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View Full Version : Is Creative still plagued by sloppy drivers?


fleshonbone
06-29-04, 06:09 PM
Hi all,

I have been using a Santa Cruz for 3 or 4 years now, and have had it in 3 different systems (Intel, AMD, and now an AMD64) - it runs flawlessly, never had a crackle, doesn't hog 2 IRQ's (or PCI bandwidth), and doesnt chew up 25% of your CPU cycles when it's running (as the all the Creative products used to do).

On the other hand, it is getting a bit old (drivers havent been updated in 2 years) and I think may be on its way to obsoletion.

I have been going back and forth over the last month on whether or not I should upgrade to an Audigy2ZS - I'm just really nervous about how sloppy Creative used to be with their drivers (ie taking over your whole computer, installing leechware like AOL all over the place every time you update drivers, etc) - as I like to run a lean computer, I don't want 25 services running in the background for a damn soundcard.

Is this a thing of the past with the Creative stuff now? I would hate to go spend a couple hundred bucks only to have hissing and popping in my games, and "You've got Mail" behind every mouseclick...

Can some Audigy people reply who like to run a lean system? Is the crackling a thing of the past? Or was this just a problem with Win98 and ACPI 1?

I'd really like to give my Klipsh ProMedia speakers the best source of sound possible, but I don't want my system tray stacked up all the way to my Start Menu with AOL and goofy little media centers, etc...

Can any long-time Creative owners soothe my worries and tell me that Creative has come a long way since the Soundblaster and SBLive! days?

It just sucks because there are no choices whatsoever in the sound card market these days...

Thanks for any suggestions,

flesh

Underzenith
06-29-04, 06:56 PM
If you like a lean system, you are out of luck. My new Audigy 2 ZS installed a lot of stuff on my computer, including AOL on Desktop. But their actual drivers are superb. As for processes, you can disable the ones you don't want with no penalties.

ragejg
06-29-04, 07:24 PM
creative card + KX project drivers = lean.

:D

zoomy942
06-29-04, 07:28 PM
creative card + KX project drivers = lean.

:D
KX project drivers ?? what are those?

Smokey
06-29-04, 07:30 PM
creative card + KX project drivers = lean.

:D

Do you still lose 3D hardware sound support with their drivers?

Creative drivers are fine, you can deselect anything you dont want installed, except the drivers
:ORDER:

ragejg
06-29-04, 07:35 PM
yes, you lose EAX.

A lot of people however, don't use 3d sound at all, and the simple KX project drivers sometimes really do the trick.

Creative's standalone drivers however have improved... I use the Audigy2 drivers with my A1 by doin the whole extract file/go to drivers/run ctappx or whatever... and I must admit that the recent versions have been relatively trouble free for once. ... in BF1942 even!! :p

jAkUp
06-29-04, 07:41 PM
PCGamer Review - September 2004 Issue - 94%
Click on Images For Full Size
http://img28.exs.cx/img28/2094/PCGSeptCover.th.jpg (http://img28.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img28&image=PCGSeptCover.jpg) http://img28.exs.cx/img28/7886/PCGSeptCover2.th.jpg (http://img28.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img28&image=PCGSeptCover2.jpg) http://img6.exs.cx/img6/1046/doom3-7.th.jpg (http://img6.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img6&image=doom3-7.jpg) http://img6.exs.cx/img6/5261/doom3-8.th.jpg (http://img6.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img6&image=doom3-8.jpg) http://img6.exs.cx/img6/4406/doom3-9.th.jpg (http://img6.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img6&image=doom3-9.jpg) http://img6.exs.cx/img6/7647/doom3-10.th.jpg (http://img6.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img6&image=doom3-10.jpg) http://img6.exs.cx/img6/1927/doom3-11.th.jpg (http://img6.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img6&image=doom3-11.jpg) http://img6.exs.cx/img6/4436/doom3-12.th.jpg (http://img6.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img6&image=doom3-12.jpg)

Yeah, I was lucky enough to receive my copy today, so I'll share it with you guys.

1. 6800 is a tad faster than X800 cards. Both run it in full glory

2. The game has four render paths: NV10, NV20, R200, and ARB2. All paths look awesome, even down to a g4mx, but the ARB2 path is the "full package," and is used for the R300+ and Geforce FX+ cards. It does all it's fancy **** in one pass.

3. PCI Express enhances NOTHING.

4. The difference between a 128mb and 256mb card is that the former uses compressed textures whereas the latter only compresses diffuse and specualr maps. In another words, no big deal. However, a 500mb card is needed to run the game in Ultra Quality mode.

5. 512MB is the ideal system total memory. 384 is required, 1GB is nice, but the difference is negligible.

