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Supreme Cmdr

Performance issues with Creative Labs Audigy/2 Cards

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I decided to start a new topic about this.

quote:


Originally posted by Sandeu:

I use to only get about 30fps in space and 5fps on the planet. I was reading this thread and mucked around abit, I now get 70-80 fps in space and 15-20 fps on the planet, how did I do this, I turned off Hardware acceleration on my Audigy 2 sound card, all the way off, and put the -x1 command on the UC short cut. I'm curious, give this a try, maybe it's just an Audigy 2 thing.


There is definitely something fishy going on with the Audigy cards. I have an Audigy2 ZS card in one of my machines. If you just go with the drivers that come on the CD-ROM, everything is fine. But if you make the mistake of applying ANY of the updates (e.g. the EAX4) on their site, you will lose around 20+ fps in ALL games; including UC. I actually had to uninstall the card*; clean the drivers out using Driver Cleaner (while still in Safe Mode) and re-installed from scratch using the drivers that came on the CD-ROM. I have not applied ANY updates since.

* Here's how

  1. Download and install (1) Driver Cleaner (2) Startup Control Panel applet (unless
    you have something that does similar.

  2. Click START / RUN / Type MSCONFIG and press ENTER.
  3. Insert a check to the left of SELECTIVE STARTUP and deselect 'LOAD
    STARTUP ITEMS'.

  4. Select the SERVICES tab and select HIDE ALL MICROSOFT SERVICES.
  5. Uncheck all results and click OK.
  6. Click OK and reboot when prompted.
  7. Reboot your computer and enter SAFE MODE by tapping F8 a few times
    or by holding the SHIFT key while rebooting.

  8. Select SAFE MODE from the menu
  9. Say YES to the SAFE MODE prompt; then insert the sound card's installation
    CD and exit out of the installer

  10. Click START / RUN and type "X:AUDIODRIVERSCTZAPXX.EXE into the OPEN field
    (REPLACE X WITH THE APPLICABLE CD-ROM DRIVE LETTER).

  11. Click OK.
  12. When the CREATIVE DRIVER UPDATE UTILITY opens, select DRIVER UNINSTALLATION under
    UPDATE OPTION. If two out of the three options are disabled or greyed out under
    DRIVER TYPE, click OK. Otherwise, select one of the options and click OK. Once complete,
    repeat steps 9-13 again, selecting the other driver option(s). You will then be prompted to
    reboot. DO NOT REBOOT!!

  13. Click START / SETTINGS / CONTROL PANEL / ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS.
  14. Remove all Creative SB Audigy 2 programs. Look in list of programs beginning with
    the letter C to see the "Creative" entries. Then scroll the list to those beginning with
    the letter S to see the "SoundBlaster" entries. DO NOT REBOOT!!

  15. When done, run Driver Cleaner and select CREATIVE AUDIO from the drop-down list; then
    click on CLEAN. Repeat for CREATIVE AUDIO LITE and repeat. When done, close out of Driver
    Cleaner

  16. Go back to STEP #2 and access MSCONFIG then choose NORMAL STARTUP. Choose APPLY and
    then exit. DO NOT REBOOT!!

  17. Go to CONTROL PANEL and run the StartUp control panel program. Check each tab for
    a Creative labs entry (e.g. Audigy, Mediasource etc), then right click on each entry and delete it. They are CTHelper, CTSysVol, CTFmon.exe (if you see this one), SBDrvDet and Creative MediaSource. There may be others, depending on what your installed when you first installed the card.

  18. Now reboot as normal
  19. The Audigy 2 will be auto detected. Cancel the ADD NEW HARDWARE WIZARD when prompted.
  20. Insert your Audigy2 CD-ROM into your drive.
  21. Click START / RUN and type "X:CTRUNSTART.EXE into the OPEN field (REPLACE X WITH THE
    APPLICABLE CD-ROM DRIVE LETTER).

  22. Reboot as normal
  23. Calibrate your speakers etc etc. At this point, the choice is yours to go and install
    the latest driver updates; or not.

You will now be back at the default Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS, DR release 1.82.0 level as identified by Creative Software AutoUpdate which you can later run to see what they recommend that you install. If you install the 13.7MB EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD Driver Update for Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2/Audigy 2 ZS, you're probably back at square one.

