How new is the SoundBlaster Audigy?

This is a juicy but totally unsubstantiated rumor I’m about to share with you, so beware. It’s just too interesting to pass up, though. Folks are talking about some articles like this one on some Chinese-language sites (spotty translation here) that are making some very intriguing claims about Creative’s Audigy line of sound cards.

Here’s the gist of the rumor: The Audigy’s Emu 10K2 chip might not be everything Creative has made it out to be. (Now, I hope no one thinks Creative has been wildly innovative in the first place, but the Audigy and its Emu 10K2 chip have been billed as a truly new product.) Instead, the Emu 10K2 may be nothing more than an Emu 10K1 chip (found in the Live! series) with IEEE 1394 support added. Most of the rest of the improvements Creative claims for the Audigy—especially the 24-bit/96KHz output capabilities—may come courtesy of a separate Philips DAC chip. The other features may be simple driver and software changes.

Apparently, a Chinese or Taiwanese user hacked the drivers and made his SBLive! card into a fully fuctional Audigy, minus the Firewire ports (and, presumably, the Philips DAC).

Now, even if this is all true, I’m not sure this one rises to the level of real news. I haven’t paid attention to it much myself, but I have heard from folks in the know that the Audigy’s 24-bit/96KHz capabilities don’t run all the way through the card’s audio pipeline. This Audigy review at GamePC doesn’t indicate any real advances in the Emu 10K2 chip. And we all know about Creative’s traditional (ahem) breakneck pace of innnovation.

But it would seem that we’ve seen yet another demonstration of how the audio market differs from real, semiconductor-driven markets like graphics and processors. If ATI or AMD were to launch a “new” product three years after the last revision, give it a new name, and deliver a warmed-over version of the same chip with one new feature, we’d crucify ’em. And rightly so.

For Creative and the market it leads, this kind of thing is par for the course.

Comments closed
    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    is the audigy/sb live the only commercial level
    card with the ability to render 4fx at once? Even if the
    sound quality does not match a profressional card I think the
    audigy is worth it. The inputs on my sblive turned to crap over
    years of use so at least the audigy has the drive bay option
    to take care of the more feeble slot inputs. Plus I bought
    the sblive for an $75 more than i paid for the audigy so
    I can’t complain. I’d be interested to know if anyone
    can name a sound card of better capabilities at a cheaper
    price for reference – I paid $150 for the audigy and I also bought a very nice m-audio delta44 for ~$230, but it lacks effects without a separate card.

    – bosshog

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    [i]Mine works just peachy, as does my Nostromo n50 gamepad.[/i]

    Ooooh!

    I run Linux on a number of machines at work including my laptop. Installation was a breeze on all of them. I haven’t been running it at home because of gaming issues. Just last night I decided to take a good long look at running games on Linux. Got them all figured out. The only thing remaining is my n50. Can’t live without it.

    Did you find drivers for it or did it run out of the box.

    If I clear this last hurdle, it’s buh-bye Windows.

    Thanks

    SFNative

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    i am a musician and have installed the beta audgy drivers for my sblive
    i have noticed few people postig results
    the beta drivers work flawlessly with sblive ad xp
    i have full 4 chael soud
    you must enable four speaker support in the multimedia dialoge in xp under control panel
    soundtest confirms all four speakers on my live value functioning
    eax, mixer, soundfonts, speaker all load as well as play center
    and vienna soundfont manager etc
    audio winbench results are dramatic
    sbdrivers were 30% + cpu usage
    after install
    audigy sblive 3%-10#cpu usage
    is this a real benchmark or is there a true updated bechmark test to measure real audio conditions?
    sound quality has improved due to the new eq filter added
    and is less muddy
    the big differance is the soudfot system
    sblive is limited to 32mg fonts and it would crash when i loaded a 70 mg soundfont and played a beatles midi (a day in the life)
    with the audigy drivers istalled i had o problems playig ay midi with the 70 mg soudfont istalled

    i woder if i ca use 300mg soudfonts?

    audigy claims to support up to 1 gig using system memory
    woohoo!

    read my instructions\
    first run setup.exe
    audigy\UDA_beta\Audio\English\Setup\setup.exe
    after all programs installed reboot
    say no to drivers install
    then goto run
    audigy\UDA_beta\Audio\English\drivers\CTZAPXX.exe
    install drivers reboot
    enter xp safe mode press f8 during boot-up
    copy
    audigy\UDA_beta\Audio\English\drivers\COMMON\sfman32.dll 248kb
    paste ito
    c:widows\system32
    reboot
    everything should work for you

    abit bh6
    celeron766
    256m
    sblive value non 5.1
    geforce2 64
    ati-tv-tuner-ve

    cheers
    egghead
    at Peppy’s Windows XP Resource page.
    §[< http://peppyxp.cjb.net/<]§

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    My Dad is a serious audiophile. He rejected the Creative card and got a Terratec. Nuff said.

