Originally Posted by FlakMagnet
Sorry to be a complete n00b, but what do you mean by Windows 7 doesn't do hardware sound? I have an X-Fi card and it comes with drivers and such. It even comes with a control panel application named 'Creative Console Launcher' which seems to do stuff with my soundcard.
What is not done in hardware on Windows 7 that was done in hardware on XP?
Sorry for being a bit thick :P
The real story on all this is when Vista came out, and changed up all the driver models they removed directSound. This was because they kept releasing betas to the hardware manufacturers but in every release changed the driver models again and again. This led to very buggy drivers for everyone at vista's release. And also why directSound was removed.
However, creative went and made alchemy which translated all the directsound calls into openAL calls so you really do have hardware accelerated audio now with x-fi, but less games/devs are using it now which means less support.