Advise with sound cards.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by 1031982, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. 1031982

    1031982 Just Started

    First off, I checked my system out with AVG Anti-Virus 8 Free, SpyBot S&D, and Ad-Aware. Everything was clean (Except a few cookies) and recently re-installed my system for a direct SP3 system and the yearly clean up.

    I am getting tired of the issues popping up with my sound card. It's the Audigy 2 ZS Platinum (hardware is great, it seems to always be a driver problem)
    Now, usually it wouldn't bother me to reset the speaker settings. It only happened when I rebooted occasionally (I use speaker guard with partial luck)
    Recently, the started to just “loose” communication with the system. Basically, I would not hear any sound not played already, and the Creative software said the card was simply not there. (Ya, right, because I went in and ripped it out of the PCI slot...) The fix, reboot. Now if I am doing something important, I can't exactly reboot any time it decides to loose the card. If I am using the SPD/IF input or anything with a high quality digital audio (I use the card hardware decoding for DD and DTS) I get the BSOD. Always pointing to the driver files either ctdvda2k.sys, emupia2k.sys, or wdmaud.drv.
    As far as I can tell, the first 2 deal with the ability to tell the card to do hardware decoding. The last one is obviously the generic Windows driver, and relies on the rest of the driver files for the card to work. (I could be wrong, but it's what I think)
    I am running all the latest versions of the drivers and software, and previous versions had other issues that were a lot worse. Creative tells me to buy a new card every time, and that it can't be their drivers. (Ya, right, because it works perfectly in Linux builds.) Now I can't use the hardware decoding in Linux above stereo because it needs to be enabled through the driver. But I ran a lot more through it and it never flinched.

    So, does anyone know what I can do about this? If it's worth it to get a new card to avoid the problems, below are the list of things I do with my card that I want to keep.

    Dolby Digital and DTS hardware decoding (If possible DTS Master audio and other formats used on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, not needed, but would like :p)
    SPDIF Optical and coaxal in/out. Mostly I will use the optical, so if I can't get both optical is a MUST.
    Ability to record everything. IE : I can record the Wave out, and “everything you hear”
    Also, I have a 5.1 speaker setup, kinda need that.
    I do use the CMSS 3D feature with music. I would like to have that (or something comparable), but it's not needed if the card handles stereo signals well on surround systems.
    I will need to either have the card automatically send LFE signals that go out of range to the sub-woofer, or offer a manual setting. I have my Xbox 360's audio going into the card, and in Gears of War the Locusts voices are exceptional low, causing clipping in the sound if I don't use the cut off frequency. Anything from the PC directly is fine, as well as movies.

    If it's best to get a new card, I won't be able to for some time. Also, it HAS to be PCI. (Unless you want to donate a new PC to me.)
    Need more info, just ask.
  2. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

  3. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    On Creative drivers have always been an issue. I have lost touch with some old friends working on them but you could check here ...

    Official kX Project Site -- News

    On the popping issue check what Adrian mentioned I don't think your card is affected by capacitor leakage the X-Fi cards were. Easy to check just check the electrolytic caps .. mylar, tantalum, polystyrene and ceramic caps use a solid dielectric not electrolyte so they can't leak :D
  4. 1031982

    1031982 Just Started

    Tried that earlier on, nothing changed. But again, it only happens with extremely heavy bass sounds in games from my XBox that (for some reason) the card sends to all speakers. With the cut off frequency, it sends it to the sub woofer properly. Also, I recently cleaned my PC out of dust, removing all contents. And I am glad to say nothing has a single problem with faulty capacitors. And yes, I had these problems before I cleaned my PC out.
    So if anything, I think it's a speaker issue, either configuration (from sound card) or the speakers themselves.(Doubtful, as they are fairly high quality. Last thing listed in my signature.) Regardless, using that, I can max things out with crystal clarity.
  5. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    Thats really strange I am still thinking a driver issue :think:

    But it hasn't always done this has it ?
  6. Rraven

    Rraven Newbie

    Most likely it is a driver issue. There have been many known problems with Creative and their drivers. I do note that you are using a NF2 board and many of the Nforce boards have had issues with Creative products mainly because of the drivers. Neither Creative or Nvidia have stepped forward to resolve this they just keep pointing fingers at one another.

