Meet the X-Fi SB0770

16 02 2010

I finally bit the bullet and grabbed an X-Fi to play with. I wanted to see how the sofware and CPU usage compared on my home rig. For those who don’t know, Audigy series and X-Fi drivers are built around a similar driver architecture and share common driver parts. So in theory, X-Fi should suffer with the same issues as Audigy.

That’s the theory, but with the Creative Labs soundcards I’ve owned previously they develop problems over time. Vista killed my Audigy 2. It was never the same after the loss of DirectSound. It developed all sorts of nasty issues that never surfaced under Windows XP.

Creative were slow to react. Audigy owners had to wait nearly 2 years after Vista’s launch before they could use basic features such as microphone, multi speaker, EAX etc. I never expected to buy another Creative soundcard. I wanted something half good to hook up to our Yamaha RX-V461DAB though. I really would have liked an Auzentech soundcard. They’re super expensive and quite difficult to get here in the UK. Baby goat food costs money, so I opted for yet another budget mid-range Creative solution.

I ordered a OEM Creative Labs Xtreme Music from an online store. They sent a rather odd-looking Xtreme Gamer instead. This isn’t any normal Xtreme Gamer though, it’s quite different from all the one’s I’ve seen before. I even had to make an entry on the Sound Blaster Product Index.

The card which I received was the SB0770, but I believe there’s a twin SB0772 model also. The card has no internal connections to connect to expansion devices such as the X-Fi front panel. Instead, this X-Fi resembles the budget-bin Xtreme Audio  PCB layout. I was quite worried when I saw the board shape. Xtreme Audio cards are total crap software solutions, and doesn’t even contain the genuine EMU20K1 chip. Thankfully, the SB0770 has a EMU20K1 and also has a companion CA0112 “Golden Gate” chip that allows switching from UAA to X-FI mode.

UAA audio hardware core

  • Supports 3 independent DMA playback stream:

– 4x stereo analog output hardware output channels.
– 1x stereo headphone hardware output channel.
– 1x stereo digital hardware output channel.
– I2C EERPOM support to

1) Re-configure the number of analog output exposed to OS.
2) Disable headphone and digital output channels.

  • Supports 5 independent DMA record stream:

– 1x stereo Line In
– 2x stereo MIC In (Front/read)
– 1x auxiliary IN
– 1x stereo SPDIF input.
– I2C EERPOM support to disable line in, MIC in or auxiliary in or SPDIF input.

  • Supports Microsoft ‘out-of-the-box’ HDA driver
  • Audio outputs

– All playback channels support 16 and 24 bit stereo format.
– I2S Output supports sampling rate of 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz, 96 KHz and 192 KHz.
– SPDIF digital output supports sample rate of 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz and 96 KHz.
– Each playback DMA stream’s sample rate and bit format are independent.
– SPDIF Output will play Non-PCM data when digital stream is enabled.

  • Audio inputs

– All recording channels support 16 and 24 bit stereoformat.
– Line In and MIC In support sampling rate of 48 KHz, 96 KHz and 192 KHz.
– SPDIF input supports sampling rate of 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz and 96 KHz.
– Each record DMA stream’s sample rate and bit format are independent.

  • 1x I2C interface with configurable via I2C EEPROM to control on-board DAC/ADC.
  • 2 GPOs to control on-board anti-pop circuit and muting of headphone and speaker output.
  • 11 GPI input for audio jack detection.

20k1 mode

  • 1x SPDIF input to I2S output format converter of 24-bit with sample rate 48KHz, 96 KHz and 192KHz.
  • 3x I2S input to SPDIF output format converter of 24-bit with sample rate of 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 96KHz and 192KHz.

Another official Creative confidential data sheet (lol?) reveals this card has been in production since before July 2007. It seems HP and Alienware all sold this card at some point. It looks quite budget, but it’s how it compares to the ear that counts.

aaaw aint it a little cutie?

Looking at the picture, you can see a couple of missing pins for internal SPDIF. You might also notice something quite nice on the bracket though. Such a pleasant surprise to see both optical-in and optical-out connections. I’m unsure of what use optical in will be for me, but the output is a huge bonus. No front panels, onboard sound or plug in converters needed here.

Instead of the internal pin connections for the X-Fi expansion bay, you’ll also notice a standard Front Panel HDAudio connector. I think it’s fair to say, this card offers a wider compatibility with PC multimedia flaps everywhere. It’s got everything for my Antec P180 case, at least.

