1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Linux Support Finally For Creative Sound Core3D

Hardware

Published on 23 May 2012 07:01 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
34 Comments

The Linux 3.5 kernel will introduce support for the Sound Core3D audio cards that were launched by Creative last year.

Announced last year was the Creative Sound Core3D audio processors as the long-awaited successor to the Creative X-Fi audio processors. When the Creative X-Fi sound cards were introduced more than a half-decade ago, the Linux support for these sound cards were a big issue. There wasn't any support at first (Microsoft Vista made Creative Labs dupe Linux), Creative then released a binary-only Linux X-Fi driver and to make matters worse was Linux x86_64-only. In the end, Creative's binary Linux X-Fi driver was unmaintainable so they ended up joining the open-source bandwagon.

The open-source Creative X-Fi driver was still quite horrific, but in late 2008 an ALSA X-Fi driver finally came about. Since then, there's been support for the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi products and the support for this driver has continued to improve. However, for the bigger scoop on the X-Fi Linux perspective, see the Creative Labs Continues To Shaft Linux article.

Anyhow, the X-Fi line-up is being done away with for future products and since last May there's Sound Core3D products. The Creative Sound Core3D audio processor was announced last May (the press release). Sound Core3D is quite different from the X-Fi audio that relied upon RISC processors with now the new audio processors relying upon four digital signal processors. The Sound Core3D with its quad DSPs provides features like CrystalVoice, THX TruStudio Pro, and audio toolbox algorithms.

One year after the Creative audio processors first were announced with Microsoft Windows support, there's finally Linux audio support coming from this latest hardware.

Being pulled into the Linux 3.5 kernel will be support for Sound Core3D. As indicated by this ALSA patch, "The controller is compatible with HD-audio 1.0a with some specific restrictions. - The BDLE entries can't be over 4k boundary - No position-buffer and no MSI." As such, for this basic support at least, it comes via just modifying the Intel HDA PCI driver. You're dreaming though if you think this Linux support/patch comes from Creative, but rather it comes from Takashi Iwai -- the prolific Linux audio developer who maintains the kernel sound sub-system upstream and is employed by SUSE.

The patch that was originally published last week adds in the support for the Sound Core3D audio processors with the PCI product IDs of 0x0010 and 0x0012 (the Creative PCI vendor ID is 0x1102). The Sound Core3D is found in new Creative Sound Blaster cards as well as offered to OEMs by Creative.

The two popular sound cards sporting the new audio processor right now is the Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D and Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional. The Recon3D retails for $100 USD while the "Fatal1ty" model costs an additional $50. Both of the Recon3D Sound Blaster cards are PCI Express based. On the Creative product pages, they only advertise Microsoft Windows 7 support.

It's nice to see that Linux will finally support Creative Sound Core3D hardware when the Linux 3.5 kernel is introduced (the 3.5 sound pull request was sent this morning), but it's unfortunate that it's taken one year to materialize and that Creative remains an unfriendly company towards Linux.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  2. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
  3. AMD Radeon R9 285 Tonga Performance On Linux
  4. Apotop Wi-Copy
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Moves Forward With Unified Linux Driver Strategy, New Kernel Driver
  2. MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop
  3. NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D
  4. 15-Way GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.3 + Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. Linux 3.18-rc1 Released One Week Early With Many Changes
  2. The VC4 Gallium3D Driver Is Still Moving Along For The Raspberry Pi
  3. Direct3D 9 Support Might Land Within Mainline Mesa 3D Drivers
  4. OpenGL Preview Benchmarks For NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 970
  5. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  6. Vitesse: Using LLVM To Speed Up Databases
  7. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees
  8. Linux Testing Of The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
  9. Qt 5.4 Now In Beta With Web, Bluetooth LE, Graphics Improvements
  10. AMD's Radeon R9 285 On Linux Offers Good OpenCL Performance
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. NVIDIA Presents Its Driver Plans To Support Mir/Wayland & KMS On Linux
  2. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees
  3. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story
  4. Open-Source AMD Fusion E-350 Support Takes A Dive
  5. Upgrade to Kaveri, very slow VDPAU performance
  6. ChromeOS Drops Support For EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 File-Systems
  7. Lennart Poettering On The Open-Source Community: A Sick Place To Be In
  8. The Slides Announcing The New "AMDGPU" Kernel Driver