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elusive
04-18-03, 01:43 PM
my friend uses a sb live b/c for some reason he thinks it's better than the nforce2 chipset (not the delux model).

what are the spec differences?

saturnotaku
04-18-03, 02:48 PM
Not sure of the exact specifications, but non SoundStorm nForce2 audio solutions are typically on-par with the SB Live, if not slightly inferior.

stncttr908
04-18-03, 10:54 PM
Less CPU usage, not sure if there is any noticeable FPS differences though.

netviper13
04-19-03, 02:25 AM
Originally posted by saturnotaku
Not sure of the exact specifications, but non SoundStorm nForce2 audio solutions are typically on-par with the SB Live, if not slightly inferior.

I thought Soundstorm was just involved in the 5.1 encoding, and that the CODEC was still ultimately responsible for the actual sound?

SavagePaladin
04-19-03, 05:29 AM
If you mean the ASUS A7N8X (non deluxe,) it doesn't use (much less have) the APU at all. All it has is software audio.

Soundstorm is a NV+Dolby partner program which only three boards have as of yet qualified for to my knowledge...

As for the codecs, if you use dolby digital, the codec does...basically nothing. Supposedly the codecs used aren't that great, solely because of big price differences in the ones available.

I love dolby digital on this thing. (nforce 1)

Smokey
04-19-03, 09:32 AM
Are we talking for music/dvds or gaming, because if its for gaming, I would think that the SBLive would be better.

serialdave
04-21-03, 02:47 PM
Creative only has drivers for winxp.

No support for 95 98 98se ME or NT. The drivers for XP have some troubles.

I left my SBL when I got a nforce2 motherboard made by LEADTEK it is the 7NCR18D-PRO. The pro version has the Soundstorm Audio and the non Pro uses the ac97 codec.

I must say I have had no troubles with my nforce 2. I didn't have any real problems with my SBL but the total lack of drivers and updated software as was promised by creative has driven me to never want another creative product.

At $104 for the LEADTEK K7NCR18D-PRO it would make no since to by the creative Audigy when an upgraded motherboard with built on nic sound and usb 2.0 would do your system much better.

omghi2u
04-21-03, 02:50 PM
I'd probably stick with the SBLive! cuz' it probably sounds better and keep the built in for compatibility issues.

Dazz
04-23-03, 10:54 AM
I would say the nForce 2 as it uses far less CPU cycles which can GREATLY effect games!

jolle
04-23-03, 02:58 PM
From what i gather Nforce2 audio has better
positioning on 3d audio then the creative
cards..
posted a great big review on another thread..
read it all the way to learn more..
http://www.3dss.com/reviews/nForce/nForce.html

SavagePaladin
04-23-03, 04:30 PM
He said the non deluxe model. The ASUS A7N8X non deluxe doesn't use the NV APU.

As for the chipsets that actually use NV audio, they do rock wrt performance and sound quality, except for the odd driver bug.

I have it on good authority that the next audio drivers are to improve performance even more :)

SnakeEyes
04-24-03, 07:38 AM
Originally posted by serialdave
I must say I have had no troubles with my nforce 2. I didn't have any real problems with my SBL but the total lack of drivers and updated software as was promised by creative has driven me to never want another creative product.
There are a lot of us that have defected from Creative for that same reason. I used to swear by their stuff, especially since "Soundblaster compatibility" used to be a major selling point, and who should have been better than the real thing? Live and learn, I guess..

Er, back on topic. I think that the Audigy2 should be better, especially for gaming purposes, given that it has full support for the EAX-HD feature. But that's only assuming that Creative has finally changed their previous policy of suckering buyers into getting their hardware, then basically abandoning them as they release newer versions (most of which are nothing more than the same hardware with newer software behind it), unless they wish to pay to get updated software, anyway. <-- If you can't guess, I really loved the potential of my original Live card, but I've had a major beef with Creative's treatment of the people that made it so popular. :mad:

Smokey
04-24-03, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by SnakeEyes
There are a lot of us that have defected from Creative for that same reason. I used to swear by their stuff, especially since "Soundblaster compatibility" used to be a major selling point, and who should have been better than the real thing? Live and learn, I guess..

