My old SoundBlaster Live! was finally starting to show its age. I’m not sure whether it was a driver issue or hardware, but whenever I’d start up something with environmental audio (particularly games), I’d hear nothing but static–and maybe some of the game’s audio mixed in with it. Now, the unusual thing is that it would occasionally sound like a driver issue; there’d be a single sound, like the clicking of a menu button, that would repeat over and over again as if the system were playing whatever happened to be caught in the output buffer. Sometimes, it would genuinely try to do something, and you could hear whatever sounds were actually taking place–except that they were mixed in with awful static. While I once tried to uninstall/reinstall the SB Live! drivers, I couldn’t get this particular issue to go away this time around (it worked once before I re-imaged my system). Heck, not even reducing “hardware acceleration” would work. Not that I expect that setting really does a whole lot in the first place. Maybe it’s there to make people like me feel better that we have a slider to tweak. At least I have
/dev in Linux to examine if something doesn’t work quite right…
So, I finally broke down and got myself an HT|Omega Striker. It’s a really impressive card that most certainly lives up to its expectations.