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Old 14th January, 2007, 03:22 PM
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Red face X-Fi sound bugs? I think I have a solution.

In spring 2006 I finally get my hands on X-Fi Fatal1ty card. The reason for upgrade from my Audigy2zs was mostly the pause bug, BF2 support (I started play BF2 a lot) and the X-ram thing, that provide 64MB soundbuffer that should dramaticaly reduce PCI load - hence give me some speed-up Or so I thought. The first nasty surprise when I actually get the card in my hand was this:

http://www.slibe.com/images/0198d08e...atal1ty_3_.jpg

Not only the unnecessary long legs, but mainly the capacitors type - Jamicons. Jamicon cap's are bad, they are known to fail - eg. over time lost most of their specs.
At first, everything work great, except some weird noises when BF2 is loading sounds. (maybe the card did not like OGM playback when there is going writing samples to the X-ram? Or my A9R480 Sapphire Grouper mobo is up to blame?) However after like 2 months are the pause bug back.

When I say pause bug, I mean this. Using any player, play a AC3 5.1 movie while using 5.1 speakers on analog connection. Decoding filter has to be AC3 filter and it has to use 24bit output to generate enough data to trigger the failure. Now randomly pause and unpause the playback. Sooner ot later the channels start play from wrong speakers and/or there is terrible noise from all speakers comming after the unpause. This is a pause bug. I had it on Audigy (1), Audigy2zs and after two months on X-Fi as well.

It was obvious that the X-Fi is need to be recapped and the Jamicons changed to good, preferably audio caps - but NOT for all positions. The catch is, that Creative did use one capacitor type for all positions - eg. for the voltage filtering as well, as for the audio output. That is nonsense at best. Audio and computers capacitors don't mix!
So, they simply put Jamicons everywhere. Not something that I would expect from 260$ pricetag (spring 2006, mind you) product

http://www.slibe.com/images/18b16aa4...atal1ty_jp.jpg

http://www.slibe.com/images/fe2e9cb2...atal1ty_2_.jpg


Now why I started this thread.

Well, to begin with, some weeks ago (to 14. 8. 2006) I started to play Mafia - a original Czech game of the 1930 NewYork organized crime. You simply work your way up in the organization at prohibition times, drive old cars, steal, murder and finally seek salvation from the hands of cops... During play it sometimes in these briefing talking scenes is seems to starting to lost some samples. I thought that the Czech programmers engine simply could have some quirks with 64MB of sample buffer on X-Fi Fatal1ty. After all, as the game release there was not such a thing as X-Fi, right? However the more I play and the closer to the end I was, the more often it happening. And it kinda suxx to go on mission and not know the briefing, right? However as I finished the game, the problems are gone, so...

So then I started play Prey And when shortly in game in one spot appears more sounds at once (your girl scream, mechanic move, buttons, alien...), the whole computer freeze. I remember the Jamicons and quickly pull the X-Fi out and replaced the big Jamicon (originaly a 220uF 16V) with Panny FM 470uF 16V as well, as two 100uF Jamicons with 120uF Panny FM ones.


The results.

I finished whole Prey in few days of hard gaming w/o crash or any problem. I went back to Mafia and - whoa, samples aren't lost anymore again. My apology, Czech programmers. I did not trusted in yours skils... In adition, the pause bug is - GONE!


Later.

So I added the frontpannel later (moth or so), but in like a week, problems and pausebug are there again. Frontpannel is full of Jamicons too, and it obviously accelerated the dying of Jamicons on card or so. I pulled it out, yet the pause bug is still there. No crashing, luckily.


I would like to hear from X-Fi and perhaps also Audigy2(zs) users about their experience and possibly about their sound bugs. There is so many people on Creative forum that claim to have similar issues as me, so... I wonder in how many cases this could be avoided just by using good caps and not Jamicon crap...



To completely recap X-Fi you need:

x-Fi Fata1ity
-------------
1x 220uF 16V - P12376-ND (I recommend there 1000uF Samxon GC 6.3V)
2x 100uF 16V - P12922-ND
3x 47uF 16V - P11196-ND
28x 22uF 16V - P11213-ND
10x 10uF 16V - P11212-ND
7x 4.7uF 50V - P10315-ND


Audigy 2zs
----------
3x 100uF 16V d6.3 (Jamicon) - P12922-ND
5x 47uf 16V d5 (Teapo) - P11196-ND
35x 22uF 16V d4 (Jamicon) - P11213-ND
5x 10uF 16V d4 (Jamicon) - P11212-ND
11x 4.7uF 50V d4 (Jamicon) - P10315-ND
3x 1uF 50V d4 (Wincap) - P10312-ND

(digi-key.com product numbers used)
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Old 14th January, 2007, 03:54 PM
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This is pretty interesting reading

Have you totally replaced all the standard caps on your board then? And if you have has it cured all the problems?
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Old 16th January, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Red face

Thanks. Well, that does happen for me, and for many others as well. Where do you think all the audio bugses, not recognized cards, losing DX HW acceleration and stuff come from? Out of blue? Only unreliable caps can do it...

And no, not yet replaced anything. First at all, I lack the caps. Second it looks like that using Elna caps could be much better for the audio quality in result and third - no Opteron = not using the machine completely.
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