Er, back on topic. I think that the Audigy2 should be better, especially for gaming purposes, given that it has full support for the EAX-HD feature. But that's only assuming that Creative has finally changed their previous policy of suckering buyers into getting their hardware, then basically abandoning them as they release newer versions (most of which are nothing more than the same hardware with newer software behind it), unless they wish to pay to get updated software, anyway. <-- If you can't guess, I really loved the potential of my original Live card, but I've had a major beef with Creative's treatment of the people that made it so popular. :mad:


I dont know exaclty you mean? When I had my Live I had drivers installed dated 2003 and they werent hacked drivers either :)

How is the support for all other soundcards in that price range? Do any of them have drivers dated 2003 for a product over 4 years old? Im not defending Creatives tech support, but Ive never needed it myself, as a matter of fact Ive never needed tech support on anything Ive ever had in any of my pcs, I will will stand by companies that havent done wrong by me. My friend just upgraded his Live drivers to those found int he Audigy2 pack, and he is very very happy with the difference. I had one problem in 2 games with sound with the first driver for XP, but a patch come out very quickly to fix this, I say good job Creative.

Greg
04-25-03, 06:40 AM
Can't find the review at the moment, but there is one that compares the Creative Audigy 2 with the NForce2 Sound Storm. The conclusion is that they are both very similar in performance and features except that the NForce2 boards are a bit cheaper and come with a free motherboard.

I just replaced my brocken motherboard with a NForce solution and the facts are:

o SBLive drivers are very unstable compared to nForce drivers.
o nForce sometimes has some static type noise while playing games.
o SBLive uses average 8% CPU time for 32 HW voices.
o nForce uses average 2.5% CPU time for 32 HW voices. (nForce board was not optimally configured when i did this test.)

System is Athlon XP2100, 512mb RAM, WinXP.

If anyone can tell me where, or give me a email address I'll sent the benchmark .gifs so they can be posted here.

Previous sys:
SBlive
Asus A7M266
KingMax 10/100 LAN

New sys:
Epox 8rda+ mb, onboard audio and LAN, WAY faster than previos sys.

BTW I will NEVER buy another Creative product again. (Owned a SBLive and a WebCamGo)

(edit)
I still can't find that review, but here's one that pits Audigy, nForce and CMedia together in real gaming.
http://www6.tomshardware.com/game/20030405/sound_for_games-02.html

SavagePaladin
04-25-03, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by Smokey
I dont know exaclty you mean? When I had my Live I had drivers installed dated 2003 and they werent hacked drivers either :)

How is the support for all other soundcards in that price range? Do any of them have drivers dated 2003 for a product over 4 years old? Im not defending Creatives tech support, but Ive never needed it myself, as a matter of fact Ive never needed tech support on anything Ive ever had in any of my pcs, I will will stand by companies that havent done wrong by me. My friend just upgraded his Live drivers to those found int he Audigy2 pack, and he is very very happy with the difference. I had one problem in 2 games with sound with the first driver for XP, but a patch come out very quickly to fix this, I say good job Creative.
I gotta say to my knowledge, they didn't offer their own WinXP drivers until 2003. A CRAPLOAD of people had problems with their Live! in XP, so...

SavagePaladin
04-25-03, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by Greg

o SBLive drivers are very unstable compared to nForce drivers.
o nForce sometimes has some static type noise while playing games.
o SBLive uses average 8% CPU time for 32 HW voices.
o nForce uses average 2.5% CPU time for 32 HW voices. (nForce board was not optimally configured when i did this test.)
http://www6.tomshardware.com/game/20030405/sound_for_games-02.html
3.34 on WinUpdate might improve that more, though people are having it install wrong apparently.
I can't wait for the next full pack :)

saturnotaku
04-25-03, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by SavagePaladin
I can't wait for the next full pack :)

Any word on when those will be released?

