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Linux Patches Surface For Supporting The Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5

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  • #21
    Originally posted by DrYak View Post

    Yup, If you pay attention, that's nothing more than the theoretical SNR that you could be encoding when using a 32bits DAC.
    ( ^- i.e.: they are trying hard to find bullet points to justify the DAC when in practice even 16bits covers most of the audible rande anyway).

    The hardware is actually decent. The drivers are crap.
    On Linux, use ALSA, it even supports the hardware mixiing of multiple audio.
    On Windows, search around for kx project, a community-made drivers that work better than creatives.
    Still my go-to hardware even nowadays (got it's E-Mu PCMCIA cousin on my laptop).

    Never owned one, but always hread that the Vibra variant were lower quality chips.

    Again, half decent-ish hardware (for the time released) but server by crappy drivers in NT.

    Hardware mixing : Emu10kn chips like SB Live! (Emu 10k1) and Audigy (Emu 10k2) can mix multiple hardware streams.

    - means that on old Linux crappy software (e.g.: Flash) that tries to get the ALSA device all for it self and never release it, you can still have sound in other normal well written open-source Linux application, as each gets their own device to stream to, and the card does the mixing.
    Basically, you eschew the need to use Alsa's DMix virtual device, or that peculiar function of Pulseaudio,
    and thus avoid any latency problem by having yet another layer of software in between. (Though modern Pulseaudio tries to balance the latency and CPU/power usage, having long buffers, but being ready to drop them and recompute them to quickly react to new events).

    - even less latency : the hardware was designed by E-mu, and can be put into extremely low-latency modes for ASIO, Jack, etc. which could be useful in some studio settings. (impossible to achieve when using software layers like PulseAudio, or whatever Direct-something is the equivalent on Windows land)


    - half decent amp. nice good break out box (useful to take the analog stage out of a noisy computer case and/or for home-studio settings needing some connections) , combined with...

    - price. You can get a decent Audigy-derived hardware (including the E-mu cousin) for dead-cheap on second hand markets. Whereas there ARE very nice USB-Audio based solution with low noise, low latency, good amps, etc. but they are all sound at a premium because they target high-margin markets (artists who need to plug one into their apple crapbook). On the other hand, dead-chip USB-Audio, will usually give you some no-name asian thing on aliexpress which may or may not fulfill the criteria you need.

    So in other words : modern onboard audio on mother board, probably fulfills, the need of 90% users. Out of the remaining, probably 90% are happy with USB audio. Out of these remaing, most are just happy to have dead cheap 2nd-hand audigy boxes.

    Which by the way is also possible with an USB3 (-A or -C) connector, but these tend to by extremely noisy (cue in Apple Crapbook managing to kill their own Wifi due to crappy noise isolation), so to have decent sound you need a decent box with quality isolation in addition to quality amps.
    Something that big-name brands will be happy to sell you... for a hefty premium.

    Sounds like you know what you are talking about! (pun intended)

    I am sad that I can no longer use my pci audigy card.. Might have to get something like it again, the sound quality out of it was always much nicer than on board


    • #22
      Originally posted by Auzy View Post
      Serious question.

      Are their Sound cards still total trash? I used to own an Audigy2, which regularly blue screen of deathed, a vibra 128 (general trash) and an Awe64 (which in new versions of windows slowed down games significantly

      Why would anyone own these things over something like a USB audio interface these days?
      Creative makes crappy drivers. Pretty much simple as that. Other manufactures who use C-Media based chipsets (ASUS being the most well known) offer competing products with better (though arguably still not great) driver support.

      People use dedicated soundcards over USB options because the DACs in even the worst discrete soundcards are simply better. And USB is incapable of driving powered amps, which more and more soundcards are offering standard for headphone users.


      I have two soundcards installed; I run an ASUS Xonar Xense as my primary soundcard, but also have a Creative Soundblaser Z that I mainly use when running legacy (DOS) games as it supports Roland SC-55/SC-88 MIDI in HW, so I don't have to use the relatively crap PC synth most of us grew up with.
      Last edited by gamerk2; 20 September 2018, 09:40 AM.


      • #23
        Originally posted by gamerk2 View Post
        People use dedicated soundcards over USB options because the DACs in even the worst discrete soundcards are simply better. And USB is incapable of driving powered amps, which more and more soundcards are offering standard for headphone users.
        Could you define "simply better" as I'm not seeing any difference between my Xonar u7 and internal sound cards.

        It also has a headphone amp.