6. Nothing special is included for a 64-bit OS.

7. A 1.5 Ghz processor is the least recommended, but a 2Ghz and above will help since...

8...The sound engine is entirely CPU dependant. Therefore a crappy soundcard works flawlessly. Not to worry, the enfine only uses a "small percentage of cycles, much less than if the engine relied on a soundcard.

9. The only reccommendation regarding faster framerates is to disable to "advanced special effects option." In other words, upgrade if you have problems.

10. They tie it up by providing three levels of "Doom lovin' PC's"

Low-End:
1.5GhzP4 or equivalent
512MB Ram
Geforce4 Ti 4800 or Radeon 9500

Mid-Range:
2.4GhzP4 or equivalent
1GB RAM
Geforce5950 or Radeon 9800 Pro/XT

High_End: Aka Hardware that doesn't exist, but best guess anyway
3.4GhzP4 or AMD equivalent
2GB RAM
GeForce 6800 Ultra or Radeon X800 XT PE.

In conclusion, the game will run well on a variety of hardware, and Rob Duffy, the lead programmer, says that the game looks real good no matter what, and that it will continue to look better as hardware improves. Like all previous id engines, we'll be playing games based on D3 for another five years down the road.

Enjoy everybody!

Multiplayer:
All varieties of Deathmatch - 1v1, DM, Team DM, and Last Man Standing. There are 5 DM maps shipping with the game.

fleshonbone
06-29-04, 08:33 PM
nope, they really are not sloppy anymore. I just suggest not using the cd to install drivers, use the drivers off the website. Those are pure drivers, nothing else. They dont add any control panel, anything in the background, etc. They are great.

When I first got my Audigy2 it was nothing but bloatware, installing this driver on top of this one, etc. Terrible. Now with my ZS its easy. Install driver, thats it.

thanks jak (and everyone else) - d/l ing the drivers from the website makes sense - I think that's what I'm going to do - I'll get the Audigy2, get the drivers from the website (to avoid all the extra software goodies), and go thru the custom setup.

Rage - what are the kx drivers? I'm assuming they are custom drivers? Or the same drivers with a streamlined setup?

May I ask, which model of Audigy2's are you guys running? I'm leaning towards the vanilla 2 ZS (for 99.99) - I'm assuming the higher-end models are simply the same card with the addition of games and/or drive bay control panel...right?

Thanks again everyone for the input.

jAkUp
06-29-04, 08:38 PM
I have the vanilla 2 ZS, the higher models have games, and more wires basically :) Stuff I didnt need such as more inputs' etc.

fleshonbone
06-30-04, 02:26 AM
I have the vanilla 2 ZS, the higher models have games, and more wires basically :) Stuff I didnt need such as more inputs' etc.

My thoughts exactly.

One last question though. I read in a forum that in order to install the Creative drivers off of creative's website, you must first install the drivers from the CD - is this true? The author was referring to an Audigy card (not A2), and was claiming that he kept getting error messages stating that he needed to load the original install cd before he could load downloaded drivers?

Jak, have you seen anything like this? Did you originally try the web drivers when you first installed your card? Or did you use the install cd when you bought it, and have simply been using the web drivers ever since?

jAkUp
06-30-04, 02:48 AM
On the older drivers I had to have the CD first, it was a real pain because I format so often, and I couldnt be bothered to find the cd, now though, the drivers straight off creatives website work straight off the bat... Now whenever I format, I go straight to creatives site and dl the 13mb drivers, then the 6mb update.

They just added a driver "update" if you want to call it, its a minor annoyance, since to get the latest version they want you to dl the driver off the site (13mb) Then they want you to DL a 6mb patch.

You'll see what I'm talking about here:
Select Soundblaster, then 24bit, then Audigy2ZS, then hit go:
http://us.creative.com/support/downloads/download.asp
Skip down to the "driver section" Those are the only 2 updates I install

Dazz
06-30-04, 04:12 PM
I've NEVER EVER had a single problem with Creatives drivers and on a wide vartiy of hardware.

Arioch
06-30-04, 04:17 PM
I had problems with my first Audigy board on my old PC but nothing of the sort on my Audigy 2ZS Platinum on my current one. I love the front panel as I have my headphone and microphone plugged into it. The best part is the optical in plug as I have my Xbox going into it so I can get DD5.1 sound out of my Z-5300 speakers while I play games on my monitor with the Neoya VGA adapter.

vampireuk
06-30-04, 04:44 PM
No problems with the Audigy 2 that I yoinked off Smokey :D

Smokey
06-30-04, 05:32 PM
No problems with the Audigy 2 that I yoinked off Smokey :D
I've got another one spare now I upgraded tot eh ZS for the 7.1 support :D

Pandora's Box
06-30-04, 06:58 PM
i just install the drivers. download them from creatives website. no need for stupid control panel and all that other crap.