AT Article Predicts SoundCards Demise?

[Spectre]

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I didn't see this posted here so forgive me if it is somewhere but when I read this page in the article about Creative at AT it certianly made me think that calling soundcards dead may be a bit Monty Python'esque.

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3114&p=3

This obviously is not my forte but it doesn't seem that eve if Creative exited the business that software could be as good as dedicated hardware for the job. That could be my lack of knowledge speaking though.
 

sd11

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I didn't see this posted here so forgive me if it is somewhere but when I read this page in the article about Creative at AT it certianly made me think that calling soundcards dead may be a bit Monty Python'esque.

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3114&p=3

This obviously is not my forte but it doesn't seem that eve if Creative exited the business that software could be as good as dedicated hardware for the job. That could be my lack of knowledge speaking though.

The article is flawed. They are predicting the demise of sound cards because Creative is doing worse, without looking at the entire market, and that's wrong for the following reasons:

- professional audio users need sound cards and wouldn't touch creative with a 10 foot pole.
- creatives crappy drivers and problems are driving people away from them
- other companies create far superior audio products in every aspect other then EAX support and audiophiles/pc enthusiasts are migrating to those
- as console ports and cross platform games become more and more "the norm" creatives lack of dolby is hurting them and EAX (their one trump card) means less and less
- a lot of potential buyers of high end gaming sound cards do not have free PCI slots due to mobo makers cutting PCI slots and multiple graphic card insanity.
- the best card with creatives flagship x-fi technology isn't even made by creative, it's made by auzen tech. to me this speaks volumes about creatives issues, it also isn't even the best card auzen makes.

T
 

phide

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- as console ports and cross platform games become more and more "the norm" creatives lack of dolby is hurting them and EAX (their one trump card) means less and less
What do console ports and Dolby (do you mean encoding or decoding?) have to do with each other, exactly?

The "Dolby" badge on PC games rarely means anything at all. In some cases, it means that some assets might utilize AC3. In others, the Dolby logo means absolutely nothing. The X-Fi is just as capable at running these Dolby-badged games, console port or not, as any other sound card.
 

dderidex

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Oct 31, 2001
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The article is flawed. They are predicting the demise of sound cards because Creative is doing worse, without looking at the entire market, and that's wrong for the following reasons:

- professional audio users need sound cards and wouldn't touch creative with a 10 foot pole.
- creatives crappy drivers and problems are driving people away from them
- other companies create far superior audio products in every aspect other then EAX support and audiophiles/pc enthusiasts are migrating to those
- as console ports and cross platform games become more and more "the norm" creatives lack of dolby is hurting them and EAX (their one trump card) means less and less
- a lot of potential buyers of high end gaming sound cards do not have free PCI slots due to mobo makers cutting PCI slots and multiple graphic card insanity.
- the best card with creatives flagship x-fi technology isn't even made by creative, it's made by auzen tech. to me this speaks volumes about creatives issues, it also isn't even the best card auzen makes.

T

They addressed those points, though. They acknowledged that there IS a market for soundcards - "professionals and gamers" - and that's true, and speaks to your comments.

What is also true is that "professionals and gamers [who care about audio]" make up a TINY FRACTION of PC users. Remember there was a time when any serious system from Dell/HP/Gateway/etc shipped with SB Live cards because the onboard audio solutions were just not realistically competitive in ANY area. That was when Creative thrived, and when add-on soundcards were a useful market.

That time has passed. Like it or not, 99% of PC owners out there can't tell the difference between the onboard "HD Audio" chips modern systems ship with and an X-Fi or ESI Juli@ or Lynx. That was not true at all when AC'97 was fighting against the Audigy - many people could tell the difference, there, and Creative had a market.

What is causing Creative's failure is not the niche markets drying up - they still exist, with as much presence as they always had - but the mainstream. With sound cards, video cards, and processors (heck, even TV, music, and movies), it's all about the mainstream. That is where all the money is, and when "mainstream users" are no longer buying your products, it's usually game over for you - unless you make parts good enough that you can jack up the prices high enough to carry you over...relying on that ever-present 'hardcore' market to sustain you. But that's rare. See the existence of $1000+ 'professional' soundcards - to keep a company the size of Creative running on small numbers of orders, you have to sell EXPENSIVE parts. And I can't imagine what the "X-Fi 2" would need to do to be worth $1000.
 

BlueMak

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May 16, 2007
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The reason that many users can't hear the difference between a x-fi and an onboard system is the CRAP CRAP CRAP set of speakers or headsets they use. They buy $150 or $0 sound solutions and then give $20-$30 for speakers or headphones. Pff.

As for the article, it is a joke.
The numbers might add up, but the conlusions are more like wishful thinking on AT part than use of deductive reasoning.
 
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