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Any opinions or advice on the SoundBlaster Live Platinum 5.1

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Despotes

Member
Joined
May 24, 2001
Location
Maine, USA
I'm considering buying the above card and was wondering if anybody has heard anything negative (or positive) about this card. Any recommendations on a sound system too, keep it under $200. Thanks :)


AsusA7M266/1.2Ghz/ 256Meg DDR
VIA(3) in 1 4.31
Elsa Gladiac Geforce2 GTS
Win 98SE
 

Placid

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2001
Location
Connecticut
Via seems not to like the soundblaster live cards.
I dont have a amd but they seem to cause alot of problems on some boards.
 

Amedeo602

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2001
I have the X-gamer 5.1 Sound card. From what I've been able to gather, the Platinum and X-gamer are the same card physically (as well as the MP3, someone correct me if I'm wrong). At the time I bought it, I couldn't warrant spending an extra $100 for the live-drive and the remote. I love the X-gamer though--great software bundle. Mine came with 4 full games, and not the crapfest games that you usually get: I got UT, MDK2, Deus Ex, and Thief 2.

My only complaint is the fact that I downloaded the latest live ware for the card and it doesn't install correctly (says I'm out of hard drive space when I have nearly 15Gb free). The card works fine without it, but I like to have the latest software for all of my hardware.

In the July edition of Computer Shopper, there is a shootout between different sound cards. Long story short, the Platinum 5.1 got a review of 8.5 and it was only beaten by the Voyetra Turtle Beach Santa Cruz (retails for $79.99), which got an 8.8.

As for a good sound system, I'm thinking about getting the DTT2200 speakers. 5 speakers w/ a subwoofer and a (wired) remote for around $100. Pretty good quality from what I've seen too.
 

Amedeo602

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2001
Forgot to mention: the DTT2200 speakers are made by Cambridge, so they should be 100% compatible with the card (seeing how it's the same company...)
 

Richard

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
The Platinum 5.1 is a nice well rounded audio package. It is pretty much the swiss army knife of sound cards. MWAVE has the 5.1 platinum OEM (with livedriveIR and remote) for $137.00. http://www.mwave.com/

The alternate to the Creative Labs card would be the Hercules Game Theater XP. It runs about the same price, but that's for the Retail boxed version! The OEM version retails for about $110-115. You can find the prices on pricewatch.com

There are differing opinions on these cards. Generally speaking, unless you're overtly nit-picky you'll probably not notice a difference in sound quality either way you go. If it comes down to a cost issue. You won't be sacrificing sonic quality if you get the cheaper of the two. That much I am sure of.

If you don't need a breakout box. The vanilla 5.1 creative card or the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz are both good options. Both cards fully support 5.1 speaker configurations, and both cards sound just as good as their more expensive brethren (the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and Hercules GTXP share a common DSP).

As for speakers. I am partial to Midilands myself. They are affordable speakers and the quality is always top notch. The S4 7100 Plus matches up quite well with the 5.1 cards. For $200 you get a great package. If you want to save a little you can get the 7100 vanilla model. It runs for about $165, but you give up the flexibility of a nice Dolby Digital Decoder and Remote. In my opinion, it's worth the extra $35 to go with the upgrade.

If I were in your shoes I would probably get the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and Midiland S4 7100 Plus.
Why? I actually regret purchasing the Creative Labs SBLive! Platinum. (The 5.1 wasn't out at the time.) I never really use the breakout box. Ok, maybe on rare occasions I use the headphone jack, but considering that I ended up just buying a headphone amplifier anyway the live drive turned out to be a total waste.) Plus, honestly I find it hard to justify spending >$100 on a sound card. It is much easier to justify spending the extra funds on a higher quality speaker system. (After all, that's ultimately where you'll notice the difference.) Not to mention that Creative is expecting to release a successor to the EMU10k1 DSP.

I hope I haven't muddled matters too much for you. :) Just trying to throw out some opinions is all.

For some good reviews on all products mentioned go here... http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/
 

Tomas

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2001
Despotes (Jul 23, 2001 08:29 p.m.):
I'm considering buying the above card and was wondering if anybody has heard anything negative (or positive) about this card. Any recommendations on a sound system too, keep it under $200. Thanks :)

Dont buy any sb live card if u got the via chipset. I got the sb live player5.1 and have had ALOT problems with memory leaks and **** under win9x..... Whatever i do all 512mb of my ram is used up after 2hours uptime + the system resources hovewer it doesnt got this problem under win2k. Also tried the latest drivers and got the same msg as amedeo602. Had over 30gb free and the buggy installer told me i didnt have space...........


