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hmmm . . . not having the Creative's Volume Control Panel isn't set to load at startup. Go to Start>Programs>Creative>Sound Blaster X-Fi>Volume Control Panel. It should put the icon into the taskbar. r-click on the icon and make sure 'Load at Startup' is checked. Also, double click on the icon to bring up the audio console, and double check to make sure that "synchronize with Control Panel" is selected.

Some ques . . . where'd you buy the Fatal1ty Champion from? Was it brand new or open box?


TBH - some of the issues you mention make it sound like it's a software issue, others make it sound like it's hardware (especially considering that it was acting the same on your old system), and the fact that you're having the same issue in Vista as you are in XP.

You've changed out the motherboard, the CPU, and the DRAM - same issues mean to me that it can't be a problem with the PCI BUS.

Your video card isn't known for a being a problem at all with the X-Fi's, except for EMI. - by chance, though, you do have the X-Fi as far away from the video card as possible, right?

If it was just the Vista install, I'd recommend installing the ALchemy drivers and OpenAL drivers; you can still give that a shot, though, but I really don't think it'll fix anything.

I doubt it's your speakers - maybe, slightly, a bad connection at their power connector to a wall outlet - you might try a different wall outlet if possible, or a different outlet on your control box. If you're up to it - remove the X-Fi, enabled onboard audio, and plug the main speaker connector into the onboard outlet on the motherboard, or try to connect them to some other device (like a tv or home stereo). TBH, though, I get the feeling it's not speakers.

My only other thoughts, at this point, would be to completely wipe the creative drivers and software off, and then install just the audio driver (if it came with Vista drivers), the audio console and the volume control panel from the Installation CD - don't even worry about any of the software at this point.

Make sure the card is 100% fully seated in the motherboard slot, too.

But, TBH, I'm starting to think the card might have been faulty out of the box and needs to be RMAed.


<edit>

I'm curious . . . what all were Creative's recommendations?
I finally gave up and RMA'd the card (it's only taken me since August!) It was a brand new retail unit from Ebuyer so no problems there, they even collect by courier.

I tried different variations of the software and drivers but to no avail, I also tried disconnecting the front panel with no change. Since I had to pack up the card for return I broke out the Extreme Audio Card that came with my Maximus formula board, the speakers fit in but unfortunately because the output jacks are slightly different I don't get anyting from my two side speakers, the rest however, work like a charm. The Sound Blaster card was seated in the furthest PCI slot originally, the video card got my suspisions up because other than the Raptor (which I have now tried two) it was the only other constant that would appear to give me trouble.

All I can hope is that there were some bad connections somewhere but as I am getting a direct replacement I'm not confident that I won't experience the same issues.

Creative's recommendations were not too dissimilar to your own (maybe exactly the same, sorry can't remember), I dod find their recommendations on their website after talking with them over the phone.

Everyone else's problems seem to be crackling noises which I only experienced very rarely when the sound was in the process of dropping out so all I can do is hope that the card itself was faulty and that I will never experience this again with the new card on arrival.

I will of course post the outcome, and thank you for your help thus far.

Cheers.
 
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I finally gave up and RMA'd the card (it's only taken me since August!) It was a brand new retail unit from Ebuyer so no problems there, they even collect by courier.

I tried different variations of the software and drivers but to no avail, I also tried disconnecting the front panel with no change. Since I had to pack up the card for return I broke out the Extreme Audio Card that came with my Maximus formula board, the speakers fit in but unfortunately because the output jacks are slightly different I don't get anyting from my two side speakers, the rest however, work like a charm. The Sound Blaster card was seated in the furthest PCI slot originally, the video card got my suspisions up because other than the Raptor (which I have now tried two) it was the only other constant that would appear to give me trouble.

All I can hope is that there were some bad connections somewhere but as I am getting a direct replacement I'm not confident that I won't experience the same issues.

Creative's recommendations were not too dissimilar to your own (maybe exactly the same, sorry can't remember), I dod find their recommendations on their website after talking with them over the phone.

