Creative Labs plans a high-end PCIe card

Creative Labs is in the process of designing a new high-end sound card based on an X-FI design, but this time it plans to launch a high-end card. It will launch something similar to the Elite Pro edition or a Fatal1ty-based product with the high-end bundling package and the external unit ,but this time around it will finally fit into a PCIe slot. Creative doesn’t need more than PCIe 1X as this is enough bandwidth for a sound card.

News source: FudZilla

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That is going to be my next sound card, or when I go to Vista (5 year old pc does not like vista too well) it will have this sound card.

I knew Creative would make a "new" sound card that support Vista natively instead of updating the drivers for X-Fi on Vista more then there forced to.

will this be the first real step towards pci-less computers? like all the ports are pci-express 1x , not pci anymore...
it will be strange cuz pci express 1x is so tiny, yet if your gonna be putting add-on cards anyway you'll probably put a video card in it too, so the whole computer has to stay as big as they are now... unless theres this strange really tiny form factor with like, onboard video but pci express 1x ports so you could stick an x-fi into it, as in a motherboard with onboard video but no onboard sound...

FINALLY!! My pc has like two (filled up) PCI slots and THREE PCI-1X slots! Good move! PCI-1X should be used as much as PCI by now...

Don't need it anymore. Back when there was no sound on the botherboard (or even it was added), you needed an external because it sucked but not really anymore, unless your some audio geek.

as far as i know, the actual Creative X-Fi card them selves only have support for full EAX, the Auzentech doen't work too well with games in vista because of the thing MS did with the audio, and Creative's Alchemy only works with their own X-Fi Cards.

kickenchicken360 said,
as far as i know, the actual Creative X-Fi card them selves only have support for full EAX, the Auzentech doen't work too well with games in vista because of the thing MS did with the audio, and Creative's Alchemy only works with their own X-Fi Cards.

The X-Fi supports EAX 5 (the Audigy series, specifically the Audigy 2 and above, stop at EAX 4); however, unless you have EAX-to-OpenAL mapper software (ALchemy) that will work in Vista, you will, at best, have EAX Environmental Audio support in Vista using the current drivers for either (that is entirely due to changes in the audio stack in Vista). Is there a version of ALchemy for the Audigy series? Yes ($10 download from Creative). Does it, in fact, work? Also, yes (I have ALchemy for Audigy myself, and I do use it without problems). Do the Audigy series Vista drivers support what features the audio stack allows? Also, yes; this includes OpenAL support (OpenAL predates the X-Fi, and is supported by *every* Audigy that uses the current drivers, from the last version of the ZS to the original Audigy; by the way, OpenAL in Vista is unaffected by the audio stack changes, which is why it Just Works).

Notice I'm not pimping the X-Fi (I don't own one). I have an Audigy 2 ZS and Vista Ultimate (with the SP1RC installed) which is working just fine. The EAX issue, in fact, only affects games that were *designed for Windows XP* that use/require EAX (as I have pointed out, games that support OpenAL aren't affected, and you don't need an X-Fi for OpenAL support). One of my favorite games under Vista was, in fact, designed for XP (C&C Generals: Zero Hour) which supports EAX 4 (ALchemy remaps the calls to allow ZH to work normally); however, my newest game (Universe at War: Earth Assault) supports OpenAL (as do Bioshock and C&C3: Tiberium Wars and COD4 and Crysis; I own all *except* COD4).

So what is the *real* issue? Sounds like it's *still* that things in Vista don't work like they did in XP. (Therefore, it seems like folks *still* don't like the idea of making trade-offs when it comes to a new OS.)

The snap, crackle, pop thread on Creative's discussion board ought to be enough to scare anyone away from purchasing a Creative Labs product. 1249 replies as of right now, and still very little sign of progress. They really have sucked lately and their corporate earnings are taking a hit because of it. They drop support for products way before the actual end-of-life of the technology, they are releasing drivers too far and few between, and they are useless when it comes to supporting customers who have invested in them for years. No thanks, never again will I touch a Creative product.

Exactly.

I remember the nightmare I had with my original X-Fi and my nForce4 chipset. I had to get an entirely new revision of the card. Then there was the whole Vista migration issue. It took them AGES to get drivers out, and they sucked for the longest time. Basically, I'm done with Creative products. The hardware is superb, but the driver support and customer care are horrible. HORRIBLE.

