Old 20th February 2002, 18:43   #1
Major Dude
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 702
Why NOT to buy anything from Creative

Why NOT to buy anything from Creative:

Lies about what the hardware can acutally do.


Here, we have a Creative employee clearly stating that the Audigy is not capable of 24bit playback.

"The Audigy is not capable of playing back 24 Bit"


But be warned, the Audigy's ability to support 24-bit/ 96-kHz sound is very relative. Unlike the DMX 6Fire 24/96, the Audigy Platinum is not a "true" 24/96 and cannot play or record a file of this quality, nor even work on it. Actually, the only task it does in 96 kHz is a linkup with another device via the S/PDIF input. The card and rack components are all supposed to be 24-bit/ 96-kHz-compatible, but, in practice, the card is limited to 16 bits/ 48 kHz. Analog recording and restitution is possible in 24 bits/ 48 kHz, but, in fact, the processor downsamples in 16 bits and then upsamples. The card also has to be used with the sample rate conversion (SRC) software provided in order to work in 44.1 kHz. It's just a pity that Creative has not given this product an automatic SRC hardware option by using, say, a Cirrus Logic CS8420 chip. And it's really a pity that the card is not completely 24-bit/ 96-kHz-compatible.
Now, as we know, on the Audigy retail boxes, they advertise it with a very noticable 24bit sign. And Arny Krueger, the person who runs the PCAVTech website( http://www.pcavtech.com/ ) has said the Audigy has not exposed any 24bit interface. Draw your own conclusions as to what Creative is doing. Can anyone say FALSE ADVERTISING or what? Arny hasn't released his Audigy testing results yet. If you want to see a comparison of soundcards:

Next, we shall visit the 3DSoundsurge forums, specifically the Audigy forum, Live Center's Audigy forum and the Alive Audigy forum.




Notice not one, not 2, but NUMEROUS complaints about the Audigy.


Creative may have designed the Sound Blaster Live! and its drivers to utilize the PCI bus inefficiently, or pushed it close to the PCI specs' limits that makes it sensitive to differing PCI bus & timings. Here's a quote from Pinnacle Systems, a company specializing in video capture solutions which have problems with Sound Blaster cards (taken from page 3 of the test report):

"According to Pinnacles observations, Liveware seems to permanently transfer null-bytes over the PCI bus to the SB Live, even at times when it does not have to play notes. In the worst case, this destroys up to 30 % of a system's PCI bandwidth (that's why we noticed it on video-capturing ...). Deactivating SB Live's MIDI functions stops this behavior."

PCI timing, which seems to be somewhat critical anyway, is extremely burdened in such a case, thus making the error rate explode. And what's got Creative Support to say? Right: nothing!

Sounds like bad driver programming, or inefficiencies in the EMU10K1 design, requiring it to be fed useless null-bytes to keep it operating. Either way, the SBLive! is a PCI bus hog.
Audigy also inherits this PCI bus hogging "feature", expect a lot of fun when the PCI bus is overloaded(no matter what chipset you use, Intel or VIA).


They really love to sabotage Winamp.


1) Creative Lab's portable Nomad plugin : gen_nomad.dll

Silently installed without the user's knowledege by Creative PlayCenter2
(included with the SBLive Soundcard CD-ROM)
and PlayCenter3 (included with the SBAudigy Soundcard CD-ROM)

Main problem:
Winamp cannot be maximized once it has been minimized to the tray

Other reported issues:
Sections of main Winamp window disappear
Scrollbar & time display no longer functioning
Oscilloscope/Analyzer immobilized
Causes memory and resource leaks
Crashes Winamp and freezes Windows

There should be an option in the plugins config screen to ban this evil plugin
Maybe with a further option to unban it if the user really wants to use it?
According to Creative Labs, it actually works for them, but I'm having none of it.
I'm still convinced this is a deliberate act of sabotage to try make people ditch Winamp and use Creative PlayCenter instead.
This problem has been reported to Creative many many times, and yet the damn dll is still included in Playcenter 3 in the Audigy driver cd.


Basically, Creative support is beyond hopeless. They acknowledged there is a problem, but nothing has been done to fix it.


Another thread on Winamp forums to deal with people having troubles with the Audigy and Winamp. NO OTHER soundcards have a thread specifically just to help Winamp users, just the Audigy.


4100+ people already signed this petition, need I say more? Will you be the next to sign after purchasing something from Creative?

Also, for Win2k users, I'm sure they remember how long it took for Creative to even release the WDM Win2k drivers for Live. And even with the latest Audigy WDM Win2k/XP drivers, there's still quite a lot of issues unresolved. Creative's driver team is just as bad if not worse than a certain video card company's driver team.


