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|Creative Labs blames nVidia for the X-Fi issues |
Published on August 24th, 2006 |
A few months ago we reported about the X-Fi and nForce-4 compatibility issues. This story still develops and Creative is giving us some more headlines. A Creative fan site has published an update from Creative Labs
regarding the issues. It seems that Creative is blaming nVidia's nForce-4 for
these issues; here are the technical details they provided:
We have observed through direct
observation of the PCI bus on the nVidia nForce 4 motherboards that
when the crackle symptoms are occuring, the Soundblaster X-Fi card PCI
bus master memory requests for audio data are being held off (not
serviced) for very long intervals.
We have observed peak holdoffs of up
to 2 milliseconds in some cases. This is unusual chipset behavior that
is beyond the ability of a hardware audio accelerator to compensate for
in its internal buffering. The SoundBlaster X-Fi tolerance for these
PCI holdoffs is approximately 120 microseconds peak holdoff, with a 1
microsecond average holdoff.
These design tolerances are based on
observation of real PCI bus behavior on leading motherboards over a
period of many motherboard hardware generations.
The nForce 4 motherboard is the first
motherboard on which these extremely long PCI service holdoffs have
been observed by Creative, where another PCI device in the system was
not causing the holdoff.
A few months earlier, Creative had blamed DDR Dual channel
for these issues. So now, it seems that it's nVidia's fault
(According to Creative). However, nVidia's Technical Marketing
Manager, Sean Cleveland has responded in a Bjorn3D chat
and said: "Currently, there are no open bugs regarding Creative's
X-Fi audio card. Please let me know of any issues you have so I can
file bugs." We will continue to update as the story develops.
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