU overhead for software DSP is trivial to modern CPUs.

    FYI, Hardware based DSP != discrete sound cards.

    Discrete sound cards will continue to exist, but only within a niche that desires superior audio quality then what integrated audio (good enough for the majority of the market) can muster.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      Kroger, why is it that every post you make regarding a new product is damn near the same?

      blah blah ‘good enough’ blah blah ‘niche product’ blah blah ‘everyone with better consumer crap than the consumer crap I have is silly’ blah blah…

        • Krogoth
        • 8 years ago

        Because, we have reached a plateau in a number of areas. It is kinda hard to get excited when the last couple of product releases are just incremental improvements.

        The only area where we are seeing any significant improvements is in I/O performance. It is no thanks to the SSD explosion.

          • indeego
          • 8 years ago

          It’s thanks to NAND affordability, specifically.
          We’re also seeing dramatic improvements in power/performance in the CPU area (notsomuch in GPU). Other than large corps trying to save power in the data room and backoffice not too many people really care about this.
          The Virtualization technologies and performance today was only a rusty pipe-dream 5 years ago. I don’t think anyone 5 years ago thought we’d be having near-par guest performance with host so fast.

          But yeah audio is dead in the water and has been for a while now.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t think they’re sinking, this card in and of itself shows the new turn they’ve taken. It isn’t concentrated around gamers in anyway, shape, or form. I’m sure we’ll find it competeing for space with Realtek and Cmedia. That’s what I took away from this card, it doesn’t scream bleeding edge or trying to push the envelope forward, just mediocre aimed at the meat of the market.

        • Krogoth
        • 8 years ago

        They are already dead.

        They missed the software DSP boat. That’s where the entire industry has moved to.

        Creative has tons of valuable IP, but doesn’t know how to utilize it. They keep chasing ghosts and dwindling markets.

        I just hope that their IP falls into more competent hands.

      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]"CPU overheard for software DSP"[/quote<] Why was the CPU eavesdropping?

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      I see that are a number of Creative fans and shills out there.

      Management at Creative should be allocating those marketing funds towards making solid drivers and cross-platform friendly software-based DSPs. Leave the hardware stuff to the prosumer/audiophile market.

        • hansmuff
        • 8 years ago

        Just so you know, not everyone who doesn’t jump on the hate train is a Creative shill. It’s OK if you just want to make yourself look superior, but it’s really a cheap shot. Some posts are well informed and not marketing kind of responses.

        I mean, so you’re complaining about drivers. I don’t know why. Of course, there were the initially terrible Vista drivers, that was resolved. Other than that, I can’t remember a situation other than some Linux support where Creative was kind of shoddy, and even for Linux they have always ultimately supported it, just a little slower than the community wanted.

        I’ve used their cards since the SB Pro ISA card. I’ve run a good many operating systems from DOS, Windows 3.x, OS/2, Linux and finally Win XP/Vista and 7, 32 and 64 bit, and I have always gotten my creative stuff to work.
        A good many audio card makers have a far worse track record. Turtle Beach and Hercules, for instance, did much worse on the driver front.

        I understand and join some of the criticism of not properly advancing an open environmental sound API and putting better research behind it. The mess surrounding the demise of Aureal, sure, Creative can probably be blamed for muscling them out. But to say that their stuff is horribly supported is a bold lie.

          • Krogoth
          • 8 years ago

          Creative drivers have always been sub-par at best and to make it worse, it takes Creative bloody ages (sometimes years) to resolve some common issue (X64 memory issues, Alchemy support on older hardware, SMP related issues).

          Creative hardware works, but the cards are very pickly about PCI implemention and resource allocation. It is almost like they were ISA cards.

            • HunterZ
            • 8 years ago

            Creative never got a good handle on PCI. They had to buy out Ensoniq and re-brand their cards at first, just to get something on the market. They built on that tech to make the SB Live series, but didn’t follow the PCI spec well enough to make it stable on equally terrible VIA motherboard chipsets of the time.

          • HunterZ
          • 8 years ago

          I used the SB2.0, SB16 MCD, SB PCI128 and SB Live X-Gamer, and briefly used SB AWE64 Gold and Audigy cards. I can honestly say without hesitation that Creative’s drivers for PCI cards on Win9x and up were all bloated, unstable, and poorly-supported – and I had already stopped using Creative products by the time Vista had rolled around! Their pattern in the late ’90s seemed to be to put out 1-2 driver updates over as many years, then drop all support in favor of pushing customers to upgrade to the next product down the line.

          The simple fact is that Creative has never really been much of an innovator – they’ve just been a better marketer. Even the original Sound Blaster was derived from the Adlib (albeit with significant improvements). When they fall behind, they either buy out competitors (to absorb or kill off their tech) or just sue them into the ground. They were a better, nicer company before the PCI era; I guess having to buy Ensoniq in order to be able to enter the PCI market changed them somehow.

          At any rate, I got off the Creative bus around 2004-2005 when companies like Realtek had made on-board sound a feasible alternative to Creative’s offerings. I then upgraded to a Xonar DX a few years ago and haven’t looked back. I haven’t even found much use for the GX (EAX emulation) function of the Xonar, as it seems that EAX went out of style with game developers as soon as it became known that Vista was going to cut it off.