Creative Media Driver for Audigy on WindowsUpdate
by Thomas McGuire @ 6:21 pm - [Comments]
Got an email in from Samuele Ruggieri (Associate Expert) regarding the Creative Media Driver available on WindowsUpdate. Here we go;

Trust me, you NEED the Media Driver listed on Windows Update, I checked the driver version & it is against the October/January xp update which is (even older than the drivers contained in my Audigy OEM disc). This is an excerpt from Creative october drivers:

; Modified Date: 10 September 2001
; Version:

& this is from the Windows Update drivers:

; Modified Date: 15 November 2001
; Version:

It looks like a big leap to me. The new drivers solved an issue I was having with directsound playback, but unfortunately they broke the Surround Mixer. Creative behaviour is just ridicolous: they finished writing these drivers on November, & the only driver available on their site is still the October one.

"New" Audigy Driver updates
by Thomas McGuire @ 8:05 am - [Comments]
Harvey Fong from Creative made a post on the Audigy Newsgroup a while back regarding the "new" Audigy Drivers;

As many of you have already discovered the drivers that were posted today at the Americas & Soundblaster.com sites differ very little from those that have previously been posted. As a matter of fact they came very much as a surprise to us in the Western Hemisphere.

After tracking down a few people, it turned out there really is a change but of little impact to most users in this NG. The change is related to an ATI issue that only affected users of Japanese Windows.
Download now from Creative if you haven't installed the previous October web release. To put it bluntly this is ridiculous. The last Driver release was in October, so in the past 3 months Creative have "managed" to just fix a problem for those with ATI Graphics Cards running Japanese Windows? If you take a look around on the Newsgroup itself you'll find plenty far more worthy problems worth fixing.
That said some good news was to be read as well, that being Harvey also said he's requested a change log be posted in new Driver releases (Something I've whinged about myself, it would have avoided most of the mess yesterday).
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Old 20th February 2002, 18:44   #2
Major Dude
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 702


Creative Audigy's "Squeal of Death" Locks Up PCs

Creative Technology Ltd.'s latest Audigy sound cards seem to be plagued by an elusive "squeal of death" that is causing random lockups in PCs using the card and the latest Windows operating systems.
The error was reproduced Friday at the company's Singapore headquarters, as well as at Creative's testing and support facility in the U.S. So far, Creative has neither identified a cause for the glitch nor a single unified solution to work around the problem.

The problem has been characterized as "severe," according to representatives at Creative.

The bug seems to lurk only in the interaction between the Audigy and either the Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating systems. After several minutes of normal operation, the screen will freeze with either several shrill beeps or a prolonged screech, forcing the PC to be rebooted.

No single operation seems to cause the problem; MP3 playback will cause the error on one machine, while others have found that a certain game, not MP3s, cause the glitch. The problem has even occurred on demo software Creative has shipped with the card, according to a poster on Dell's support site. The bug has not affected PCs running Windows ME.

"We have not been able to really isolate what is really causing the problem," said Mala Sharma, a representative of Creative's brand management team in Milpitas, Calif.

However, Sharma said that it appears to be a bus resource issue, such as when too many applications attempt to access the card.

Sharma said that, so far, "less than 50" calls have been received by the Oklahoma technical support facility, and possibly up to another 50 by support staff in the United Kingdom and Europe. Still, the bug has prompted hundreds of postings on Creative's support site in the U.K. alone. An online petition asking for better support from Creative has also been created.

On Monday, Creative added the bug to its "Knowledge Base," and advised users to update their drivers and check the card's available resources.

Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, Tex., has also received complaints from users who have added an after-market Audigy card to the Dimension 4100, 4300, and 8300 lines, among others. Dell currently only sells Creative's SoundBlaster Live! line of sound cards, which has not been affected by the "squeal of death". A Dell representative in Round Rock, Tex., said he had no knowledge of the issue.

"I think the problem would be (in) the drivers," wrote 'hkwk', a poster on the Creative U.K. site, who said he had installed Windows 2000, XP and ME on his computer and found only the ME OS was free of the bug. "I tried to install the beta version on the link above, reinstalling the driver, update the BIOS, reinstalling the windows, almost everything. But the problem still exists. What I want to know is how to fix this, and how come creative lab (sic) wouldn't notice this problem?"

Other posters have noted that the bug doesn't seem tied to a particular microprocessor or chipset.

Creative hasn't acknowledged the bug as a driver problem, but has come up with a laundry list of potential solutions, including: changing the card's PCI slot; turning off the PC's ACPI power management; using the DirectSound plugins for WinAmp, an MP3 player; reinstalling WinAmp; and, finally, getting the Audigy replaced. One user adjusted the settings of his parallel port and was able to eliminate the squealing sound and the lockups.

Some users have also taken the bizarre step of running two Creative sound cards, a SoundBlaster Live! and Audigy card, in the same system. Others have purchased and installed a 3COM 3C905C-TX network interface card, which has seemed to eliminate the squeal.

Sharma said that Steve Erickson, Creative's vice-president in charge of consumer audio products, had been notified of the problem. "I'm sure since the vice-president has been notified, that the engineering team will have all the resources they need to solve the problem," she said.

Of course, no solution will be timely enough for some frustrated users, who have reported problems since late November. "Oh well, the time has come to forget all Creative products for good," wrote one. "And yes I do mean it - plenty of working sound cards out there!"
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