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Creative Labs X-Fi Xtreme Music
OpenAL wrapper allows X-Fi users to take advantage of 3D sound in Windows Vista

Creative Labs has opened up the doors to its ALchemy Project to enable hardware acceleration for DirectSound and EAX audio algorithms in Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Vista. The Alchemy Project is currently in its beta stages and intends to work around Microsoft’s audio limitations in Windows Vista due to the removal of the Hardware Abstraction Layer, or HAL.

Microsoft’s removal of the HAL removes the software layer required by digital signal processors to enable hardware acceleration for various 3D audio algorithms including DirectSound3D and EAX in pre-Vista games. Nevertheless, digital signal processors that support OpenAL can still take advantage of hardware audio acceleration.

The Alchemy Project intends to work around Windows Vista limitations by translating DirectSound calls into OpenAL – essentially an OpenAL wrapper. In order to take advantage of the ALchemy Project OpenAL wrapper the installer copies a few necessary files into each game directory.

The automated installer will install the necessary files into each game directory, if there is official support for the game. Officially supported games include:
  • Battle for Middle Earth 2
  • Call of Duty
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Diablo 2
  • Everquest 2
  • FEAR
  • Full Spectrum Warrior
  • Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers
  • Guild Wars
  • GTA: San Andreas
  • Hitman: Blood Money
  • Max Payne 2
  • Midieval 2: Total War
  • Neverwinter Nights
  • Neverwinter Nights 2
  • NOLF 2
  • Rome: Total War
If the installer does not officially support your game, Creative Labs provides a guide for advanced users to take advantage of the OpenAL wrapper. Manually adding game support requires the copying of two files – dsound.dll and dsound.ini. On occasion, the unsupported game will work with the default configuration settings. If the default settings do not work, the dsound.ini file is tweak able for better performance. Available settings in the dsound.ini include Buffer, Duration, DisableDirectMusic and MaxVoiceCount settings.

In its current beta stages, Creative Labs ALchemy project only supports Sound Blaster X-Fi based sound cards with OpenAL compatible drivers. Users of Creative Labs previous Audigy 2 and Audigy 4 will have to wait patiently for hardware accelerated DirectSound3D and EAX support in Windows Vista. Jessie Lawrence, developer relations for Creative Labs claims:
For the initial beta phase of Creative ALchemy, we made the decision to concentrate on products based on the X-Fi chip. Games developers have put a lot of effort into supporting the advanced features of this chip so we want to provide the best level of support that we can for our most recent hardware. Support for Audigy 2 and 4 class products will be determined as the current beta progresses and we are able to assess the quality of the beta and overall demand for Creative ALchemy.
Users fortunate enough to have an X-Fi based sound card can download the ALchemy Project installer from the Creative ALchemy Project download page.


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No HAL in Vista
By SignalPST on 1/23/2007 12:41:04 AM , Rating: 2
I applaud Microsoft for taking HAL out of the audio stack in Vista.

Creative= bad/bloat software & drivers + monopoly = double no no

Vista -HAL = opens equal opportunities for guys like Intel HDA, Auzentech, VIA, Realtek,... + no more royalties for Creative for EAX in vista games = good move by Microsoft




RE: No HAL in Vista
By ViRGE on 1/23/2007 12:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
Hardly. Creative owns a boatload of patents along with EAX; the gaming market isn't big enough to justify reinventing EAX(especially when it comes time to fight patent suits from CL), never mind the hit of doing it all in software.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Lakku on 1/23/2007 4:30:22 AM , Rating: 1
EAX is virtually useless, as it doesn't do half the things half as well as Creative thinks it can. It still isn't any better then A3D really, which leads me to say there is no need to reinvent EAX. There is, however, a need to get a good sound API that is actually useful. At any rate, there is already a good replacement and it is used by just about every Xbox, Xbox 360, and PS3 (which, by the way, also offers linear PCM 7.1 192kHz audio in some games, aside from AC3) game; Dolby Digital. Look at games for all platforms (mostly Xbox and 360 right now), they all, or just about all, support Dolby Digital. I don't need half baked attempts at audio effects, as DD or DTS Interactive provide a great 3d sound experience. And you don't need DirectSound3d to experience it.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By ViRGE on 1/23/2007 5:18:13 AM , Rating: 4
DD/DTS are encoding schemes for digitally transmitting multiple sound channels over a single datastream. They are not technologies to calculate positioning, occlusion, reflections, etc of a sound.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By nurbsenvi on 1/23/2007 8:39:51 AM , Rating: 2
But EAX still sucks I never used it because it makes no difference in gaming.

