Upgraded from Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD to Sound Blaster AE-9

mvmiller12

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Aug 7, 2011
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I have a pair of Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheatre PCIe audio cards. I love them, but they have no support from Creative at all despite using the X-Fi chip. In all fairness, Creative is not and should not be required to support a third-party product, but for me to get this card working, I have to rely on 3rd-party hacked drivers to get this card working in modern builds of Windows 10, and it's far from "install and play."

As a matter of fact I have to install the driver, which causes a BSOD, reboot into Safe Mode, disable the driver, reboot into normal mode and enable the driver and reboot one more time for it to work. I only have to do this dance the one time when doing a fresh Windows install, but it still has to be done. And after that, the master volume control does not work. I use the volume control on my receiver instead. And on top of that, any changes to the card's configuration (speaker config, sound mode, etc) won't stick across reboots unless (and I am not kidding here) I put the computer to SLEEP after making them and then wake it up again.

This is with the hacked drivers required to get it working at all (the hack combines the last Daniel_K driver with a few of the DLL's from the latest X-Fi driver build from Creative). Once it's all configured and running, it's great though :).
 

Ebernanut

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 15, 2010
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For products that are irrelevant to you, that you have no interest in, and that you have not used in many years, you sure spend a lot of time spreading bad information about them.
And you're going to great lengths to defend drivers that are bad enough to make 3rd party drivers attractive.

I would guess they're here for the same reason that I am which is that they're interested in PC audio and love them or hate them Creative is the main game in town for discrete sound cards and therefore relevant and worth discussing. Personally I think they coasted for too long without any real competition and the rest of the audio world passed them up however the real clincher for me was the lack of good PC speakers.
 

B00nie

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Nov 1, 2012
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I've been using the Daniel_K drivers for years. Creative got pissed at him because he fixed bugs that Creative refused to fix for a long time in their drivers. They banned him then receeded when the community went into an uproar about banning him. He has never posted a bad driver once.

He even lists the fixes that creative refuses to fix.

http://danielkawakami.blogspot.com/

From Wikipedia:

Some drivers from the Audigy 2 ZS have been soft-modded by enthusiasts. These can be installed on Creative's older cards, including Sound Blaster Live!, Audigy, and Audigy 2. It has been claimed to offer improved sound quality, hardware acceleration of higher EAX versions in games, 64-channel mixing for Audigy 1, and an overall improvement in the card's performance. Several forum posts across the web have reported favorable results with this technique, excepting Live! users where the drivers only add the ability to use the newer software applications (i.e. the newer mixer applet). Comments on forums from developers of the software mod have said that Live!'s hardware is not capable of EAX3 nor 64-channels of hardware sound mixing.

Later, in 2004, Creative released updated drivers top-to-bottom for the Audigy through Audigy 4 line that put these cards basically at feature parity on a software level. As of 2006, the entire Audigy lineup uses the same driver package. DSP decoding at the driver level on other cards than Audigy 2 ZS and 4 is still not supported by official drivers, but it works with soft-modded drivers on the other cards with hardware DSP (like Audigy 2 6.1).

When Windows Vista was released, there was only a single beta driver for the Creative Audigy series that was usable on the operating system with minimal functionality and frequent instability reported by users. A Creative Forum activist named Daniel K. modified drivers from the X-Fi and applied it to the Audigy and Live! series, restoring most if not all of the features that came with the original XP setup CD in Vista. X-Fi drivers have noticeably better sound quality under Vista, and more bug fixes because of the newer build (last modified version is 2.15.0004EQ April). He managed to enable the X-Fi Crystallizer to work on Audigy series cards in software, however because of the patents involved, he was forced to remove all the modified drivers and DLL patch.

Creative then released a newer official Audigy Vista driver (2.18.0000 as of 28 July 2008) due to public and consumer pressure. However, some form of agreement between Creative and Daniel K has been achieved, as he returned to the Creative forums, posting updated versions of his modified drivers. He released the final version of his modded driver package as of January 12, 2012.[47]
Maybe so but installing third party software from the internet is a very risky behavior pattern especially for a Windows user. You're practically inviting someone to own you.
 

GotNoRice

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And you're going to great lengths to defend drivers that are bad enough to make 3rd party drivers attractive.

Yet for some reason I don't have any need to use 3rd party drivers on any of the 6 computers that are currently running an X-Fi card. I guess I just got "lucky" - 6 times in a row. Maybe I should go to Vegas.

The last time I used 3rd party drivers was with my Audigy 2 ZS shortly after Vista came out. This was a time of great turmoil when it came to hardware drivers, arguably one of of the main things that gave Vista a bad reputation, and why many stuck with XP during that time. No one had taken 64-bit Windows XP seriously, so up until Windows Vista, most companies only released 32-bit versions of their drivers. Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft changed their driver policy to only give drivers WDM certification if the company provided a 32-bit driver AND a 64-bit driver. This sent a lot of companies scrambling to create 64-bit drivers for their products, even older products, that never previously had 64-bit drivers. Lots of half-ass beta drivers were released from many different companies during that time. It was pretty much driver chaos for a while. Daniel_K deserves credit for making things easier for people during that era, and garnered quite the loyal following.

But that was 15 years ago. By the time Windows 7 arrived, Microsoft's push for 64-bit Vista drivers paid off and there were now mature 64-bit drivers for almost all commonly used hardware. From that point forward, there really has not been any need to install 3rd party drivers. There were still a few niche reasons, such as using the 3rd party drivers to enable features on certain cards that were never supported by native drivers, but it really wasn't a stability issue anymore. Creative's drivers were fine at that point and have continued to be.
 
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The Cobra

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Jun 19, 2003
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Maybe so but installing third party software from the internet is a very risky behavior pattern especially for a Windows user. You're practically inviting someone to own you.
That is bunk. As I have stated, I have been using the Daniel_K drivers for years and not once have I been "owned"

It takes a good person to provide that service since Creative has shitty drivers to begin with.
 

ashmelev75

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Nov 29, 2007
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I have a pair of Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheatre PCIe audio cards. I love them, but they have no support from Creative at all despite using the X-Fi chip. In all fairness, Creative is not and should not be required to support a third-party product, but for me to get this card working, I have to rely on 3rd-party hacked drivers to get this card working in modern builds of Windows 10, and it's far from "install and play."

That card uses the same chip as X-Fi Titanium HD, there should be a way to hack Creative these drivers to recognize the IDs as its own, and I think Daniel_K driver pack does exactly that.
Anyway, back in 2011 Auzentech card had some sense, but now every modern card does HDMI audio, why would you ever want to jump thru such hoops, I dunno.

I had hopes for Auzentech to maybe rewrite the X-Fi drivers, but nope, they've simple licensed Creative driver pack. Should've read reviews before buying Prelude.
 

Mizzer

Limp Gawd
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Jan 21, 2021
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Since I moved to the Soundblasterx G6 external card/amp I have had no issues with Creative drivers. One could also consider the Schiit Hel for a non-Creative alternative. This is simply my experience and, of course, my humble opinion.
 

B00nie

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Nov 1, 2012
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That is bunk. As I have stated, I have been using the Daniel_K drivers for years and not once have I been "owned"

It takes a good person to provide that service since Creative has shitty drivers to begin with.
The fact that you've been using those drivers doesn't mean that it's a smart thing to do. The internet is full of traps for Windows. Literally millions of malicious programs ripe for installing.
 

OFaceSIG

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Aug 31, 2009
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Daniel_K has been providing those drivers for over a decade. As long as you get them from a trusted source IMO opinion it's no different than using an OEM driver. I don't even use them, but I wouldn't consider them a "bad" choice.
 
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