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X-fi Sound card not working with windows version update. Recommend a replacement

Sunburn74

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2009
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Hi. I have an auzentech x-fi forte 7.1 sound card. Since windows 1903 it no longer works. I'm interested in replacing it. However, I have concerns that many more modern creative sound cards also are broken with windows updates. Can someone recommend a good sound card (can drive premium headphones) that work with the latest windows 10 builds?

Would like to keep it under say 150 dollars
 
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BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
57,038
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Or just get the right drivers...looks like you're not the only one with the problem. Seems to be a few work-arounds...

https://www.reddit.com/r/SoundBlasterOfficial/comments/e3v845
https://www.reddit.com/r/SoundBlasterOfficial/comments/bszo81

I haven't heard about 1903 or later breaking the newer Creative cards. What impedance are the headphones?


I've been eyeballing this one for my PC though:

Or, if you're not set on an internal card...

 

Sunburn74

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2009
4,361
1,709
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Or just get the right drivers...looks like you're not the only one with the problem. Seems to be a few work-arounds...

https://www.reddit.com/r/SoundBlasterOfficial/comments/e3v845
https://www.reddit.com/r/SoundBlasterOfficial/comments/bszo81

I haven't heard about 1903 or later breaking the newer Creative cards. What impedance are the headphones?


I've been eyeballing this one for my PC though:

Or, if you're not set on an internal card...

Thanks for the response.
I've used every modded driver I could find on the web. The issue is each windows version release the modded drivers break. Currently windows is on version 20h2. Currently there is no modded driver that works with the most recent windows version

I'm looking for a good internal card. I've been eyeballing the Asus strix soar card which seems to have recent drivers but the reviews are mixed (lots of issues with sound quality and the requirement for power cables). Looking for something comparable perhaps not by creative who is generally failing to keep up with drivers and quickly end of lifes sound cards.

My current headphones are 600 ohm
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,821
441
126
I have a Creative Sound Blaster AE-7 that works just dandy with the latest version of Windows 10. It's more than you wanted to spend, but they have cheaper models.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,855
229
106
I use a X-fi titanium HD on 1909 (with the Daniel_K package) and it works fine. Creative released new drivers to address this issue specifically, but not sure about other comanies using the same chip.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
57,038
5,387
126
Thanks for the response.
I've used every modded driver I could find on the web. The issue is each windows version release the modded drivers break. Currently windows is on version 20h2. Currently there is no modded driver that works with the most recent windows version

I'm looking for a good internal card. I've been eyeballing the Asus strix soar card which seems to have recent drivers but the reviews are mixed (lots of issues with sound quality and the requirement for power cables). Looking for something comparable perhaps not by creative who is generally failing to keep up with drivers and quickly end of lifes sound cards.

My current headphones are 600 ohm
I haven't read many good things about the ASUS sound cards, and the EVGA sound cards although pretty well reviewed, just seem badly over-priced.
 

Sunburn74

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2009
4,361
1,709
136
I have a Creative Sound Blaster AE-7 that works just dandy with the latest version of Windows 10. It's more than you wanted to spend, but they have cheaper models.
The ae9 seems more than I want to spend but maybe the ae5 is within my price range. Are you sure it works with win version 20h2? Also over the time you've had the card have there been periods where the driver was unsupported ? I've been reading reddit forums and lots of people complaining about poor support this the need for the modded drivers (see Daniel K's website as described above)
 

thecoolnessrune

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2005
9,537
454
126
I honestly can't think of any great value Internal cards at this point unless you need the real 7.1 channels. Even the previous Internal card manufacturers moved on to USB for most of their products. Cards like the EVGA Nu Audio are just USB cards on a PCIe board.

The Sound BlasterX AE-5 Plus is likely your only real value in a card that's PCI-e, $150, and at least decent.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,724
5,369
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The ae9 seems more than I want to spend but maybe the ae5 is within my price range. Are you sure it works with win version 20h2? Also over the time you've had the card have there been periods where the driver was unsupported ? I've been reading reddit forums and lots of people complaining about poor support this the need for the modded drivers (see Daniel K's website as described above)
I've been using the AE-5 in my main desktop for several years, and I've haven't had any driver issues. One of the Window 10 updates (a few updates ago, can't remember exactly which one it was) it reset my custom equalizer settings in the Creative program, but all I had to do was set them again. Outside of that, it's been smooth sailing.
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,821
441
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The ae9 seems more than I want to spend but maybe the ae5 is within my price range. Are you sure it works with win version 20h2? Also over the time you've had the card have there been periods where the driver was unsupported ? I've been reading reddit forums and lots of people complaining about poor support this the need for the modded drivers (see Daniel K's website as described above)
I am using verison 19042.746, which is 20H2. I've had no issues with drivers since I've had the AE-7, which is 2 years and change.
 

Sunburn74

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2009
4,361
1,709
136
I honestly can't think of any great value Internal cards at this point unless you need the real 7.1 channels. Even the previous Internal card manufacturers moved on to USB for most of their products. Cards like the EVGA Nu Audio are just USB cards on a PCIe board.