    /me can’t afford a Terratec 🙁

    Thank god for the Aopen AW744Pro though 🙂

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[http://www.digidesign.com/<]§

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[http://www.echoaudio.com/<]§ They were using 24bit 96khz way before creative ( a friend of mine used to create and sell cds and it was the layla he had which is kinda crazy, 8 in, 12 out, not the same as the website since he had it for about 2 years) on my system i have a game theater xp. no difference in sound from crappy 10$ speaker, but it works way better in smp

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I forgot to link you to the Petition. Im sorry. §[< http://www.petitiononline.com/creative/petition.html<]§

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Please sign this petition, im ending it at the end of the month and i need 5,000 more signatures. Please read and sign if you agree. I will be mailing this petition certified to Creative Labs on April 5. Thank you.
    -chris

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #74 here again

    #81:”I think all people saying Audigy is a bad product is because they don’t own it 🙂 “I don’t have it so i hate it” :))))))”

    Thank you sir, I don’t need to own it. These things can be objectively measured. I can read frequency response graphs (eg printed in some of the more responsible – pun not intended – computer mags like the German c’t, instead of just saying “yeah, it sounded well on my Blablabla speakers”). I can see that the Audigy is still at the same sucky level as my SBLive. I bought that one because I was young and innocent and desperately needed a PCI card after upgrading. After doing some work with it, I bought yet another mainboard with an ISA slot so I could plop my SB16 (excellent product!) back in.

    What’s the use of a -92dB noise ground if the frequency response sucks ass!? A CD burnt from my work will never sound even close to what I hear while it’s still on the PC, that’s the only measure that’s important to me.

    Now that the upgrade cyle repeats itself, I seriously contemplate a K7V Dragon+, merely for the fact of non-Creative hardware sound (hopefully some more DOS game joy without these indeed very creative drivers f*cking up my system) and maybe a nice Terratec DMX for work.

    In my book, Creative is already dead.

    • Craig P.
    • 17 years ago

    [q]Look at NVIDIA – compare the situation to Creative:

    Geforce 3 – released with 200 mhz core, 230 mhz ddr (460 mhz real clock)
    Geforce 3 Ti 200 – 175 mhz core, 200 mhz ddr (400 mhz real clock)
    Geforce 3 Ti 500 – 240 mhz core, 250 mhz ddr (500 mhz real clock)

    The design is 100% the same, just the core and the memory speed has been changed.[/q]Yes, and it’s also clear that it’s all the same core.

    nVidia has caught some flack (here, at least) for the GF4MX, which is a better analogue to this supposed Audigy / Live situation, and rightfully so IMO.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    jesus christ people stop bitching.
    you dont like them dont buy them plain and simple.
    i bought one because of a great deal i got on it. and i didnt want to use shitty onboard sound. I DO agree on better driver support though.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Even if this “rumor” is true, this is OLD news anyway (for people that know the business or look realistically at it).

    First thought ever is making money – you can optimize that, if there isn

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    All I know is that replacing my SBLive with an Audigy fixed all the popping/hissing/crackling noises on my SMP system. So to me, they’re different.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I have an Audigy Platinum card. I had a Live 5.1, before I had a Live Basic….. Before I had an AWE32, before a SB16Value….

    I had a gravis ultrasound, i had an Hercules Fortissimo, I had a Turtle beach, i had a lot of cards……..

    Audigy…….
    Never met problems, all worked 100% fine (Linux, Win98, Win2000, WinXp) ….

    Audio sounds excellent…. (2 x stereo KenWood power amp, a central mono and a sub….). Acquiring video, real bitrate is from 44099,999 to 44100,001 Hz (while other cards have a +- 100Hz!!). AC3 decoding sounds great…..

    I think all people saying Audigy is a bad product is because they don’t own it 🙂 “I don’t have it so i hate it” :))))))

    I’m happy with this card, i love frontal panel (Optical, spdif, analog, midi, FireWire…..HeadPhones, MicIn….).