By the way is there any game that can actually do real-time Dolby digital surround?


RE: No HAL in Vista
By imaheadcase on 1/23/2007 9:16:33 AM , Rating: 2
No difference in gaming?? You need to get your ears checked..

The difference is night and day.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By jtesoro on 1/23/2007 9:49:49 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think a lot of users have the right equipment to appreciate the full effects of EAX. I'm guessing that most have 2.1 speakers of "normal" quality, and with this I won't be surprised if it all just sounds the same to them.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By TheDoc9 on 1/23/2007 10:43:48 AM , Rating: 2
I've got a 4.1 system myself and really notice very little in gameing although the difference is there. In fact I'd say the A3d was better than even present day EAX aside from the game glitches it caused.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Bluestealth on 1/25/2007 12:55:22 AM , Rating: 2
Games that implement EAX correctly are very low imho, with the right setup and implementation the games simply sound amazing.
One game that I thought pulled it off well recently was Far Cry, another game to a lesser extend was fear. I have a feeling that A3D was much easier to use for developers and thus it sounded better, having heard EAX5 done correctly on a few games I have found it far superior to A3D, however done incorrectly to be worse.

A good 5.1 setup should be all you need, however a 7.1 setup fills in for side effects a lot, and IMHO is far more important for gaming then it is for movies.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By jtesoro on 1/27/2007 5:49:30 AM , Rating: 2
I'm actually playing Far Cry single player at this time. I was just using my 2.1 speakers but your comment got me to continue the game with my Turtle Beach 5.1 headset connected to the SB Audigy 2 in my PC. It sounds much better and now it's easier to isolate where the baddies are coming from using sound!


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Hare on 1/23/2007 11:02:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
By the way is there any game that can actually do real-time Dolby digital surround?
READ the previous message. It's just a way to transport multiple channels through spdif-interface.

There are kvantizillion games out there that have multi channel audio. If you have a soundcard that can encode DD then you've got a game with Dolby Digital sounds. My Abit AB9 board can encode DD, my previous NF2-board had "soundstorm" and was great with games (DD).

If a game has multi channel audio, it CAN have dolby digital. It's just not done with software since it's too CPU heavy. You need a separate chip. (Actually it can be done with CPUs but just isn't done due to the performance hit.)

This just proves that most people have no idea what Dolby Digital is. EAX sounds can be DD...


RE: No HAL in Vista
By nurbsenvi on 1/23/2007 11:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but I still don't get it...

I have a home theater system hooked up to my computer through SPDIF (via Audigy2) and played numerous games but never saw Dolby Digital 5.1 flashing on my receiver I saw liner PCM and Dolby Digital 2.1 but no 5.1 on... what the heck am I doing wrong?


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Hare on 1/23/2007 12:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
Audigy2 (or any Creative card) doesn't support Dolby Digital encoding so you have absolutely no way you can get multichannel audio with the digital connector.

If you want multichannel audio you have no option but to use the analog connections. Creative simply refuses to do anything valuable. They just sit on their ____ and think that their propriety EAX is enough to make people buy their cards...

The only way you can get Dolby Digital is via passthrough (movies etc). That way the sounds are already DD so your soundcard doesn't have to do anything, just pass the data.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Spivonious on 1/23/2007 3:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
Umm...every card since the Live! 5.1 can do DD decoding. So if you want surround, plug in your speakers to the soundcard. If you want to passthrough, then plug in the digital out and check the passthrough option. Dolby Digital 5.1 will only show up on the receiver if the game actively supports it and it is turned on in the game's options.

To the article: Couldn't you just register the dsound files with Windows and then every game can access them from one location?


RE: No HAL in Vista
By typo101 on 1/23/2007 5:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
DD encoding is what were looking for, and I was not aware any Creative cards did it.