    I had a NForce board and was using an Audigy SE for sound. There was often a lot of crackling and popping noises coming from the system. Take the card out put into a board with Via chipset and it works fine. Use the onboard sound from the MB all works fine. Put the 2 back together and be back to the same issues with popping and crackles.
  7. Rraven

    Rraven Newbie

    On a side note. I know there were several folks working on drivers for Creative products. One of these I know for sure got a very curt letter from the Creative attorneys issuing a cease and desist or we'll sue the hell outta you.

    Many folks responded in public forums with statements of well tell your coders to fix your drivers and other wont find in necessary to do so.
  8. 1031982

    1031982 Just Started

    Ya, these problems have been going on ever scene I had the card. It's not all the time, just when it matter most.

    I knew about the NF2 chipset compatibility issues, and set it up for optimum configuration. Went out of my way for it, and it fixed a stupid problem. Basically, it was random if the driver would load up, because the card was not always identified.

    Ravin, I do understand your input, but again it's only with high bass output coming from my 360 when playing a game. If I watch a movie with my 360 or do anything on my computer, there is NO popping, clicking, or distortion.

    In any case, I will try out the driver linked by Mac Daddy. I will report after I had some time to properly use it and so on.
  9. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    Cool let us know on the driver Bro :)
  10. Lacus

    Lacus Newbie

    Yeah, do let us know whether it works or not :D
  11. 1031982

    1031982 Just Started

    Ok, I was able to get a little time away (It's Fathers Day in the US for those who don't know) and tested it out a bit.
    Unfortunately, as soon as I turned on my Xbox, and it sent out a Dolby Digital signal, it crashed and I got the loved BSOD.
    Most other drivers I have seen are made SPECIFICALLY for Windows Vista, and I am using XP. I am willing to try other ideas, but as of now looks like I either deal with the problems or get a new card some point in the future.
  12. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    I would have thought XP better supported than Vista :think:
  13. 1031982

    1031982 Just Started

    So would I, but it could just be the chipset conflicting with the card causing all these problems.
    If so, I am stuck getting a new card eventually.
  14. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    Thats too bad and a reason I will never buy a creative product again. They dropped driver support for the Aud1 not long after the Aud2 was released. We had a Live Drive and everything for it at the studio wasn't cheap at the time.

    So we ended up having to slipstream Aud2 drivers just to use the hardware .. Creative drivers and support seriously suck :roll:

    I still have my Auzentech X-Plosion sitting in a drawer should get it installed on the other machine :D
  15. 1031982

    1031982 Just Started

    Well in that case, and suggestions for a replacement card? I need the fallowing features :

    It NEEDS to be PCI. My board has spec 2.2, so I should be able to put almost any card I want in there.

    Dolby Digital and DTS hardware decoding.

    SPDIF Optical and coaxial in/out. Mostly I will use the optical, so if I can't get both optical is a MUST.

    Ability to record everything. IE : I can record the Wave out, and “everything you hear”

    I will need to either have the card automatically adjust LFE signals that go out of range to the sub-woofer, or offer a manual setting. With the Creative software it's called "Bass Reduction" "Cutoff frequency"

    Might seem like a lot, but I need the fallowing jacks in the back :
    Analog surround line outs for 5.1 speakers for a total of 3 outputs.
    Line in
    Mic in

    This would be nice, but is not needed :

    I do use the CMSS 3D feature with music. I would like to have that (or something comparable).

    I am currently running XP Pro SP3, I plan on keeping the card for some time. Moving it from this system to a new board at least one time.

    If I think of anything else, I will add on.
  16. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

  17. 1031982

    1031982 Just Started

    Well, the only card I would want is the Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1. Only issue is that I can't seem to verify it will decode DTS audio to analog speakers. I keep getting mixed information.
  18. Rraven

    Rraven Newbie

    What about the Asus DX? From what I have read it looks like they have full support from the DTS folks , along with Dolby. Will it not make the cut for what you need to do?
  19. Mac Daddy

    Mac Daddy Pickin' Da Gitfiddle

    The Prelude should be a good choice on the decoding DTS audio to analog speakers not sure :think:
    1 person likes this.
  20. 1031982

    1031982 Just Started

    Unfortunately Rraven, I only have PCI slots. So, unless you want to donate some parts to me, PCI-E cards are not an option.

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