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Linux issue that still means it is behind...

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by gcutler, Sep 13, 2002.

  1. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Replaced my old Dell 700MHz Lab machine with a Dell Model 4500 (2.0GHz) and to save money went for the integrated sound board (using it as a server not much need for audio)

    It is an Intel chipset (Analog Devices ADI 198x Integrated Audio) based sound card that uses the SoundMax drivers. You see them alot on all level Notebooks, all level business machines and low end home desktop systems. The drivers are out for all MS OSes, easy to find. But in the Linux world this driver does not yet exist. Did my searching Latest Redhat and Mandrake do not have the driver, lots of asking for it but no solution. I'm running Redhat 7.3. Audio Chipset Vendor says "what you see is what you get", Dell says nothing at all.

    More the fact that I have a component without a driver is more annoying to me than it really affects my ability to use the machine without sound. But until Linux has better support from the hardware vendors for these drivers, it will have a hard time getting main stream.

    The real moral of the story is that I shouldn't have skimped on the $20-$30 and should have gotten a regular SB PCI card. I skimped on both video (Rage ATI 128 with 32MB Ram) and audio to keep the price down (remember lab server, 512MB ram more important than anything). If I goto comp-usa I may see if they have a cheapo SB clone Sound card and may put it in and see if it works???
     
  2. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Don't get a "cheapo" sound card if sound matters to you. I'd suggest a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz - great sounding card - basic (no surround sound) Linux support starting in kernel 2.4 (don't know if RH will auto-detect it - if not it's a CS4630 chipset IIRC) RH better auto detect it - as I'm downloading RH7.3 right now (because I found drivers for my modem for RH7.3 ONLY (in the form of precompiled RPM binary :( ) - cheaper than an Audigy or a Live! and compatible with more equipment. Great card. Sound Blasters are so-so but have many more problems.
     
  3. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    Zac, You aren't really reading for content are you? :D

    This being a server machine, basic sound is the only need (if one at all). It is more that the sound card comes up with no device driver when booting that is annoying to me than the lack of sound. The cheapest Sound card that can play the usual stuff out there is all that is needed.
     
  4. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I read your post:) You said you needed basic sound support - what I'm saying is my experience with Creative Labs cards has been they often fail to provide that:) And with the Santa Cruz having a low price of $62 with free shipping (Newegg.com - found by PriceWatch) I don't really see any other card as being worth the hassles a cheaper sound card gives you - only to have a very poor end result. The Santa Cruz is crisp, clean - nearly pro quality - far better than anything from Creative AND it's cheap. I feel that at the current price - it's really the only way to go no matter what your needs, if only because of the fact that Creative cards (in my experience - which is a lot with sound) tend to be more glitchy with configuration, whereas the Santa Cruz - while I've only used one of them (I bought myself one:) ) - I've been impressed. I had a Creative Live! That always had pops and clicks, a lot of noise, and would disconnect my modem at random when playing sound:) Swapped it for an SC and it's been good times since! Not a flaw, and near-perfect output quality as a nice bonus.
     
  5. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    Zac, $62 is not cheap for a sound card, and is definately overkill in this situation. (the $62 may not be alot, but it is relative to what other cards go for) On my prime production machine I was $60 below my $2000 budget and went for a Santa Cruz card and Monsoon speakers just to bring it up to $1999. While those components can really throw the sound across the room, my ear and my functions do not pick up a difference than my 2 year old machine with a SB Live (or whatever their popular unit was 2 years ago) with cheapest Altec Lansing speakers available.

    I've been using Creative Labs cards for years and have never had a problem. I used to be hardware responsible for a corporate training center with over 100 PCs and used Creative Labs cards in every one of them and they always worked great. Now I know people with "A good ear" can easily prove that the Santa Cruz is better but in my past with the SB cards being used to Computer Based Training or basic corporate apps, they are more than good enough. Now for games and CD music and MP3 and such I cannot attest to as those are not something I utilize.

    I think you should qualify your recommendation, as someone not into your level of Quality of sound might waste money and not get any benefit out of it. Kind of goes with the discussion of video cards hear a few months ago, for many people a 2-3 year old technology $50 card is good enough for them. While spending $200 for a really great state of the art video card is only something that needs to be done by those "With an eye for video" and who run those advanced games or who have a 21" monitor and want to run resolutions like 1280x1024, 32-Bit Color @ 85Hz. And such recommendations can be misleading to those who don't know anybetter.
     
  6. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Okay, well I'll say I have had many problems with Creative Labs cards, and many of the other brands have no Linux support. I didn't think I was making a high-end reccomendation - like the M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 (and I don't even know if that card has Linux support)
     
  7. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    OK, but we are talking servers here. That said, none of the servers I use have sound cards so I don't have this problem with Linux.
     
  8. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    But being a Lab server a CBT will sometimes be run on it, so a Sound Board isn't out of the question. But a true Server would never be a problem.

    I tell you something about Linux, this time around I finally started using WebMin http://www.webmin.com/ It was like what was I wasting my time doing it all by text file and command line, never really understanding everything. With WebMin, I can actually get stuff done. And you can get a mid level tech up to speed on stuff pretty quick without spending weeks learning. Some purists I know consider it sacrelidge to do anything but command line :D
     

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