          There’s nothing redeeming about Creative as it has existed for the past 5-10 years. But it’s okay; we no longer have to pay any attention to them since they’re no longer offering anything relevant.

    • LSDX
    • 8 years ago

    No HDMI?
    In that case I prefer having the CPU do the math, maybe losing 2 FPS, but at least I can have 7ch PCM output via the gfx card to the amp.

      • VinnyC
      • 8 years ago

      Haha if you have an amp with analogue inputs you could have the 7.1 and use the card πŸ˜‰

      • Palek
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]In that case I prefer having the CPU do the math[/quote<] I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I'm pretty sure that video cards with HDMI out do not perform any audio-related calculations. They just receive the final audio stream from the CPU and then work it into the HDMI stream.

    • Saber Cherry
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]The pace of progress in the PC audio market can probably be best described as glacial.[/quote<] It was going at a pretty good clip before Creative bought Ensoniq and litigated Aureal into bankruptcy. I would never again buy anything from that company, even if they did manage to producing working drivers, or innovate, or... well, anything indicative of a company being useful. Of all tech companies, Creative is #1 on my hate list, above even Apple and Rambus.

    • canmnanone
    • 8 years ago

    why cant they make these low profile? seems that they would be better with htpc low profile card than full height.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    For all the shit people give Creative, there isn’t a lot of choice when it comes to computer audio processing. It’s either Creative or a bunch of 3rd party card makers that base their cards on respun integrated audio chips like Realtek and Cmedia.

    Honestly this doesn’t bode all that well with me. I’ve always enjoyed environmental effects from EAX (from back when they existed) and good sound and it’s quite sad to see this chip doesn’t focus on anything remotely gamer at all. If that’s the real SnR then it’s lower then their past cards. All you need to do is play a couple PC games and hear all the sound overriding each other (no more then like 16 simultaneous sounds) to feel my grief, even TF2 and source games are a victim of this. I remember when you could hear almost everything that happened around you and it’s location based on how it mixed two environments (I’m not just talking about positional sound)!

    I guess I can’t blame them though, audio in video games is all but non-existent now, so there is no reason to cater to it. This just looks like something that would be cheap and simple for them to make and will be easily found integrated into motherboards.

      • kvndoom
      • 8 years ago

      The CMI8788 is [i<]anything[/i<] but respun integrated audio. You must have missed the whole Xonar/HT Omega thing.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        I read it. I think you’re thinking that I’m referring to respun integrated audio as if it were a bad thing, I’m taking into account the current baseline it is at in this day and age (which isn’t all that bad).

          • just brew it!
          • 8 years ago

          The only thing a consumer-grade discrete card really gets you these days over a well-done integrated solution is a lower noise PCB (AFAIK most motherboards are only 4-layer for cost reasons, which limits the shielding options for sensitive analog circuitry somewhat), and (hopefully) some better quality components in the final analog output stage. The noise floor of integrated audio is already low enough not to matter to most people, and any distortion or frequency response anomalies are probably dwarfed by the effects of the crap speakers and headsets most people use.

          For the typical PC user — or even the enthusiast using mid-range “computer” speakers or a “gaming” headset — integrated audio really isn’t the limiting factor any more.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            Yes sir, that’s the part that I had trouble with accepting in this announcement. I think this is more of something we’ll see integrated onto motherboards, rather then trying to sell itself. Nothing in the post makes mention of it targeting gamers or it being any sort of bleeding edge technology besides the Quad bit, which is totally just marketing.

            Sadly, this shows the direction PC gaming has went and how it trickles down to the hardware the depended on its sales.

            • BestJinjo
            • 8 years ago

            Disagreed. The difference in musical fidelity/detail/controlled bass/treble/mid-range between the most modern integrated and any of the Asus/Omega/Creative dedicated cards is HUGE. I just upgraded from P55 to P67 chipset and couldn’t figure out why my sound was so horrible. Then I realized I forgot to install my Creative X-Fi Plat drivers and was using onboard. I couldn’t believe how horrible onboard 3D sound still is. It’s like comparing a Honda Civic to a Porsche 911. I have been using Creative X-Fi for 4 years and every single onboard audio from P965, P35/P45/P55/P67 that I have used over those years has been absolute crap.

        • A_Pickle
        • 8 years ago

        I love my Xonar, it’s really a great card…

        …but I will argue this: What in the hell is up with sound card makers, and being lazy as all get out when it comes to providing proper driver support? Honestly, the only company that does a good job at consistent driver support is [i<]Realtek[/i<]. I'm pretty sure the last update to my Xonar DX was from sometime in 2008, when the continents were still a single supercontinent and dinosaurs roamed the Earth. It's not without it's bugs, either -- I've experienced issues where the card will simply fail to be detected unless I shut down the computer, unplug it from the wall, and push the power button a couple times before putting it all back in... ...it's a bit frustrating, honestly. I guess I've heard some awful horror stories regarding Creative's drivers, but... [i<]man[/i<]. What I would give to see a PC audio industry with as much development and innovation as the graphics side...

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          I agree with this and that’s the pitifall that everyone judges Creative for. I also believe a lot of companies are equally at fault for this, just Creative is the most notable company in a sea of integrated solutions so they’re picked out.

          Unfortunately there isn’t a huge number you can associate with sounds and it’s impossible to sell until you actually hear it for yourself. A lot of people poopoo on Creative, but a well done game with EAX effects was amazing to listen to. Ravenshield, Tribes 2, and Battlefield 3 come to mind as I played them a lot. Games simply don’t have it now days.