    I have it, i hear it……. it sounds great….. say what u want…

    Alex 🙂

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I have a Hercules Fortissimo 2 and I’m going to replace it for a SB Audigy Platium Ex

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    “Why do people still buy Creative? Why why why? How many different issues have you read about Live cards, PCI bus specs, drivers, etc, yet people still continue to buy the cards.”

    I’ll tell you why I would have, up until this thread showed up. Because even on TR, [b]every benchmark test[/b] is done with a system that has a SB Live! in it. And never with any mention of how that produces crappy sound. And this apparently consensus opinion that Creative sucks is not as prevalent as you’re making it out to be – I’ve been reading TR religiously for a few months, and I can hardly remember when Creative was so bashed in such a unified manner. There may be exceptions, but even even if he read the forums, I wouldn’t say Joe sixpack would know not to buy Creative.

    And since to Joe, “soundblaster” is synonomous with “soundcard” (the way “xerox” is to “photocopy”), he doesn’t know any better. Neither did I.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Hi #32 said:”

    #26 Let me tell you that periodic click click click is really annoying when you are playing DVD’s with an ISA soundblaster. No amount of switching interrupts would make it go away.”

    #26 here: Well I have that “click click too at times…. and I have a PCI SB-16. My other older system has a ISA SB-16.

    Anyway all those clicks are thanks to Via chipsets (At least for me they are). My older TX chipset socket-7 never “Clicks” – yet my Athlon/via “clicks” more than i like.

    I want DOS support in old games — so only a REAL SB will do me.

    Anyway – your right – but with a “good” chipset,any sound card will be good enough (even the on-board stuff). IMHO.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    see the diffrence that nVidia can get out of some video cards with a driver revision
    and extra features as well
    like some cards that did not support FSAA but the less cpu utilization has to be that it is faster and more powerful
    but is that worth the money

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    All I can say is that I got rid of my SBLive card, and I have a Hercules Fortissimo 2 now, the difference is huge, and I will never buy anymore Creative crap. NEVER !

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    You read all around the web that the Audigy just sounds oh so unbelievably ‘crisp’ or ‘crystal clear’ or whatever bull there is. Fact is, that both the Live and the Audigy have some heavy emphasis/deemphasis going on which means that they are completely useless for anyone doing halfway serious music. Rip a CD track. Play it through your creative card hooked up to the stereo. Then play it on the stereo. Feel the difference. Throw the card in the bin.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Damn I hate posting to the wrong thread… but here’s what I got to say.

    cRock’s (#23) got the juice. Damage’s (#24)got the right idea. As a collective audience, we should demand more from the market leader, much like what’s happening with Microsoft. They are changing their tune. But back to sound cards…

    Let me state, for the record, the Audigy is the greatest triumph of advertising of the new century. For most reviewers, they can’t give Creative a lot of lip or else they lose the next freebie review sample. So, in my anonymous-ness, let me state that again: the Audigy is pure advertising, and it stinks like hot garbage. Besides a black PCB and 1492 there ain’t much else going for it. The only thing left to grade is the sound quality. ALL of the Audigy’s ‘audiophile’ sound quality comes from the Philips 24/96 converters. All of it. And just for the record, it isn’t audiophile by any stretch of the imagination. Don’t you dare bite on that bit of advertising.

    The Santa Cruz, on the other hand, uses very high quality TI converters. You can hear it. The Santa Cruz has the highest sound quality that I’ve heard so far in the budget sound card sector. And I’ve heard a lot of soundcards. I have a $30 Hercules MuseXL that out-sounds the Audigy.

    My point here is that there’s something everybody’s missing and that’s how the damn thing sounds. That’s the only criteria that should matter. All else it just frosting. You can fool the eye, but not the ear.

    Go to your nearest Mark Levinson dealer and bring your favorite CD’s and listen! Now compare the that to the Audigy.

    BM

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    SuperRob, you mentioned the Extigy sound unit for notebooks. Mind doing a quick review here?? 😉

    Thanks!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Relatively cheap 24/96 hardware has been out for years now, it would certainly be cheaper to keep the rest of the circuits and stick on a 24/96 converter , then advertise it as something revolutional. Shame the Extigy comes with 3.5mm sockets only , dumbass things I wish they would die out.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[audigy@yahoo.com 😉

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Forge
    • 17 years ago

    But can’t porcessing power in this context mean nothing but chip side MHz?