Everyone else's problems seem to be crackling noises which I only experienced very rarely when the sound was in the process of dropping out so all I can do is hope that the card itself was faulty and that I will never experience this again with the new card on arrival.

I will of course post the outcome, and thank you for your help thus far.

Cheers.
No problem - sorry we couldn't have been of more help. I'd really like to hear, though, if the RMA fixes it up. Usually, with an RMA, they just send you another known good unit - it might be brand new, or as close to the condition of yours as possible. It's rare that a company takes the effort to diagnos out which component(s) on the board are failing and replace them. I know getting a defective product right out of the box is a PITA, but it does happen now and then with every company - my ASUS motherboard had to be RMAed within the first month (faulty temp sensors), and I've had a couple of ATI cards back in the day dead out of the box.

It's very rare, though, for the problem to still exist as a software issue when you've changed out the major organs of a system . . . I shoulda caught it quicker, but it's usually a dead give away to a hardware problem, especially considering that you weren't getting staticy or crckling type sounds, which is a whole other issue.


btarunr said:
Hello,
The LM4662 is the OPAMP for the front channel routed to a dedicated AKM DAC. The FP_Out pin header isn't routed to the LM4662 but with a bypass logic to the CA20K1 processor, just thru the Front channel's DAC (bypass logic as in the system driver chooses the FP output vide the Intel Azalia specifications of 2006 (includes the pin-header layout, jack sensing logic and the ability to mute the Front Channel / All channels of the analogue output if a headset is plugged into the FP_Out. As per the Azalia specifications, the CA20K1 audio processor infact has 10 channel audio out, just like the CMI8788, some high-end onboard CODEC's such as ALC888, ADI1988B, etc. Channels 9, 10 go to the front-panel output and aren't routed to an OPAMP and the DA conversion are carried out by the Front-channel DAC. Don't confuse Front panel out to Front channel. Front channel is the Front-left Front-right speaker output in the stereo setup commonly having a green coloured 3.5 mm connector.

Besides the LM4662 gives out a screaming 5V output to the Front channel analogue out. You really don't need that when running even the most up-market headsets. A normal headphone/headset/in-ear monitor can use the direct output of the AKM DAC upto 2V, if it's routed to the 5V OPAMP, you will encounter distorsions, extreme loudness, loss of variations, etc. which can be corrected only by lowering the volume by software (Volume Panel) and as you know, lowering the system volume while connecting a low-input device such as a headphone to a screaming OPAMP, will cause loss of audio information, get the logic? am I clear enough?

So my verdict, it seriously isn't a big deal if the FP_Out isn't routed to the OPAMP, it need not be. Even in the X-Meridean, the FP_Out goes thru a similar bypass mechanism.

. . .

quite interesting . . . so, that type of setup is only found on the Prelude and Elite Pro cards? So, if I read that correctly (sorry if I'm getting confused, just got home from work :p), plugging in a headset or similar device to the FP will technically "mute" output to the FC output, right?
 

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I have a Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro PCI and was wondering if there was a way to wire up the front side audio pannel on my case to my X-Fi card?

the wireguide for my case is kind of horriable though.

i have the NZXT Alpha case... which according to a reveiw on this site it can connect to soundcards

"The front I/O connections are as expected, but NZXT goes all out on the audio plug, even providing individual pins so that you will be able to connect it no matter what. This even gives you the option to connect sound cards to the front audio which do not officialy have an HD or AC '97 audio header."

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NZXT/Alpha/images/ioconnectors.jpg
 

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quite interesting . . . so, that type of setup is only found on the Prelude and Elite Pro cards? So, if I read that correctly (sorry if I'm getting confused, just got home from work :p), plugging in a headset or similar device to the FP will technically "mute" output to the FC output, right?
In respect to the question whether the FP_Out is routed to an OPAMP or not pertains only to Elite Pro and X-Fi Prelude because that's where there are separate DAC's for every two output channels:



In the X-Fi Prelude, do you notice the front-channel DAC and the lage OPAMP in an odd position? The guy was asking if the FP_Out is routed to that OPAMP. It's really loud for a headphone and it isn't routed. Many reviewers have noted the FP_Out to have more clarity when using a headphone than plugging the headphone to the Front-Channel jack on the sound card. The odd front-channel DAC+OPAMP:


Regarding the headphone plugging in to mute front-channel thing, every Intel Azalia compliant audio device be it Elite Pro or Realtek ALC885 are capable of it.
 