You might want to profile your system (e.g. using Fraps, 3DMark 2005 or similar) with the clean driver install and after installing the EAX 4.0 update above - if you do in fact install it. When I profiled it, with the default drivers, UC would perform @ 90fps in 1024x768. With the EAX4 drivers installed, it dropped down to 64fps using the same test conditions.

EDIT:

There definitely is something fishy going on with that EAX4 drive update and I am currently awaiting an answer from my Creative dev support.

[ 02-10-2005, 08:36 AM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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SC, I followed your procedure to the letter and my installation CD will not detect my Audigy 2 Platinum card anymore.

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I managed to get most of everything up and running again from a system restore point, and reinstalling everything, but I think that I just managed to screw up my system more. All of the sound card programs work and I am getting sound, but the creative diagnostic program still does not detect the card, nor do any of the driver updates. I did try reinserting the card, but that had no effect.

To add insult to injury, I have not seen any change at all in game performance after doing all of this.

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You shouldn't be tampering with your system unless you know what you are doing. Using the System Restore after what you previously did, is a sure fine way to hose your system. Good luck.

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I was planning on wiping the hard drive and reinstalling XP after it screwed up anyway, I was in denial, and I just wanted to see whether or not system restore would help or not. I can now say that my curiosity is definitly satisfied.

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I just finished reformating my HD and reinstalling XP, and with the stock Audigy 2 drivers I am getting a nearly 3000 point increase in my 3DMark2001SE(patched) score from what it was before.

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quote:


Originally posted by Steve Schacher:

Creative released an Audigy driver update in May 2005 that I think fixes this problem.


What did they actually fix? Because I just checked and see no such notes in the driver details.

And how do you know its fixed?

[ 06-26-2005, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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You're right. It was my mistake.

Two things:

1. I misread the driver notes from an earlier fix

2. When I tested the game getting 40 FPS, I thought it was better than I had gotten the last time, but with the sound card acceleration turned off I get 100 FPS.

My apologies. Please delete the prior comment. I really WAS hoping it was fixed.

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quote:


Originally posted by Steve Schacher:

but with the sound card acceleration turned off I get 100 FPS.


...and where did you turn this acceleration off?

Why off? Did you try different settings?

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I turned off the acceleration in the Control Panel -> Sounds -> Volume Tab Speaker Settings Advanced button -> Performance Tab -> Audio Playback Hardware Acceleration slider all the way to off.

I didn't try the other two settings (Basic and Standard), only full and off (Emulation Only).

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Steve, since you started this misinformation, I think you need to run tests and figure out exactly which settings yield what results. No half-baked job please. So, get on with it. You will be graded later.

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Guest Shingen

Maybe a bit off topic...but can anyone recommend a good PCI soundcard?

Right now I'm running on this internal Avance AC97 soundchip(or something), but the latest Realtek drivers are crap, and the ones the load off of winxp aren't much better.

They won't play Morrowind, won't play X2 (obvious sound driver issues), but seem to run UC pretty good at 35-45 fps (8-15 on surface) on a 2.4 ghz celeron with 1 gig pc2100 DDR.

Is that Audigy/2 worth buying?

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quote:


Originally posted by Shingen:

Is that Audigy/2 worth buying?


No.

Get a Turtlebeach card. e.g. Montego or one of their latest ones.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

EDIT:

There definitely is something fishy going on with that EAX4 drive update and I am currently awaiting an answer from my Creative dev support.

Hi SC, came Creative back to you with some answers?

But thanks for the Guide. I have followed it and it works great.

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i have a Audigy 2 ZS and dont notice any problems in UC, give me a few days to do some tests to see what i can dig up

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I had no problems in UC with my audigy 2 NX, though in AWA I get a complete system crash intermitently when clicking on context menu options in any part of the game (total system freeze, repeating sound).

I'll follow the instructions above and post on how it goes. I haven't noticed if anyone else is using the NX, though it could be a USB problem rather than a driver prob.

I'll keep you posted.

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quote:


Originally posted by Azaran:

I had no problems in UC with my audigy 2 NX, though in AWA I get a complete system crash intermitently when clicking on context menu options in any part of the game (total system freeze, repeating sound).


Nothing to do with the game. UCAWA uses the same sound system as UC. Since the NX is an external sound device, you're on your own.

A classic example of WHY these forums are moderated the way they are.

[ 09-23-2005, 05:27 PM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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