Actually they've damn near always had a rep for screwy drivers and subpar support. What is sticking it to them is onboard audio becoming decent (think Azalia with daughter boards) and multi-core CPU's that don't need hardware DSP to offload processing. EAX is overhyped so there is not much reason to buy Creative cards when there are others with better audio quality output. They are suffering the consequences of their own monopoly in "gaming" audio hardware. We should have been experiencing wave tracing by now, perhaps A3D 4 or 5 would have provided it.

dhitb said,
Actually they've damn near always had a rep for screwy drivers and subpar support. What is sticking it to them is onboard audio becoming decent (think Azalia with daughter boards) and multi-core CPU's that don't need hardware DSP to offload processing. EAX is overhyped so there is not much reason to buy Creative cards when there are others with better audio quality output. They are suffering the consequences of their own monopoly in "gaming" audio hardware. We should have been experiencing wave tracing by now, perhaps A3D 4 or 5 would have provided it.

The reason I got my X-Fi is because the Crystalizer helps out a decent amount. If non-Creative onboard solutions offered a similar thing, I wouldn't think twice about chucking this damn thing.

using Creative product right now and no issues. i dont see why some of you say they have terrible support. i've had nothing but good experiences with them. i suppose there will always be bad experiences with every company. from the reviews and users, the Control panel is supposedly intuitive and easy to use.

daniel_rh said,
What other sound alternatives has good quality and full Vista support? :huh:

My question exactly.

I am in the market for a new sound card, but I refuse to deal with the support from Creative.

Somnus said,

My question exactly.

I am in the market for a new sound card, but I refuse to deal with the support from Creative.

The Auzen X-Fi Prelude, its based on the same chipset as the creative line of cards and uses modified creative drivers however it works perfect in vista and has support for dolby digital encoding. There is still work been done on the drivers to add DTS encoding and they will be releasing linux drivers too. Supports all the fancy stuff for games which the non creative sound cards tend to lack.

spike232 said,

The Auzen X-Fi Prelude, its based on the same chipset as the creative line of cards and uses modified creative drivers however it works perfect in vista and has support for dolby digital encoding. There is still work been done on the drivers to add DTS encoding and they will be releasing linux drivers too. Supports all the fancy stuff for games which the non creative sound cards tend to lack.


Somehow I doubt this will be a good alternative if you despise Creative's driver support...
Unless they manage to roll out their very own vista drivers within the next few months.

Creative DOES NOT support their products. They release a few shoddy drivers and them dump support for them. I found that out years ago with the SoundBlaster Live! and later the Audigy (couldn't download the drivers, they told me I had to buy a CD from them; yeah right) and I said I'd never buy another product from them again. I haven't changed my mind.

THe X-fi was made for XP, Creative could have been jerks and said screw you but they did their best with Vista with the new audio stack that is diffrent from XP's way of doing audio. You guys should be happy they just didnt drop support for it like some other companies (ATI with my HDTV Wonder, it only works for Vista MC thank to Vista's drivers and WatchHDTV if I drop Aero and pray).

They've dropped support for plenty of products in the past. Oh and Audigy users have to PAY to get the working features in Vista? Yeah, if that isn't saying "screw you" to their paying customers I don't know what is. Sorry but this company sucks.

Great, another Creative product with crap product support, bloated control panels and flimsy connectors. And terrible mic preamps.

So its sounds like you already have one of these. So you must be one of the engineers right? One of the company owners or founders? At least some kind of insider, right? Damn, I was kind of excited about this too. :suspicious:

I do own a PCI X-Fi XtremeMusic and it is exactly as I said. And so was the SB Live! I had before that. I find myself rarely using the X-Fi after moving to Vista. Newer games don't seem to benefit from it really so I just use my Echo AudioFire4 most of the time. In general the audio quality on that is far superior but then again it's not a fair comparison considering the Echo is aimed more towards music production and is a lot more expensive. In any case Creative could take a note from Echo Audio on how to do drivers: totally stable, only a few MB in size and with an intuitive, easy to use single control panel. Creative couldn't design a good user interface for their stuff even with a gun against their heads.

Love my X-FI, altho I will agree Creative has been a pain in the ass with Vista up until recently...thats what dual-boots are for. Ill definitely check this out when it arrives.

they did have problems before vista launch, its been running perfectly since february or march. never had a single crash or BSOD becuase of creative.

my pci-e XFi xtreme audio has been awsome no problems at all. my mate with a pci xtreme music had major problems getting his to work with vista properly but mine on other hand been pefect worked straight out of box. Roll on a high end pci-e xfi!

Why another X-fi when it's already old enough? Creative, we would like a new sound card which works flawlessly with the new Vista stack.

Looks like they are trying to compete with the Auzen X-Fi Prelude which uses there chipset and makes a a far better job of it than creative ever did.

I've got an Auzentech card and I love it. Never had any of the problems I experienced with Creative cards (missing features, reinstalling drivers over and over again, poorly labelled driver versions and update numbers).

With decent audio being available onboard most motherboards that support 7.1 analog out and digital outs, I'm surprised that the sound card market hasn't shriveled up.