So far the music has been pretty much the same high quality as on my old Audigy 2 Platinum soundcard. That’s not much of a surprise, as I use our receiver for digital-to-analogue conversions. I’d probably notice greater differences if I used the analogue leads – but I’m not interested in them (or the CMSS, SVM or Crystalizer features). I always hear more distortion than improvement with those features turned on. Besides, our Yamaha has a quality music enhancer for compressed music like MP3. The Yamaha does all of the work for music, so it wouldn’t be fair to compare music.

Games however really sound much more enthralling. The first game I tested the SB0770 on was Borderlands. The sound was 100% better. I especially liked the extra bass when shotguns were fired or grenades exploded. EAX enabled pinpoint accuracy too! It was  much clearer which direction the gunshot sounds were coming from. I tested Guild Wars (EAX 2/3) and Team Fortress 2 (ASIO) but there was no real noticable change from the Audigy. I would say they both sounded slightly better though. Perhaps someone can suggest a good EAX 5 title to evaluate?🙂

EAX 5.0 offers several new [software] features:

  • 128 simultaneous voices processable in hardware and up to 4 effects on each
  • EAX Voice (processing of microphone input signal)
  • EAX PurePath (EAX Sound effects can originate from one speaker only)
  • Environment FlexiFX (four available effects slots per channel)
  • EAX MacroFX (realistic positional effects at close range)
  • Environment Occlusion (sound from adjacent environments can pass through walls)

Overall, I’m glad I upgraded to the SB0770 purely for the more stable software. I’m using the daniel_k X-Fi series Support Pack, needless to say. The DDL and DTS are working properly, without huge CPU usage. This makes it worthwhile alone for me on my aging E6550. My CPU usage used to skyrocket whenever I enabled DDL on the Audigy.

I can now play 5.1 in games, watch movies and listen to music through the same TOSLINK optical cable. Before I used to need two inputs on the receiver and the following leads coming from the PC.

  • Front Left/Right Cable Analogue
  • Rear Left/Right Cable Analogue
  • Center / Sub Analogue
  • Coaxial Digital (with frequent sound distortions and cut-outs)

Goodbye spaghetti wires!

Pretty much all the official software is working better on the X-Fi than the Audigy 2. My old Audigy Dolby Digital Live licence are valid on the X-Fi too which is another bonus. I did wonder if I would have to buy another pack for the X-Fi. Speaking of which, it hasn’t created any of the distortion sounds that can be heard on Audigy DDL either. My sound hasn’t cut-out once.

Performance:
Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie2

Price Rating:
Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1

Features:
Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie1Goatie2

Pros:

  • One TOSLINK cable does it all, without issues
  • Under £30 delivered – Cheapest EMU20K1
  • EAX 5 really does sound better than EAX 4
  • Better and almost fully working software, which is a nice change.
  • Onboard optical-in and optical-out sockets
  • Better connectivity to third-party front panels and cases, but no X-Fi front bay connection

Cons:

  • It’s made by Creative Labs. The software & drivers will accidently develop bugs after a couple more X-Fi driver releases
  • It’s quite hard to find in stores or online
  • No connectivity to X-Fi front bay, but standard fittings instead.

Goatie3Goatie1

Did I forget to mention you can buy for £29.99 delivered on ebay UK? People pay more than that for used XtremeAudio on there…


Actions

Information

45 responses

16 02 2010
Mark

I use the optical in for external DVD player input. I feed my DTS CD’s thru the DVD player to my PC Surround system. My Card is X-FI XtremeMusic with the I/O bay.

I also use the Daniel K support pack. One thing that fails to work for me but is not a major issue is Creative Media Play Center( NEO-6.) under tools. (The error is “The audio device supported by this application is not detected. The application will exit”) This used to be a way to create a surround sound mix that I could record and burn to DTS surround.(Worked in XP not in W7) Foobar also gives me that except it is DD PL2.