      • just brew it!
      • 8 years ago

      CPUs have gotten powerful enough that there’s really no *need* for a dedicated audio DSP any more. All we really need is high-quality DAC and ADC converters, and the software to manage them.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        I never said that they were needed from a hardware perspective, I was iterating what Creative pushed forward was their premade environmental effects with EAX developers could just apply. That doesn’t exist anymore as MS axed directsound and developers don’t really give two shits about sound so they don’t add it to games. The best I’ve heard sound wise is BC2 lately, but that still isn’t all that great.

          • Krogoth
          • 8 years ago

          The problem is that surround audio setups have always been a tiny niche. Even smaller than SLI/CF users.

          Most gamers are on stereo/headphones, which negates most of the benefits of surround DSPs. I know that there are stereo/headphone DSP solutions that replicate the effects of full surround setup, but their implementation isn’t widespread.

          To make matters worse, it is difficult to setup surround audio on gaming consoles which are forced to use DD, which itself requires licensing fees for developers to utilize.

          This places developers in a difficult postion if they want to implement surround audio with their titles.

          “Why spend the DD and EAX licensing fees, if less than 2% has surround speaker setups?”

          When you factor in Creative’s incompetence and patent trolling.

          It is not much of surprise that surround audio in gaming has been stagnant for years.

            • swaaye
            • 8 years ago

            I’ve found that even quite a few old Xbox 1 games have good 5.1 audio. In my experience a lot of PC games have multichannel audio these days too, but I do run into the occasional stereo-only game. The only one I can name offhand is that awful Turok game though…

            One reason I stick to Audigy and X-Fi cards is their ability to take multichannel audio and downmix it to a great headphone output by using HRTF and binaural techniques. It really does work. However I have noticed that games with the “headphone” output option tend to do their own effective processing.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            Creative CMSS replicates 3D through two speakers and headphones very well, Geoff even rated it so… go read the article on here. He even compared it to other simulated types of surround sound.

            That aside, EAX doesn’t and never needed positional audio to matter. It still can be used as a positional indicator as well as an immersion tool.

            Yeah, guess how many years ago MS killed DS and as such bombed EAX for the most part? Right around the time of consolization, the release of Vista, five years ago, which fits neatly into your ‘stagnant for years’.

      • swaaye
      • 8 years ago

      It’s not true that audio is garbage now. It’s just that instead of supporting hardware that only a small number of people have, they use middleware like FMOD Ex, Rad Game Tools / Miles Sound System, Xact, et al. Valve maintains their own sound engine AFAIK but I know Source can use others as well. these absolutely do have environmental sound support and it is definitely used (I just listened to it Deus Ex HR). With modern CPUs we don’t need audio DSPs to add effects to audio.

      Hardware audio processing is history. We’re probably better off because it’s not tied to any proprietary APIs and there are no more bus transfer problems causing distortion like in the good old days. And the software audio engines are all extremely mature at this point.

      Whether or not game developers pay serious attention to game audio is the real issue at hand.

        • DarkUltra
        • 8 years ago

        So Source engine has it’s own sound engine? I thought they used Miles. Well there is a distinct audio lag in Half Life 2 in both XP and 7, if you listen and look closely (more pronounced with a 120hz monitor). Starcraft 2 also have a lot of audio lag. I’m not sure why, maybe the multithreaded nature of the 3d engine is to blame?

        In the old days there where no delay though most modern games with software audio doesn’t have much audio lag like for instance Modern Warfare 1 and 2 (they use miles i think).

          • swaaye
          • 8 years ago

          I could be wrong about Valve using their own audio engine. Maybe that was way back with Half Life 1 as I remember reading about how they had their own software reverb and didn’t use EAX. I too have seen Source-based games using Miles.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            [url<]http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Source_Engine_Features#Audio[/url<] According to that it says it needs a Miles licenses for a certain effect... Although it's incomplete information it may link to it using a miles engine. I've honestly tried looking for what sort of audio engine Source uses a few times and I still can't find it. People just don't know. It does talk about how they have some audio effects in game, but they aren't anywhere near as complex as what EAX 5 could offer in terms of environmental effects.

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          I’m not sure what this is in regard to, but I have noticed Hyperthreading causes micro-stuttering, at least in my own experience. Turning it off produces smoother gameplay and overall more fluid experience in Windows.

          It could very well be though, I’m honestly still using my Creative X-FI and I will be for quite some time as long as it still functions.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        As I said to JBI, I didn’t say hardware was needed to push positional audio or EAX, but rather that Creative basically made audio into what it was. Premade effects that could be used through EAX, developers don’t care enough about games to add good sound anymore. I haven’t had a chance to try out Deus, but I will and I’m sure it’ll be decent from what you’re saying.

        The point being if it’s already there and easily accessible, developers will be more likely to add it to games then if they need to develop their own solution in house from the ground up or they have to relearn basics to implement it, such as the case with OpenAL. There is a whole motivational and time constraint in there.

        I think hardware accelerated audio could have a place, just not anywhere in it’s current form. Effects aren’t good enough that they could actually take advantage of a dedicated piece of hardware to manage them.

        • HunterZ
        • 8 years ago

        This!