Last edited:

btarunr

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I have a Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro PCI and was wondering if there was a way to wire up the front side audio pannel on my case to my X-Fi card?

the wireguide for my case is kind of horriable though.

i have the NZXT Alpha case... which according to a reveiw on this site it can connect to soundcards

"The front I/O connections are as expected, but NZXT goes all out on the audio plug, even providing individual pins so that you will be able to connect it no matter what. This even gives you the option to connect sound cards to the front audio which do not officialy have an HD or AC '97 audio header."

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NZXT/Alpha/images/ioconnectors.jpg
The X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro and X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion cards do not have a Azalia compliant pin-header to the front-panel. Instead the AUD_Ext (that connects to the internal 5.25" bay expansion module has pin locations so you could manually mod your FP_Out if you don't have the expansion module:

HTML:
AUD_EXT connector pin assignments

Note

ADC stands for Analog-to-Digital Converter

Pin	Name	Description
1	VCC	+5V power supply
2	VCC	+5V power supply
3	GND	Ground
4	AC97CLK	24.5 MHz clock output
5	GND	Ground
6	GP_SPDIFIN#2	SPDIF input signal
7	GND	Ground
8	GND	Ground
9	SPDIFO#3	SPDIF Out signal
10	GPO1	General Purpose Output #1
11	GPO2	General Purpose Output #2
12	GND	Ground
13	GPO0	General Purpose Output #0
14	GND	Ground
15	GP_SPDIFIN1	SPDIF Input signal
16	GND	Ground
17	SPDIFO#0	SPDIF Out signal

18	GND	Ground
19	SPDIFO#1	SPDIF Out signal
20	GND	Ground
21	GND	Ground
22	SPDIFO#2	SPDIF Out signal
23	GPI0	Digital Input (GP Input 0; Reserved)
24	GPI1	Digital Input, (GP Input 1; Reserved)
25	OUTMIDI	MIDI Output
26	GND	Ground
27	INMIDI	MIDI Input
28	GND	Ground
29	KEY
30	KEY
31	ADCSDO2	I2S audio data input.
32	GND	Ground
33	ADCSDO1	I2S audio data input.
34	GND	Ground
35	ADCSDO0	I2S audio data input.
36	GND	Ground
37	I2SCLK	I2S serial bit clock.

38	GND	Ground
39	I2SFS	Frame sync.
40	GND	Ground

Copyright © 1998-2000 Creative Technology, Ltd.
Here is the reference Azalia front-panel pin-out:



To make things visual:
 
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whats the floppy power connector on the x-fi for? mine has one o them,just wondering.
 

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If you're hinting at the floppy power connector, its actually for powering the card. While the card can function without it, it's strongly recommended that you connect floppy-power to it else it loads the motherboard heavily when in Game mode. It's more of a power stability thing, ironically the Auzen X-Fi Prelude doesn't have it.
 
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The X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro and X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion cards do not have a Azalia compliant pin-header to the front-panel. Instead the AUD_Ext (that connects to the internal 5.25" bay expansion module has pin locations so you could manually mod your FP_Out if you don't have the expansion module:

HTML:
AUD_EXT connector pin assignments

Note

ADC stands for Analog-to-Digital Converter

Pin	Name	Description
1	VCC	+5V power supply
2	VCC	+5V power supply
3	GND	Ground
4	AC97CLK	24.5 MHz clock output
5	GND	Ground
6	GP_SPDIFIN#2	SPDIF input signal
7	GND	Ground
8	GND	Ground
9	SPDIFO#3	SPDIF Out signal
10	GPO1	General Purpose Output #1
11	GPO2	General Purpose Output #2
12	GND	Ground
13	GPO0	General Purpose Output #0
14	GND	Ground
15	GP_SPDIFIN1	SPDIF Input signal
16	GND	Ground
17	SPDIFO#0	SPDIF Out signal

