|Creative Sound Blaster Live! - Part 6
A Look at the Future UPDATED!
Not forgetting Aureal's Vortex 2 that will soon be
incorporated into many sound cards, we see the competition heating up.
Aureal's Vortex 2 promises to be on the
forefront with the SBLive! delivering an unprecedented 320 polyphony voices and 16 3D
hardware streams. Vortex 2 will also support DirectSound, DirectSound3D, A3D, A3D 2.0 and
|Click to see enlarged photograph
All these are exciting cards
coming out in the near future, but what we have here is the Sound Blaster Live! delivering
on every gamer's and audiophile's fantasies NOW.
Moreover, from the mail I recently received
from Frank of 3DSoundSurge, it has confirmed that Creative will continue to exploit the
unharnessed powess (est. to be close to 50 percent!!) of the EMU10K1 DSP processor on the
Sound Blaster Live!
The word is out! Creative has
announced in a press
release that just simply through software upgrade (presumably drivers of course!), new
unthinkable levels of functionalities will be added to the Sound Blaster Live!
This LiveWare! programme is
scheduled to start in September which will bring about a major "upgrade" to the
SBLive! product that promises to leave the competition in the dust! (hmm... the Vortex 2
has to try a lot harder)
AC-3 decoding will be available
(although the exact way of implementation is still open to debate... whether it'll require
the Theater 5.1???).
The number of hardware accelerated
3D audio streams will be increased 4 folds, from 8 to 32 !!! (This is DOUBLE that of the
Diamond MX300 featuring the Vortex 2 !)
Also, Creative has decided to
demolish the competition by upping the the number of PCI voices to a whopping 512 instead
of the present 256. Seriously, what's the big deal about 320 voices now??? :P
(Read the press release for even
more spicy details)
I'll be eagerly waiting for the September update to see for
myself if this Creative magic will work. Then I will definitely update my verdict again!
Yeah, stay tuned!
My Verdict UPDATED!
There is little to hate about this card, in fact, it is very
difficult not to love it.
Perhaps the high price tag will put many
interested buyers on hold. But with all the high end features that rivals even
professional home theater equipment all packed onto this tiny PCB, the value of the card
is unmatched by any card in the market. Also, the fidelity of the card has absolutely no
Creative's Environmental Audio Extensions will
open new doors in 3D audio modeling. With the pledged support of many game developers keen
on delivering new games with EAX support, and the possibilities of improvements like the
inclusion of AC3 decoding, the Live! will not only be the ultimate choice for gamers but
it will also be very appealing to audiophiles as well.
After reading the NEW press
release, the MOST IMPRESSIVE part was all in CEO Sim Wong Hoo's words.
"... Even with the new major
enhancements we are announcing today with Live!Ware, we are only just beginning to scratch
Finally, as Hardware One does not have a
percentage rating for this card, I'll give it a big thumbs up! The Sound Blaster Live! is
definitely the way to go!