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Creative Labs SB Audigy Player Review

 

Drivers

The Audigy supports Windows 98SE, 2000, Millennium Edition & XP, although at that the XP Drivers need to be downloaded (as mentioned earlier) from Creative & installed over the CD Drivers youíll need to have installed.

AudioHQ contains all the applets youíll need to configure the various features of the Audigy itself.

Device Controls allows you to adjust the Sampling rate for Digital output, with a maximum of 96 KHz being supported, although this will depend on the Decoder/Amplifier you are connected to as well (With not all supporting that).

The EAX Control Panel allows for adjustments to various audio sources or apply different EAX effects & such to sources. SoundFont allows you configure some instruments & adjust the amount of RAM that can be used for caching SoundFonts. The Speaker & Mixer applets allow you to adjust the Volume, Speaker mode & other settings.

The only semi-disappointing thing here is the Audigy only features basic Bass & Treble adjustments.

My experiences with the Audigy in Windows XP have been favourable with no crashes or lockups caused by the Soundcard & most importantly no crackling/data corruption, despite having a VIA Southbridge on the Motherboard, they both got along fine (Though some on the Creative newsgroup have reported crackling/screeching problems).

 

IEEE-1394 Connectivity

Similar to the Hercules Game Theater XP which made featured 4 USB ports & thus opened up some interesting connectivity possibilities (Ever connected an USB Digital Camera & Printer to your Live! 5.1? thought not.). Creative also seems to have noticed the possibilities this can offer & have went that extra bit further with the Audigy Ė Integrating an IEEE-1394 Controller into the Soundcard with a single port available for use by an IEEE-1394 device (Compatibility of such devices with the Audigy can be verified with the SB1394 Certification Program).

Whereas USB offers the ability to connect a wider variety of devices, IEEE-1394 offers a great deal more bandwidth Ė 400Mbps, isnít reliant on the CPU, & is supported by a good deal of Storage devices & Digital Camcorders, with other Devices being equally capable of working also. Another interesting possibility it offers is Networking, potentially connecting up to another 64 systems, mentioned in this Creative article.

Certainly the addition of the IEEE-1394 Controller is a welcome feature, with separate Controllers costing a good portion of what the Audigy Player does ;). Unfortunately, I have no IEEE-1394 devices and canít really comment on its use. You can read further information about IEEE-1394 & its benefits at Microsoft.

 



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