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Creative any better?

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by imashination, 25 Apr 2010.

  1. imashination

    Gangster

    Joined: 2 Oct 2003

    Posts: 106

    Location: St Albans

    All my experiences of creative soundcards have largely been bad; bloated drivers, silly childish interfaces, pushing eax on an industry that didnt want it, my external NX 2 died twice, they refused to provide vista/ win7 drivers for the cards I did have etc.

    Last time I tried one was 3 years ago. Right now I have a gigayte UD3 motherboard and as expected the onboard sound pretty much sucks. The main issue being I can heard plenty of interference whenever the harddrives are accessed.

    All Im after is a simple sound card with low noise and thats it. Ive no need for 7.1, no sound in. I just want it high quality and to get out my way; so no mountain of taskbar icons, no 50 meg driver package loading at bootup, no monthly reminders to register. Just install, sound good and get out of my way. Oh and last time I wanted to install a driver, they refused to offer downloadable drivers, only offering small update patches, that was a huge turn off.

    Have creative improved or should I expect the same old crap?
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2010
  2. Eddie

    Mobster

    Joined: 13 Feb 2006

    Posts: 4,828

    Location: --->

    Well I have the Creative Titanium job twinned with T20s (2.0) and think it's a superb combination. I've never had any driver issues and games work perfectly fine under Win7 x64. I don't see the Creative drivers as bloat tbh, as all I use is the Creative Control Panel.

    Other people will disagree I suppose, but for me, I couldn't be happier and don't see the need to change for a good while yet.
     
  3. MaxP779

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Mar 2009

    Posts: 1,032

    Location: Glasgow

    Ehh maybe you should try a xonar instead, creative have improved in that you shouldnt expect a bluescreen when using their drivers but they are still bloated and the company itself still pushes EAX as if its relevant.

    Xonar DS or DX would likely suit you, the control panel for it is quick and lightweight, the interface imo is decent, its never annoyed me.
     
  4. Eddie

    Mobster

    Joined: 13 Feb 2006

    Posts: 4,828

    Location: --->

    I'm not being an **** but I don't see how Creative drivers on their own can be classed as bloated. All I install is the standard driver from Windows Update and the job's a good 'un. I am willing to be educated on this though :D

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not standing up for Creative, heaven forbid! :p I'm just talking of my own personal experience.
     
  5. mod1fied

    Hitman

    Joined: 11 Dec 2007

    Posts: 639

    Location: Borstal, Kent

    Just my experience but I had to ditch my X-Fi for a Xonar because of crashes caused by it.

    High pitch whine emitted from the speakers everytime. Took the bugger out and it stopped crashing. Looks to be caused by nvidia GFX + 4GB RAM + X-FI. Oh well :)
     
  6. Eddie

    Mobster

    Joined: 13 Feb 2006

    Posts: 4,828

    Location: --->

    Ah I see, I suppose you can only judge these things on your own experiences at the end of the day. I know Creative used to be a nightmare a few years back but (imo) they are definitely getting better.

    Like I say, I love my card and speakers and never once have I had any issues (touches wood quick! ;) ).
     
  7. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 75,332

    Running Win 7 64bit, nVidia SLI, nForce chipset, 4Gig of RAM - everything you'd expect to cause problems with an X-Fi but my extreme music works flawlessy. The beta drivers for win 7 did cause some pops/crackling but with the latest ones its fine.
     
  8. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11,178

    If you don't want 7.1, are you using stereo speakers? Also are you looking for any surround sound virtualisation with headphones? or are you just looking for good quality stereo sound, nothing more?

    If so, M-Audio's 2496 pro audio card might be worth considering. It doesn't have the fancy EAX, CMSS 3D or Dolby stuff, just good quality stereo output.
     
  9. ghutchison14078

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Apr 2010

    Posts: 1,528

    I just got the X-Fi Fatl1ty pro, using that through my logitech Z-2300's...had absolutely no sound issues at all.

    Never had a xonar so i cant comment on the comparison between audio quality but I think the X-fi sounds excellent (games and music)
     
  10. Superficial

    Mobster

    Joined: 29 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,054

    Location: London

    bought the X-FI extreme gamer a month ago for the rig in my sig with W7 64-bit and its been perfect. I got the card for £35 refurbished too which is even better.

    genuinely not had the slightest problem
     
  11. TALON1973

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jul 2004

    Posts: 4,953

    Location: llanelli , south wales

    you say your after high quality sound mate .... what speakers are you using ? or do you have a good quality set of cans ? you could go down the dac route and avoid pc soundcards .. just got hold of the musical fidelty v-dac ... made a big differnce to onboard sound .. just want a graham slee solo headphone amp now :D
     
  12. adrichardson81

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 6 Dec 2007

    Posts: 1,261

    Location: Cambridge

    I had a similar experience to Mod1fied - ditched my Fatal1ty in frustration over game crashes (and the general state of drivers when Vista shipped). They're not as bad as they used to be on the compatibility/driver front, but in terms of sound quality they don't come close to Asus/Auzentech.
     
  13. imashination

    Gangster

    Joined: 2 Oct 2003

    Posts: 106

    Location: St Albans

    Im hooked up with a Marantz amp and a pair of B&W speakers. Ive no intention of going to surround any time soon, this machine really is 90% music, most of my games are muted whilst i listen ;-)

    That was the other thing i remember from last time i had a few creative cards. Pick the wrong pci slot at your own peril and watch your machine bluescreen
     
  14. gurusan

    Capodecina

    Joined: 2 Sep 2006

    Posts: 13,489

    Location: Portland, OR

    If it's 90% music I would go for the M-audio 2496
     
  15. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11,178

    I Second that.
     
  16. imashination

    Gangster

    Joined: 2 Oct 2003

    Posts: 106

    Location: St Albans

    Oh, balls, im a little short on pci slots -_- Its going to have to be pcie
     
  17. Simon42

    Hitman

    Joined: 11 Dec 2006

    Posts: 730

    I've had good experiences with Creative cards, but even now there is a lot of additional software that it's best to avoid. I just stick with the basic driver and control panel. I've even seen their auto-update application suggest installing software that's not applicable for the OS!
     
    Last edited: 1 May 2010