Creative Labs has decided to threaten a community modder because he was making Creative Labs drivers that actually supported Windows Vista with all of the features advertised for the product. Vista has been out for well over a year, and I have used it now for less than a year, and during this time Creative has entirely failed to provide a driver solution that gives all of the features advertised for the product. Hell, they can’t even make a driver that’s stable on the operating system. I have contacted Creative Labs support on a couple occasions about this, posted on the forum, etc. but in the end anytime I try to have sound outputting during high CPU usage I am nervous about my computer locking up.
I have complained about this product in the past, how Creative won’t just release specs so people can make Linux drivers, but I make this my vow: I will not buy another Creative product, period. I also will go on every single review website, forum, etc. and give people the raw facts about Creative Labs: they are incompetent and worthless(with of course, all the details of their failings).
For more on this topic, see the digg article.
UPDATE: For those looking to download the Creative Audigy drivers written by Daniel_K, they can be found here http://digiex.net/drivers/164-creative-audigy-series-vista-32bit-x86-vista-64bit-x64-drivers-daniel_k.html
Creative Labs makes some of the best consumer PC audio hardware and nobody will dispute this. The one thing people will dispute is that their products are worth the hassle, and that’s for one reason: their drivers.
Over the years, Creative has acquired an infamous reputation for poor drivers, and by extension poor customer support. The hardware community is learning to rely on onboard audio out of necessity, rather than choice. If Creative would hand over driver development to the community, or a third party who is knowledged, capable, and experienced, their reputation wouldn’t continue to sink.
A recent development is that Creative chips will now be found on other brands of audio cards. What this means is uncertain, as having the same chipset may mean that users will still have to rely on Creative for drivers, such as in the case of NVidia graphics cards and Intel motherboards.
I’m writing this because of my experience with the X-Fi SoundBlaster XtremeGamer. Their support for Vista 64-bit is atrocious, with basic audio often crackling, and EAX support an unachieved dream. Recently, they released a 64-bit Linux driver, but all reports are saying that it is completely useless. My experience with it fails to falsify this opinion, as I couldn’t get the driver module to compile with any of Creative’s instructions, as well as from patches from the community.