    I haven’t yet heard anyone I’d trust further than I could throw them say ‘The Audigy is a new design’ or ‘The Audigy and Live have major hardware differences’.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    The Gravis Ultrasound had the crappiest Windows drivers ever. I remember going to web pages with MIDI playing in the background and scrambling to close the window before I got the inevitable blue screen of death…

    It was an awesome sound card in DOS though.. definitely had the edge for handling demoscene productions and tracked music.

    • Forge
    • 17 years ago

    St. babu – LOL!

    • Forge
    • 17 years ago

    AG #58 – Tribes 2? Quake 3? RTCW? I dunno. I never use a joystick myself, but I have had mine working.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    heh, I kicked out my SB16 in favour of a Gravis UltraSound in ’96, and I’ve never tread the Creative path again. Thank god.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Ehrm, could this maybe be a difference in clockspeed? If the EMU10k series is a truly programmable DSP like chip, this would make perfect sense. More clockspeed -> more headroom for complex environment modeling. This has absolutely nothing to do with output quality. I think I saw somewhere (maybe *cough*THG*cough*) that the Audigy stuff is faster at doing that stuff (-> less CPU time might just be a symptom of less stalls on the PCI bus).

    And on the 24bit/96kHz front, this may simply be a chip feature that hasn’t been used in a previous generation because of marketing/cost reasons. Just like the original Voodoo I chip had the full capability to host 3 texture mapping units and to do SLI. Only the Voodoo 2 exploited some of these but the hardware capability was already present in the Voodoo I. Did that make it a bad product? I’d say no.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    that`s all i can say!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Forge: Neither of the office suites you mentioned can write full-featured Word documents. They can read them just fine, but not output them.
    What do you use a gamepad/joystick for in Linux? MAME?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #30: I agree about the Santa Cruz. I put them in all the Athlon MP boxes I build at work, and they work like a charm.

    • Steel
    • 17 years ago

    [q]This “story” came out last year & resurfaced after some idiot on mad onion forums found it again.
    To be honest I think tech report just lost some of their credibility by posting up this garbage. [/q]For your convenience I shall now quote the very first sentence in this story:[q]This is a juicy but totally unsubstantiated rumor I’m about to share with you, so beware. [/q]’Twas clearly labeled a b[

    • St. Babu
    • 17 years ago

    “I can’t shake him!”

    [q]i guess for the same reason morons keep buying windows. it’s buggy as hell, cripples the computer, crashes often, and yet people still buy windows. amazing.
    ———–
    Gee, what a simplistic thought.
    I want to buy a scanner (any scanner!) and have it work without pulling my hair out; Windows.
    I want to buy virtually any hardware out there; Windows.
    I want my USB joystick software to work; Windows.
    I want the best driver support. Windows.
    I want to write and read documents in standard xls and doc files; Windows.

    Need I go on? Oh, and Windows 2000 and Windows XP are plenty stable. Perhaps you can mention some alternatives that you feel are ready for mass consumption, oh l337 one. And perhaps you can convince Joe User why he’d be much better off switching to another platform. The Windows market is completely understandable.

    You and I both know why people still buy Windows; there is no fricken alternative as polished and as easy-to-use…unless you want to pay Apple for hardware. [/q]

    “Stay on topic…”

    “I can’t shake him!”

    “Stay on topic…”

    “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    This “story” came out last year & resurfaced after some idiot on mad onion forums found it again.
    To be honest I think tech report just lost some of their credibility by posting up this garbage.

    • Forge
    • 17 years ago

    [q]Gee, what a simplistic thought.[/q]

    Simple != true?

    [q]I want to buy a scanner (any scanner!) and have it work without pulling my hair out; Windows.[/q]

    Never tried that. I’ll have to get a scanner and check it out.

    [q] I want to buy virtually any hardware out there; Windows. [/q]

    I do that. My GF4 Ti4600 waves ‘hi’ from my Linux box, as does my GTXP.

    [q]I want my USB joystick software to work; Windows.[/q]

    Mine works just peachy, as does my Nostromo n50 gamepad.

    [q] I want the best driver support. Windows. [/q]

    Most common and most updated != best. Any moron with a hardware device can write a driver for it, but those who bother to write Linux drivers usually expend enough effort to write a *good* driver, as opposed to a mostly functional one.