Something that didn’t work in XP and does in W7 is DTS Connect.
Mark

18 02 2010
benjy

I have a question regarding the DDL and DTSConnect.
I have an Audigy 4 right now and wanted to know if you noticed any improvements regarding the sound quality when listening to music or playing games in comparison to your Audigy 2??
And is EAX5.0 working when DDL or DTSConnect is on?!
Would be nice if you’d answer me :-)!

mfg benjy

19 02 2010
nomoregoatsoup

Sure thing benjy. Regarding Quality; When using DDL or DTS Connect, you use one of two digital leads to connect to your receiver. This skips the DAC (Digital to Analogue Convertor) on the soundcard. It sends the “pure code” to the reciever where it gets manufactured for listening. Now the DAC from your receiver is probably a lot bigger and superior quality. There’s going to be zero sound loss between the PC and reciever, unlike traditional analogue methods.

I can confirm that EAX does work well with dts Connect on the SB0770. EAX 5 is only available on X-fi chips I believe. EAX 4 works on Audigy 2 & 4 series. The Audigy 2 was quite CPU intensive when encoding in to dts or DDL. It did work for me, but of course the software is a little buggy.
🙂

26 02 2010
Chuck Wagon

Can this card do coax digital through one of the 1/8 jacks?

26 02 2010
nomoregoatsoup

Yep! It can only do 5.1 in games with the DDL or dts packs though. For movies it will do 5.1 though.

27 02 2010
Chuck Wagon

Cool, my receiver only has one optical input which is in use already. Thanks for the quick response. I do have a DDL license which I was using with an audigy 2 zs. Ive ordered a SB0770!

27 02 2010
nomoregoatsoup

Hmmm… I’ve just realised. I don’t think it does actually, Chuck.
The console doesn’t show any options for it, either.

Oh noes, sorry. Thankfully there’s an easy fix for under £4.
A simple adapter that fits on the end of a TOS-Link cable! You can even buy the TOSlink cables with the gender changer on ebay for £3.50 delivered.

You could also use the internal SPDIF connections on the X-Fi to HDAudio FP, which will connect to most front/back/case sockets.

Sorry, I must have been thinking poop again.

26 02 2010
Mark

Have you experienced this error when using Creative Media Play Center
( NEO-6.) under tools. (The error is “The audio device supported by this application is not detected. The application will exit”) ?

Mark

26 02 2010
nomoregoatsoup

Isn’t that NOMAD software? I never use Creative applications to play stuff… I have Media Source 5 installed, and I use Creative Centrale to convert video to the Zen. I’m not quite sure what Creative Media Center is, sorry.

Can you send me a link to the software, and I’ll check (if I am able).

27 02 2010
2 03 2010
nomoregoatsoup

Mark: Sorry for the delay, Askimet tried to declare you as a spammer. Pfft.
I’ve tried to install NEO:6, but as yet I am unable to get it to install.

Setup is unable to detect a supported product on your system. Click the retry button to re-detect…..

It has to be related to the latest build of MediaSource, I guess.

3 03 2010
Mark

I got the same message as well as the one that i sad before. It’s Creative Crap software strikes again.

Regards Mark
Go Canada Go

19 03 2010
Nick Danger

Good luck with the SB0770. Creative does not even list it on its website. I got one in the Dell XPS420 I bought a little over a year ago. Now that I have upgraded from XP to Win7, the card does not support all the functions it used to. (E.g., cannot record What U Hear under Win7.) Some online research shows this card has been around since at least 2006. Why is Dell shipping old products like this?

24 03 2010
nomoregoatsoup

“What U Hear” is working fine here, Nick.

23 03 2010
Kaonashi

Hello… I’ve got a SB0770 exactly the same in your post, with optical in/out onboard, but I cant get it working… Maybe I get it wrong but from your post seens you got it working. I’ve tryed every driver / pack / Suite that I’ve could found but with no luck to get the decoder tab neither SPDIF input decoder working. The main reason, I think, is that to get this working you need a modded ‘.dat’ file. I’ve found a lot of ‘dat packs’ around. One for every driver version available. but none seens to work with this card. This card uses the CTP0772W.DAT to enable it’s features and none of the dats available are compatible with it. Even hex modding the id of the ctp073Aw.dat file.

Please… can you help me pointing me where I could get the CTP0772W.DAT modded working ? Any driver/set/suite version for any OS ( Win98/ME/2k/XP/Vista/7) is great. Just really need the SPDIF input decoder working…
Thanks a lot…

24 03 2010
nomoregoatsoup

Hi Kaonashi, I’m a little confused by your post. If you are asking about the Optical Input feature, I’m afraid I can’t help much. I don’t have a use for it, and thus have not tested it. My Creative Audio Console looks like the image below, if that helps any.