The only ones i heard of are from Auzentech.
http://www.auzentech.com


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Cincybeck on 1/23/2007 8:22:36 PM , Rating: 1
Supposedly the new X-Fi's do it out of the box. From my understanding it's more of a driver implentation or lack there of with the audigy cards. With a program called redocneXk you can have a realtime AC3(Dolby Digital) 5.1 signal encoded from the ASIO channels and sent threw your audigy card to your receiver threw the spdif connector. I've tried it and it works but, I was experiencing sound delay and a audible static. Although I was using the Creative drivers and it recommends using kX drivers from ttp://kxproject.lugosoft.com.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By guwd1 on 1/25/2007 7:09:45 AM , Rating: 2
I still can't se the point... by going from high quality multichannel PCM to DD you have effectively reduced the audio quality. It's the same thing as going from a cd to mp3: You get smaler file-size but the sound is compressed. Obviously there are major advantages with DD, just as in cd vs mp3. But I thought we were talking about soundquality here?


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Lakku on 1/26/2007 4:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
Who is using multichannel PCM in games (or in any game/computer program not related to music creation or professional audio) outside of the PS3? We are just talking about games on the PC and 3d sound APIs, but maybe I missed something.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By typo101 on 1/28/2007 10:11:54 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately my onboard sound does not encode DTS so I play my games in PCM over SPDIF. I never liked having all those stereo cable going from my computer to receiver, so I can deal with the loss of surround because I don't game much.

However, I'm not so sure these DTS encoding cards use PCM at any stage, but I dont know much about sound in games or DirectX.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Lakku on 1/26/2007 4:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
By nature, DD Live calculates positioning, otherwise no Xbox, 360, or PS3 game that supports Dolby Digital would have positional sound. You should try using DD Live or DTS Interactive sometime, because the sound quality is much better then almost any EAX game. Try Chaos Theory or Advanced Warfighter, which can have EAX turned off (yes, EAX 2.0 is supported by most games and hardware). It sounds better with it off and it still supports reflections and reverb, which is all EAX is anyway. Why do you think very few games actually take the time to use EAX 5.0 or 4.0 unless Creative gives them incentive? At any rate, EAX adds very little to most games, and the sound quality of DD Live/DTS Connect on a good home theater beats the hell out of any Creative card, which relies on its relatively weak analog outs for your audio experience.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Bluestealth on 1/23/2007 3:24:29 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with the previous poster... it isn't likely to happen soon. Besides someone needs to write a new 3d sound engine that is as good or better then EAX in software, sell it to game developers, and grab a decent market share.

When it does happen though we can all just buy the sound card with the best sound quality we can get and forget about any special "features" since they can all be implemented in software anyways.

The drivers for my Realtek HD card are no better then my Creative drivers... plus I actually have a decent MIC/Line-In in on my XFi.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By daniyarm on 1/23/2007 9:49:27 AM , Rating: 2
Intel, VIA and Realtek need to learn from Creative how to make good sound cards. Creative drivers might be hit or miss, but their hardware is several steps above everything else that's out there. It's stupid to do sound processing in software if you have dedicated hardware. I doubt this will hurt Creative as they will come up with something new, but it will hurt all the gamers out their by dropping their FPS. Vista gaming performance is simply terrible, and now they are going to make it even worse.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Hare on 1/24/2007 3:56:13 AM , Rating: 2
If you want a good soundcard you need to check out ESI Juli@, M-audio, E-mu and many others.

Intel, Via and Realtek are not high end audio and they don't want to be. There are many soundcards out there that completely blow away any Creative card. The only advantage the Creative cards have is EAX. Otherwise the cards are pretty generic stuff.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Bluestealth on 1/25/2007 12:46:32 AM , Rating: 2
I would have purchased a completely different sound card if I didn't play games... however I don't think any audio vendor has "great" sound card drivers, even some integrated companies put out heaps of garbage. I think a majority of the problem is that most people don't care what sound they get out of their computer and are happy using the 15 dollar speakers that came with their dell.


RE: No HAL in Vista
By Bluestealth on 1/25/2007 12:57:42 AM , Rating: 2
EMU is now owned by creative... since 1993... Its not like creative has no idea how to make a good soundboard... unfortunately I have heard their drivers are just as hit or miss in the pro line(ouch)


XP
By crimson117 on 1/23/2007 12:33:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yet another reason to stick with XP. Are there any real advantages to Vista? Sounds like a lot more trouble to me...