    [q] I want to write and read documents in standard xls and doc files; Windows. [/q]

    I do that too. Amazing what a little KOffice or StarOffice can do for you, once you open your eyes and give the alternatives a SERIOUS consideration, instead of dismissing them out of hand.

    • SecretSquirrel
    • 17 years ago

    So if this is true, and the main difference is in the drivers, what do the drivers use to detect an Audigy vs a Live? Could it be as simple as the GF/Quadro fix, or is that just wishful thinking?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    i guess for the same reason morons keep buying windows. it’s buggy as hell, cripples the computer, crashes often, and yet people still buy windows. amazing.
    ———–
    Gee, what a simplistic thought.
    I want to buy a scanner (any scanner!) and have it work without pulling my hair out; Windows.
    I want to buy virtually any hardware out there; Windows.
    I want my USB joystick software to work; Windows.
    I want the best driver support. Windows.
    I want to write and read documents in standard xls and doc files; Windows.

    Need I go on? Oh, and Windows 2000 and Windows XP are plenty stable. Perhaps you can mention some alternatives that you feel are ready for mass consumption, oh l337 one. And perhaps you can convince Joe User why he’d be much better off switching to another platform. The Windows market is completely understandable.

    You and I both know why people still buy Windows; there is no fricken alternative as polished and as easy-to-use…unless you want to pay Apple for hardware.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    …and what about the reviews I read about the Audigy’s performance months ago? are these a lie? The review on FiringSquad seemed particularly informative at the time, with benchmarks and everything.

    • Spune
    • 17 years ago

    I was expecting to be able to buy a soundstorm by now. I believe that was the name that nVidia trademared some time ago, possibly for the use of nForce audio on an add in card.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Nobody has commented on the Nforce sound, so far from all the reviews I’ve read it sounds excellent although I have yet to try one.

    • Steel
    • 17 years ago

    [q]i guess for the same reason morons keep buying windows. [/q]They soon may not be able to :D.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    > Why do people still buy Creative? Why why why? How many
    > different issues have you read about Live cards, PCI bus specs,
    > drivers, etc, yet people still continue to buy the cards. It’s not like
    > there aren’t alternatives.

    i guess for the same reason morons keep buying windows. it’s buggy as hell, cripples the computer, crashes often, and yet people still buy windows. amazing.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    “Why do people still buy Creative? Why why why? How many different issues have you read about Live cards, PCI bus specs, drivers, etc, yet people still continue to buy the cards. It’s not like there aren’t alternatives. Yes, Aureal is gone, but Hercules, Philips, and Turtle Beach have filled the void. Now if only they could make a A3D2.0 card…”

    I stopped buying Creative [oxymoron?] 2 years ago…currently running 10 systems with no CL products, no drives, no sound, no video nada…….:)

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    If the Audigy is just a rehash of the Live, then why is the processor on the Audigy so much larger? Not only that but, as mentioned earlier, CPU utilization is significantly less.

    Just to play a little Devil’s advocate, it was mentioned that the drivers were hacked to make the SBlive a fully functional Audigy. Any driver can be hacked to make it report something different, but it was never mentioned what kind of tests were run to show the Audigy features working.

    BTW, for the comment about how the Audigy is only good for gaming, that was its intended purpose. If you don’t want a card for gaming, you would be better off buying a card that better suits your needs. Sure Creative made many rehashes of the Live but not until the GameTheaterXP was released was their any real competition. Aureal had better positional audio but the performance hit limited its use incredibly.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Everyone here keeps talking about the Turtle Beach cards in SMP. What about the Philips/Magnavox sound cards that came out last year, like the Acoustic Edge and all? How are they in SMP?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    i[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I really can’t say why I just bought another Creative card (an Audigy). Maybe the vague hope that they were the best of a rather unseemly here-today gone-tomorrow cottage-industry types. However, I do know 1) even played with Klipsch speakers I can’t hear an improvement with the Audigy (contrary to what a lot of reviewers claimed), and 2) I will NEVER buy another Creative product of any type whatsoever. As a corporate citizen, Creative even makes Apple look like a saint.

    • Craig P.
    • 17 years ago

    Quoth AG #6,
    [q]How is the Audigy situation different than, say, the GF4?[/q]It’s different because there was a big brou-ha-ha about the GF4MX and none about the Audigy, which was Damage’s point.

