Originally posted by Smokey
Sorry to say this Fluke, but I really think your speaking out your a**. Ive had a SBLive 1024(value) for going on three years now, and not once have I ever had a problem with drivers and whatnot. Guess what, my motherboard uses a VIA chipset, no crackles pops or anything else but good sound. I think that you are slagging off Creative just for the sake of it? Yes I have read thier forums, and yes alot of people have problems, but these problems might not all be the sound cards fault? VIAs maybe? something else in the pc? Maybe people need to know how to fix or put together thier pcs better?
There are issues with Via chipsets and PCI latencies. This probably contributes a bit to the reports of problems with the Creative soundcards. However, reports weren't limited to Via users, by any means. Intel users have experienced the same problems.
Bus hogging PCI device = bad.
Chipset with PCI latency issues = bad.
Bus hogging PCI device + Chipset with PCI latency issues = VERY bad.
Okay, lesson #2:
I had a Live Value for a long time too. No real problems for the first year, on an Intel BX-based chipset motherboard, running Intel P3's. Then I got a RAID controller, along with Win2K. Guess what? MUCHO problems. Remove sound card, substitute OLD ISA soundcard. Problems went away. Wanted to try new Creative drivers (LiveWare 3, at that time). Guess what else? To get those drivers, I had to pay for a CD. They refused to make the full drivers / updated utilities supporting them freely available. (I could get core drivers, but then I lost the added utilities to take full advantage of the extended EAX support, etc.).
Creative hardware might
be pretty good (a BIG might), but if so, then the drivers suck. They don't play nice on the PCI bus, and if you have other devices that heavily utilize the bus (but play by the rules), such as RAID controllers and whatnot, you're 2x more likely to see the issues with the sound breaking up and crackling, regardless of chipset. Add in Via's chipsets and their known problems with latency, and you've got a less than 50-50 chance of getting a problem-free setup.
Guess what else. My Hercules sound card, while not only cheaper, has all the same capabilities as the Higher end creative cards (except for the funked up proprietary SPDIF implementation creative decided to use), but it also works perfectly kosher with my RAID controller on a Via-based setup. Wonder of wonders..
As far as EAX goes, sure Creative sounds better with it. It's their
specification, after all. And when they're busy hogging the PCI bus for their own data, they'd sure as heck better
make sure that the sound being produced is good. Otherwise there'd be no reason whatsoever to use their cards. As a side note, it may not be quite as good at it, but the Hercules (and by now, loads of other brands) can
produce EAX output. Not that I use it, since the EAX effects are usually too emphasized over the rest of a game's sounds, making them seem out-of-place. The effects need toned down so that they blend better with the rest of the sound output, while still adding to the experience, imo.
But at any rate Smokey, it's obvious your setup works for you. Kudos. Enjoy it. Thus doesn't change the fact that the lesser known / sold products are still a better bet for most people one iota.