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Is Creative Labs following ATI's example of commitment to software updates? AC3win2K  

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
*MKANET standing on his soapbox* http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

Is it me, or is Creative Lab's aiming for the same standards and principles for software updates as ATI? I gave up on ATI a long time ago... since the Rage Fury. However, I may have to also give up on Creative Labs and just move on to a card manufacturer who has the Nvidia/Maudio 24/96 principles/standards on software updates.

------------------
-Michael
mkanet@yahoo.com

[This message has been edited by mkanet (edited 05-26-2001).]
post #2 of 21
I also have ben especially unimpressed with creative. I mean just look at the driver updates, the live drivers for win2000 were created in july last year surely a lot has changed since then. I used to be very impressed by 3dfxs driver updates, easy to install, regular, and reliable. I've found nvidias to not be as regular or stable often requiring the use of beta drivers.
(rant over)

Martin

[This message has been edited by deeopey (edited 05-26-2001).]
post #3 of 21
I guess they don't want to spend the money.

I can do the same thing.
post #4 of 21
I fear they are working on the next Live, and have given up on for instance the SMP problem. It seems it is unfixable and hardware related issue.

If my rumors are correct, they plan on a emu10k2 same fancy mixer and no real 3D audio processor (like aureal, quadsound, sensaura etc). If only nvidia would release their x-box audio technology then we would get:

sensaura with ZoomFX & macro FX
Dolby Digital encoding (!)
perfect win2k drivers (x-box is based off of win2k)
good future driver updates (for winXP)
linux support?
64 true 3D hardware accellerated audio streams

they have not desided yet, read this respond I got from nvidia:

"We are sorry but we do not plan on releasing the PCI portion of the MCPX as
an audio card. The audio is part of an integrated chipset and is not a
separate chip. We may branch out in the future and focus on other sectors
but at this time, we do not plan on making dedicated sound cards for the
PC. Thank you for your interest however.

Regards,
Webmaster"

if you want them to make a PCI audio card, please send email to http://mailto:info@nvidia.com and hopefully they will change their minds http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
post #5 of 21
Nvidia are hardly a shinning example for driver updates, they haven't updated their drivers for about a year. I do agree that Creative need to get their act together very quickly. Apart from the good old Roland LAPC1 I've only ever owned Sound Blasters, but even I've just about had enough. I'll probably place an order for the BEST HTPC audio card next week. I don't think that you are familiar with the Terratec EWX 24/96 in the US.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffY:
... they haven't updated their drivers for about a year.
I don't know where you have been the last year, but I have seen them gone from version 6.3* to version 12.* the last year. Maybe not all of them public, but they aren't hard to get..


------------------
-Torgeir
post #7 of 21
Folks,

Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't a product that you didn't need to update the drivers on be more desireable than one that had a new version every month or so?

It's a sad state of affairs indeed if we expect and install new drivers every couple of weeks. I for one would rater be using my HTPC than fixing it.

While I agree that the missing SPDIF passthru in W2k is annoying, and I suffer fom this as well, SP2 was only released on May 16th. That's only 10 days ago. Having read several reports of the Wave out fix being questionable in SP2 it's not unreasonable for Creative to wait and see if this fix was really going to be there, before shifting resources (people) to work on the problem. What we don't know is the internal workings of the Live drivers and how easy or not it is to retro-fit the wave out passthru fix. I agree that a company with creative resources should have done a far better job of informing the user base what is going on. Usually a lack of communiction like this means one of two things. Either they don't know when the fix will be available or they know it won't be available. It could also be down to plain incompetence, but let's hope not.

I for one will be giving Creative the benefit of the doubt for the next month or so and then if there is no new drivers or information then I will be flamming them along with the rest of you.

Until then I just stick to WindowsME.

------------------
------------
Simon Wilson
My Naff Home Page
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Pivot is right. That is why I mentioned them (Nvidia) There is a reason why Nvidia doesn't keep a tight lid on their leaked drivers. They know people like to try enhancements and bug fixes before they are officially released.