    • Craig P.
    • 17 years ago

    I believe the SoundBlaster PCI64 was just a rebranded Ensoniq AudioPCI (after they were acquired by Creative), but I could be mistaken. As I recall, when I used the drivers for the former, the only problem I had with my Ensoniq card was that associations in the mixer were a little scrambled.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • cRock
    • 17 years ago

    I agree with Damage, the Turtule Beach cards are also tops. They really do a fine job with the drivers. I would have gotten a Santa Cruz, but alas, there is no support for FreeBSD. Hence, I use a CMI 8738.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I owned the SB PCI128, and it sure did have an EMU10k on it. For awhile it and the live shared feature sets and drivers, then Creative stopped supporting the PCI128 with liveware. If I get a chance I’ll crack into my GF’s pc where it lives now and re-verify.

    -Joshua Coombs

    • Mr Bill
    • 17 years ago

    #26 Let me tell you that periodic click click click is really annoying when you are playing DVD’s with an ISA soundblaster. No amount of switching interrupts would make it go away.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Best Sound Card for SMP systems is hands down the TBSC!!! My Turtle Beach Santa Cruz has been trucking in SMP systems for quite some time now. First a VP6 running 2 700s clocked to 933 and now a Tyan S2466N running two xp 1900s. Both systems have had great sound with zero skips, pops, or hisses as associated with nearly every other sound card out there on SMP systems. I researched the issue for months when I first went SMP. In fact most people on the 2CPU forums still recommend this card or some variant like the Fortissimo II by Hercules. Before the TBSC, I had a MX300, then a SB Live. I loved my MX300 in Win98SE. It was great on a single proc system, however SMP woes, primarily from Aureal never putting out an official Win2k driver beyond beta. Creative has always stunk it up in my book though…overpriced, overhyped junk.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Finaly Reality kept saying in the IRC TR chat one night that the cards used the same chips. Maybe he guessed right after all.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #26, some of us don’t have mobos with ISA slots anymore. 😉

    I recently just went from a SB AWE64 to a TB Santa Cruz (on a SMP P3 Via system), and I was actually surprised to notice a difference. There’s no hiss during silence anymore, and music is noticeably cleaner.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    A ‘new’ product that’s a warmed-over version of the same chip with a new name? Who do they think they are, Intel?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Who cares! Get SB is you want DOS games to have sound. Otherwise use the onboard sound on your motherboard.

    My SB16 is good enough for me to edit sound files and add effects/mix/channels etc… under Sound Forge and Goldwave.

    Any simple sound card is good enough (better than your ears anyway).

    Sometime you guys are really kinda silly extremists – video sure – sound come on!

    What (other than a Bat or Dog) can hear the difference bet. 96 khz and 48 khz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nobody thats who!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    b[

    • Damage
    • 17 years ago

    #22: There are lots of solid alternatives. I agree with cRock–the CMI8738 cards are solid choices. I think the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz has even better sound–some of the best I’ve heard on a PC.

    I’ve been playing with an Acoustic Edge card Philips sent for me to look at, and it’s pretty darned good, too. I’ve not explored the 3D sound in games enough yet, but I know Philips has some impressive tech here. The basic audio out of the card is quite good, but I think the Santa Cruz sounds a little cleaner. It’s hard to say when you’re using digital speakers, because they all sound much cleaner than what I’m used to.

    • cRock
    • 17 years ago

    Yeah, I’ll never understand why folks lament the passing of Aureal. Their cards made nice paper weights for folks running SMP rigs. Creative’s drivers aren’t much better with SMP (EAX seems to make all manner of wretched noises!), but at least it sounds okay in good ol’ stereo.

    I have found solice in the Hercules Muse XL (CMI 8738 chip). It’s cheap, runs great with SMP (even with EAX!), has good alternative OS support (linux/FreeBSD), and sounds pretty decent. I think the low price scares people away, but it’s really a great card for general use. I believe the only weakness is crappy recording quality, but I havn’t investigated this myself.

    I hope creative dies. The claim of 96/24 on the audigy is a damn lie. The card is worthless for anything except gaming.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    What is a good alternative? I’m looking to build a new machine in the near future as my current one is getting a bit long in the tooth. I haven’t been able to find any decent reviews of sound cards that actually make me want to buy them. In fact I’ve been half tempted to buy a board with onboard AC97 sound and just use that…

    Thoughts, alternatives? I do typically use dual processor boards and that was the only nice thing about the Live! series was that the driver support fixed the dual processor issues, when Aureal wouldn’t. (I originally had the Monster MX400 Aureal card)

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    i remember looking at my live and audigy side by side and the audigy is MUCH bigger..