SavagePaladin
04-25-03, 10:00 AM
Umm, soon. <g>

SnakeEyes
04-25-03, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by Smokey
I dont know exaclty you mean? When I had my Live I had drivers installed dated 2003 and they werent hacked drivers either :)

How is the support for all other soundcards in that price range? Do any of them have drivers dated 2003 for a product over 4 years old? Im not defending Creatives tech support, but Ive never needed it myself, as a matter of fact Ive never needed tech support on anything Ive ever had in any of my pcs, I will will stand by companies that havent done wrong by me. My friend just upgraded his Live drivers to those found int he Audigy2 pack, and he is very very happy with the difference. I had one problem in 2 games with sound with the first driver for XP, but a patch come out very quickly to fix this, I say good job Creative.
I was one of the early adopters of the Live series, with the (1st revision) Live!Value card, and within a year of the purchase, not only were there several new releases of the Value model, with differing capabilities (mostly related to the digital I/O connections), but the drivers had been updated, along with the software. During the first 6 months, I could simply download the updates. At that 12 month release, I (and a lot of other irate owners) were told that Creative was no longer offering anything but the core driver files for download (this means NO EAX2, updated control panel, or updated software that used the later features were available online). Instead, if we wanted the new stuff, we had to pay for the CD. Now, I don't know about you, but the $9 that they claimed was only shipping was more than 2x the cost of standard UPS ground for a single CD in a simple cardboard CD-sized folder with a basic manual! Might not have been an issue even then, had the available drivers and software been mostly bug-free. Unfortunately, they weren't, and the new software and drivers supposedly addressed the major issues left over.

I spent the $9 anyhow, only to find that while the new stuff addressed those bugs that were outstanding, they created a bunch of new ones that were just as bad or worse.

I still have that card, but it's in my daughter's PC, and is set up for only basic functionality now (using WinXP's built in support and not Creative's crappy stuff). Trying to use the latest drivers is a waste of time.

As far as my other point goes- has anyone read some of the posts elsewhere on the web where people have successfully used Audigy2 drivers on Audigy1 cards? Creative would have every A1 owner buy the new card for the extra features, instead of offering drivers that do the same. The only real extra features for the A2 involved signal-to-noise ratios and some extra I/O stuff, but that's not what the currently available drivers would offer.. Contrast that to my experience with the Hercules GTXP that I also was an early adopter of. (Recently sold that one to another forum member here when I got my A7N8X Deluxe). That card was originally using 5.1 analog / digital output capabilities, but when Hercules started selling the GTXP 6.1, drivers updated my card to the same thing, and this was without having to hack anything at all, and Hercules made it clear that this was meant to be that way. Toward the end of my ownership of that card, I was even able to utilize up to 7.1 analog channels of output. (True, the feature is mainly using software and not true discrete channels, but it IS a feature, and I wasn't told to go buy the latest product on the shelves if I wanted to use it!)

Sorry Smokey. I don't think your hardware is crap. I just dislike Creative's tactics quite a lot. And for more reasons than mentioned here. (I didn't mention that I also owned a few Creative / 3DFX / nVidia products, and as a result of all those, I also frequently visited THEIR hardware forums, until certain things became clear from their behavior there..)

I hope that current users of their hardware are more than satisfied with what they have. It's just that I won't personally take the risks with them again, unless I'm forced to. :(

Smokey
04-25-03, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by SavagePaladin
I gotta say to my knowledge, they didn't offer their own WinXP drivers until 2003. A CRAPLOAD of people had problems with their Live! in XP, so...

The offical Live drivers are dated something like July 2002, there arent any offical drivers for the Live dated 2003 :p The ones on Creatives site that were posted in 2003, are still the same drivers from July 2002!! The only problems with drivers in XP were the first ones, and a patch was released.