Currently, I am running Detonator driver 12.40 with directx 8.1 which is their most solid driver yet. Plus, they still manage to make sure these drivers work with their older display adaptors as well.

There was a time where Creative would release beta drivers pretty regularly on their web site back in 1998-1999. I dont know what happened after that. Possibly, because they also had to support their non-audio card products as well and may have been too much for them.

However, I REALLY would like to know why they flat out lied to the public in this article at Tech Extreme. Jared Peck, Senior Technical Coordinator at Creative Labs was quoted saying that Service Pack 2 would fix the ac-3 passthrough problem with software based DVD players under Win2k. I emailed their PR department, but I never got a response from them.


[This message has been edited by mkanet (edited 05-26-2001).]
post #9 of 21
So based on the Tech Extreme article we can conclude that the problem is now down two one of two things.

1. The support was NEVER in the drivers and Creative hoped that Microsoft wouldn't issue the fix in SP2, thus keeping the issue hidden.

2. The support was already in the drivers, but could never be tested as Windows 2000 didn't support it and now that Windows 200 does support it the reason it doesn't work is due to a bug.

Giving Creative the benefit of the doubt, we assume numver 2 and hope that the silence is down to embarrassment and that they have resource on this working feaverishly to provide a fix.

I still think that 10 day is a little early to be calling them outright liars.

If you are reading this Creative, PLEASE just tell us what the REAL situation is. I promise we won't bite http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

------------------
------------
Simon Wilson
My Naff Home Page
post #10 of 21
Hi All:

___First off, if anyone has not noticed, the Live cards are not a high quality sound solution for every HTPC’er but one that works for millions of satisfied owners and I just happen to be one of them. I also use the M-Audio’s in my HTPC’s right along side for all HQ sound output options. When I am going to fire up a few X-planes in the title “Crimson’s Skies†or blowup a few Mech’s in Mech Warrior 4, the Live Value II does everything it was supposed to even under Windows 2000. When I am playing back a DVD, CD-Audio, or MP3’s, the M-Audio gets the nod.

___The second thing to ask is what < $50.00 card can give you AC-3 pass-thru/DTS from Windows 2000 today? I have passed on the links to the hack that makes the non-5.1’sas well as the 5.1 Live cards work under Windows 2000 many times and have described why no one should pay for the X-Gamers/MP3 +’s, Live Full’s, Platinum’s, and all the 5.1’s many times. This is a gaming card first and foremost with HTPC output as an afterthought.

___As for driver updates, have any of you tried to run a MS game with the M-Audio card’s? Has anyone read the newsgroups in regards to the XP Gamer’s drivers? The Creative Live Ware 2.0 - 3.0 driver/application has been re-issued I believe 3 times in the last 18 months. There are native Windows 98 drivers, native Millennium drivers, and rather featureless Windows 2000 drivers. The only true problem from most that have used them is under Windows 2000 and an SMP box. For HTPC’ers on an extreme budget, what is the problem? Currently, there are only 3 sets of card manufacturers I know of that can do DD/DTS under Windows 2000. The Creative Live Full’s, Live Value II’s, X-Gamer’s, MP3 +’s, Platinum’s with hacks and the 5.1’s with and without the hacks while using a player such as PowerDVD 3.0.xxx. The M-Audio DiO/AP2496’s, and the Guillemot XP Gamer are included in this list as well. What more can you ask for? Do the Live cards take a hack to output AC-3 or DTS? The non 5.1’s do under all circumstances. Will they only pass DD/DTS under Windows 2000 with PowerDVD 3.0.xxx? Yes that I know of. The M-Audio cards can only use WinDVD 2000 and PowerDVD 2.55.0620 or prior … The 15 seconds it takes to install the Windows 2000 AC-3 pass-thru hack for PowerDVD 3.0.xxx with a Live card is nothing compared to the many hours we have spent attempting to make the ATI player in particular display properly… Think about this before replying. You can make these cards work properly under Windows 2000 if you have to and at only $40.00, why would anyone complain. There is still something fundamentally broken with either SP2, WinDVD 2000, PowerDVD 2.xx.xxx or 3.0.xxx, and especially the ATI player.