I currently have an XFI F4tality version. Used it with vista right from the beta stages and never had any problems.
I would definatly be considering the new pcie version.

I have a Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic running on Vista Ultimate, no problems at all. I had to admit though, I bought Vista a lot later... until December 2007 when all my drivers run really nicely under Vista.

but this time it plans to launch a high-end card

That's a first for creative, most their stuff is like $20-$25 and you can only get it on the corner from a shady guy who...

Sorry for the sarcasm.

I'm happy with my on-board sound... Vista x64 has the drivers pre-installed and I use optical out so everything sounds great. I haven't had much trouble with Creative stuff in the past, the software is just too bloated for my tastes.

bangbang023 said,
No way. After the problems with the Vista drivers, I'm going to consider other manufacturers, in the future.

Exactly what I was going to write mate

Yeah, the experience I had with my X-Fi during the Vista betas made me really mad at Creative. My only problem is that I am addicted to their CMSS-3D technology. What I ended up doing was buying a Creative Xmod. It's basically a USB sound card that has built-in CMSS. But since it's a USB sound card, it just uses drivers that are included with Windows. That means it's future-proof and supports Linux also.

nekrosoft13 said,
smoking crack again? what problems

Seriously? It took how long for us to get drivers that actually worked? I actually gave up on PC gaming because I was just so fed up with the hassles.

bangbang023 said,

Seriously? It took how long for us to get drivers that actually worked? I actually gave up on PC gaming because I was just so fed up with the hassles.

i been running vista since november of 2006, there were issues maybe till around march. tell me what HUGE issues did you have.

nekrosoft13 said,

i been running vista since november of 2006, there were issues maybe till around march. tell me what HUGE issues did you have.


Crashing whenever I exited any 3d game, a "Dundun" sounds was made.
BSOD randomly in games.
My favorite Creative driver error, randomly the drivers will just disappear off my computer it takes about 2 months, I restart my computer and poof "Windows is looking for drivers". Gotta love Creative drivers!
Right now I'm using on-board, it doesn't sound anywhere near as nice, but its stable, and I rather have a Stable setup than a expensive unstable but better sounding setup.

nekrosoft13 said,

i been running vista since november of 2006, there were issues maybe till around march. tell me what HUGE issues did you have.

Oh quit the fanboy defensive attitude already, it's getting old. Not everyone has perfect experiences with Vista or any other OS for that matter.

bangbang023 said,
No way. After the problems with the Vista drivers, I'm going to consider other manufacturers, in the future.

And which other manufacturers create cards that fully support hardware EAX? All others i've ever seen were based on realtek chipsets which nowhere come close.

bangbang023 said,

Seriously? It took how long for us to get drivers that actually worked? I actually gave up on PC gaming because I was just so fed up with the hassles.

Or the fact that each time the machine's reset, I loose all of my sound and speaker settings and have to reconfigure it every single time. If I do another 'clean' install of the drivers, I think I'll go insane.

jago_lfn said,

And which other manufacturers create cards that fully support hardware EAX? All others I've ever seen were based on realtek chipsets which nowhere come close.

A few now since Creative has been losing money as of late. MSI has a on-board sound chip-set from Creative and one other company has a sound card out that's based off the X-Fi sound cards but it's been beefed up a bit.

nekrosoft13 said,
smoking crack again? what problems

Sorry just had to respond here..

Problems?

How about all the dropped hardware features in Vista??

What am I on about..

Ok.. This just from memory....

Popping and clicking randomly.. Fine under XP..

Loss of hardware acceleration in games under Vista - requiring a software hack workaround emulation layer that took creative months to get working..

Loss of a perfectly working and supported 6.1 speaker mode in hardware under Vista... My rear centre speaker has been silent ever since the upgrade to Vista. These are official creative speakers as well.. That really sucked..

Total loss of hardware ability to playback and decoded Hi Def Audio DVD format - again perfectly working and advertised as such under Vista - now totally removed...

Best bit of all - after months of waiting for all these and others to be fixed - they want to charge US for "buying" the new Vista drivers cd..

Xi-fi was a premium product released at the tail end of XP's lifecycle - it felt very botched once Vista was upon us..

Creative or MS's fault for removing support from the OS? Doesn't really matter - Vista was massively delayed and they both had months to work all this out.. Creative's story is things got moved at the last moment in Vista - the goalposts got up and moved... I reckon its more like 50/50...


Personally, since owning almost every single card Creative put out since 1993 - I promised myself I wouldnt' touch any of their products with a bargepole ever again - they just lost one loyal customer over all this ugly episode with Vista....

Creative - get your act together!!

bangbang023 said,
No way. After the problems with the Vista drivers, I'm going to consider other manufacturers, in the future.

Vista driver problems, Linux driver problems. How many people have worthwhile audio equipment for their PC anyway? I don't.