I’m using the following software:

daniel_k’s X-Fi support pack 2.0
Windows Update (newest) driver version 6.0.1.1374 [2.18.0014]
Dolby Digital Live Pack 3.00.03 (For encoding)

Here’s my Microsoft signed CTP0772W.DAT dated 03/06/2009 13:00
File: CTP0772W.DAT
CRC-32: 8dd29014
MD4: 6435cb4f38550822db94144279b4dfa7
MD5: 1ce5103b1c592bc2d5cbb38d9b218346
SHA-1: 3c756784942f1ebea65a7825b709a31ea8c5dd93

I/O Tab Creative Audio Console

I’ll connect a DVD to the input and see what happens when I get home.

9 06 2010
nomoregoatsoup

Late reply, sorry.

The SPDIF -IN/OUT issue is broken with Windows Update drivers and the X-Fi support pack 2.0. Creative have tried and almost fixed it with latest X-Fi beta driver. It breaks after a while though. I suspect daniel_k will fix it in the next X-Fi support pack. The last set I tried were working better.

9 06 2010
Thrasher1984

I’ve recently purchased an X-Fi XTremeMusic (SB0460) and couldn’t get it to work on my machine (Win7 x64, 4 GB RAM), no matter what drivers I tried (latest PAX and daniel_k, among others). Though the card was definitely intact, the drivers stopped working immediately after each reboot. After some research I finally came across a forum thread which suggested to limit the amount of available system memory via msconfig to something lower than 4096 MB. Accordingly the latest official driver (2.18.0013) suddenly installed fine.

Can anyone confirm this issue? Is there a way to get the card to run without this painful workaround?

27 07 2010
Thrasher1984

I’ve finally found the solution for my problem. I got Daniel Kawakami’s SB X-Fi Series AuzenUAA Pack 1.5 and pointed the Windows device manager to the included Auzentech Prelude Beta1 driver. Now the soundcard works on my machine without the RAM limit workaround.

I am not sure whether the issue had something to do with my mainboard’s ULi chipset or simply poor architecture in the official driver, but I hope this helps people meeting the same problem.

Thank you very much for making this helpful blog and pointing me to the right direction.

9 06 2010
nomoregoatsoup

Yep I believe daniel_k mentioned that on the Creative support forums. It worked for some people, if I recall correctly. Others weren’t so lucky.

17 07 2010
cwiwi

Is there anyway to enable the spidif input for ac-3 or dts. i have same problem to imput 5.1 by optical cable. just only can input 2ch pcm

thank

30 07 2010
lucien_br

Hi! Which the difference between sb0770 and music sb0460? I am in the doubt between these cards. SB0770 works fine with win7 64bit?
Thanks!

30 07 2010
nomoregoatsoup

The SB0460 is Extreme Music PCB (mainly the same type as Fatality boards but without 64MB DRAM). The first wave of X-Fi, I believe.

The SB0770 is sold in brown boxes to system vendors. It has normal PC connections for connection to various internal audio devices. It has optical TOSlink digital connections and a UAA “golden-gate” chip to support the new audio standards of Vista and Windows 7.

I don’t have any problems with my SB0770 yet, but I don’t use microphone, line-in or optical-in…..

31 07 2010
cwiwi

Did you try the optical input? My spdif i/o panel is same as your photo, it can’t enable, how can i input 5.1 to this card, the optical input is nearly useless if can’t use 5.1 input.

3 08 2010
lucien_br

Thanks for the tip. I bought a SB0770. After test I post the result. Thanks and success to nomoregoatsoup

30 07 2010
lucien_br

Sorry. I forgot to say win7 64bit 4gb ram.
Thanks

4 08 2010
landsome

Hi! I am thinking of picking up a SB0770 myself. The card looks promising. So you recommend installing the daniel_K 2.0 pack first, and then updating drivers through Windoze Update (w7 32-bit here)? Thanks. Or just stay with daniel_K’s drivers as packed in 2.0?