        Discrete audio DSPs are obsolete. Software audio processing is just as good now (thanks to super-mature game audio APIs) and costs almost nothing in CPU usage on a modern processor. All that makes a difference now is having a good set of DACs.

        I just wish developers would stop being lazy and encode the audio in their games’ intro movies as discrete 5.1 instead of dolby-encoded stereo, as PCs and/or attached speakers don’t know to decode that unless you switch the whole sound card/chip to stereo mode.

        Edit: Hey swaaye, I seem to run into you a lot when sound cards are discussed πŸ™‚

      • bcronce
      • 8 years ago

      With Vista/7/8, ALL audio(except exclusive mode) is processed by the CPU. Even if you have a $200 sound card with all the bells and whistles with EAX, 256 audio streams and all that fun stuff, everything is done by the CPU now.

      When you buy a sound card, the only thing that matters is 1) is the driver stable? 2) What interfaces does it support? 3) What’s the SNR.

      Anyway, EAX sucked compared to A3D. Creative filed false suit after false suit, until Aureal buckled from lawyer fees. Then Creative bought them out, took their awesome tech and sat on the patents until it died. Creative was mad that a $20 Aureal card sounded better and had better drivers than their $90 Sound Blasters.

      To me, Creative and Sony are on par for “Biggest Douche”

        • DarkUltra
        • 8 years ago

        Exclusive mode? I thought it was a HAL exposed by the driver, OpenAL. With that and ALchemy you get ds3d and eax support in vista/7. If you get the auzentech X-Fi Hometheater HD, you also get HDMI and PCI-e, which means eax, ds3d + 8ch digital to your receiver which can then do “limited room correction” and dynamic loudness eq (usually can’t get that with 6/8ch analog in).

        If you want room correction, equalizing helps but you need bass traps to truly get tight bass. Unless you have a roundish or small room/speakers. Digital loudness eq like audyssey dynamic eq is nice because bass is perceived differently by humans at different listening levels. So if the sound guy mixes at reference volume and you listen at -20dB you still get good bass.

          • bcronce
          • 8 years ago

          OpenAL allows your app to talk directly to the sound card, but in doing so, it also is capable to BSOD’n your comp. Better hope your sound drivers are stable.

          The cool thing about your CPU is it can do room correction and dynamic loudness even better than a receiver or your sound-card. Actually, it does it all in 32bit precision, which is magnitudes better audio fidelity than anything your soundcard can do. All of this for about 2-5% of a 2005 mid-grade cpu, which is probably sub 1% cpu on modern hardware.

          Vista/Win7 actually support custom audio addons, which can do about anything to an audio stream in real-time. All of it at 32bit quality. One of those things is you can put a microphone where you sit, and have Vista/7 do sound latency checks for each speaker. This way all sound from any program you use will reach your ears at the same time. Also, it can do constructive/destructive interference checks and make sure your audio reaches your ears correctly.

          The beauty of this is any soundcard can benefit from these features since it’s all done by the CPU. The sound-card has become nothing more than a dumb io device. Any low quality integrated soundcard with an optical out will sound exactly the same as a $200 card. It’s the DAC that matters and the only reason to pay premium for a card.

        • DarkUltra
        • 8 years ago

        Furthermore i found many ds3d games having a very noticable 500ms audio lag when running in emulation mode in windows 7. This fas fixed by using ALchemy.

        Heh I’m glad so many mentions Creatives past shenaigans. It teaches companies to fear their customers, as they rightfully should! They are nothing without us, unless they can live on IP trolling and other lawsuits.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 8 years ago

        You are wrong, despite understanding the current state of affairs of computer sound…

        when you buy a sound card, the only thing that matters is 0) Analog output stages … because if you are buying a soundcard and not using the analog output you have thrown away your money.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah, I never said it wasn’t processed by the CPU. My point wasn’t about the hardware capabilities of Creative sound cards.

        I never heard of any amazing games with A3D. A3D just showcased positional audio, but didn’t have anything more then that. Creative cards did that and much more and they pushed it as well as doing some of the work for the developers.

          • bcronce
          • 8 years ago

          A3D had AWESOME positional audio. I could literally shoot people I couldn’t see, entirely based on foot-step sounds. Nothing has ever compared to it.

          Counter-Strike(half-life) and Unreal supported A3D.

          I never liked EAX. All it did is sound like you were in a large room made of concrete. NEED MOAR REVERB! First thing I always did was disable EAX in all of my games. $150 sound card and I disabled its most flaunted feature.

            • Rza79
            • 8 years ago

            The reason why A3D sounded so amazing, was because it took the actual 3D environment into account. Because of this, A3D audio would sound like real 3D audio and not like approximated-3D-audio (what EAX actually is). A3D was made by real audio scientists.
            EAX on the other hand has no direct link to the 3D engine. It’s up to the game developer to pre-set certain 3D sound environments, so EAX 3D audio would sound ‘real’ for the area you’re in. Obviously this is an imperfect method.
            The strangest is that Creative chose to develop EAX 5.0 instead of just using A3D (which is still superior). I have a couple theories for that.
            – A3D runs on software and Creative wanted hardware accelerated effects (because this would produce higher numbers in benchmarks and audio effect quality can’t be benchmarked).
            – A3D code and theories were just too complex for Creative to understand.
            – Aureal deleted parts of the source code so that it became useless to Creative.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            The only 3D audio in creative cards that is approximated is the simulated surround sound used by CMSS for 4 speaker, 2 speaker, and headphone setups, which was rated very good compared to other methods on this site if you look up the old X-Fi reviews.