AsusA7M266/1.2Ghz/ 256Meg DDR
VIA(3) in 1 4.31
Elsa Gladiac Geforce2 GTS
Win 98SE
 

Amedeo602

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2001
Richard999 (Jul 23, 2001 10:04 p.m.):Why? I actually regret purchasing the Creative Labs SBLive! Platinum. (The 5.1 wasn't out at the time.) I never really use the breakout box. Ok, maybe on rare occasions I use the headphone jack, but considering that I ended up just buying a headphone amplifier anyway the live drive turned out to be a total waste.)

Let me know if your livedrive is for sale :)

If I would be shopping for a sound card at present, I would go for the live drive, but when I bought mine (aeons ago, it seems) there was a $100 difference between the X-gamer and Platinum.
 
OP
Despotes

Despotes

Member
Joined
May 24, 2001
Location
Maine, USA
TOO MANY OPTIONS!! As far as a sound system goes, I'm deciding between the Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 THX Speaker system (no Dolby decoder :( ), the Midiland S4-7100 Plus(includes decoder) and the Creative Labs Cambridge SoundWorks Desktop Theater 5.1(includes decoder)DTT3500 Digital 6 piece Speaker System. I know the Klipsch system is top notch, but it doesn't have a Dolby decoder! Will this greatly affect my DVD watching pleasures? The Cambridge system is under powered, and the Midiland's, I'm not too familiar with. I plan on using my setup for gaming and frequent DVD watching... Any "experts" out there??? Thank you
 
OP
Despotes

Despotes

Member
Joined
May 24, 2001
Location
Maine, USA
One more thing. If I get a sound card with Dolby digital software decoding, then, I really don't need a speaker system with a Dolby decoder...correct?
 

thestramel

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2001
Location
Somewhere in Colorado
I'd go with the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and speakers from Polk or Monsoon. Creative soundcard are highly overrated and so are the Klipsch speakers. You generally don't want to combine an SB-Dead with a Via chipset.
 

lonewolf1983

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2001
Location
perth, Australia
there used to be problems with the via chipsets
just flash your bios,or update your 4 in 1 drivers
problem solved
and im using a SB live value
cause its cheap
the platinum can be found without the livedrive for a much cheaper price
they call it the SB live DE(digital entertainment)

and speakers
i dont bother with computer speakers
gimme my 160w amp and floorstanding studio acoustic speakers anyday
:)
 

thestramel

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2001
Location
Somewhere in Colorado
lonewolf...you're right some of the problems have been resolved. But the solutions don't work for everyone. BTW, updating the drivers and BIOS does not represent the ultimate SB-Live fix. Just look at all the user complaints over in the ViaHardware forum.
 
OP
Despotes

Despotes

Member
Joined
May 24, 2001
Location
Maine, USA
I've decided on the SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 Platinum and the Creative Labs Cambridge SoundWorks Desktop Thearter 5.1 DTT3500 Digital 5 piece Speaker System. It's not the perfect gaming speaker system as far as output goes, but it does have the versatility to play my favorite DVD's with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.
Also, I've read of no conflicts with the Live! as far as the AsusA7M266 boards go.
Richard999---Thanks for the link. Very helpful :)
 

Richard

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
You're welcome. I think you'll be very happy with that combination. To be honest, I would have recommended the DTT3500's, but I didn't think you were willing to spend that much money.

Enjoy your new setup.

Despotes (Jul 27, 2001 05:10 p.m.):
I've decided on the SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 Platinum and the Creative Labs Cambridge SoundWorks Desktop Thearter 5.1 DTT3500 Digital 5 piece Speaker System. It's not the perfect gaming speaker system as far as output goes, but it does have the versatility to play my favorite DVD's with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.
Also, I've read of no conflicts with the Live! as far as the AsusA7M266 boards go.
Richard999---Thanks for the link. Very helpful :)
 
OP
Despotes

Despotes

Member
Joined
May 24, 2001
Location
Maine, USA
Richard999 (Jul 27, 2001 08:22 p.m.):
You're welcome. I think you'll be very happy with that combination. To be honest, I would have recommended the DTT3500's, but I didn't think you were willing to spend that much money.

Enjoy your new setup.

Despotes (Jul 27, 2001 05:10 p.m.):
I've decided on the SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 Platinum and the Creative Labs Cambridge SoundWorks Desktop Thearter 5.1 DTT3500 Digital 5 piece Speaker System. It's not the perfect gaming speaker system as far as output goes, but it does have the versatility to play my favorite DVD's with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.
Also, I've read of no conflicts with the Live! as far as the AsusA7M266 boards go.
Richard999---Thanks for the link. Very helpful :)


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