RE: XP
By jimmy43 on 1/23/2007 12:36:25 AM , Rating: 3
Not really at the moment. I would wait till about service pack 1. By that time we'l have apps that actualy take advantage of some of the features in vista, and you'l also be able afford a computer that can run it without spending an arm and a leg


RE: XP
By Spivonious on 1/23/2007 3:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
Umm..my computer ran Vista fine and it cost me $1200 in August. I checked prices a few weeks ago and it's down around $1000 now. Not exactly an arm and a leg.


RE: XP
By soydios on 1/23/2007 2:12:02 AM , Rating: 2
I'm going to try to get my hands on Windows Vista Ultimate OEM, which I hope will run about $200. At that point, I'll just dual-boot Vista and XP.


RE: XP
By jak3676 on 1/23/2007 11:05:09 AM , Rating: 2
I think all the press reports have said $399 for a retail version ultimate. There was just an article here on DT that mentioned it.


RE: XP
By InsaneScientist on 1/23/2007 8:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, the OEM Ultimate is about $200.

See the update here: http://www.dailytech.com/Update+Consumer+Versions+...


RE: XP
By crimson117 on 1/23/07, Rating: 0
RE: XP
By dice1111 on 1/23/2007 10:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
I guess people want there to be a reason to upgrade right away so bad, they don't even like you questinoing if they should/shouldn't.

I'm all for it (only for the reason that I just like new tech), but I do agree with the above poster to your comment that waiting for SP1 is a good idea.


RE: XP
By Micronite on 1/23/2007 12:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
Not that I don't agree with you, but...
I bet you're one of those people who said:

"Yet another reason to stick with 98. Are there any real advantages to XP? Sounds like a lot more trouble to me..."

I don't think it will take long before most people want to get on the Vista bandwagon.


RE: XP
By SGWB on 1/23/2007 2:50:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not that I don't agree with you, but...

I bet you're one of those people who said:

"Yet another reason to stick with 98. Are there any real advantages to XP? Sounds like a lot more trouble to me..."


XP still isn't worth the upgrade from Win2K. The only two features that make me want to upgrade my 2K machines to XP are:

A. Microsoft has not released WPA support for Win2K despite early claims that it would be forthcoming. (There are some 3rd party WiFi wrappers and some 802.11 card drivers that can do it.)

B. NetFlix will supposedly only support XP and Vista with their upcoming streaming movie service.


RE: XP
By JeffDM on 1/23/2007 10:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
You still didn't explain what Vista does that's better than XP. The biggest advantage of XP over 98 is stability, but it took a while for this to be proven, I think in part because early drivers and pre-SP1 was troublesome. It took a couple years before people in general accepted the performance hit, and that might have been the amount of time that it took third party developers to re-tune their programming to take advantage of XP.

Vista's important improvement might be security, but I seem to recall several times where Vista had the same serious networking bugs as XP, and I thought that Vista was supposed to have a reworked network system.


Vista
By Visk on 1/23/2007 1:57:10 AM , Rating: 3
I got a free copy of Vista Business from my University. It's running pretty sweet right now. Haven't really had any issues besides this one BSOD that happened while installing some beta drivers. In terms of fixing errors that don't let the machine boot, Vista includes an automated repair system in their install DVDs in case anything like that happens...and it worked great when I got that nasty BSOD. Everything is running super smoothly right now, even with (most) beta drivers. I'm running beta drivers with my 8800GTX (ForceWare X 100.30) as well as beta drivers for about every other component in my system (Audigy 2 ZS, LAN Drivers). Of course, I still have a few driver issues with my TV tuner (afaik, ATI hasn't released any TV-Wonder Elite drivers for Vista)

Anyways, I'm digging all the new features. I'm liking all the revamped Explorer GUI and Aero as well. The new ALT+TAB is amazing (includes screenshots of all the windows, and they're also selectable with your mouse). Of course, I'm running a dual boot right now (WinXP and Vista), as I still need some apps that don't work with Vista very well (my skin apps, some other GUI tweaks, some games don't run very well; but the frameloss is nothing when you have an 8800GTX)

Although I hate to say it, I'm liking the gadgets (or widgets, whatever you want to call them) I've got the sidebar set to always on top. I like being able to see my wid/gad-gets at all times when not gaming. The ones I have are mostly system monitors (all my drives, cores, and memory usage, ping stats, terminal services).

