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X-Fi Support Syndicate & Owner's Clubhouse

Discussion in 'techPowerUp! Club Forum' started by imperialreign, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    By any chance have you tried installing the ALchemy drivers along with the Vista drivers? http://us.creative.com/support/downloads/download.asp?DriverLang=1033&searchString=ALXF_PCVTAPP_LB_1_00_30.exe&x=22&y=22&details=1

    And, to be sure, you also have your speaker selection in the audio console set to 5.1, correct?

    I've heard that in these instances, sometimes swaping the jacks around on the back of the card works, too - to the best of my understanding, this is a common Vista problem, and it resolves around how Vista interacts with the architecture of the card, which is why you lose channels, or they get swapped around.

    Curious, did you ever have any issues in XP while also running the 2x 8800 in either single or SLI setup?
  2. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess it has more to do with his speaker polarity. Both the card and his speaker set are THX compliant, he should fiddle with different speaker polarity settings in the THX console. ALchemy only pertains to DirectSound applications that do multichannel. Those apps that do wave_out or OpenAL instead of DirectSound aren't affected.
  3. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Come to think of it, also - all settings in the Creative/THX console will change whenever going from one mode to the next, and each mode utilizes the card's hardware differently - and that directly affects output to each individual channel . . .


    @preacher35 - does the loss of audio from your speakers only happen when in one audio mode, or all 3?
  4. Preacher35 Guest

    Imperialreign, thanks for replying. The channel assignments stay static regardless of application/task. But, let's cover our bases.

    -Yes, I definately have the Creative Console speaker set up set to 5.1
    -No, I do not have the Alchemy software installed, but for the last 3 weeks, it hasn't been an issue. But, I think that btarunr is correct, in that Alchemy is only utilized in Directsound applications.
    -No, I did not have these issues w/XP however, I did not have the dual 8800GTX cards w/XP either as, of course, I wanted to utilize DX10. I have read other posts that the proximity of the 8800GTX to the PCI slot containing the X-Fi can be an issue, but I thought that was more related to the "crackling and popping" sounds.

    What's interesting is that a few days ago, when I lost my front right channel, it was only in Game mode. Entertainment mode had all channel assignments correct and present. After I reinstalled the Creative drivers, the Entertainment mode was missing the center channel. Go figure. I used to be an "onboard" sound guy, but have been spoiled by the X-Fi card. Am I really in the position of having to choose DX10 or X-Fi? This sucks.
  5. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Make sure you have these values in the THX setup console, keep changing the speaker polarity setting (in the "Speaker Selection" tab) till you get all your speakers working.

    [​IMG]
  6. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    I was wondering on the ALchemy thing, as I thought it was only happening in game mode, but, anyhow . . . you don't leave EAX effects on in every mode, do you? btarunr is right about the ALchemy drivers with DirectSound, but, IIRC, it also affects any usage of audio hardware acceleration beyond just DirectSound applications.

    I'd try checking over the polarity settings in the THX console if you can, as btarunr recommended (I hadn't realized from your first post). Another thought, too, open up the audio & sound control panel in WIN, and make sure that volume settings for seperate channels are up, too. I've had a couple of time where WIN for some unknown reason, drops volume of one channel to 0%-5%, and I always overlook checking it first :laugh:

    TBH, what you're describing doesn't sound to me to be any type of EMI issue from the card being too close to the 8800s - I was looking more along the lines of two powerful GPUs combined with an nForce motherboard. Not everyone has had problems with nVidia hardware, though, and your issue doesn't really sound like the usual complaint with nVidia hardware - so no worries, there.
  7. Preacher35 Guest

    Hey, I truly appreciate both of you helping me out on this. I haven't looked in the Win properties for individual channel volumes (I had no idea that Vista contained such capability). I will also try playing around with the polarities tonight as you recommended and report back. As I'm sure that this is the same with you, I love my X-Fi card more than pretty much anything else in my rig and would be hard to live without.


    Thanks again
  8. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    News: MSI P7N Diamond with Xtreme Audio.

    [​IMG]

    Creative X-Fi technology has penetrated into a variety of products ranging primarily from Sound-cards to headphones, external audio filters and now even motherboards. This isn't for the first time that MSI (Micro-Star International) is incorporating X-Fi audio into its motherboard audio subsystem, the MSI P7N Diamond is their latest board. It's based on the NVidia NForce 780i SLI chipset. More details on this board can be found on the company website here.

