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Old 11th Feb 2013, 07:20   #1
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Creative Sound Blaster Z review

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/201...ter-z-review/1
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 08:01   #2
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and in 18 months time , creative will abadnon the product leaving it with crappy drivers and no support *cough* X-FI*cough*
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 08:27   #3
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agreed - my x-fi is in a box, not in my pc...
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 09:30   #4
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If only Creative weren't totally and utterly abysmal when it comes to long term support*

Their attitude to software sucks. Their methods to distribute software sucks. Their software sucks.

Advice: Never buy anything from Creative.

* Long Term Support = Creative's definition is "Anything over five minutes old is a legacy product"
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 10:38   #5
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I'd love to see some evidence which shows that dedicated sound cards come with more stable drivers.

My Creative piece-of-s**t X-FI card was utterly abysmal and I constantly had to bounce back and forth between different driver versions to get games to work without horrendous clicks, pops and latency problems.

My Asus Xonar didn't last too long either, requiring me to run beta drivers in a 64-bit environment and, again, the need to go from one driver version to the next depending on which game I was playing (Battlefield 2 especially had problems with the Xonar).

Since then I've ditched the dedicated cards and settled for the lowly on-board audio chip (Realtek) on my Asus motherboard..and guess what...no switching drivers, no cracks, pops, glitches or latency.

Creative make piss poor products and always have done. I would question whether or not this review (and this reviewer) actually used the SB-Z card in any meaningful fashion, because it seems that the pretty red housin and the completely pointless EQ-effects in the bloat-ware the card comes with are enough to warrant a high score and a recommendation.

I'll never, ever buy from Creative (Labs) again.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 10:57   #6
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Think the price point is too high for most to consider.

Asus sound card is 20-30 less and has long term support from the company. Most creative products support does not last more than 18months.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 11:10   #7
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I recently bought one of these to replace the on board audio from my motherboard. This was my first dedicated sound card and I have not been dissapointed. I have used them with both my creative T20 speakers and AKG headphones.

I'm a little concerned now at the above comments regarding creatives driver support etc. but I have had no issues this far. I would recommend the card - it also comes with a dedicated mic - to enthusiasts but make your own mind up about creative support.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 11:24   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoochy
I I would recommend the card - it also comes with a dedicated mic - to enthusiasts but make your own mind up about creative support.
Of course you'd recommend it, it's a fresh purchase so you've got that 'Shiny Toy!' glint to your eyes and more importantly you've never been through the agro of having a 'not brand new' creative card become a dreadful time wasting piece of badly supported crap because Creative can't (or won't) write decent drivers and keep those drivers up to date.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 11:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoochy View Post
I recently bought one of these to replace the on board audio from my motherboard. This was my first dedicated sound card and I have not been dissapointed.
Wait some years. You will then understand the comments posted above.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 11:31   #10
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16/06/10>16/02/11>25/01/13

same driver , same patch notes , only certified for different OS , no changes or updates or fixes


thats for the X-FI
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 11:38   #11
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After getting stung buying an X-Fi (which sits in it's box) I'd never buy anything from them again even ifit was £20.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 12:12   #12
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Looks gorgeous though.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere View Post
Of course you'd recommend it, it's a fresh purchase so you've got that 'Shiny Toy!' glint to your eyes and more importantly you've never been through the agro of having a 'not brand new' creative card become a dreadful time wasting piece of badly supported crap because Creative can't (or won't) write decent drivers and keep those drivers up to date.
This may be true but I personally have enjoyed it thus far. If in time I feel it is causing problems, then lesson learnt. Shame this review was not out (and the following comments above) prior to me buying as it now feels like I have bought a dud. Oh well.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:04   #14
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Yup, another here who finds Creative a shoddy company. I recently found that my soundcard stopped working because of the automatically installed latest software.

Whenever I get around to building a new rig (at least a couple of years!) I'll be using an Asus card instead.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:07   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoochy View Post
This may be true but I personally have enjoyed it thus far. If in time I feel it is causing problems, then lesson learnt. Shame this review was not out (and the following comments above) prior to me buying as it now feels like I have bought a dud. Oh well.
the card will be fine , and in fact there are some really good thrid party drivers - but thats it , they are third party drivers PAX drivers which add teh feature set back in - but why do users have to search for working drivers , when creative themselves should be doing this!
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:28   #16
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Wow, I must be in the minority, I've got an X-fi and I like it admittedly getting, installing, updating or anything to do with the drivers or software is a real pain, but once in and set up the card's good.

Not convinced as to why this card needs a red metal shroud with a window on to the chip, seems a bit pointless.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:29   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
the card will be fine , and in fact there are some really good thrid party drivers - but thats it , they are third party drivers PAX drivers which add teh feature set back in - but why do users have to search for working drivers , when creative themselves should be doing this!
This is good to know. Would there be a benefit of me swapping to 3rd party drivers now or sticking with the creative ones until I (seem I inevitably will) run into problems?
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:41   #18
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I stopped caring about Creative products after the original Audigy. Their windows driver support went downhill and Linux support became non-existent.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 13:59   #19
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Not that I like Creative's business practices or support but my X-FI is still going strong, not had driver problems for a good few years now.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 14:36   #20
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My XtreameGamer is also OK, whether in Win (8 now, Vista before) or Linux (latest Kubuntu)...

and yes, there is a very noticeable difference on my Roccat Kave between on-board (Realtek ALC889A) and (cheap) XtreameGamer... (this for the people saying that there is no difference between on-board and dedicated sound card
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