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Rakeesh
12-12-07, 11:01 PM
This is a leaked beta that was uploaded by Moofasa of Hardforum:

http://www.uploading.com/files/FCXMUBAQ/RC_2.zip.html

Here is an interesting question: can these drivers be hacked to effectively enable DDL on a regular x-fi card? I don't have any such card otherwise I would start playing with the inf files, and possibly the PE files if necessary.

crainger
12-12-07, 11:22 PM
Would be nice if you could, though I'm guessing there'd be missing hardware on the Creative. BUT if it's done via software... Hells yeah!

Rakeesh
12-13-07, 12:45 AM
Would be nice if you could, though I'm guessing there'd be missing hardware on the Creative. BUT if it's done via software... Hells yeah!

I am pretty sure that it is done in 100% software. It is rare to find a card with a dolby DICE chip, and I don't think the prelude has one. In fact AFAIK the only card that had one was the nvidia soundstorm.

Looking around at the inf files, it looks like this card uses the exact same VEN/DEV hex codes as the X-fi extreme music.

I think that with some or possibly no modification, somebody could install these drivers on an x-fi extreme music and have full DDL support. Depends on whether there are any hardware checks in the PE binary, but those could be removed with the help of a proper debugger and some assembly knowledge (and I have neither.)

In the commenting section, this driver also claims support for 0008 0004 and 0002 which is the Audigy 2, Audigy 2 ZS, and SB Live 5.1 OEM respectively, though I only see actual entries for the 0005 which is the xtrememusic (not sure which revision, and this is assuming that pcidatabase.com is accurate.)

If you do use DDL on the x-fi xtreme music, then there would be no difference at all between that card and the Prelude in terms of audio quality (analog is a whole other story.)

I would try this myself but I don't own any creative cards (got rid of that crap a long time ago.)

crainger
12-13-07, 12:51 AM
I might have a look when I get home. I better take an image though. Don't wanna hose my Vista install playing with Creative drivers. ;)

crainger
12-13-07, 03:27 AM
I installed the drivers fine. Though it seems I have to install an app to enable DDL. When I run the setup it gives me an installshield -6003 error. Interestingly. the seup.ini for the DDL are all branded with Creative. So it looks like Creative has an app that will do DDL for any X-fi card. I just need to find a way to install it.

EDIT: OK I got everything installed including the Dolby Digital Live Pack, but I can't see any DDL options everywhere. Everything is Azentech branded, but it just behaves like a regular X-Fi. Not sure if I'm missing something or what.

It does look like Creative are behind the entire driver though, I can see nothing that shows Azentech made the DDL pack in the ini and setup files, it's all Creative :wtf:, so it does look like DDL is coming to the X-Fi or X-Fi 2 series.

EDIT: OK. After more research it appears I'm missing an encoder tab in Audio Console. This must only show for Prelude Cards at the moment.

EciDemon
12-13-07, 07:53 AM
Crainger, did you have to download any additional sofware to get these drivers working, or just the files contained within the zip archive ?
Just wondering, this all seems interesting and I was thinking Ill give it a go too. Tho I have the Fatality card

Rakeesh
12-13-07, 08:04 AM
It does look like Creative are behind the entire driver though, I can see nothing that shows Azentech made the DDL pack in the ini and setup files, it's all Creative :wtf:, so it does look like DDL is coming to the X-Fi or X-Fi 2 series.

I doubt that. Creative would have to pay the licensing to dolby, and I don't think they would do that.

Crainger, did you have to download any additional sofware to get these drivers working, or just the files contained within the zip archive ?
Just wondering, this all seems interesting and I was thinking Ill give it a go too. Tho I have the Fatality card

It may work, from what I can tell the xtrememusic and higher cards are all basically the same thing, only with different software features and some slightly different components on the card itself (DAC, etc.)

crainger
12-13-07, 08:09 AM
I doubt that. Creative would have to pay the licensing to dolby, and I don't think they would do that.

Take a look. The DDL Pack files are all tagged Creative. I really doesn't look like it was an add on made by anyone else. I'd assume if it was created by Azentech it wouldn't have the typical Creative blue background during install. Nor would the ini files list Creative as the publisher.

crainger
12-13-07, 08:12 AM
Crainger, did you have to download any additional sofware to get these drivers working, or just the files contained within the zip archive ?
Just wondering, this all seems interesting and I was thinking Ill give it a go too. Tho I have the Fatality card

I just downloaded and installed the driver through device manager. To install the apps you have to put in the engine32.cab into each installer directory which can be found in regular Creative driver and app installs. Just use Winrar to extract the exe.

It will act like a X-Fi though. It would appear in device manager as a Prelude, and it looks like the DDL encoding tab wont show unless it's a Prelude.

