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Creative Gives In, They Open-Source Their X-Fi Driver

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  • #46
    Too Late?

    Originally posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: Creative Gives In, They Open-Source Their X-Fi Driver

    The Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card driver for Linux from Creative Labs was awful. That's simply the nicest way to put it. The driver was home to many bugs, initially only supported 64-bit Linux, and it was arriving extremely late. The open-source drivers supporting the Creative X-Fi drivers have also been at a stand still. However, Creative Labs today has finally turned this situation around and they have open-sourced the code to this notorious driver. The source-code for the Creative X-Fi driver is now licensed under the GNU GPLv2.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13083
    Wow!!! really good to finally have the drivers on the way. The question I would ask is, how much good will have Creative lost by dragging the chain? For me, having had mine since 2006, I now have a full ONKYO system having left the other "out in the cold" and Creative with it. Like others I have moved on to Hi definition 1080p TV + sound, and a bad taste in the mouth.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by izual View Post
      That's one of those never ending discussions.
      No its not. Whether its worth the cost difference is the never ending discussion. Whether an Xfi puts out higher quality sound than the alc888 chip is undeniable fact.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by mycroes View Post
        I think nvidia will, and already has... nvidia has a history of creating binary drivers, often very incompatible. Other than nvidia I think we'll have to focus on motherboard manufacturers. For example gigabyte has some nice stuff that only works in windows (some powersaving led feature has been mentioned on phoronix iirc, I also have it but my case is closed for about 99.99% of the time). Also Apple has a way of not supporting stuff in Linux, like the iPhone or iPod Touch. Ever since I stepped away from my Mac Mini I have only synced my iPod Touch once, and just for music.

        I wish nVidia would open source soundstorm. :-(

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        • #49
          Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
          - XSi
          - Maya
          - RealSoft 3D
          - RealFlow
          - VeriCAD


          Yep, no hardcore 3D apps at all...

          Sarcasm aside, the reason ATi now AMD is allowed to "get away" with less than stellar OpenGL support is because nVidia has awesome support and pretty much has the graphics workstation market sewn up even with all of the API breakage that the community throws at them

          The real question should be however: Do we now have EAX under the GPL, or did they remove that before they relicensed it?
          You forgot the 10,000 pound gorilla Pro/E

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          • #50
            I thought Pro/E dropped linux support with the last release?

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            • #51
              For myself I am really glad this has happened.

              The last add in sound card I bought was an Audigy2zs. The SB0350 models of the Audigy2zs cards are/were the best cards for Linux imo.

              I don't like dmix and software mixing. It just adds more trouble to the configure stage for getting proper audio. The Audigy2zs cards did this for me so I never had to mess with dmix or anything for sound playback from multiple sources at the same time.

              This is why I am excited over this news. If the X-fi cards are capable of the same multi-channel sound source playback without any hassle then I will definately pick one up. The sound quality would almost have to be superior to even the audigy2zs I would think.

              I never use onboard sound chips as they are all flaky with static or just don't have that rounded sound feeling. They would either be tingy or bassy but never have good output. That's why I love my Audigy2zs's. I have these in all my comps currently and even buy ones that are either still new or in still new condition so I can sell them in my Linux box's that I sell.

              Nothing I have ever done for sound in Linux has come close to the usefullness of an Audigy2zs for sound. Hopefully the X-fi cards will be my new cards that I look forward to using instead of buying $30-160 Audigy2's.

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              • #52
                Indeed! And that is why I have been recommending people to get Creative Emu10K* based cards for Linux for the longest time! Of course they are not the only ones that provide these features (especially hardware mixing), but are the highest profile ones that do. I wonder if any of the other CMI-based high-end cards also do hardware mixing and up to how many sources? Oh, and wasn't originally the DSP of the X-Fi called EMU20K1 (or was that another chip/architecture different to the X-Fi)?

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                • #53
                  Actually, for your consideration, I "DID" try what you want to know..

                  I put my Audigy2 ZS in stereo configuration (disabling the rest of speakers) and trying out different programs, musics and EQ settings and then I put the X-Fi back in... the results are staggering to say the least.

                  The quality that is coming out of the X-Fi is simple astounding, it even rivals my Xonar DX in linux (Xonar is doing better in windows for now).

                  Comparing X-Fi in stereo with Audigy2 is like comparing seeing a flower or a kick in the balls (quality speaking).

                  You cannot compare the two, Audigy2 lacks the deep bass quality the X-Fi is outputing on the fronts (I have a VERY good pair of Yamaha 200W RMS speakers with a 100W x 2 Receiver), X-Fi definetly sounds "Hi-Fi-ish" on Linux now, I actually like it A LOT, and I'm some kind of audiophile so, take my consideration.

                  Actually, I don't think you need Crystalizer at all in Linux for now.


                  PD: X-fi is Emu20k1 and DO hardware mixing in the current driver (or so it seems)
                  PD2: I have xonar dx (c-media oxygen hd based, yes, both cards on the same machine, i'm a freak) Oxygen HD DOES NOT support hardware mixing, at all, I use Pulse Audio for that.

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                  • #54
                    Are these drivers only working with the 2.6.27 kernel and above? I installed on OpenSuSE 11.0 with 2.6.25. Everything installed fine, the module is inserted just fine, however, there is no sound.

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                    • #55
                      I think it's only working on 2.6.27. The module wouldn't build with 2.6.25 for me.

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                      • #56
                        What API does the driver use? OSS or ALSA? If ALSA, maybe in the spirit of good-ol' ALSA the driver is muted when inserted, and are you able to run the mixer from the console (alsamixer or if you have PulseAudio running alsamixer -c 0)?

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by ppanula View Post
                          OMG! Finally i can install eg. Ubuntu to my Game-PC...

                          Hope this will go quickly to ALSA...
                          In fact, the open-source driver *does* work in Ubuntu (in fact, I'm *using* it in Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex right now, listening to an audiobook in the background, as I type these words).

                          (watches the 1st Tactical Bombardment Squadron ("The Prokchops") practicing acrobatics in the distance over several partially-frozen demons)

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Thetargos View Post
                            What API does the driver use? OSS or ALSA? If ALSA, maybe in the spirit of good-ol' ALSA the driver is muted when inserted, and are you able to run the mixer from the console (alsamixer or if you have PulseAudio running alsamixer -c 0)?
                            It's ALSA-native (thus the existing ALSA mixer and tools will work). I'm using the drivers right now.

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                            • #59
                              OpenSUSE 11

                              Originally posted by KohlyKohl View Post
                              Are these drivers only working with the 2.6.27 kernel and above? I installed on OpenSuSE 11.0 with 2.6.25. Everything installed fine, the module is inserted just fine, however, there is no sound.
                              I haved same problem too. Before i haved oss4 and i think that oss4 rewrited some alsa libraries. After reinstalling alsa, alsa libraries, alsa utilities and other sound/alsa related packages X-Fi is running in all apps.

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                              • #60
                                If you have a front panel, it wont work. You need to plug your stereo or headphones into the back of your computer.

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