18	GND	Ground
19	SPDIFO#1	SPDIF Out signal
20	GND	Ground
21	GND	Ground
22	SPDIFO#2	SPDIF Out signal
23	GPI0	Digital Input (GP Input 0; Reserved)
24	GPI1	Digital Input, (GP Input 1; Reserved)
25	OUTMIDI	MIDI Output
26	GND	Ground
27	INMIDI	MIDI Input
28	GND	Ground
29	KEY
30	KEY
31	ADCSDO2	I2S audio data input.
32	GND	Ground
33	ADCSDO1	I2S audio data input.
34	GND	Ground
35	ADCSDO0	I2S audio data input.
36	GND	Ground
37	I2SCLK	I2S serial bit clock.

38	GND	Ground
39	I2SFS	Frame sync.
40	GND	Ground

Copyright © 1998-2000 Creative Technology, Ltd.
Here is the reference Azalia front-panel pin-out:



To make things visual:

I didn't think you could connect front panel headers to any of those pinouts, safely - IIRC, the AUD_EXT pins are for the IDE cable that is used to connect to the X-Fi 5.25" bay Front Panel.

This is the connector that you'll need to utilize for your front panel connections:



And this is the legend for that connector:

1 - Analog ground
2 - Left out
3 - Audio backpanel mute (grounded with headphone jack plugged in - I think this is Left Return)
4 - Right out
5 - same as pin 3 (I think this is Right return)
6 - Mic In from front panel
7 - no pin
8 - VREF Mic out (voltage reference for mic)
9 - Mic In mute (ground when mic isn't plugged in, +12V with mic plugged in)
10 - Audio Detect (ground when headphones plugged in, not normally used)



If you're hinting at the floppy power connector, its actually for powering the card. While the card can function without it, it's strongly recommended that you connect floppy-power to it else it loads the motherboard heavily when in Game mode. It's more of a power stability thing, ironically the Auzen X-Fi Prelude doesn't have it.
I thought I was pretty sure the 4-pin power connector was to allow the card to provide power to the I/O external console. That's the first I've ever heard of the card being able to utilize any additional power when in game mode . . . hmmmm . . . nowsa gots mai tinkin . . .

. . . I might do some fiddling this upcoming weekend and see what I can turn up on my system. :toast:


btarunr said:
In respect to the question whether the FP_Out is routed to an OPAMP or not pertains only to Elite Pro and X-Fi Prelude because that's where there are separate DAC's for every two output channels:

. . . .

. . . .

In the X-Fi Prelude, do you notice the front-channel DAC and the lage OPAMP in an odd position? The guy was asking if the FP_Out is routed to that OPAMP. It's really loud for a headphone and it isn't routed. Many reviewers have noted the FP_Out to have more clarity when using a headphone than plugging the headphone to the Front-Channel jack on the sound card. The odd front-channel DAC+OPAMP:

. . . .

Regarding the headphone plugging in to mute front-channel thing, every Intel Azalia compliant audio device be it Elite Pro or Realtek ALC885 are capable of it.

Oh, I get it now. I knew of that Azalia, Realtek, etc. bit - I just didn't quite comprehend that initial post right off the back. 9 Hours stuck in garage around cars messe with yer head some :laugh:
 

btarunr

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Wasn't that something Creative calls the "propritary connector"? Thanks, I didn't know that either. I've seen many people personally and from our case-gallery who power their cards even without an external IO module, but again you could be right, I don't have such a connector on the X-Fi Prelude. ANother correction I'd like to make is there infact is a OPAMP for the FP_Out in the X-Fi Prelude, just that it isn't the LM, do you see it between the CD/Aux-in and the FP_Out?
 