21 08 2010
[Global] X-fi XtremeGamer, Logitech Z-680 5.1, DBI Pro 700. - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net

[…] to the Z-5500. The two sound nearly the same.The Z-680 is known to have tighter bass though. X-fi Xtremegamer OEM: 35 $ Shipped Logitech Z-680 THX 5.1 Speakers: 150 $ Shipped DBI Pro 700 headphones: 50 $ Shipped […]

2 12 2010
HB

HI!
I have this soundcard, but I can get the creative sound panel.. I try to install the daniel’s pack but don’t work… I don’t have sound in my PC…
I use windows 7 ultimate 64bits and the first time I plugged the card, Windows install a hd audio controller and in that moment I had sound…
Can you help me?
Thanks

10 03 2011
Andy

This card does not work with Windows 7 64bit operating system as SB X-Fi, the only result I got was – HD Audio Device. Any other (than Microsoft one) driver caused BSOD. Just trash this card.

17 03 2011
Sechs Machine

Andy stop talking shit, everyone knows it works fine.
The “HD Audio Device” issue just means you really suck at installing drivers.

Penis.

24 03 2011
Card sound Xfi Xtreme Gamer hàng máy bộ Alienware

[…] của Xfi như bình thường. Nếu muốn xem review thì vô đây (tiếng Anh tiếng EM ko): https://nomoregoatsoup.wordpress.com/…e-x-fi-sb0770/ Và giá là 800K, bán đi để tìm mua card khác như Onkyo, D2…chơi cho biết mùi vì […]

18 06 2011
PJMaybe

I am struggling with how to get ‘What U hear’ recording option with this card. Someone above has also mentioned it does not support this feature but others have said it works fine. The option isn’t even there in the list of recording devices for me (and I have checked option to display disabled devices).

19 07 2011
nomoregoatsoup

I’m using “What U hear” on Windows 7 just fine as my default recording device. I installed daniel_k’s X-Fi support pack 2.0, Then I upgraded the driver to version 6.0.1.1376 (via Windows update)

However… I have seen cases where “What U hear” doesn’t install.
Hope it helps P.J😉

31 07 2011
Adam Xfail

Please read my post when you have a chance🙂

(didnt notice this reply button till after post, all stressed and tired from trying to perfect my setup lol)

31 07 2011
Adam Xfail

Nomoregoatsoup HELP!

Ok so im hooking up a xfi titanium extreme gamer to a STR-KG800 reciever.
Via optical the max sample rate i can achive is 48 with surround. 24bit/96 is the highest it will go ( i hear thats normal) but it deactivated ALL surround on my amp in 24/96.

So im using a 3.5m to red/white rca to get a better 2.1 sound and switching to optical for surround.

But i cant accept this, the creative consoles dont register the optical in any-way or form no matter what bitrate or setting i have up or setting i change. Now i can live with most of this fine. but i have to major questions im leading to.

WHERE IS THE DANIELK PACK?! the downloads all over the web are disabled. and will it help me activate 5.1 in 24 bit/ 96 on my optical properies.

secondly. i have an rca red/white to 5.1 adapter, if i hooked up 3 x 3.5m jacks males to male from the sound card to the adapter then male to male red and white to the amp from the adpter, would 5.1 analog sound be true or realy badly downgraded from the adapter.

A 3rd mini question,

31 07 2011
Adam Xfail

lol scrap the 3rd question😀

3 08 2011
lndianscout

that card is an Creative OEM Titanium card from Creative, if you search you’ll find out these are very hard to find specially any info on them

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Sound-cards/auction-394402244.htm

17 08 2011
Shidhin

Informative post, thanks.. Try the USB disc security also.Its one of the best usb security software available see this link http://www.windows-help-support.com/2011/08/usb-disk-security-54012-600126-53036.html

18 08 2011
SPAMMERS SUCK

GAY SPAMMERS!

29 11 2011
seven2k

Hey Guys,

I just go this card SB0770 from a Dell XPS and want to put it on my other machine non dell. From what I understand I need to install Daniel Ks Support Pack and the do a windows driver update? Also, does Daniel Ks SUpport Pack install the creative panel and does it let me use the optical out and in?

Thanks inadvance.

7 01 2013
JG

It has been tricky at times, to get this to work, but if you can get the Creative Autoupdate to work, then you will get the correct driver. For XP, you can use the autoupdate on the website. For Vista, there is a downloadable application. I think the last time I tried to get this card to work, I had to install an xtreme gamer driver, that didn’t quite work, then use the autoupdate, that did work.

7 05 2015
Nebojsa

please i need the driver for this card. i run it on win XP

5 06 2015
Luciano
10 09 2015
Miguel Torrellas

This sound card support 5.1 input through optical?

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