___I guess what I am trying to say is the Creative cards can give you some of what you want under Windows 2000 but you will have to use workarounds just as anyone using the M-Audio’s and the Guillemot’s have to use. MS blew it in regards to AC-3 pass-thru when they created Windows 2000 and only until SP2 Beta, there was nothing any of us could do about it. At least the AC-3 hacks get the $40.00 card owners what they need albeit under a particular subset of players. If you don’t want to deal with a $40.00 sound card and its drivers under Windows 2000, purchase another card and wait for Windows 2000 drivers that work for it. You are more than likely still waiting whereas the Live card owners have had AC-3 pass-thru for over 4 months even without SP’s to Windows 2000. Maybe the most prudent thing to do is to use Windows Millennium and you will not have any AC-3 pass-thru/DTS issues to deal with except for the MS’s consumer OS’s (98/98 SE/Millennium) intermediate term instabilities which any Windows 2000 user knows all to much about.

___Good Luck with whatever card or OS you decide to choose.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___ xcel@midwest.idsonline.com

------------------
New E-Mail address for the time being ... waynegerdes@earthlink.net
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Im one of the many people who have successfully used the ac3 hack for several months now with PowerDVD 3.

Xcel, remember digital ac3/DTS passthrough on a Live! card (using the optional digital daughter card which I use) sounds just as good as a 24bit audio card; bits are bits. It's the resampling of analog PCM audio that is not that great.

My main complaint is that Creative is pulling an "ATI" on us for up to date Win2k support. Other sound card manufacturers did their homework when they were supposed to in respect to SP2. I am certain Creative has been bugged enough about this issue before SP2 gold was even released and did nothing about it. I am looking forward to WinDVD 3 which I'm afraid I wont be able to to use ac3 passthrough with under Win2k with it.

Xcel, you right that I do need to breakdown and just get a card with better driver support and is more aware of customer needs. It is my opinion however, that it is silly to have two sound cards as a complete HTPC/game machine solution.

Xcel, if I have misinformation, please dont flame me http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

------------------
-Michael
mkanet@yahoo.com
post #12 of 21
Hi Michael:

___Do not worry about any flames http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

___The problem arises as to which card do you purchase for a HQ sound from Windows 2000 from both a gamer and HTPC’ers perspective? I listed only two other manufacturers that can provide us with AC-3 pass-thru under Windows 2000. Maybe there will be or are more today but currently, you have achieved AC-3 pass-thru for this many months with your Live card while waiting for somebody else to do it better and no one has. Only M-Audio has released a decent set Windows 2000 WDM drivers for use with SP2/SP2 beta for us and the AP2496/DiO 2496 are most certainly not gaming cards. The Guillemot has a better PCM and gaming sound than the Live cards but it is a bit buggy for gamers and cannot match the M-Audio for HTPC outputs. This is where the often complained about Live Value II for < $50.00 lye’s. Not only do you have the best Gaming compatibility of any card made today but you also have AC-3 pass-thru under Windows 2000 albeit from a small list of SW DVD players. I would love to own a single 24/96 Professional card with EAX and A3D AC97/99 compatibility but it does not exist in any form I can find. Even if it did, it had better cost less than $250.00 or you might as well purchase a Live Value II and an M-Audio AP2496 to achieve the best of both worlds. Until someone else comes along and topples this solution for the HTPC’ing Gamer, I truly believe the M-Audio AP2496 along with the inexpensive Live Value II is a great choice.

___I currently do not know why the various manufacturers of sound cards have problems with the various SW DVD players under various Windows 2000 builds just yet but neither should anyone of us Windows 2000 HTPC’ers care that much about it. We have already achieved almost the same compatibility that we have come accustomed to under Win 98/98 SE/Millennium and most of us are enjoying our choice quite satisfactorily http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif Not only do we have gaming HTPC’s that can compete against the best MS Consumer based OS’s to date, we definitely have longer term stability and a truly preemptive multitasking OS to take care of more mundane tasks without rebooting every few days.