Maybe this is the review you were looking for? Audigy2 vs SoundStorm (http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/audigy2_versus_nforce2/default.asp)

StealthHawk
04-25-03, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by SnakeEyes
As far as my other point goes- has anyone read some of the posts elsewhere on the web where people have successfully used Audigy2 drivers on Audigy1 cards? Creative would have every A1 owner buy the new card for the extra features, instead of offering drivers that do the same. The only real extra features for the A2 involved signal-to-noise ratios and some extra I/O stuff, but that's not what the currently available drivers would offer.. Contrast that to my experience with the Hercules GTXP that I also was an early adopter of. (Recently sold that one to another forum member here when I got my A7N8X Deluxe). That card was originally using 5.1 analog / digital output capabilities, but when Hercules started selling the GTXP 6.1, drivers updated my card to the same thing, and this was without having to hack anything at all, and Hercules made it clear that this was meant to be that way. Toward the end of my ownership of that card, I was even able to utilize up to 7.1 analog channels of output. (True, the feature is mainly using software and not true discrete channels, but it IS a feature, and I wasn't told to go buy the latest product on the shelves if I wanted to use it!)

One of the misconceptions about using newer drivers on older hardware. This to me, is the same as the stupid rumor that people have that they can turn their r9700s into r9800s with a softmod. You can't! It is NOT what is going on. Yeah, there are driver enhancements that haven't made it into the official drivers for the r9700, same as the Audigy2/1 scenario.

This is what people have said using Audigy2 drivers will do for an Audigy1:
1) lower CPU usage
2) offer better sound quality

Using Audigy2 drivers on Audigy1 will NOT magically give you an Audigy2. In other words, this is like the ATI situation, except that that ATI will supposedly incorporate the software benefits into older cards, while Creative is lame and will not. But that does not change the fact that the Audigy2 has different HARDWARE support than Audigy1 as well:
1) EAX HD
2) different DACs
3) true support for 24bit sound, not just upsampling

Smokey
04-25-03, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by StealthHawk
One of the misconceptions about using newer drivers on older hardware. This to me, is the same as the stupid rumor that people have that they can turn their r9700s into r9800s with a softmod. You can't! It is NOT what is going on. Yeah, there are driver enhancements that haven't made it into the official drivers for the r9700, same as the Audigy2/1 scenario.

This is what people have said using Audigy2 drivers will do for an Audigy1:
1) lower CPU usage
2) offer better sound quality

Using Audigy2 drivers on Audigy1 will NOT magically give you an Audigy2. In other words, this is like the ATI situation, except that that ATI will supposedly incorporate the software benefits into older cards, while Creative is lame and will not. But that does not change the fact that the Audigy2 has different HARDWARE support than Audigy1 as well:
1) EAX HD
2) different DACs
3) true support for 24bit sound, not just upsampling


Yes you are right, but there is something about the Audigy2 drivers! You will not turn your SBLive/Audigy1 into an Audigy2, but the Audigy2 driver pack is a unified driver, it contains SBLive/Audigy1 specific drivers, for Win98/ME/XP. These are newer drivers than are posted offically on Creatives site, sound is better and cpu usage is lower, but you are not going to get an Audigy2, without buying one ;)

SnakeEyes
04-28-03, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by StealthHawk
One of the misconceptions about using newer drivers on older hardware. This to me, is the same as the stupid rumor that people have that they can turn their r9700s into r9800s with a softmod. You can't! It is NOT what is going on. Yeah, there are driver enhancements that haven't made it into the official drivers for the r9700, same as the Audigy2/1 scenario.

