Feeds

Intel not shipping the best drivers for its Easton mobo

It's all a mystery to us

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

One of the few criticisms in our review of Intel's otherwise tasty D815EEA Easton mobo was the rather rudimentary audio capabilities of the board unless it was equipped with the optional SoundBlaster audio chip.

It turns out that the Analog Devices AD1885 CODEC that we criticised was operating with both hands and feet tied behind its back, because Chipzilla, in its infinite wisdom, had decided to ship rather basic drivers rather than the spiffy SoundMAX 2.0 version which offers software emulation of just about every feature of a SoundBlaster Live!

Massachusetts-based Analog Devices pointed us at the latest version of their drivers and after downloading them, the change in audio performance was nothing short of remarkable.

The AD1885 provides stereo analogue I/O to the PC's speakers, headphones and microphone devices, and includes high-fidelity analogue/digital and sample rate converters, as well as power amplifiers and programmable-gain blocks. Coupled with Staccato Systems Synthcore wavetable capabilities and Sensaura's 3D audio, SoundMAX 2.0 is simply streets ahead of the bog standard drivers shipped by Intel.

The drivers feature 128 GM voices, nine drum kits and two SFX kits, user-adjustable CPU Load, dozens of different reverb presets, chorus and 44.1kHz sampling. You also get two or four speaker surround sound (particularly impressive using headphones).

We asked Intel why they weren't shipping these rather tasty drivers and effectively forcing buyers to fork out the extra cash for the optional SoundBlaster silicon when, in our humble estimation, the Soundmax 2 drivers are so good that the SB chip is surplus to requirements.

Perhaps Intel has a warehouse full of SB chips it needs to use up?

According to Dave Babicz of Analog Devices, Intel - and other mobo manufacturers - are planning to move over to the full soft audio package at some point in the future.

Intel was, as usual, somewhat less forthcoming, saying that any planned change in Easton drivers falls into the 'future products' category, and that naturally means they ain't saying nothing. ®

Related Story

Intel ships nice mobo shock

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.