Everything is working very well for me! I recommend upgrading because everything is a lot easier to access. Although it takes a little getting use to, everything works very well!




RE: Vista
By JimFear on 1/23/2007 5:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
If you like the new Alt+Tab I suggest you try Flip 3D if you haven't already, press the Windows Key+Tab to bring up the 3d interface :)


RE: Vista
By Hare on 1/23/2007 11:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
If you like Flip 3D you might want to check out Expose

http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/expose/ :)


RE: Vista
By ObscureCaucasian on 1/23/2007 11:20:20 AM , Rating: 3
If you like Expose you might want to check out Flip 3D

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/features/def... :)


RE: Vista
By Visk on 1/23/2007 12:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
" If you like the new Alt+Tab I suggest you try Flip 3D if you haven't already, press the Windows Key+Tab to bring up the 3d interface :)"

I'm aware of the Flip3D feature, but it doesn't really do it for me. It's nice and all, but I can maneuver through my windows a lot faster if I can see them all at once

As for the Expose thing, there's this one program available (for WinXP and Vista) called Topdesk, that adds the Flip, Spacial, and Grid window animations from Aero and Expose.

Expose is great, but being able to instantly see all your windows without any sort of lag or hog of resources is great.


Never understood the whole 3D thing
By jimmy43 on 1/23/2007 12:39:41 AM , Rating: 2
Tell me this, dont you need to add a speaker above your head or under your legs? Otherwise we'r still in the 2nd dimension. Even though there may be some vertical disparity between the levels of speakers they are all still perpendicular to the same plane. Whats going on?




RE: Never understood the whole 3D thing
By jay75 on 1/23/2007 1:37:58 AM , Rating: 2
Not too many sounds come from below or directly above you.

3D sound is supposed to simulate echo's off walls, the doppler effect and distance perception amongst others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_audio_effect


By daftrok on 1/23/2007 1:52:22 AM , Rating: 2
Planes overhead? Shots from below when you're on a platform? It would be an interesting idea, 9.1 sound.


RE: Never understood the whole 3D thing
By miekedmr on 1/23/2007 11:33:28 AM , Rating: 2
All that is REALLY needed is one transducer per ear that is isolated to each ear (headphones,) and all the positioning can be emulated through phase, timing and proper modeling of reflections.

The difficulty of recreating an acoustic space with normal speakers is that you're doing it inside of an existing acoustic space. If you try to encode positional information into a signal played through a stereo it is very limited because your brain percieves interaction between the sound sources and the real environment. It's basically 1D reproduction, in a horizontal line passing through the sources, although the illusion of depth can be given to some extent.

By placing sound sources all around the room, (5.1, 7.1, whatever) there doesn't need to be so much 'emulation' of the environment, because it takes advantage of the actual environment to provide your brain with positional information.

Like you said, the speakers are all on the same plane though, so any sense of height would be part of the signal and just an illusion. It's really better described as 2D audio. Only A spherical array of sound sources would be able to produce real seamless 3d audio.


By guwd1 on 1/25/2007 7:41:28 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct, but most you seem to forget one very important fact: we have two ears, not 5.1 ears or anything, ALL our preception of positional 3D sound is effectivly an advanced "illusion". Our brain, in all it's facinating complexity and power, uses the stereo sound image information from our ears to try and guess the real 3D sound image. Ever wondered why our ears ain't symetrical for example?

Because of things like the shape of the ear, sounds comming from different directions around us is "distorted" differently. This gives the brain lots of clues to how the 2D stereo image we hear is to be interpreted into 3D (there are probaly lots of other reasons to the shape of ears too that I don't know about).

My point is that theoratically you will never ever need more than two speakers to give a perfect 3D sound image since our body can't percive more than two channels any way. 3D is all in our brain. The trick to it is all about simulating those subtle "distortions" that accur in our ear. But since not all ears are made equal, this isn't very viable though :P. Perfect audio setup imao? Headphones, connected to some REALLY advanced hardware/software for giving those "distortions" (non-existent today though afaik), supplemented with a sub, for that rumbling heavy-bass action :P.