The Sound BlasterX AE-5 Plus is likely your only real value in a card that's PCI-e, $150, and at least decent.
I have a high end set of headphones. If there are USB cards that can drive 600 ohm headphones, that'd be fine too.

Otherwise looks like the AE-5 will be the card of choice. Thanks for the recommendations.
 

thecoolnessrune

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2005
9,537
454
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I have a high end set of headphones. If there are USB cards that can drive 600 ohm headphones, that'd be fine too.

Otherwise looks like the AE-5 will be the card of choice. Thanks for the recommendations.
For sure. The Sound BlasterX G6 for instance is external USB, $150, and measures much better than the AE-5. Also has no problems with 600 Ohm loads. In a step up, you could also do a Schiit Magni 3 Heresy + Schiit Modi for $200 that measures much better than the G6.
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,821
441
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I have a high end set of headphones. If there are USB cards that can drive 600 ohm headphones, that'd be fine too.

Otherwise looks like the AE-5 will be the card of choice. Thanks for the recommendations.
What headphones do you have?
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,131
714
126
Hi. I have an auzentech x-fi forte 7.1 sound card. Since windows 1903 it no longer works. I'm interested in replacing it.
Yes, only a madman would keep updating windows when it just risks breaking things over and over. Replace Win 1903 with prior version. Your world will not implode. Quite the opposite. Treadmills are for mice and hamsters. Paying $150 plus problem ID and resolution time just to stay on that treadmill? Okay then! :rolleyes:

However you asked more, so... for premium cans, there is no sound card that's sufficient. You want digital output, to a DAC, with a linear regulated PSU powered gain stage using at least 18V. Better analog ICs require more than the 12V a computer PSU produces, and more voltage still for high-Z cans.

I repeat, there is no sound card powered by an ATX 12V PSU that can do justice to 600ohm cans. Unless you only like low volume before distortion. Theoretically it is possible, to take the ATX PSU 12V input, use a switching boost converter, throw a ton of filtration on it, then use a linear regulator to drop back down to the target voltage, but nobody does that because computer sound cards are more about snake oil than benefit after a certain point.

There may be a product that ticks all the boxes I mentioned, but I haven't kept up with that since there is no real innovation in tech that changes DAC to linear PSU powered class A headamp, available for $150, unless you build it yourself and are a super savvy shopper for discrete components or have some suitable parts already lying around.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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Yes, only a madman would keep updating windows when it just risks breaking things over and over. Replace Win 1903 with prior version. Your world will not implode.
Most people are not able to stay on (or want to stay on) version 1903 forever. With Microsoft's automatic updates with Windows 10, that would take a lot of effort and leaving the PC unconnected to the internet.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,131
714
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^ Huh? Everyone can stay on any version of windows forever, or until there is a compelling reason to switch. It doesn't take a lot of effort, and doesn't require leaving the PC disconnected from the internet. There's registry editing, group policy change, firewall, disabling the update service, and probably more options... and I mean any one of these, not all.

We've reached the era where anyone knows to do a web search for info. If they can't follow steps using text and screenshots or videos, they probably can't fix their PC if windows craps itself from an update either.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,724
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^ Huh? Everyone can stay on any version of windows forever, or until there is a compelling reason to switch. It doesn't take a lot of effort, and doesn't require leaving the PC disconnected from the internet. There's registry editing, group policy change, firewall, disabling the update service, and probably more options... and I mean any one of these, not all.

We've reached the era where anyone knows to do a web search for info. If they can't follow steps using text and screenshots or videos, they probably can't fix their PC if windows craps itself from an update either.
Yes, there are people who do everything possible to prevent from getting Windows updates. While that can be practical for some, the majority of people want to keep an internet connected PC updated.

However, most people who use Windows 10 do not take that kind of steps to keep it on version 1903 forever. If you do, great.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,131
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want to keep an internet connected PC updated.
This has nothing to do with whether your PC is internet connected, unless it is directly connected with no router... which being built into modems from ISPs these days even if you don't buy your own equipment, just isn't a factor for the average person.

I can keep a WinXP box connected to the internet and have no security problems. It is far more safe and reliable than win10, but doesn't support modern hardware.

Do not listen to pretend-security experts that claim otherwise. It is 100% about not doing risky things, and I mean idiot things like opening email attachments or the browser entry points, it's always about the entry point not the OS.

You have the least security possible by blindly updating to each new version of whatever MS shoves at you, if only you continue to follow the same safe computing practices that were always needed. And still are.
 
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Rayman30

Member
Mar 7, 2019
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A little late to the party here, but typically a DAC/AMP Combo is superior to most internal solutions, I would recommend something like a JDS Labs Atom stack or Schiit Stack over sound cards for most things. However, the AE-5 is a good card if you must go internal.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,855
229
106
After moving to Windows 20H2, I can verify that the X-fi titanium HD works there as well. It has a great DAC and I like its environmental effects for music, and the CMSS-3D Headphone works very well for certain games. I've had it for 7-8 years and at this rate I'll probably keep it forever.
 
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shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
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I've been using onboard sound for like, 4 motherboards now.
Its fine.
Its more than fine.
5.1 in Doom is awesome.
 

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