___As for where Creative should be placing their resources … Do you remember the posts on the upcoming Creative cards last month? If I were Creative, I would be placing my efforts in the next generation of cards as well.

___Lastly, if you can afford an accessDTV card, you most certainly can afford an M-Audio AP2496. Do the “bits is bits†test in a side by side for yourself. This is all I have ever asked of anyone that has not heard a professional card vs. a Live of any type in a side by side.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___ xcel@midwest.idsonline.com

------------------
New E-Mail address for the time being ... waynegerdes@earthlink.net

[This message has been edited by xcel (edited 05-27-2001).]
post #13 of 21
Im one of the many people who have successfully used the ac3 hack for several months now with PowerDVD 3.


I tried this and it absolutely tore power DVD functionality on my system up. I couldn't get X-Men to play very well with AC-3 turned on. If I turned it off X-men played just fine.


Xcel, remember digital ac3/DTS passthrough on a Live! card (using the optional digital daughter card which I use) sounds just as good as a 24bit audio card; bits are bits.

Oh no! Here goes this argument again. I've stated my opinion on this issue. I guess we will hear somemore now.


Xcel, you right that I do need to breakdown and just get a card with better driver support and is more aware of customer needs. It is my opinion however, that it is silly to have two sound cards as a complete HTPC/game machine solution.

Especially if you were promised an all in one solution on the box.

Xcel, did you say that there are problems with the Rage Theater card? I was thinking about purchasing one when the price drops to around $39 - $45 bucks. But I'm not forkin over that kind of cash for another disaster like the Live Value I have in my system now. Crackle pop crackle pop.

I've had some bad luck with sound cards. I bought an mx-300 Diamond card and tried to get a mx-25(addon) for digital sound but never found one at a reasonable price before support for the product was dropped.

Tim
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your time Wayne.

Since I need to go to the store and buy a cheap analog tuner card for dScaler, I WILL breakdown and also get a mpact 24/96 card as well.

I just have two questions:

1) What do I need specifically for the Mpact card have optical/coax ins and outs?

2) What's the difference in game support under win2k between the Live! and Mpact card if I dont even use EAX/A3d. I have had an annoying bug with EAX where some sound effects are just way too loud...doesn't matter what game or OS Im using. I think it may have something to do with the optical card Im using. However, I do use the Suround sound feature in games that do have it.


------------------
-Michael
mkanet@yahoo.com
post #15 of 21
Hi Tim:

___PowerDVD 3.0.1116 worked great for me with a Live Value II in both DD and DTS under Windows 2000 with TRIX’s the first and last AC-3 hack applied.

___As far as “bits is bits†… I myself am pulled back and forth but can say that the Pro cards sound better to me while using both PCM and AC-3 pass-thru. Why would WinDVD sound any different than either PowerDVD or the ATI player? Its simply a pass-thru stream, right?

___The one item about the Live’s is that Creative had made mention that the Live’s do not have AC-3 pass-thru capability under Windows 2000 as little as two months ago. That was the last time I checked the Windows 2000 FAQ over on their site until last week that is. Now they do offer Windows 2000 support directly but only if you purchase their lousy speaker solution directly. Does the latest Creative 5.1 retail packages state otherwise?

___The Rage chipsets have a poor output when compared to the Nvidia TNT’s all the way through the GeForce2’s and Radeon’s. I remember seeing the differences in a side by side of the various cards including the Rage Fury, Creative TNT, Creative TNT2 Ultra, and a Hollywood Plus ~ two years ago. I was viewing a scene from “Analyze This†when the black Cadillac’s were driving up in front of the house in one of the first chapters. You could easily see the poor rendering and aliasing in the reflections on the hoods of those Caddy’s with the Rage Fury vs. the Nvidia cards as well as the Hollywood +. The TNT’s had the best output of the bunch with the Hollywood + behind them and the Rage Fury in fourth. This was on a PII 300 @ 504 MHz with the invulnerable ATI 1.028 player upgraded to the 1.0.32 engine for AC-3 pass-thru.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___ xcel@midwest.idsonline.com

------------------
New E-Mail address for the time being ... waynegerdes@earthlink.net
post #16 of 21
Hi Michael:

___You are talking about an M-Audio AP2496, right? The AP2496 does not have optical outputs but a breakout cable with S/PDIF I/O’s via COAX as well as MIDI. If you need TosLink, you either need the more expensive DiO 2496 or a rather expensive add on TosLink adapter for the AP2496 which makes it just as costly if not more than the DiO 2496 itself.