            EAX IS NOT positional audio, they’re two different things. That aside yes, it is imperfect environmentally, but it’s better then the environments simply not existing, which is what we have in current games.

            I’m really trying hard to understand the A3D fanbois that are popping out of the woodwork all of a sudden. They didn’t exist in any of the other audio debates that have popped up over the years on here and I believe for good reason.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            Well… if you were in a room made of concrete, that’s semi accurate… if you hear someone stomping around in a room full of concrete in a level that also is a very good positional hint. The same as if you hear them walking around on wood floors or in a bathroom, or outside, in a muffled room, water (yes water makes sound, omg)…

            Some effects add reverb, but not to the level you’re talking about.

            That ‘awesome’ positional audio you speak of was also in Creative cards. I used a turtle beach that had A3d… it wasn’t as amazing as you’re describing. I think you’re speaking quite a bit from nostalgia.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      SNR != simultaneous voices.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah…?

      • squeeb
      • 8 years ago

      Anyone remember Aureal? I always thought a3d was pretty nice back in the day..

    • nate011
    • 8 years ago

    I really wish Creative would get into the surround sound receiver business . . . anyone with me???

      • just brew it!
      • 8 years ago

      What, so we can have over-hyped surround sound receivers with useless extra features that actually degrade the sound when enabled?

        • A_Pickle
        • 8 years ago

        Seriously. I’m actually not that big a fan of receivers, to be honest — I wish there was a nice, digital audio surround sound solution that allowed me to go straight from the back of my sound card into the speaker set I’m using…

    • Ryu Connor
    • 8 years ago

    Any word on if it follows previous Creative products and supports UAA?

    • kalizec
    • 8 years ago

    Nice, a new soundcard from Creative… wouldn’t install one even if it was offered to me for free.

    (Been burnt too many times by Creative through absence of drivers and absence customer care.)

    Reading through the comments it seems to me that Creative destroyed their own market this past decade.

    • wierdo
    • 8 years ago

    I like the hardware “quality” of Creative’s products, but I absolutely hate their longterm support and their abusive customer relations approach.

    I especially didn’t appreciate my sound card getting intentionally crippled/obsoleted – they even shamelessly admitted this – with drivers updates by them whenever they release their next new product.

    If integrated doesn’t cut it, I’ll plan to go with “anything but Creative” when assessing my next sound card purchase.

    • axeman
    • 8 years ago

    Fatal-one-ty!!@?!? OMG WTF BBQ !? MUST BUY!

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    We’re talking about audio. What the heck does quad-core even mean?

      • CasbahBoy
      • 8 years ago

      It is practically a buzzword. I don’t care how many cores this audio processor has, I only care about [i<]what it is capable of doing.[/i<]

      • just brew it!
      • 8 years ago

      It means that they’ve got 4 DSPs. Or 4 sets of DSPs. Or 4 sets of DACs. Or 4 sets of ADCs. Or that the driver will run 4 threads if you have a quad-core CPU.

      IOW it means whatever their marketing folks want it to mean…

        • Meadows
        • 8 years ago

        Or, in other words:
        [url<]http://fukung.net/v/27981/e1c9273b1945eb410ac483eb087b3d57.jpg[/url<]

    • Shinare
    • 8 years ago

    Yea Oklahoma!

    • Cyco-Dude
    • 8 years ago

    blah…what’s the point any more? better than integrated ok, but it’s not like there are any major leaps in audio technology these days. frankly it’s depressing…i remember hearing aurea 3d for the first time, sblive 5.1 with unreal tourney for the first time…awesome. now what do we have? between windows vista+ and creative killing off any competition, there’s nothing anymore.

    still waiting for true 3d sound in my headphones without some dumb gimmick.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah… Microsoft killed off direct sound and developers have little to no reason to learn how to program for openAL, so everything died with it. Now we’re just at the whim of video game makers to make their own special effects which are usually spare to completely non-existant.

      I miss EAX effects…

        • bcronce
        • 8 years ago

        EAX is no where near as good as what can be done with a good software audio engine. But that brings up the point…. where are all of the good audio engines? Everyone too busy working on better visuals to not care?

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          Of course, you could make amazing sound if you wanted to. Just the same way as fast food doesn’t necessarily taste as a good as homemade meal with veggies out of the garden, but it’s fast and usually quite tasty.

          It was available and people could easily use it, no one really cares about sound anymore… well the developers don’t.

        • Theolendras
        • 8 years ago

        Since I’m all for quality sound, OpenAL could have been a draw since it can be used on console as well.

        On the other hand, even without direct sound, I think Creative could have gone the extra mile and do their own D3D compatible library in software freely available to all that posess a Creative sound card. Buying time to polish Alchemy to bring back hardware acceleration with some auto-updated app profile on a app basis ala SLI/Crossfire. Hardware acceleration in multicore age isn’t that much important, so a pure software solution could have done the trick, but losing EAX support on many games was really a blow. That would have been a way not to lose too much ground, but they didn’t and consumers have mostly lost interest…

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          Consumers have lost interest, but I’d say thats more of a chicken and a egg thing. People are saying how awesome BF3 looks, yet Crysis looked just as good, if not better, and that came out four years ago. You only can compare something to other products (if you remember them). They simply don’t know what good sound sounds like anymore enough for it to be something they really want.

