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Old June 2, 2007, 05:42 PM
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They said the approximate date would be mid to end of June.
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Old June 9, 2007, 05:58 AM
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Looks like we can expect Creative drivers for this card. And no hardware encoding of DDL and DTS doesn't even seem to be part of the equation. I am becoming less impressed by the minute. They will need to offer this at a good pricepoint for me to even consider it. EAX is not something I care about. As I always say, I know I am part of a small minority, but I am not buying a Creative card. This is basically a high end Creative card. It does have much higher quality components, and I would recommend it to anyone that is going to make the mistake of buying Creative, but it is not for me.
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Old June 9, 2007, 07:58 AM
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The 8788 based cards have no hardware encoding either as far as I understand it. It is all done through software encoding. There is minimal CPU hit with either encoding method. If there was a massive hit it would be no good to anybody. When you consider the sheer sound quality of this card, I would think it would be for everybody... Maybe a X-Meridian 7.1 is more your flavor. They are still unbeatable in their price range. I think there is slightly more to it then "a high end Creative card." This card will easily massacre ANY current Creative card. If you consider all the features it has it will be very hard to beat by any competitors, it does truly have something for everybody. If your not interested in this card, you would definitely be the first person I ever heard say it. That being said, you have a newer 8788 based cards so you have some of these features anyway.

Last edited by Robscix; June 9, 2007 at 08:49 AM.
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Old June 9, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
The 8788 based cards have no hardware encoding either as far as I understand it.
You understand wrong. The chipset is what does the encoding. That is why I was wondering how they were going to make the X-FI chipset encode DDL when it is not a feature on that chipset. This card seems to have nothing for me since:

1. I am going to Vista soon and Creative has yet to make any Vista drivers worthy to use.
2. Analog is not for me.
3. If I were to use analog, I'd get the Auzentech Meridian since it has the best analog setup on the planet.

As I keep saying, I am a small minority, but I would not buy a better Creative card from any company. EAX is meaningless in my world and if they don't find a workaround for HAL under Vista, Vista will never support EAX anyways.
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Last edited by b1lk1; June 9, 2007 at 09:14 AM.
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Old June 9, 2007, 09:49 AM
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The 8788 is a audio controller NOT a DSP chip. It allows features to be performed that are written in the drivers. The X-fi Processor is a DSP chip, they can easily write new audio routines for it, consider how the KX guys write new effects for SB Live's and Audigy cards and they are hardware accelerated, Simple as that. I know it is a little hard to understand at first about the 8788's. Here is a link to the spec sheet for the chip as you can see, these features are SOFTWARE.

With the Prelude they may be attempting to do it in another fashion but I doubt it. This is why the can release the card and add support for DD-Live later. They already have a workaround for EAX under Vista it's called ALchemy. Actually the EAX routines are fine and no problem under Vista. It is the Direct sound HAL that is the issue. Anyway back on topic, if your running a digital set-up then yes you might aswell stick with the card you have if EAX is not a big want/need for you.


8788 spec sheet
http://www.cmedia.com.tw/files/doc/P...t%20Rev0.6.pdf

Last edited by Robscix; June 9, 2007 at 10:06 AM.
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Old June 9, 2007, 11:45 AM
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OK, you got me there. Can't argue with facts. But I still am led to believe that Creative chipsets are not capable of this. I understand the C-Media drivers are doing the encoding, but the chipset also plays a part in this. Creative chipsets, including the X-FI, have either not been able to do this, or they choose not to allow it. This brings me back to the fact that this card will most likely be using Creative drivers. That is the big "what if" I am waiting to see.

Once again, thanks for that info so I could clear up the misconception I did have. I knew that it was one a software level somewhere because it uses CPU power when you are using DDL/DTS (for my card that is).

Unlike Alchemy, OPEN AL is native for Vista and is much easily integrated into drivers for Vista. I would expect Nvidia to make good Vista drivers at some point, but I have had a lifelong distaste of their drivers and the lack of stability with their drivers. I just hope Auzentech takes the reins and makes t heir own drivers for this card. That would be enough for me to consider dumping the digital considering my speakers are hardly considered high end in the audiophile world.
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Old June 9, 2007, 12:14 PM
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What people found with the X-Meridian and most likely will find with the Prelude is the card has a better Digital to analog conversion section then the gear that are connecting it to -when in digital mode. Have you tried connecting your inferno to you speakers using analog connections?
Alot of times DAC unit's in speakers systems and alot of receivers for that matter aren't very high end. Your soundcard will usually have better converters, of course it depends on the audio gear. I have friends who have high-end gear where the XM was connected using digital. I asked them to try analog and few went back to digital. Try it out and let me know if it sounds better...

BTW, on the other subject, it can easily be done in software. I am unsure how the company will implement the feature but it can be done driver level.

Last edited by Robscix; June 9, 2007 at 12:16 PM.
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Old June 9, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Well, for once in my life I actually closed my mouth and took some advice/criticism and did just what you asked. I never actually considered connecting my speakers with the analog cables considering I only have the somewhat questionable stock Logitech cable. I cannot honestly say I could really hear a difference. I want to say it was clearer in digital, but there is no way I can say with any certainty it is.

I am going to have to experiment some more. If it works well under analog and things continue to be in surround (it is still in surround with analog) then you may have just stumped me. I had let myself believe that digital was the only way to go, and I am now having serious doubts. I also can free up the CPU without using the digital upmixing as well.

Touche..........
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Old June 14, 2007, 08:12 PM
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Dang and I got my X-Fi last Christmas. Should have waited.
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Old June 15, 2007, 05:49 AM
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Well, after some extensive testing, I have come to some conclusions. General use and gaming, there is no noticeable difference between analog and digital. Games sound pretty much exactly the same either way. Music and movies do sound better under digital. The difference is not major, but there is definitely a difference. BUT, my soundcard does not have the high end DAC's like the Auzentech cards do so I cannot compare my card to this one. Higher quality DAC's could make up the difference in sound. Thanks Robscix for pushing me to open my mind and getting me to try something different. As of right now, this card is definitely back to being a serious thought in my mmind when it gets released.
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