    With manufacturers cramming more and more features into today's high-end motherboards, the PCB's are definitely running out of space for the audio subsystem. Hence several manufacturers such as ASUS, DFI, Abit are opting the use of audio riser cards. An audio riser simply put is a tiny expansion card with all the onboard audio circuitry you'd otherwise find on the main PCB of the motherboard. This usually includes an Intel Azalia specs. compliant CODEC chip, its power circuit, input headers for CD/Aux in, digital in ; has the external connectors of the analogue out and usually the coaxial/optical SPDIF IO. In some boards such as the ASUS ROG series, the SPDIF connectors are on the main PCB.

    The X-Fi Xtreme Audio that comes with the MSI P7N Diamond isn't an audio riser but a fully discrete card PCI-E card that goes into any PCI-E slot. This design has many flaws however.

    Take a close look at the board layout and that of the card:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    ...and how you're supposed to install them...

    [​IMG]

    :wtf:

    The card is a full-height expansion card that ideally would go into the first PCI-E x1 slot in which case the video-card won't fit (into the first PCI-E x16 slot).

    Let's say I have to install three cards into a tri-SLI (I can't in reality but just assume:eek:). I lose out on all options of an audio subsystem.

    A. The first slot is blocked with this card on the second x1 slot.
    B. Even if I use three cards into the first, second and fourth x16 slots with this audio card in the second x1 slot, I'll have trouble with the SLI interconnect defeating the purpose of a 780i based board.
    C. How can I use tri-SLI anyway with such a bundle :wtf:?
    [​IMG]


    All in all the card seems a decent thing, it's based on the design methodology of the X-Fi Xtreme Audio PCI-Express but in the context of this board, the design is extremely flawed thanks to the shabby PCB layout of the board. Mind you, this card doesn't have the CA-20K1 processor meaning no EAX 4.0 HD / 5.0 HD acceleration but you still get the Crystalizer and CMSS-3D.

    I rather compliment the older MSI board that implemented X-Fi, the P6N Diamond based on the NForce 680i. Isn't that a much more sensible PCB design now:rolleyes:?

    [​IMG]
  9. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    it seems quite a few motherboard manufacturers are heading the route of an x1 style PCB - although that MSI is the first I've seen brandishing the X-Fi name. That is a crappy layout on MSI's part, though - it's as if the audio was an afterthought.

    But, they do this for their "performance" motherboards to isolate the chipset from the motherboard PCB itself to eliminate EMI issues from the mobo componentry, but still want to cram the riser card butt-up against the primary PCIE slot :shadedshu

    MSI deserves a :slap: for that one
  10. dwax

    dwax New Member

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    I have the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic. still have the drivers from the disk installed. Do you have to uninstall the old ones before you update to new drivers?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
  11. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    you shouldn't have to;

    although, if you are using Vista, I'd recommend doing so. You should be alright if running XP.
  12. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    any developments to getting your audio straightened out?
  13. Preacher35 Guest

    :banghead: No. I've tried all of your appreciated suggestions, but the channel issue is worse now then before. I've tried playing with polarities, swapping cables, making adjustments in the control panel. No dice. At the moment, I'm back to onboard sound and that is messed up as well (no center channel and front left is coming out of the center channel speaker). I'm confident that this is a Vista issue. I guess, I'm gonna have to sacrifice DX10 and switch back to XP.
  14. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    odd that onboard audio is doing the same thing you were having issues with the X-Fi, considering those are two different styles of audio playback and drivers are different.

    By chance, the issue you are currently having with your onboard audio, is it exactly the same as with the X-Fi card, or are there differences?

    If it is exactly the same, I'd reason to say that the problem might possibly be with your speakers - in this case, I'd recommend trying another set if you have them, or, try hooking your speaker setup to some other form of device, like a TV, DVD player, DVR, stereo, etc. If the problem is still apparent, the speakers themselves might be defective - rare, but not entirelly impossible either.
  15. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Do this: Keep the card in 5.1 ch setting, use a pair of stereo headphones, plug it in all the three jacks of the sound card and see if you're getting any sound with the multichannel demo.
  16. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    So I bought this today

    [​IMG]

    Plugs in via USB and installs all the drivers via windows. USB X-Fi sound card that works in ALL GAMES!!!

    So far I'm loving this thing.


    Games sound better.

    Youtube sounds better

    Higher volume

    X-Fi works in all things.

    Bad
    USB power plug sold sep..