            • BestJinjo
            • 8 years ago

            Considering most people around think Monster headphones are the sh*T, I’d go as far as to say most consumers have no idea what good sounding devices should be like. Not to mention, the countless hordes of people who continue to claim that there is “minimal” or “no difference” between motherboard integrated audio such as Realtek and a dedicated sound card…….those people are “musically deaf.”

            Perhaps they have never owned a dedicated sound car? Then it isn’t their fault since they may be believing others who continue to spread false information of how good integrated audio is, when in fact integrated audio can’t even hold a candle to any creative/asus/omega sound card released in the last 5-6 years!

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    yep. imma invest in this thing to clean up the sound i get out of my 9.99$ speakers. or not….

    • jensend
    • 8 years ago

    101 and 102 dB for ADC and DAC aren’t marvelously impressive, but if they can use the 1-chip configuration to compete on price with things like the Xonar DG they may have a winner. If it had an integrated mic preamp I might even get one myself.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      The SNR are decent if it’s measured at the analog output and not just the potential of the chip.

    • PenGun
    • 8 years ago

    Never ever buy anything at all from Creative. It’s largely crap and since they ripped off Carmack for ideas they patented, they should be boycotted by any technically knowledgeable person.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      I dislike software patents with a passion, so i dont give a crap if they “stole” a idea for software.

        • PenGun
        • 8 years ago

        That makes no sense at all.

        • axeman
        • 8 years ago

        OP was saying they stole something THEN patented it.. If you don’t agree with software patents, that should make you hate them more. They didn’t steal something that was ALREADY patented. Although I have no idea if the OP is right, I think you missed the point.

        • just brew it!
        • 8 years ago

        …even if they stole an idea that wasn’t previously patented, and patented it themselves?

          • Disco
          • 8 years ago

          isn’t that what patent law is all about?!

            • axeman
            • 8 years ago

            Upboats for you.

    • BlackStar
    • 8 years ago

    Pretty…

    …pointless.

    I wonder how this company continues to exist even after a decade of shitty products.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, a “quad-core” audio processor is not gimmicky AT ALL.

    • swaaye
    • 8 years ago

    The pictured card is clearly a budget variant. That pin count has me thinking this is primarily a software solution. Something like a new X-Fi Xtreme Audio.

    Maybe the other boards will use a different, full featured audio chip. That’s how their product segmentation usually works.

    Anyway, I think the primary advantages Creative offers at this point are their speaker up and downmixing. They do a good job with stereo to 5.1, and an even better job with 5.1 to headphones. Good for video and gaming. For people who use DOSBox, their soundfont support is nice too.

    • ClickClick5
    • 8 years ago

    Lots of haters here. I still have my XtremeGamer from 2006. Still running, still throwing high quality sound through Win7 64, and no caps have popped, OR are starting to pop.

      • Starfalcon
      • 8 years ago

      I still have an audigy 2 running in my main box with nary a problem, along with a classic SB AWE64 gold in my old skool system.

        • swaaye
        • 8 years ago

        I have a few Audigy cards around yet too and they do work fine in Vista+ these days. It definitely is better than sticking to Realtek in my experience. The old Creative cards are cleaner, do excellent headphone downmixing, give you soundfont support for DOSBox, and DS3D/EAX support through Alchemy if you want to play old Windows games.

      • crabjokeman
      • 8 years ago

      Creative has earned its haters.

        • flip-mode
        • 8 years ago

        Exactly.

      • Entroper
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, my SB16 was a great product, too. Doesn’t mean I still give them credit for it.

      • PenGun
      • 8 years ago

      There has never been high quality audio from any Creative product.

      • kvndoom
      • 8 years ago

      I still have my Audigy2 ZS in a bag, and it still works. I have no use for it, but if my Claro ever craps out I’ll have it as a backup until I get another 8788 based card.

      • Kaleid
      • 8 years ago

      X-fi xtremegamer user here. No problems, with the exception for Vista x64 (which I didn’t use anyway).
      Best game support, no crashes unlike with the Asus Xonar XD which I tried for a couple of months. And the acceleration of game sounds sound a lot better with Creative.

      • matic
      • 8 years ago

      I still have my SB Live! Player 1024 from year 2000. It’s working but it rests in a drawer. I keep it there to remind me the last time I listened to a fanboy advice on an hardware item that has cost me more money that it was worth.
      Realtek FTW!!!!!1!!

        • BlackStar
        • 8 years ago

        There are no SB Live! drivers for Vista and Win7, because Creative didn’t care enough to write them. And that’s after their atrocious WinXP drivers that killed suspend and caused random blue screens,

        That card is not working for any valid definition of “working”. πŸ™‚

          • grege
          • 8 years ago

          All SB Live and Audigy cards work perfectly with any version of Linux. The drivers are written by Linux devs not Creative.

          The irony is that these SB cards are probably the best cards to use with Linux. The SB Live in my daughter’s desktop can still run a Midi keyboard via the combo joystick interface.

            • swaaye
            • 8 years ago

            On Windows, one can use the kx drivers for Live up to Audigy 4. These are fairly amazing simply because of what you can do with the DSP panel.

