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Golden Boy
12-16-05, 04:16 PM
Hello all

I recently replaced my Audigy 2 ZS with a X-FI extreme music, as i saw much people here are very happy with it.

I cleaned the whole old drivers out, and placed the card in the same slot, where the audigy was, installed all drivers, all went ok without problems.

But what i noticed - when i have the card running in Entertainment mode - and i am listening to music or watching video clips AND there is some other HDD access at the same time, the sound has some cracks and popping noises in the background.

Therefore i searched the net about it, and found out that someone had likely the same problem , and by switching to Audio creation mode, and enable "bit matched playback" in a sub-menue (disables SVM and 24 bit crystalizer as it says) - the cracks and popping noises went away.

So this looks like a strange software issue to me.

I had never any sound problems with my audigy 2 ZS, regardless about the system usage or hdd usage...

I tried "Game mode" too, to have full hardware EAX support in games and so, and the cracking noises are there too (you always have HDD access in games :P) .

I tried disabling SVM and or 24 bit crystalizer, but did not use anything.

Just the "Audio creation mode" with that option checked does the trick.

I dont think swapping the card with my SCSI card will help, they will remain that close together - but it makes no sense somehow, because with that option checked - the sound works normally.

Is someone out there with a DFI Mobo / other NF4 mobo, and having that kind of problems too - is there perhaps a bios option to enable / disable - which could help ?

I read a lot on the net too, creative forums... they always advise to change PCI latency and that kind of stuff... or updating mobo bios (but that was for worse problems to get the card working on nf4 mainboards as far as ive read).
But somehow i dont believe that would help, because the soundcard works in that specific mode, and my "old" soundcard worked too without any specific settings or drivers :(

I really would like to be able to switch modes , and have no sound glitches !!

I also tried to disable some audio ports (CD/AUX/Line in) to have no interferences... did not help.

I have the 6-23 bios on my board, its working fine until now, and is a recent one as far as i know.

I really would appreciate any tips or ideas .... because i always search a lot before i ask somewhere...and i got stuck now at this point.

Best regards

jAkUp
12-16-05, 04:41 PM
Do you have the latest drivers? They have updated ones on their site.

It is related to your SCSI card. Everyone I have seen who has HD popping problems is because of latecy issues caused by the SCSI card.

What that being said, I have popping issues as well, but not when the HD is being accessed, its more just general. The newer drivers helped it somewhat though.

Golden Boy
12-16-05, 04:48 PM
Hey jakup :)

Yes i did a auto software update on creatives site a few days ago...

Hmm really strange that the audigy did have no probs with my scsi card, and the x-fi neither, with that option checked.

But i will check some scsi bios settings .. have to be careful though , dont want to mess anything up badly :(

jAkUp
12-16-05, 04:52 PM
Yea I know, I have been reading about this alot since I has having similar issues.

It seems that the card demands alot from the PCI bus, more than the Audigy2. I think its time for them to go PCIe on these cards.

Golden Boy
12-16-05, 06:33 PM
I tried now different lantency settings with the PCI Latency tool... did not help

I tried a floppy power connector on the card, did not help either :(

I tested holding my finger on not-used sound ports on the back of the card, or some internal cables... to check for EMI problems.. nothing.

I tried some higher chipset / LDT voltages to avoid bottlenecks... nothing

I also tried to set the PC to "non acpi" settings, did not help .. nearly messed up my system :o

I wont try switching the card with my scsi card (board just has 2 PCI slots) .. because i read a few forum posts where that did not help... and i dont wanna risk ruining my windows...

I dont have SP2 installed.... just SP1 with all newest updates... but i dont think that SP2 will help there too.

I think its really up to creative to do something, why do we as users have to test all that stuff.. if the card needs more PCI bandwith.. they have to deal with that / test that on actual systems before they release the card...

Guess i have to stick with the "bit matched" option until a miracle will happen

Greetings

BLOODUK
12-16-05, 06:44 PM
http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?board.id=soundblaster&message.id=31426

Welcome to the snap crackle and pop club ;)

jAkUp
12-16-05, 06:48 PM
Yea, funny thing is that thread was started by me :) Thats me, Jacoby.

BLOODUK
12-16-05, 06:56 PM
Yea, funny thing is that thread was started by me :) Thats me, Jacoby.


And i posted in it aswell , i joined the club awhile ago.... i thought i got
away from the soundstorm crackling when the wav bar is on full
and i go straight into an expensive soundcard that crackles and pops
when it feels like it.

And hardly any driver updates last one was web update 2

2!! (mikec)

Nutty
12-16-05, 08:22 PM
Yea I know, I have been reading about this alot since I has having similar issues.

It seems that the card demands alot from the PCI bus, more than the Audigy2. I think its time for them to go PCIe on these cards.

Huh? Why would the same samples require more bandwidth on X-FI, than audigy 2? I think the problem is Creative are just ****.

jAkUp
12-16-05, 09:08 PM
Its a much faster audio processor, with onboard ram, and sends alot of data through the PCI bus.

TBH, I only notice it when games use EAX. Regular audio, and everything else is fine.

Nutty
12-16-05, 09:13 PM
I dont get why it needs to send anything through the PCI bus, over than fetch the sample data from main RAM. Surely theres prolly some register setups stuff from the driver, but that will be minimal.

Even if that was the case, and I'm 99.9% sure it isn't, then its just bad engineering on Creatives part. All the EAX stuff is handled on chip, there should be no need for extra PCI bandwidth.

LBJM
12-17-05, 03:25 PM
then its just bad engineering on Creatives part.

from creative never! lol they can get away with this because they don't have REAL competition (xmassign)

I have the same problems with my sb live in my athloln MP dually with U160 scsi the fix was to switch to my hercules theater sound. ( sadly they aren't updating their drivers anymore)

retsam
12-17-05, 03:40 PM
have you tried driver cleaner? ...give that a try...or you can try the regserv.exe command and force windows to look for another driver. that command did wonders on a few nf3 systems that had the cracking sounds.

Absolution
12-17-05, 11:30 PM
is this a sign that soundcards are getting limited by the PCI buss? most likely, it seems reasonable that the lack of bandwith is causing the poping because the card isnt getting sufficient data back and forth

superklye
12-18-05, 12:11 AM
is this a sign that soundcards are getting limited by the PCI buss? most likely, it seems reasonable that the lack of bandwith is causing the poping because the card isnt getting sufficient data back and forth
Then why wouldn't it be happening to everyone?

ynnek
12-18-05, 03:53 AM
I'm wondering if this popping problem only affects people with non intel chipset motherboards?

Cause I've yet heard anyone with a intel chipset mb complain about it? Or i could be wrong..

There's one guy on that creative thread with a p4 that complains about popping, but not sure what kinda mb chipset he runs.

no problems with my X-Fi so far on my 3.2 northy on a 875 chipset mb..

EDIT: there is at least one problem with Nforce4 mb's and X-fi's
http://www.amdzone.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=4031

Golden Boy
12-18-05, 09:07 AM
have you tried driver cleaner? ...give that a try...or you can try the regserv.exe command and force windows to look for another driver. that command did wonders on a few nf3 systems that had the cracking sounds.

Then it was a driver problem ?? but which other driver will you "give" the card ? :) there are just the x-fi drivers around ?!

Superfly
12-18-05, 11:01 AM
have you guys tried playing with the PCI latency for your various system components??

I dont have an X-Fi yet but if the problem DOEs lie with the PCI bus then the latency timings could offer a solution.