This is what people have said using Audigy2 drivers will do for an Audigy1:
1) lower CPU usage
2) offer better sound quality

Using Audigy2 drivers on Audigy1 will NOT magically give you an Audigy2. In other words, this is like the ATI situation, except that that ATI will supposedly incorporate the software benefits into older cards, while Creative is lame and will not. But that does not change the fact that the Audigy2 has different HARDWARE support than Audigy1 as well:
1) EAX HD
2) different DACs
3) true support for 24bit sound, not just upsampling

That's hilarious. For one thing, the big selling point that Creative touted starting with the SB Live! series was the *programmable* DSP that is supposedly so powerful. It's what made EAX(insert version number) upgrades possible. Funny then that EAX HD suddenly requires an Audigy2 to implement. What's different between the A1 and A2 that makes this necessary? (Your 2nd and 3rd point I covered already, and I still don't disagree that those are in fact differences between the two cards..). How many average home users need 24bit sound support though? Not many have the speakers to even tell the difference.

My point still stands- Creative is attempting to use what amounts to mostly software updates to force people to buy their latest products. As I said before, I see no reason that the A1 DSP shouldn't be able to do EAX HD, unless somehow those DACs magically make it possible..

It really doesn't matter in the end though. Even if Creative has somehow become honest, short of a miraculous feature that nobody else has that I simply MUST have in my system, I'll stay away from them. My loss? Maybe. But it hasn't been anything that I've felt I'm missing because of this attitude in quite a while. ;)

StealthHawk
04-28-03, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by SnakeEyes
That's hilarious. For one thing, the big selling point that Creative touted starting with the SB Live! series was the *programmable* DSP that is supposedly so powerful. It's what made EAX(insert version number) upgrades possible. Funny then that EAX HD suddenly requires an Audigy2 to implement. What's different between the A1 and A2 that makes this necessary?

I don't know. Different DSPs? Just because something is programmable doesn't make it magically capable of doing everything. Has anyone made a claim that Audigy1 can/should in fact be able to technically support EAX HD? Because unless they have you are operating on hearsay.

(Your 2nd and 3rd point I covered already, and I still don't disagree that those are in fact differences between the two cards..). How many average home users need 24bit sound support though? Not many have the speakers to even tell the difference.

I think it was a necessary improvement seeing as how Audigy1 claimed it had 24bit output, when it did not. I haven't tried 24bit output yet myself, but I can tell a big difference in the quality of sound between my sbLive and Audigy2.

My point still stands- Creative is attempting to use what amounts to mostly software updates to force people to buy their latest products. As I said before, I see no reason that the A1 DSP shouldn't be able to do EAX HD, unless somehow those DACs magically make it possible..

I never disagreed with you. A lot of the benefits of Audigy2 surely come from drivers. The question is do all the improvements come from drivers. For example, is CPU utilization lower with a real Audigy2 than with an Audigy1 using Audigy2 drivers.

You're absolutely right. Creative has the work ethic of VIA. But Creative still has the best consumer/gamer soundcards.

Smokey
04-28-03, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by SnakeEyes
That's hilarious. For one thing, the big selling point that Creative touted starting with the SB Live! series was the *programmable* DSP that is supposedly so powerful. It's what made EAX(insert version number) upgrades possible. Funny then that EAX HD suddenly requires an Audigy2 to implement. What's different between the A1 and A2 that makes this necessary? (Your 2nd and 3rd point I covered already, and I still don't disagree that those are in fact differences between the two cards..). How many average home users need 24bit sound support though? Not many have the speakers to even tell the difference.

My point still stands- Creative is attempting to use what amounts to mostly software updates to force people to buy their latest products. As I said before, I see no reason that the A1 DSP shouldn't be able to do EAX HD, unless somehow those DACs magically make it possible..

It really doesn't matter in the end though. Even if Creative has somehow become honest, short of a miraculous feature that nobody else has that I simply MUST have in my system, I'll stay away from them. My loss? Maybe. But it hasn't been anything that I've felt I'm missing because of this attitude in quite a while. ;)


2 words.....your loss ;)

You really cant judge if you havent heard, its like me saying the SoundStorm is bad, crackles and just doesnt sound good! I dont know first hand, so Im not going to say that, just read up a little about the card if you dont know ;)