Still no support for live cards
By dczyz on 1/23/2007 12:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
Understood the MS messed them up with changes in Vista - but still upset they are not supporting the Live cards for Vista. Not sure I would bother with creative anytime soon again.




RE: Still no support for live cards
By RandomFool on 1/23/2007 7:43:35 AM , Rating: 2
There's no support for live cards? That's terrible. My SB Live has served be faithfully for about 7 years now. I guess I'll have to switch to onboard when I install Vista.

It's looking more and more like Vista is going to force me to upgrade if I want to use it.


RE: Still no support for live cards
By Spivonious on 1/23/2007 3:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
Even if you stick with XP, the X-Fi sounds at least 50x better than the Live!. I should know, I upgraded from one to the other on the same machine with the same speakers.


RE: Still no support for live cards
By guwd1 on 1/25/2007 8:02:08 AM , Rating: 2
I love the X-Fi, but saying x50 is just going to upset different minded people :P It's BETTER, but x50... depends on how much you care about sound in the first place. Some just want a little more clarity and 50x will probably seem like alot for them.

It is x50 times better than old built in soundcards tough! Used once recently and at first I thought something was misconfigured or broken (I've been using Audigy2 and X-Fi since their respective launch date, so I'm not used to crappy sound :P ). Then I realised nothing was "wrong" and decided it wasn't worth playing on that machine as I had intended (thief, a game where good sound is essential). The whole experience would have been ruined imo :(


hmmm
By Comdrpopnfresh on 1/23/2007 1:23:54 AM , Rating: 3
I bought an x-fi card. I bought it partly because it sported upgradeable firmware and software, so will my card see the leap to vista? I hope it won't be incompatible with asus mobos with vista than in xp, or incompatible with everything else (even itself at times) for that matter...




RE: hmmm
By archange75 on 1/23/2007 8:19:17 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder whether the lower frame rates achieved on Vista, as compared to XP (immature graphics drivers aside) are partly due to the lack of hardware audio acceleration...


RE: hmmm
By ObscureCaucasian on 1/23/2007 11:22:13 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't get any noticeable drop in frame rate in F.E.A.R. going from XP to Vista RC1


What happened to my old A3D???
By dice1111 on 1/23/2007 10:15:46 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure all of those who had an Areal card with A3D support in Half-Life 1 back in the day, can attest to the awesome potential of 3D audio positioning. Areal got suffed out and A3D seemed to have disapeared with it. Only now i seems EAX is catching up to what A3D was back then.

Anyone know whatever happened to it? Did Creative but it? Because if they did, it sure doesn't sound like it (pun intended).




RE: What happened to my old A3D???
By Snoop on 1/23/2007 1:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
Creative bought out the patents and shelved it (a3d) along with A3D 2.0, which is a real shame.


RE: What happened to my old A3D???
By guwd1 on 1/25/2007 8:21:42 AM , Rating: 2
That kind of crap happens all the time, sadly. One wish there could be laws against patents made to gain monopoly by " removing " or preventing use of competing technologies. That's not what patents are for. There are lots of excelent solutions that sits on a shelf somewhere and won't ever see the light of day because of greedy buissnes men(/woman) :(

It's an insult to those who are hard at work trying to improve our living standard and/or general resource efficiency. Take the 100year lightbulb for example. The lightbulb companies got scared that proffit would decline dramastically and bought the patent. Now they're just sitting on it, doing nothing >:(
You can't even tell for sure that profit would really decline, you could sell them for a MUCH MUCH higher price. Not having to change your lightbulb at home EVER (unless you happen to break it), has to be worth something right!


Vista's bad!?
By WayneG on 1/23/07, Rating: 0
RE: Vista's bad!?
By michal1980 on 1/23/07, Rating: 0
RE: Vista's bad!?
By Snipester on 1/23/2007 7:55:49 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the guy who says microsoft codes drivers is correct. Especially audio drivers. Creative is horrible and so is realtek.