            • BlackStar
            • 8 years ago

            That’s what I did back then when I still relied on analogue audio-out. The kx drivers where significantly better than the Creative trash, with lower latencies to boot. They still broke suspend and you’d lose EAX, but they were significantly better in all other ways (at least back then).

            Now I run an HDMI cable from my GPU to my sound system. Quality is many times better than anything this new “quad-core” card could ever get – I couldn’t be any happier.

            • swaaye
            • 8 years ago

            Personally, my impression is that we’ve been well past perceptible sound quality improvements since the first Audigy cards arrived. Unless you do side by side testing with excellent speakers/phones, maybe. Live was a bit muffled on the front out but the rear out is great. I know people complain about the Live/Audigy resampler but I could only hear it in tests that took its weaknesses way outside of normal use with synthetic tests.

            I’m thinking that what we have coming here will be better than most if not all onboard audio for analog output (headphones are when this is most important). The other features like EAX and stereo upmix or headphone downmix are not useful for everybody of course though. If all you need is something to pump an audio to a receiver that does the other processing then yeah HDMI is great.

            I’ve always been disappointed that optical and coax can’t do 5.1 PCM instead of only lossy DTS and Dolby. My receiver lacks HDMI so I run 5.1 analog to it instead of lossy.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      I agree, a lot of the hatred here is because there is no real competition in the PC audio market, they’re just respun integrated chips or Creative’s solutions.

      It’s true Creative doesn’t have good software, but I’ve found their hardware to be quite reliable. I’m still rocking my X-Fi Fatality gamer from 2005 when it was released.

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      They had been bitten too many times with stupid, stupid issues even hardware related ones.

      Creative cards want to monopolize the PCI bus (source of the infamous VIA PCI issues) and are a PITA to seat properly into PCI slot.

      I feel no pity for Creative. They dug their own grave with their incompetence and greed.

        • A_Pickle
        • 8 years ago

        “Excuse me, my sound card is crackling and making terrible sounds!”

        “Is your RAM in dual-channel mode?”

        “Wh… what does that have to do with anything?”

        “DUAL-CHANNEL OR SINGLE-CHANNEL MODE, SIR?”

        “I don’t kn-… single-channel, I think…”

        “We can’t help you.” *click*

        Screw Creative.

          • swaaye
          • 8 years ago

          I used to get cracking and popping out of Vortex and AudioPCI cards too. The PCI bus just was not so hot with PCI sound cards. Sometimes the video card is actually to blame because NV & ATI had their drivers crank the video card’s bus latency so it performs as good as possible but this could play havoc with a latency-sensitive hardware-mixing sound card.

          VIA chipsets suffered from VIA being inept but also from the cheap motherboards they were used on having poorly written BIOS code that programmed the chipset registers improperly and gimped PCI. That’s why George Breese’s VIA PCI Latency Patch can clear up sound card problems (and improve RAID, firewire, etc performance too).

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah… I remember having a Creative card. It had the worst sound quality of any sound card that I had ever owned. Then I figured out why.

      It was because my RAM was single-channel. I had a stick still undergoing an RMA when I put the card in. That was the last Creative [i<]product[/i<] I will ever buy. They are gimmick engineers, and I'm done supporting them.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      They are a thoroughly despicable company that has done its level best to become a complete monopoly in the pc (consumer/gaming) audio space.

      When killing Aureal wasn’t enough they bought out Sensaura to finish off A3D and to make all other add in card makers beholden to them. They threatened to sue Nvidia over Soundstorm repeatedly. I have no idea why C-Media has managed to not be sued to death by Creative – they’re probably having to cut Creative in. Maybe they don’t have the cash for an army of lawyers any more after the Cambridge Soundworks and 3DLabs fiascos.

      • Rza79
      • 8 years ago

      Still running my Audigy 2 ZS on Windows 7 x64 with the Daniel_k driver pack. No problems whatsoever. Sounds still better than any onboard sound solution.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    Now you can brag to your friends that you have a quad core soundcard! Now all Creative has to do is get their driver/software act together and make them take advantage of all four cores.

    Seriously, how does this translate to better sound to justify its probably steep price?

      • crabjokeman
      • 8 years ago

      My GeForce 520GT has 2GB of RAM and my F4t4Lity sound has 4 cores!

      EDIT: Plus my mom just told me I’m the coolest kid ever!

    • Shambles
    • 8 years ago

    Meanwhile, everyone with serious audio equipment is already running their audio through their GPU to a real receiver. Optical out in this day and age? No thanks.

      • Coran Fixx
      • 8 years ago

      Not sure if sirius?

    • Runner
    • 8 years ago

    3 extra cores to keep the first core that doesn’t do anything company. They can sit around running Dr. Sbaitso. “So, tell me about your problems.”

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 8 years ago

      You’ll need a quad-core CPU to load the bloatware/driver package just to get that card to play the Windows system sounds. It might be a more effective product if mainboards came packaged with DOS drivers to access the chipset resources like PCI-E. I wonder if they will release an ISA model?

    • slaimus
    • 8 years ago

    Wow, they are still using bad caps even on this demo card. Why in the world are they using cheap caps on such expensive sound cards. I had to recap my x-fi almost entirely from bad Jamicon caps.

