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

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  • #76
    Originally posted by KhaaL View Post
    Sorry for reviving an old thread, but can anyone give an update how X-Fi support is going in the .31 kernel? I haven't seen anything about it in the recent changelogs.
    I am not 100% sure, but I think I've heard that it is supported since Linux 2.6.31-rc3.

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    • #77
      It has been working for me out of the box, no problems. I think even since rc1. Except the front panel doesn't work just like with all the other X-Fi linux drivers

      never buy anything from Creative.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by EmbraceUnity View Post
        It has been working for me out of the box, no problems. I think even since rc1. Except the front panel doesn't work just like with all the other X-Fi linux drivers

        never buy anything from Creative.
        yeah i can also confirm that its worked OOTB with me too in karmic. however, i just installed 2.6.31-rc4 in jaunty and it got me nowhere. is there something more to the kernel that ubuntu has added in karmic than the vanilla kernel?

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        • #79
          I'm an Ubuntu user and I've been using my onboard Realtek ALC883. I'm considering getting an X-Fi XtremeGamer. Am I likely to notice much of a difference?

          I don't play games much (obviously) -- I want the card for music. AFAIK, the interesting features of X-Fi cards (entertainment/gaming modes, EAX, crystalizer) are not available under Linux, so I wonder if the sound of the "vanilla" configuration is really any better than what I currently have.

          I'm not much of an audiophile, but I do own a decent pair of headphones (Sennheiser PX100) and notice a huge difference between them and the stock earbuds that come with audio players.

          Thanks.

          EDIT: My question may not be directly related to the thread's subject, but I found no other forum/thread dealing with this, so I thought I'd give it a try anyway.
          Last edited by cybcode; 08-14-2009, 09:14 AM.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by cybcode View Post
            I'm an Ubuntu user and I've been using my onboard Realtek ALC883. I'm considering getting an X-Fi XtremeGamer. Am I likely to notice much of a difference?

            I don't play games much (obviously) -- I want the card for music. AFAIK, the interesting features of X-Fi cards (entertainment/gaming modes, EAX, crystalizer) are not available under Linux, so I wonder if the sound of the "vanilla" configuration is really any better than what I currently have.

            I'm not much of an audiophile, but I do own a decent pair of headphones (Sennheiser PX100) and notice a huge difference between them and the stock earbuds that come with audio players.

            Thanks.

            EDIT: My question may not be directly related to the thread's subject, but I found no other forum/thread dealing with this, so I thought I'd give it a try anyway.
            If you just listen to music then your onboard would probably sound better. Im not sure what benefit there would even be to the gamer in linux, i dont think many games support hardware acceleration anyway.

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            • #81
              Originally posted by pfunkman View Post
              If you just listen to music then your onboard would probably sound better. Im not sure what benefit there would even be to the gamer in linux, i dont think many games support hardware acceleration anyway.
              Why would my onboard sound better than an X-Fi? I thought it should be the other way around.

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              • #82
                Best use SPDIF and then the cheapest onboard will sound the same as an expensive card.

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by cybcode View Post
                  I'm an Ubuntu user and I've been using my onboard Realtek ALC883. I'm considering getting an X-Fi XtremeGamer. Am I likely to notice much of a difference?

                  I don't play games much (obviously) -- I want the card for music.
                  ALC883 is the bottom line of realtek's integrated chips. Integrated sound cards tend to have low SNR (i.e. audible hissing when you turn up the volume, which tends to become worse when you are using the mouse or scrolling a webpage). Chips in the ALC88x series also tend to amplify the lower frequncies, making music sound somewhat muffled. Finally, they tend to sound much better at high sampling rates (96KHz instead of the default 44KHz), so trying that might be worth it.

                  Note: the above is for analogue sound only. Go digital (spdif) and the ALC will sound as good as anything else on the market.

                  Almost any discrete card will have better SNR and will offer more balanced sound. If you have a good enough set of speaker or headphones, the difference should be quite audible - however if you are to pick between better speaker or a sound card, the speakers will make a larger difference.

                  If you are to pick a card for Linux, avoid X-Fi chips for now. Most Xonar's have raving reviews so they are worth checking out.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Kano View Post
                    Best use SPDIF and then the cheapest onboard will sound the same as an expensive card.
                    But my budget is limited and external DACs are quite pricey and harder to find. Besides, sound cards have DACs in them, so why would I want an external one? Sure I can get a really good external one, but it'll surely cost much more than an X-Fi.

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by cybcode View Post
                      But my budget is limited and external DACs are quite pricey and harder to find. Besides, sound cards have DACs in them, so why would I want an external one? Sure I can get a really good external one, but it'll surely cost much more than an X-Fi.
                      It's not only the DAC's that you should be worried about with headphones. Usually most cards have a piss poor headphone amp and things are just as bad as integrated solutions. If your going to look at headphone use I would recommend looking at solutions such as the Azuentech X-Fi Forte or the Asus Xonar Essence STX that are designed for satisfying headphone use and come with far better headphone amps then most other cards.

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by cybcode View Post
                        Why would my onboard sound better than an X-Fi? I thought it should be the other way around.
                        If you where on windows i could see it but on linux with the horrid drivers your onboard will still probably sound better. Without hardware acceleration there gos most of the reason to own an xfi anyway.

                        If its between the xtremegamer and your onboard i would stick with onboard. There are also better options to look into as well.

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                        • #87
                          I'm currently using the driver and ubuntu 9.04. I didn't really expect it to work. But it does. Using my headphones with no issue apart from having to turn down the volume so as not to go deaf. The sound is damn good too.

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