RE: Vista's bad!?
By michal1980 on 1/23/2007 8:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
I never said that the drivers of creative were good.


my point was that windows vista, is moving to a much more SOFTWARE based solution, creativ with the 'bad' drivers. I would call them bad because they are very hit or miss. If you get them to work, they work good.
But creative and to some extent realtek wanted to offload the sound proccessing to the sound card.

With windows vista. Most sound processing is going to be done IN windows on the CPU. For most applications, the sound card will only convert the digital signal to analog so you can hear it. That old creative card will now do as much as an onboard card... It might/will sound better because of better S/N ratios, but outside of that, its doing nothing.


I'm waiting...
By Captain Orgazmo on 1/24/2007 12:01:56 AM , Rating: 2
...until there is a fully Vista supported PCI-e sound card under $100 from Creative before I toss my fantastic Audigy 2 ZS. X-Fi is useless just like Audigy 4 was (BTW, was Audigy 3 skipped or something?).




RE: I'm waiting...
By guwd1 on 1/25/2007 8:40:10 AM , Rating: 2
It might happen, given the new PCIe2.0 standard. The problem with PCIe 1 is that they improved bandwith and scalability but increased latency too. The latency in PCIe 2 was half of PCIe 1 if I remember correctly(?). And Audigy 2 was great indeed. With updated drivers to the Aud2 it had excellent sound. Havn't noticed any MAJOR improvement going from Aud2 to X-Fi, so you're perfectly fine sticking to it atleast until X-Fi2 (or whatever) comes along I think.

(As a side note; I recommend turning SVM off in X-Fi, it's nice sometimes but effectivly boosts the sound level of static, making it quite audiable. This happens when you ain't listening to anything or source levels are low.)


WTF
By gramboh on 1/23/2007 11:08:19 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
In order to take advantage of the ALchemy Project OpenAL wrapper the installer copies a few necessary files into each game directory.


This reminds me of DOS 6.22 days and messing around with DOS4GW.exe to get games to load with low memory.

Buying a top of the line soundcard and having to config EVERY game with .ini/.dll manually is ridicolous, I hope Creative loses a ton of money/marketshare and there is more competition, I hate CL (and yes, I have an Audigy).




RE: WTF
By Bluestealth on 1/23/2007 11:39:37 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously why are you bitching about creative, they didn't create the problem, at least they are trying to form a solution. They could have just left EAX not working in Vista and moved on to another sound card, it wouldn't be the first time they did that.


Good bye HAl
By scrapsma54 on 1/23/2007 9:16:56 AM , Rating: 2
I think vista's main focus is to encourage Software developers to have their software be able to access hardware when they want, however they want in real time to reduce latency and enable devs to power incredible stuff. Dx10 seems like a prime example of this. I feel like vista will be a promising os for its security and simplicity.




This is awesome
By Myrandex on 1/23/2007 9:44:38 AM , Rating: 2
I don't buy a high end sound card to be forced to render everything in software. I like Vista a lot but that was one thing that I was not excited about. Maybe this is a reason for the delay in Vista drivers for the X-Fi, they have been working on this.




Biased News Post
By JarrettV on 1/23/2007 10:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
This news post seems biased against Microsoft in favor of Creative.
quote:
overcome Microsoft’s audio limitations in Windows Vista
I'm no fan of Microsoft (and their pro DRM OS) but they've done some major improvements to the audio stack. Rather than create limitations, they've opened up plenty of new possibilities in the sound processing arena.

See thread on avsforum for more details:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=71...




By bollwerk on 1/23/2007 7:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'll stick with other brands until Creative gets their act together and provides DDL or DTS encoding onboard (and not with a seperate addon).




Diablo 2?
By LordTerrin on 1/25/2007 8:36:08 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously..... Diablo 2? Wtf?




WTF
By gramboh on 1/23/2007 11:08:22 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
In order to take advantage of the ALchemy Project OpenAL wrapper the installer copies a few necessary files into each game directory.


This reminds me of DOS 6.22 days and messing around with DOS4GW.exe to get games to load with low memory.

Buying a top of the line soundcard and having to config EVERY game with .ini/.dll manually is ridicolous, I hope Creative loses a ton of money/marketshare and there is more competition, I hate CL (and yes, I have an Audigy).




"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein











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