    • droopy1592
    • 17 years ago

    Yeah, there is a universal linux driver for both cards. Not hard to believe.

    I will just keep my SB Live for now. Hopefully there will be some type of Nforce board for the Hammer. I can’t deal with this. Too much pressure. I think $60 bucks is too much for a single firewire port.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • MaceMan
    • 17 years ago

    screw Creative. I’m going with the nForce integrated sound. Good stuff.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    If this does turn out to be true, it’s just another example of what a lack of competition does to an industry. They know there’s nobody big enough to take them on, so they go ahead and pull a fast one whenever they want to. With the soundblaster name so well known among the general population and so little money put into new product development, these guys should be absolutely rolling in the dough!

    • Aphasia
    • 17 years ago

    Whos been handing out all those crack pipes around here… huh
    You can clearly see there isnt anything like an Emu10k on those puny non live cards,,,, seems like they have stopped selling them altogether… last remnant of a non live seems to be SB 4.1 digital,, and that sure as hell doesnt have a emu on it.. actually it doesnt seem to have almost anything on it…. Last i saw was that my SB PCI had a vibra chip on it.. but that may be a bit older..

    Audigy.
    §[< ftp://ftp.europe.creative.com/pub/artwork/2001_07_19/a6_rgb/aud_pr_c.jpg< ]§ Live §[<ftp://ftp.europe.creative.com/pub/artwork/a6_rgb/SBLive_51D_c.jpg< ]§ 4.1 digital §[<ftp://ftp.europe.creative.com/pub/artwork/a6_rgb/SB41Digital_c.jpg<]§

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    You mean the SBLive was something new?! (SB PCI128 was also emu10k powered, as was the SB PCI512, infact I’m not sure what the difference between the two was other than device id’s and drivers…) We see this in every industry there is practically, tweak something, put a new wrapper on it, release it as new, lather, rinse, repeat as often as possible. Look at how many ‘all new’ cars come out each year, the only changes being a bit of body work and a new color instrument cluster, etc. Creative’s done nothing new by playing the same game anyone else in a sales driven company would do. Get the most bang for the least buck, and only come out with something new when you absolutely have to.

    -Still haven’t remembered my login/pw…
    -Joshua Coombs

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • ChangWang
    • 17 years ago

    Thats why I went non-Creative this go around. I bought the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and have been the happiest camper ever since.

    • R2P2
    • 17 years ago

    DiM — It wouldn’t be too hard to make the cards *look* different. Just adding Firewire support and different DAC could make the cards quite different visually.

    A good test would be to try EAX or DirectSound3D with the hacked Audigy drivers on a Live!; the Audigy usually benchmarks a lot better than the Live!, so if the Live! can keep up by using the Audigy drivers, obviously the improvement wasn’t in the hardware.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    The internal datapaths are wider in the EMU10K2 guys….

    and, um.. look at an Audigy up close.. you might notice that they have a firewire controller chip on them….

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Man, If this is true, somebody should hit a couple of Creative techies to pulp with a baseball bat. Or sue them. Or both. That’s misleading, lame and… well, bad.

    • Forge
    • 17 years ago

    AG #6 – There are resistors in new places on GF4. GF3 doesn’t have a second vertex shader pipeline, that’s not something a driver puts there. Clock speeds are rather severely higher….

    All we need is someone to reverse engineer the PCI ID setting mechanisms for Live/Live 5.1/Audigy, and we will see, real quick.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[Originally Posted by Trident

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    How is the Audigy situation different than, say, the GF4?

    A little nip here, a little tuck there, and voila!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I love juicy rumours. I love hackers. Keep them flowing 🙂

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Intel didnt manage to sue AMD into oblivion. Creative did with Aureal, this stagnation is result.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Word of warning, the XP drivers still suck the big one. I couldn’t get anything to work in 4 channel after the first week I got it after installing a few updates. Winamp even refused to play MP3s in stereo. Luckily my games still worked in stereo, but EAX is still a complete joke. The supposed “advantaged HRTF” and occlusion improvements could very well be nothing but driver addons.

    I switched back to 2k and it seems fine so far.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Forge
    • 17 years ago

    The Live can output 24/96, but it’s handled internally at 16/48, same as every other Live. This leads me to believe this rumor is 100% accurate.

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