Dragunov
12-13-07, 08:22 AM
I hope we see another driver soon for our X-Fi

crainger
12-13-07, 08:32 AM
I think we will. Most likely the driver that Azentech have in these betas.

nekrosoft13
12-13-07, 08:33 AM
crainger, what is the date on that driver?

w00t!

crainger
12-13-07, 08:50 AM
21/11/2007

or 11/21/2007 for you yanks.

nekrosoft13
12-13-07, 08:58 AM
i kind of figured, since there is no 21 months ;)

Rakeesh
12-13-07, 09:04 AM
Take a look. The DDL Pack files are all tagged Creative. I really doesn't look like it was an add on made by anyone else. I'd assume if it was created by Azentech it wouldn't have the typical Creative blue background during install. Nor would the ini files list Creative as the publisher.

Right, and it would be creative branded because creative writes the auzentech driver. But each card that has DDL support has to be licensed. Creative could have done this a long, long, long time ago if they were really interested in it (IIRC DDL was first marketed by dolby in like 2002.) In fact creative are like the only sound card company that hasn't.

It will act like a X-Fi though. It would appear in device manager as a Prelude, and it looks like the DDL encoding tab wont show unless it's a Prelude.

I'll bet it would with some kind of modification to the driver.

crainger
12-13-07, 09:07 AM
I bet it would too. Way beyond my aimless mucking around though. Hopefully someone can mod them and we get free DDL. :D

EciDemon
12-13-07, 10:14 AM
Thanks for the info guys, gonna check this after work today :)
Im asuming asio support is still there right ?
For me thats more important then DDL

Rakeesh
12-13-07, 03:47 PM
I bet it would too. Way beyond my aimless mucking around though. Hopefully someone can mod them and we get free DDL. :D

BTW, here is creatives official stance on DDL:

http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?board.id=soundblaster&message.id=61926&view=by_date_ascending&page=11

There are areas where your views and our views conflict. For instance we don't believe in burdening a product with DDL when only a small % of users actually want it. That's why we built the DTS Home-Theater Connect. It does all of that in a separate box so whoever needs it can buy it and everyone else doesn't have to pay for it. Also it offers better performance because it doesn't run on the host AND it allows pass-through so your PC doesn't have to be turned on to enjoy DTS Encoding. Also we chose DTS because the quality is better and the latency lower that DDL. You may disagree with that approach, but you can't say we haven't listened.

And FWIW, that DTS Home-Theater connect thing is a pointless complete joke.

crainger
12-13-07, 04:14 PM
Yeah, the Connect was pretty stupid. Didn't it just take the analogue out from the soundcard and encode it to DTS? They kind of miss the point of DDL bypassing the DAC altogether. As for keeping costs down on the X-Fi? LOL

Rakeesh
12-13-07, 04:25 PM
Yeah, the Connect was pretty stupid. Didn't it just take the analogue out from the soundcard and encode it to DTS? They kind of miss the point of DDL bypassing the DAC altogether. As for keeping costs down on the X-Fi? LOL

Yeah and later on down the same PR guy even goes on to say that the x-ram would cost more for it and some other BS (DDL would never have anything to do with x-ram in the first place, and x-ram itself is nothing but a gimmick anyways)

Even more funny is he goes on to say that the x-fi is the most powerful DSP there is. If creative had any serious reviews at all, they would totally make an ass of themselves with all of this BS. Seriously, this is among the dumbest crap I have ever heard.

Dragunov
12-13-07, 04:44 PM
Well, I know, when Creative doesn't get their acts together, I no longer buy a Creative board

I bought a X-Fi especially cause I heard alot of it, positive things and for Vista, so I hope they gonna release some drivers who are really bugfree and give us everything we want :cool:

crainger
12-13-07, 05:45 PM
I got a X-Fi for it's Vista support, back when I had a 3800+ under Vista the X-fi and Alchemy made a difference. Oblivion would stutter, but enabling the OpenAL wrapper things smoothed out and performance was equal to XP.

Now with Quad, it's not so important and I'll probably wont look into another Creative card UNLESS it's :headexplode:

nekrosoft13
12-13-07, 08:23 PM
Well, I know, when Creative doesn't get their acts together, I no longer buy a Creative board

I bought a X-Fi especially cause I heard alot of it, positive things and for Vista, so I hope they gonna release some drivers who are really bugfree and give us everything we want :cool:
drivers are alerady bug free, what are you talking about

verncat
12-13-07, 09:14 PM
Just wanted to drop a post on these drivers, since I have the Prelude.

They rock. I have it connected to my Z-5500's with a toslink cable and the DDL works like a dream. The mic is still a bit weak, but the sound quality is simply awesome now.

nekrosoft13
12-13-07, 10:10 PM
I got a X-Fi for it's Vista support, back when I had a 3800+ under Vista the X-fi and Alchemy made a difference. Oblivion would stutter, but enabling the OpenAL wrapper things smoothed out and performance was equal to XP.

Now with Quad, it's not so important and I'll probably wont look into another Creative card UNLESS it's :headexplode:

i have three desktops at home, one with x-fi, second with ac'97 onboard, and last with that high def sound thing.

x-fi sounds the best, i don't see a reason to stop buying sound cards.