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Thread: Guide to making ur x-fi not crackle

  1. #1
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    Guide to making ur x-fi not crackle

    hey guys, i just recieved my x-fi and put it in, crackled
    i remember u can mod it to not crackle by putting a hs on the chip, pics will come soon but basically, this is easy stuff
    1) buy a cheap heatsink from a computer surplus store
    2) measure the length and width of the chip
    3) cut the hs to those dimentions
    4) u can use some super glue to glue it to the chip, really u dont need arctic adhesive because its not that hot, just needs a bit more heat spreading area
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  2. #2
    One-Eyed Killing Machine
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    I've experienced some crackling, and cripples with the X-Fi's that come with the heatsink on.
    Thing is, it happened once after a clean WinXP installation.
    Same system, new Windows setup, and no issues at all.
    Same drivers, etc.

    Just buggy drivers, should've been used to that ( the "Creative Labs" experience )

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenchZowner
    I've experienced some crackling, and cripples with the X-Fi's that come with the heatsink on.
    Thing is, it happened once after a clean WinXP installation.
    Same system, new Windows setup, and no issues at all.
    Same drivers, etc.

    Just buggy drivers, should've been used to that ( the "Creative Labs" experience )
    i put a hs on mine and it was all fixed
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  4. #4
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    It was probably a coinicdence. The crackling has been going on for years. This is nothing new. The crackling has been here since the Audigy 1 series I believe. Sound Blaster doesn't say it's true, but I think it's because of their god awful drivers.
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  5. #5
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    heh
    lucky me then
    no crackling
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  6. #6
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    Most Creative soundcard issues are the result of how they work on the PCI bus. Generally speaking, Creative cards are bus hogs. They make good sound but rely heavily on a clean PCI bus. Creative just leaves little overhead on the bus while going after the best sound with the laziest drivers. This goes all the way back to the famous KT133a chipset SBLive issue.

    Bottom line is that various chipsets with specific PCI bus utilizing hardware configurations can cause the crackling. Basically, when the card has to wait for the PCI Bus to clear, it causes a momentary wait state which ends up as a crackle. Creative builds in buffers for this...... but only so far.

    Because the problem only happens when the PCI bus is saturated, the problem comes across as "intermittent" and "inconsistent." Some folks have the crackling while others do not.

    Another issue is IRQ sharing (which has been much improved lately with WinXP and less used PCI bus hardware). Bad IRQ conflicts cause the same wait state and crackle. This is why swaping PCI slots could sometimes help a crackling sound card.

    From what I've read on the Creative forums, I'd say its creative up to thier old tricks again....simply not building in enough margin of error for aggressive chipset designs which push pci bus timings to the edge of spec. Drivers and heatsinks can help here or there with isolated cases, but that's not real issue. Far too many non heatsinked cards are running fine, while heatsinked ones crackle. And driver "fixes" from creative have not helped.

    So, IMO, based on whats going on now, with the correlation of the NF4 problems particularly, I'm pretty sure the X-fi hardware needs refreshing. The X-fi that used to rarely crackle on my Expert/FX60 set up never crackles on my badaxe/conroe system.
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  7. #7
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    I never understood why, if it's a pci bus issue, it seems to happen less on Intel chipsets than others? Thoughts?

  8. #8
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    Well in my case i dont have the entire PCI bus saturated but i do have 3 PCI devices installed, a wifi card,rv-tuner card and my x-fi extreme music.
    ive never experience a single popping except when i start warcraft 3 ( during the moment it loads )

  9. #9
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    So this issue is back to the audigy 1 days? Interesting. I've had the SB live, audigy, and now the audigy 2 ZS and never heard a crackle... Guess I'm lucky.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyJJO
    and now the audigy 2 ZS and never heard a crackle... Guess I'm lucky.
    Wanna get some ?
    Go to Control Panel -> AudioHQ -> Device Settings -> Dolby Settings -> Disable Dynamic Range Compression.
    Try playing back some Dolby Digital themed vob's ( DVD Rips ) from your HDD

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenchZowner
    Wanna get some ?
    Go to Control Panel -> AudioHQ -> Device Settings -> Dolby Settings -> Disable Dynamic Range Compression.
    Try playing back some Dolby Digital themed vob's ( DVD Rips ) from your HDD
    Now why exactly should someone do that? Do you get better quality?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LenniZ
    Now why exactly should someone do that? Do you get better quality?

    he explained how you can activate that crackling effect

  13. #13
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    What would be a good alternative to creative x-fi? I was just about to get a new sound card.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvermirage
    What would be a good alternative to creative x-fi? I was just about to get a new sound card.

    there is none if you are a gamer.