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Ah cool thx for that imperialreign :)

on the weekend i will try it out but i have gotta warn you i might be back asking questions seeing as this case seems to have all of its front audio wires labeled oddly and the instructions were in French in the manual xD
 
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Wasn't that something Creative calls the "propritary connector"? Thanks, I didn't know that either. I've seen many people personally and from our case-gallery who power their cards even without an external IO module, but again you could be right, I don't have such a connector on the X-Fi Prelude.
As to the 4-pin power connector, I had always heard to not connect power to it unless you have the I/O Console - but, TBH, it wouldn't surprise me if it might help in some way. I might try testing some things out this weekend, if I get around to it.

The other connector I pointed out is a proprietary connector, same one Creative used on the Audigy 2 cards. Because it's a 10-pin proprietary connector, it's a bit of a pain to install the single pin connectors used for a typical chasis FP (distance between pins is small). TBH, though, I have yet to figure out what exactly the X-Fi uses that connector for, as it doesn't connect to the X-Fi 5.25" bay front panel, nor was it used for the internal I/O Module. :confused:

Skrabrug said:
Ah cool thx for that imperialreign

on the weekend i will try it out but i have gotta warn you i might be back asking questions seeing as this case seems to have all of its front audio wires labeled oddly and the instructions were in French in the manual xD

If you're looking for a little more info, the guy that originally devised how to do those posted instructions on how to make an adapter cable here: http://audigy2zshowto.blogspot.com/ - even though the instructions are for the Audigy, the X-Fi uses the same pin-out (thanks to the moderators at Creative Forums who posted that pinout legend a long time ago). I'm also trying to come up with some kind of mod that might be easier than having to buy the connector needed for it . . . we'll see. Only problem I forsee, really, is that the instructions use the typical AC97 pin settings, meaning that it's not really an HD connection and you don't have full capability.

I had come up with a pin-crossover that *should* work, but I never got around to testing it (aside from buying the correct connector) as I haven't found a way to connect the FP pins without bending the pins on the card: http://forums.techpowerup.com/showpost.php?p=443557&postcount=1

Any thoughts on that pin setup?


btarunr said:
ANother correction I'd like to make is there infact is a OPAMP for the FP_Out in the X-Fi Prelude, just that it isn't the LM, do you see it between the CD/Aux-in and the FP_Out?

yeah, I see it. I take it, then, that one should be specifically for the FP_Out connections?
 

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If you're looking for a little more info, the guy that originally devised how to do those posted instructions on how to make an adapter cable here: http://audigy2zshowto.blogspot.com/ - even though the instructions are for the Audigy, the X-Fi uses the same pin-out (thanks to the moderators at Creative Forums who posted that pinout legend a long time ago). I'm also trying to come up with some kind of mod that might be easier than having to buy the connector needed for it . . . we'll see. Only problem I forsee, really, is that the instructions use the typical AC97 pin settings, meaning that it's not really an HD connection and you don't have full capability.

I had come up with a pin-crossover that *should* work, but I never got around to testing it (aside from buying the correct connector) as I haven't found a way to connect the FP pins without bending the pins on the card: http://forums.techpowerup.com/showpost.php?p=443557&postcount=1

Any thoughts on that pin setup?





yeah, I see it. I take it, then, that one should be specifically for the FP_Out connections?

the NZXT case i have came 3 different audio connections depending on what i needed to use. the HD audio set and the AC97 set are both complete bocks though without the option to connect each part separately but luckily they also put a 3rd connection off from that which is the split pin connection.. hopefully I'll just have to only follow the wire colours of the HD or 97 block set to work out what they are in the single split pin mode :)
 

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As to the 4-pin power connector, I had always heard to not connect power to it unless you have the I/O Console - but, TBH, it wouldn't surprise me if it might help in some way. I might try testing some things out this weekend, if I get around to it.

The other connector I pointed out is a proprietary connector, same one Creative used on the Audigy 2 cards. Because it's a 10-pin proprietary connector, it's a bit of a pain to install the single pin connectors used for a typical chasis FP (distance between pins is small). TBH, though, I have yet to figure out what exactly the X-Fi uses that connector for, as it doesn't connect to the X-Fi 5.25" bay front panel, nor was it used for the internal I/O Module. :confused:
Beats me man. But doesn't the IO module / Audigy drive have a headphone jack? Doesn't that imply that one of those pins at the back of the card next to the SPDIF pins have to have an analog stereo out?