    If you looks at other high end sound cards, they have good caps throughout.

      • JdL
      • 8 years ago

      I noticed that too. Creative is cheap consumer crap with cool technical specs. If you want pro audio, move along…

        • just brew it!
        • 8 years ago

        While I agree that people who want a pro quality audio solution should probably look elsewhere, I think you’re both being a bit unfair here. Unless you’re looking at a different pic than the one in the news post, the brand logos on those caps aren’t legible. Just because they look like any other generic plastic-sheathed aluminum electrolytic cap doesn’t automatically mean they are junk. Many quality lines of caps (e.g. Panasonic FC series, which I use for many of my recap projects) look very similar to the caps in that pic.

          • ludi
          • 8 years ago

          I tried uber-sharpening the image and then scaling it up, but can’t quite make out the brand. What does jump out, though, is that those capacitors are not mounted flush on the board, and as a result many of them are sitting crooked.

          While that doesn’t have any electrical effect, it’s pretty poor quality for a PR shot.

            • just brew it!
            • 8 years ago

            True. You’d think they’d at least cherry-pick one for the PR photo where all the components are mounted straight…

            • willyolio
            • 8 years ago

            now that you mention it, some of those caps are really bad. especially at the top left and bottom right.

            • A_Pickle
            • 8 years ago

            Hey now, Creative’s just being honest here guys. Give ’em some credit.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]I tried uber-sharpening the image and then scaling it up[/quote<] So you were on the set of CSI?

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            If he were, he would’ve seen the reflection of Creative’s marketing offices in one of the cap tops.

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      Upvote for you, sir. I didn’t even notice that, and I make sure to get solid capacitors on all my stuff…

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      This card looks like it’s not targeted at enthusiasts of any kind, rather they’re just showcasing the chip for integration. I mean you just need to take one look at that card compared to any of the other ones they’ve made in the past.

        • LoneWolf15
        • 8 years ago

        Considering how much integration they’ve done, this could be their new equivalent of the basic X-Fi XtremeGamer or X-Fi Titanium. For reference, a picture of the Titanium doesn’t have much more than just a lot of extra capacitors that may be made obsolete by Creative’s level of integration on the new chip.

        [url<]http://www.ixbt.com/multimedia/creative/titanium/card1.jpg[/url<] While I don't think Creative cards are a bad solution, it's not like you need a super-enthusiast card by them for reasonable soud --the least expensive model that doesn't use software-DSPs will suffice. I find the extras on the upper-end cards to be mainly fluff. I found no reason to buy a top-end X-Fi when the XtremeGamer does the job. In the same vein, when I wanted to go PCIe only in my system, I found no reason to buy the top-end card when the X-Fi Titanium does the job as well. I just make sure I don't buy any of the XtremeAudio line of carp. It does bother me that Creative hooks one or two cards onto the bottom end of a product line (like Audigy, X-Fi, etc.) that have nothing to do with the rest of the line hardware-wise, just attempts to sell a budget card to newbies.

    • Captain Ned
    • 8 years ago

    Well, the EAX Advanced HD 5.0 will work for those still running XP, but is useless to the Vista/7/(impending) 8 crowd.

    Long-term gamers have a Win98SE box for DOS games stuffed in the closet and this looks like the end-of-line card for XP gamers building their archival XP closet gaming box.

      • swaaye
      • 8 years ago

      Incorrect. OpenAL can still use EAX on Vista+ and Creative’s Alchemy gets DS3D games working with it too. But most modern games just use software libraries for sound effects now.

        • bcronce
        • 8 years ago

        Most use software libraries because

        1) Not every card supports OpenAL
        2) OpenAL is a driver and runs kernel level to talk directly to the soundcard
        3) Creative is notorious for bad drivers and OpenAL at kernel level is a great way to BSOD

        • WarriorProphet
        • 8 years ago

        Actually in Win7 the hardware layer was added back, only in Vista do you need OpenAL…

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    Heh, the processor itself was apparently announced on May 31st (based on the press release date in the first link). That’s how much nobody cares about Creative anymore.

    I’m idly curious what E-Mu will do with it. The 1616M and 1212M PCI and PCI Express cards are all based on the 20k1 found in the X-Fi and from what I’ve gathered they’re pretty nice interfaces.

    • bthylafh
    • 8 years ago

    I aim to continue my boycott of all Creative products. I despise their business practices.

      • Johnny5
      • 8 years ago

      Why?

        • BlackStar
        • 8 years ago

        Look up their history. Summary: stealing code then patenting it, killing off competitors with invalid lawsuits, releasing awful hardware and software for more than a decade.

        They are one of the few companies on the same level as Sony and that’s saying a lot.

          • Pettytheft
          • 8 years ago

          Wow, you must boycott alot of companies then. In fact, I don’t know how you managed to put together a PC with your value system.

          • indeego
          • 8 years ago

          I thought the worst was when they attacked the guy that wrote [i<]improved[/i<] drivers. They completely backtracked after the PR mess that was, IIRC.

    • larchy
    • 8 years ago

    It’s bound to be awesome with a really massive OGMF4T4L111TYYI!! sticker on it. That’s one of the main things I look for when buying PC components, a sure sign of quality. Hopefully it will have some flashing LEDs on it and integrate with facebook too.

      • VinnyC
      • 8 years ago

      You sir, are a scholar.

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