___The M-Audio has no 4-speaker sound capabilities at all as well as problems outputting any sound from MS games on my setup in particular. I do not know what the problem is here but if someone has successfully used an M-Audio for MS “Motocross Madness†or “Madness IIâ€, “Crimson Skiesâ€, “Monster Truck IIâ€, I would appreciate it. I have yet to try “Mech Warrior 4 Vengeanceâ€, “Midtown Madness 2â€, or “Combat Flight Simulator†but they probably act the same as well.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___ xcel@midwest.idsonline.com

------------------
New E-Mail address for the time being ... waynegerdes@earthlink.net

[This message has been edited by xcel (edited 05-27-2001).]
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Now I see why you have two sound cards http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

All this time, I thought that the Mpact card was compatible with all video games, except without EAX support (which I never use). I was hoping for an all in one solution...just without EAX. I dont mind the extra expensive Toslink addon card.

Unfortunately, I dont have enough PCI slots to add an Mpact card AND an analog capture card to my system while keeping my SB Live!. I will keep my SB Live! until either CL comes out with an updated driver for Win2k with ac3 passthrough capabilties for winDVD or a brand new Creative Labs 24/96 card with 3d audio support...and of coarse ac3 passthrough for WinDVD.

Again, thanks for your time Wayne!

PS: I never had any problems with AC3 or DTS on any titles using the latest PowerDVD.

------------------
-Michael
mkanet@yahoo.com
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by pivot:
I don't know where you have been the last year, but I have seen them gone from version 6.3* to version 12.* the last year. Maybe not all of them public, but they aren't hard to get..


I know about the drives that can be found on a few unofficial web sites, but I think that you will find that all the drivers beyond 7.* are all fake.

Jeff
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
I dont like to go OT, but...

"I know about the drives that can be found on a few unofficial web sites, but I think that you will find that all the drivers beyond 7.* are all fake. "

is misinformation.

THe 380 point performance improvement jump when I went from 7.58 to 10.80 under 3d Mark 2001 was definitely not "fake". Also the new registry feature in the 11.01 drivers called "geforce3emulate" and a series additional opengl and direct3d functions in 11.xx and 12.xx are not fake either. I know from personal experience. It seems everything from 12.00 on up was refining on the hardware acceleration abilities in directx 8.x for the GF3.


------------------
-Michael
mkanet@yahoo.com
post #20 of 21
I know that these fake drivers make a difference with 3D Mark 2001, it's just everything else that runs slower. If and when we see version 12 + drivers make it to either the various card manufacturer official drivers or the Nvidia website then I'll trust them. Until then they should be treated for what they are, a clever hoax.

Jeff
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Jeff,

Please don't take this as an attack. Just an FYI.

I take it you dont have a Geforce card and / or haven't ever tried these drivers you speak of.

The top three 3d engines: Quake III engine, Serious engine, Unreal Tournament engine all improved in FPS and quality. Even proprietary 3d engines such as 4x4 Evo benefited in both opengl and directx benefited from 10.80+ in FPS and quality.

If you dont believe me, do a little research on the web on related forums from people who actually have posted their first hand testimonials before posting. I know first hand about what I speak of. In fact, it's a small hobby of mine to get the most performance and quality out of the latest games out.

Getting back to the original topic, if Creative or ATI unofficially or officially released updated drivers like Nvidia did, there would be a lot less postings related to Creative and ATI and their respective problems.


[This message has been edited by mkanet (edited 05-27-2001).]
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