Do you see that headphone jack next to SPDIF?


...is should have a pin on the headers I was pointing at (AUD_EXT) :confused:
 

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Maybe,but the pre amp for the headphone socket is on the module.The output from the pins would not work.
 

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Or maybe there's a digital connection between the card and the module and that the module isn't just an expansion of whatever pin is on the card?
 
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this is the only pic I've ever found of the front panel hooked up:



as you can see, the 4-pin power connector, and an IDE interface (which connects to the AUD_EXT connector on the X-Fi), but no connection that appears to interface with the proprietary connector on the X-Fi . . .

Funny thing is - the Audigy series also had a 5.25" bay Front Panel, also (I've seen ones with the Audigy logo and the Audigy 2 ZS logo):



notice how EXACTLY THE SAME it is to the X-Fi FP . . . and the Audigy's stouted the same AUD_EXT connection (albeit different sources for the pins), and also the 10-pin proprietary connection . . . although, I have yet to see anything that actually makes use of that 10-pin :confused:
 
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business idea: Lets make a converter cable for the 10 pin to standard Azalia front-panel header layout, buy patent, sell to Creative :p

The X-Fi Internal IO module and the Audigy drive even have exactly the same PCB layout from whatever you can see.
 
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business idea: Lets make a converter cable for the 10 pin to standard Azalia front-panel header layout, buy patent, sell to Creative :p
:D They'd probably respond with "What connector are you talking about?!"

[/QUOTE=btarunr]
The X-Fi Internal IO module and the Audigy drive even have exactly the same PCB layout from whatever you can see.[/QUOTE]


didn't look that close, but now that I have . . . the copyright printed on the board is the same in both pics :laugh:

Creative should win an award for their ability to re-brand aging hardware!
 

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That's really Creative, isn't it? Audigy SE to X-Fi Xtreme Audio and now this :laugh:
 
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nice pun :toast:

they spent so much money developing the X-Fi, they didn't even worry about the I/O panel.

even the model numbers on the lower PCB are the same - only difference I see is the metal plate covering the upper PCB on the X-Fi panel.
 
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all right guys here is one for ya... I just bought the Xtreme Music card... Well I am using Vista x86 and for some reason the only thing I can run is the Audio Creation Mode... When I check the gamer one and the Entertainment mode, it says that I don't have the drivers for it.. So is there a place to go to... I went to creative and I'm lost on what to download really... I thank you guys for any help..
 

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I have a extreme pain in the arse,i mean music too.I'm considering taking it out and trying my onboard.I dont even try and switch to game mode,eax dont work anyway so whats the point.

As far as i'm concerned,if your on xp use the x-fi,if your on vista,use onboard.The drivers for the x-fi still suck bawls even after all this time.

If i take it out,i'm gonna smash the piece of crap with a hammer in the back garden.
 

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I have a extreme pain in the arse,i mean music too.I'm considering taking it out and trying my onboard.I dont even try and switch to game mode,eax dont work anyway so whats the point.

As far as i'm concerned,if your on xp use the x-fi,if your on vista,use onboard.The drivers for the x-fi still suck bawls even after all this time.

If i take it out,i'm gonna smash the piece of crap with a hammer in the back garden.
unless someone wants to buy it?
 
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yeah, i got jumped when i told a few people i did this... I didn't know what I was really thinking.. thought I could still use my front panel... my tv tuner covers up the pins for the front panel headphone and mic jack... So I didn't think it through... lol... good thing I can take it back...
 

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yeah, i got jumped when i told a few people i did this... I didn't know what I was really thinking.. thought I could still use my front panel... my tv tuner covers up the pins for the front panel headphone and mic jack... So I didn't think it through... lol... good thing I can take it back...
you CAN still use your front panel connectors, i put together the pin assembly last night, just needs to be soldered to your board.
as for whether or not you get the drivers working right... that's another beast on its own.