    Do you guys think there is anyway to install Xfi soft for this?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2008
  17. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    Oh I also picked up a pair of these.

    [​IMG]

    Short Description
    The RS 130 wireless RF headphone system with switchable surround sound is an ideal choice for both hi-fi and TV use. The lightweight RS 130 lets you enjoy freedom of movement from any audio source. In addition, the transmitter features a convenient metal stand for storing and recharging the headphones.
    Features
    Open, circumaural wireless stereo RF headphone system
    For hi-fi and TV use
    Switchable SRS surround sound mode
    Intelligent auto-tuning with memory function
    Self-learning automatic level control provides optimum signal reception
    Very lightweight headphones, extremely comfortable to wear
    Easy recharging: simply hang the headphones onto the charging cradle
    Rechargeable NiMH batteries included
    Supports the use of multiple headphones receiving the RF signal from one transmitter.
    Delivery includes transmitter, power cable, audio cable and headphones
    Connects to RCA jacks (red and white outputs), 1/8" and 1/4" headphone sockets (anything with a headphone jack including laptop and desktop computers!)

    http://www.sennheiserusa.com/newsite/productdetail.asp?transid=009925


    I can go all over the house and no wires to get wrapped up in my chair.
  18. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    maybe, but the software the is part of the X-Fi driver package I don't think would work at all. But, you should be able to dl the other Creative software from their website, I would think . . . you bought it brand new? It didn't come with a diks of creative software at all?

    how well do they sound? Do get any loss of signla at all, or is it a constant strong signal? TBH, I've always been a bit leary of wireless headsets, but technology has changed a lot over the alst year or two
  19. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    They sound good when sound is going on. When sound is off you can hear a slight noise, not a bad noise tho. Granted I'm supposed to charge them for 16 hours and I turned them on out of the box the batteries could need more charge. I have walked maybe 30-50 feet away with good sound. O they charge on the set which was a major plus to this.

    I have a pair of hd 465, and I think these wireless are better than them in ways.


    For the Xmod I found there is new firmware on creatives website, maybe this is how the drivers are installed? There is no CD, no soft no notting that comes with this X-Fi it's a plug in and windows install type of hardware. Tomb Radier the game I have tried it with so far is much better now, and I can hear things that I didn't hear before in the game.
  20. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    COD4=fantastic sound now!!!!!
  21. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Aah...finally you guys are realising the importance / benefits of X-Fi Technology on gaming. Try BF 2142. You're listening to CoD 4 in EAX 3.0 Advanced HD.

    Yes, the X-Mod is very ideal when you're in a multi-GPU setup not being able to install a PCI card or if you use the USB port as in notebooks or the PC itself. It offers the same X-Fi Crystalizer and CMSS-3D. The signal processing however is carried out by the system CPU.

    Doom 3 with EAX 4.0 HD pwns:rockout:
  22. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    I had a X-Fi fatilty that I sold because 2 out of 3 motherboards it would snap crackle pop.


    I just need to find a mixer for this thing.

    Well with this I can go to my 5.1 with my onboard, and headphones with this. I'm on headphones 98% of the time.
  23. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    The newer X-Fi revisions don't tend to have as much of a problem with hardware conflicts or overheating issues. Updated PCBs and firmware have done wonders for them.

    I can't think of any really good and free software mixers . . .

    although, seeings as how you have Realtek HD, the driver package should come with a software mixer and all, right? Or are you looking for something that directly interfaces with the X-Mod, instead of adjusting output settings?

    Awesome, though, that you have such great range with that headset! I remember when some of the early wireless headsets first came out, they were very receptive to interference and all.

    why I stress to people (especially gamers) that nothing beats out the EAX capability of X-Fi products. Enjoy it man! :toast:

    Doom3 with EAX4HD + OpenAL :toast:
  24. trodas

    trodas

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    I just want to report there as X-Fi owner (at lest till I kill the card by modding it too much :rolleyes:) and now off to reading some interesting things in this thread :p :D

    Good work there, imperialreign ;) I do wonder how the custom drivers for X-Fi works, compared to the Creative ones that are mostly major pain in the a$$ :eek:
  25. mab1376

    mab1376

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    I have an X-fi Xtreme music which is had RMA'd through creative for random thumps through the subwoofer of my Logitech Z-5500's I also had the speakers RMA'd and it is still happening, is it possible its doing this due to "dirty power"?

    If so which power cleaner would you recommend? a Monster brand one or something else?

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