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greenhut

On Board Sound vs Audigy

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also my personal opinion of the Santa Cruz...its an old card...but I had one that I ripped from a Dell and man it was a hell of a card...fantastic sound, and the drivers were very compact and never have i heard of any problems with the Santa Cruz and the drivers...maybe ONCE but i think it was user error...still not as good as the Audigy2...but its a fantastic card ;)

 

That's exactly why they were so popular (and still are).

 

Install took like five minutes----the drivers and control panel were small, and fast and very efficient.

 

The card worked in virtually anything....

 

And the sound was excellent----certainly not up to Audigy 2 ZS ----but very, very good.

 

I hear there are some cheap Envy24 Cards that are very similar and I have a friend that raves about his simple Chaintech Envy 24 card----great sound with no hassles. In fact-----I am hearing that more board manufacturers are thinking about adding the Envy 24 chip onboard (since it has gotten so cheap) to give excellent onboard sound via hardware not software.

 

Nvidia's soundstorm APU was and still is excellent----why they stopped it I really haven't a clue-----can you imagine the Nforce4 chipset AND Soundstorm APU----what a fabulous combination.

 

Creative should get a clue from this----a simple, cheap and streamlined sound card with lean drivers and interface----just do one thing----but do it well.

 

My 02 cents...

 

John

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In my honest opinion, Creative's support and drivers are .. I've had 2 of their sound cards since many years ago (good old SB16 ISA and SB Live!), and they do not deserve the place they're in the audio industry; too bad they had never gotten real competition, because they would have been blown out of the water if so.

 

In the good old days there were no problems (no wonder why when you're alone, heck, very much like 3Dfx); but with the SB Live!, they should have included an OPL3 & main audio chip for legacy emulation in the newer boards (like the PS2 does with PS1 games), and written a proper driver for it; their software emulation was poor and, well, if you can't make a proper legacy emulator/driver for compatibility with code written for your old hardware... :dog:

Their driver updates are slow, confusing, and tend to solve nothing. It was poor to have 3 - 4 year old drivers in Windows 98; and when I upgraded to XP, my sound started to crackle with some games. No software driver updates solved this (no PCI slot changing did either). And that's not to speak about all the load of bull crap they clog your system with, for which you have to spend your time cleaning it.

So, I'll try to avoid those jackasses for now (and for as much time as they deserve).

 

I just had to say it; and I've had nowhere near the amount of problems other users have. My $ 0.02.

 

Cheers.

 

 

there are many with the same opinion as you, and I can't say i blame you guys...

 

myself, who thinks the Audigy/Audigy2 cards are superior to any card for regular PC audio ever made doesnt agree on the quality, but I do agree on the bloatware of drivers and control panels and other crap that has to be installed *sigh*

 

i still say at the end of the day that if you can get one working, there is nothing that can even compare to it...and while the majority don't have a problem getting them working, it is a pretty decent sized minority that do have the same driver problems etc.

 

think about it in other terms though...the Audigy/2 cards are designed to be your be-all/end-all audio source...so they have all this junk on the card, and must have drivers and control panels from hell and back to power all these options...while the Santa Cruz really was only a 5.1 card and that is all it really ever claimed to be lol...there's a huge difference in those cards and what kind of applications and functions they have.

 

 

what i truly wish is Creative would come out with an Audigy3 or 4 (they have the 4 i think already) that is purely for 7.1 sound and has the best APU (like they do now) but doesn't require 170MB of bloatware with 108MB of updated drivers and control panels.

 

KISS

 

but then Creative has never kept it simple

 

but they still have the best audio around...but I'm like you bark...i wonder wtf has no other company challenged them???? Santa Cruz had a shot and actually had a very comparable product...so did Hercules/Guillemot....

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Those of you who are using the digital output of the onboard will be happy to know that the sound quality of the output differs depending on whether or not you use the Realtek or NF4 audio option jumper. (Of course, your results may vary)

 

I used the NF4 audio option for a couple of months before going back to the (default) Realtek jumper option. (The sound was a little more relaxed and 'warmer' to my ears -- the NF4 option sounds crystal clear, more like the NF2 Soundstorm audio implementation)

 

If you use the NF4 audio option you will need to load the corresponding nVidia sound driver (but you can dump the Realtek drivers).

 

I don't remember if either option reduces CPU utilization times, although if you dump the Realtek drivers you can theoretically reduce your memory footprint.

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but they still have the best audio around...but I'm like you bark...i wonder wtf has no other company challenged them???? Santa Cruz had a shot and actually had a very comparable product...so did Hercules/Guillemot....

 

The m-audio revolution is at least comparable to the Audigy 2 ZS in audio quality for music, sadly, it's deficient in games.

 

 

I haven't used official Creative drivers in a long time, I'm currently using modded Audigy 4 drivers for my Audigy 2 ZS... still just as bloated, but they have some neat features and a few quality tweaks.

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I would love for nVidia to launch a fairly priced add-in sound card with their (of course updated) SoundStorm technology. Combined with their excellent software support that would be a real killer. :drool:

I don't know what is expecting nVidia to do this, they really can't go wrong with it, their success would be guaranteed.

 

C'mon nVidia, "Are you waiting for, Christmas?" :cool:

 

Cheers

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I had no problem with SLI using my Audigy 2 card, but have had an issue with Teamspeak.

 

That has nothing to do with the board, but I find it interesting that onboard sound on two boards I have work fine with teamspeak while the Audigy 2 card gives me grief. Seems to be a problem with the environmental audio if I had to take a guess. It is as if it is adding processing to the voice making it sound like it is in "God Mode" special effect. I looked at every setting there is and it is all just standard default stuff so who knows.

 

Other than that the board works great with my SLI-DR and sound in games is awsome.

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If you guys are in the market for a sound card I'd suggest this Bluegears / HDA XMYSTIQUE71 8 (7.1) Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail Its a PCI card that duplicates the features of Soundstorm except it supports 7.1 :angel: Its pretty much the only reason I was willing to give up my Nforce 2 audio, because w/ this card I can still just run one cable from my PC to my HT reciver and get audio.

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No problems with the Audigy and my Ultra-D.

 

The Audigy 4 is just an updated Audigy 2 + front box with better DACs.

 

Creative have recently announced the X-Fi chip which is the next in the series, which will be PCI. No plans for PCI-Express at the moment.

 

The on board sound will use Sensaura for the 3D audio and even though Sensaura is now owned by Creative it only supports up to EAX2.0. The Audigy 2 also supports EAX3.0 and EAX4HD. The Audigy is also likely to have better OpenAL support (in theory an open standard but developed and championed by Creative).

 

Creative do have a reputation for bloatware, buggy drivers and burying their heads in the sands over problems (e.g. SB Live Via chipset problems which were due to a broken ACPI header on the Live - they fixed it in the SB Live 5.1) but my experience with the Audigy 2 has only been positive.

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Running into the same problem. Get the system up and running, load windows, MB drivers, networking and everything is fine. Shutdown, add Audigy 2 and add software and system hangs on install exit, and then wont even boot any more.

 

Any ideas, as I unfortunately am building 2 identical systems and have bought 2 audigy 2 ZS cards! :sweat:

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