  15. #15
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    very true, all good games have been optimised for x-fi (fear, prey, bf2, ect)
    if ur a home theater type guy, get a auzentech xplosion, they allow all 7.1 channels on the thing, not just 2 channels on spidf
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  16. #16
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    No crackle on my X-Fi, but boot, overclock and reinstallation issues, it caused with the DS3. Used to have crackling on the A2Value with very high sample rates, but heatsink cured that right up.
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  17. #17
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    I'd get the X-fi. The crackling issue is more a configuration specific problem and most folks have no troubles. I like my X-fi a lot and wouldn't have it any other way for a good gaming rig.
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  18. #18
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    I don't know if this helps but here goes:

    I have an ASUS P5w DH Deluxe with an e6400@3.2GHz. In the bios options I've set pci-express frequency to 100, and some other pci setting to 33.3Mhz...

    There is an option "Performance Mode" with settings Auto, Standard, and Turbo. When I set it to turbo with no overclocking and default voltages I get CRACKLING. Imagine that, an x-fi that crackles...

    Heres what fixes it: I set my ICHv (input/output controller hub voltage?) to 1.2v as aposed to the default 1.05.... Crackling stops. I set it back to 1.05, crackling is there, so I set "performance mode" to standard and it stops.

    So for Asus P5W DH Deluxe owners:
    Turbo+ICHv@1.2 = no crackling
    Standard+ICHv@1.05 = no crackling.
    Turbo+ICHv@1.05 = crackling....

    I hope this helps SOMEONE

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chron
    I don't know if this helps but here goes:

    I have an ASUS P5w DH Deluxe with an e6400@3.2GHz. In the bios options I've set pci-express frequency to 100, and some other pci setting to 33.3Mhz...

    There is an option "Performance Mode" with settings Auto, Standard, and Turbo. When I set it to turbo with no overclocking and default voltages I get CRACKLING. Imagine that, an x-fi that crackles...

    Heres what fixes it: I set my ICHv (input/output controller hub voltage?) to 1.2v as aposed to the default 1.05.... Crackling stops. I set it back to 1.05, crackling is there, so I set "performance mode" to standard and it stops.

    So for Asus P5W DH Deluxe owners:
    Turbo+ICHv@1.2 = no crackling
    Standard+ICHv@1.05 = no crackling.
    Turbo+ICHv@1.05 = crackling....

    I hope this helps SOMEONE

    nice observation..
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  20. #20
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    We should test this to see if this fix is consistent. I sold my Audigy 2 plat, but I still have my POS audigy 1 gamer.
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  21. #21
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    Crackling! I had some real pain with this, its been around with Creative cards for years, had it with my SB Live! 1024 player and nForce 2 and could never get a fix for it, my audigy 2 had it one one system and due to crappy Creative POS drivers, it sometimes made my dothan rig freeze on start up - problems went away when I got rid of my auidigy and went to Xi-Fi.

    I really like my Xi-Fi and I thought Creative had turned a new leaf with them and so really dissapoints me to hear that they still are up to their old tricks
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  22. #22
    no my one works 100% ok

  23. #23
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    well i seemed to fixed it with a heatsink
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  24. #24
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    All seems a bit random, I have an X-Fi Fatality on an Asus P5W DH and before this I had an Audigy 2 ZS and have never had crackling problems. Also have quite a few friends that have the Fatality and other sound blaster cards and have never had issues.

  25. #25
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    I have a audigy card that has never crackled. It is really irritating that creative hasn't fixed this problem though. On the first gen cards then it might be ok, but on 2nd and 3rd gen cards there is no excuse.
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