VOGONS


First post, by maximus

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Yes, it's a leading question, but I think most of us have spent enough hours wrestling with old Sound Blaster cards to know that Creative isn't exactly the best at supporting its own products. IF you can even find drivers, and IF they actually work with your card (it had better not be an OEM version), they may or may not suffer from mysterious and frustrating problems. You don't get this kind of trouble with old Nvidia video cards, or even ATI cards.

So, why is this? Was there something about Creative's corporate culture that emphasized good hardware design but de-emphasized good driver development? And what was the reason behind all the custom cards produced for OEMs, which naturally didn't work with Creative's own drivers?

PCGames9505

Reply 1 of 13, by cyclone3d

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I think a lot had to do with them having to try to support a huge number of different system configurations, bugs with motherboard BIOSes and poor implementations on motherboards.

Back in the day, they had the best audio accelerators if you will.

I really never had that much trouble with their drivers except when Vista came out and then when Windows 10 came out they lagged for a while to get good drivers out for the X-Fi cards.

All that crackling, etc I never really saw except on one board and that was easily resolved by moving the card to a different PCI slot.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 2 of 13, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

^ that's my experience as well, no real issues...
regarding OEM products, well you can't really blame Creative for them...

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus , Action Rewind , Megacard and MK8330 soundcard website

Reply 3 of 13, by SRQ

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

When it came to Vista and beyond? Market segmentation- trying to force new product sales for people that had upgraded to Vista, combined with laziness. Earlier? More innocent explanations such as the above.

Honestly I think their willingness to licence for OEM products that are almost actual lies (There's a Dell AWE64 that has no AWE on it) is pretty telling.

Reply 4 of 13, by PhilsComputerLab

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Hmm I have to disagree. I have little issues with Creative drivers. The main card I don't like using is the Live!, but all the ISA cards, Audigy and newer have the drivers still on the Creative site. The web-installers from Audigy and higher have zero bloatware and the ISA drivers have detailed readme files that explain a bit more about what's going on.

YouTube, Facebook, Website

Reply 5 of 13, by DracoNihil

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I still remember the audiodg bullcrap with X-Fi on Windows 7 64-bit.

The only way I could avoid it is make nearly everything use ALchemy and "disable the soundcard itself" in the sound devices widget.

I've tried so many different drivers including all manner of official releases by Creative themselves and the softmodded ones by Daniel.K and it never fixed the problem.

Who at Microsoft thought "audiodg" would be a good idea anyways?

Steam Profile
YouTube Channel
Seal of Nehahra

Reply 6 of 13, by silikone

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

My main issue is the crappy installers they force you to use. No, I don't want to register. Stop saturating my desktop.

Do not refrain from refusing to stop hindering yourself from the opposite of watching nothing other than that which is by no means porn.

Reply 7 of 13, by BeginnerGuy

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
silikone wrote:

My main issue is the crappy installers they force you to use. No, I don't want to register. Stop saturating my desktop.

Right! The issue is the bloatware bundled with their new drivers!

If you have a little know how (which was expected in the ISA card days where interrupt and DMA were a part of life) installing older creative cards is a cinch.. Sound Blaster Pro II for example, put the card in, put in the floppy, run the installer, it will verify the address and DMA you say the card is to be found, then automatically add the set blaster variable to your autoexec.. boom card working!

Some of the bigger issues weren't necessarily Creative's fault. Like the printer port defaulting to IRQ 7 in Windows.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 8 of 13, by NJRoadfan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Something happened to Creative's driver team around 1999. The ISA card drivers were excellent and were rarely a problem. The first generation of SB Live! drivers from 1998 were also problem free (aside from DOS compatibility, but that was everyone else too). Amazing considering that the SB Live! was their first major product after the Ensoniq merger. After that everything went downhill and for some reason Creative has always been late delivering drivers for the next version of Windows.

Reply 9 of 13, by Jorpho

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
maximus wrote:

that Creative isn't exactly the best at supporting its own products. IF you can even find drivers, and IF they actually work with your card

It's fairly impressive that they keep as many drivers as they do available for download on their website, I think.

You don't get this kind of trouble with old Nvidia video cards, or even ATI cards.

There seem to be plenty of questions here about what the best driver is for those older cards.

And what was the reason behind all the custom cards produced for OEMs, which naturally didn't work with Creative's own drivers?

The OEMs paid them money, of course.

Reply 10 of 13, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

They went a bit crazy in the early PCI days
Sound Blaster PCI 64, PCI 128, Vibra PCI, Ensonic PCI 64, yet all the same card
Various Live!, Live Value, Live OEM Live 5.1 sharing same part numbers

Come on guys! I've no problem with crippled OEM cards or low cost cards just as long as I know that's what they are!!!
Drivers can be bloated, but you don't have to install everything and usually had basic drivers as well.
Overall though I don't think they are that bad apart from not clearly identifying different models.

Reply 11 of 13, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
NJRoadfan wrote:

Something happened to Creative's driver team around 1999. The ISA card drivers were excellent and were rarely a problem.

Except if you had 16bit machines.. I never liked that PnP fluff, nor the creative way of having dozens of utilities in even more flavors.
For example, I had a hard time to figure out which release of aweutil was required for the Goldfinch card.
Another things was the removal of the AWE32 API in later releases of the Windows drivers.
Also, why had the whole driver conecpt to be so crowded ? If you had a later SB16 card, you had to separately install the PnP manager.
And AWE owners had to install old SB16 drivers, but with a current PnP manager, plus a matching copy of awetuil.
Why, just why ? Why didn't they just bundle a matching installation program for the SB model in question ?
And why didn't Creative provide any sound fonts on their website? If you lost your original AWE CD-ROM, you're out of luck.
Also, speaking of SB models, the whole naming scheme itself was a catastrophe. No user -or seller- back then had a chance to tell them apart.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 12 of 13, by Oldskoolmaniac

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I think it would be easier if there was list for all the model and the latest driver pack for each model. I know we have the vogons drivers, but half of those drivers are outdated CD drivers and some cards I cant even find on there and some models are oem stuff from dell. It would be nice to know which is which.

Found This:http://support.creative.com/kb/ShowArticle.aspx?sid=10846

Motherboard Reviews The Motherboard Thread
Plastic parts looking nasty and yellow try this Deyellowing Plastic

Reply 13 of 13, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Oldskoolmaniac wrote:

Cool! I've never seen a CT12XX series card before (SB16 family). Where can I find any pictures of it ?

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//