StarCraft® II

[Known Issue] Creative SB Audigy 2

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I'm getting some unbearable GUI lag especially at the login page and again when exiting the game. It appears as though having a Creative SB Audigy 2 sound card somehow is causing this problem.

It sometimes takes 6 - 10 minutes to get passed the login screen, and most of the time the game cannot be exited without restarting. You can tell that it's an issue with this sound card because as soon as the sound card is disabled the UI functions normally.

Yes, I've already updated sound card drivers, chipset drivers, called grandma, made cookies for Santa, etc. It's a problem every SB Audigy 2 user is having.
Edited by Unranking on 8/4/2010 9:07 AM PDT
That card is super old! I used to have one back in the day.

What motherboard are you using, it's possible that due the circumstances that your on board audio could be better than that.
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What operating system are you using? I have a couple of Audigy and Audigy 2's at home that I can try out.
This is pretty much the problem Im having as well, and I have the same card. http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/112311341 (audigy 2 zs). Uninstalling the sound card fixes the menu problems.
What operating system are you using? I have a couple of Audigy and Audigy 2's at home that I can try out.


Windows XP. You can see my full DXDiag at http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/109981021

What motherboard are you using, it's possible that due the circumstances that your on board audio could be better than that.


I don't know the motherboard off the top of my head, but the computer is a Dell XPS Gen 2. There is no on-board sound card with this build. :-\
What operating system are you using? I have a couple of Audigy and Audigy 2's at home that I can try out.

So datth, get a chance to check this out? It's a pretty annoying bug. :-\
I found that by disabling my sound card I could eliminate almost 100% of my framerate issues.

Playing the Single Player campaign makes the lag intolerable. I'm talking 5 seconds of play for every 35 seconds of the computer being locked up.

Don't make me play the game without sound, Datth. *sad face*
Edited by Unranking on 7/29/2010 10:35 AM PDT
I was having the same issues as Unranking while also using an Audigy 2 SZ, go figure. I did try disabling it and the game ran perfectly fine, but much like Unranking, I don't have any onboard audio. Has anyone figured out a fix yet?
I was having the same issues as Unranking while also using an Audigy 2 SZ, go figure. I did try disabling it and the game ran perfectly fine, but much like Unranking, I don't have any onboard audio. Has anyone figured out a fix yet?


Thanks for chiming in. I believe mine is also a ZS model, so this may be specific to those. I'm hoping this gets some good attention since Datth stated he would look into it.
I have an Audigy 2 as well, I actually held off buying SC2 after the beta due to the exact stuttering you describe.

I don't know how you traced it to the sound card though, for me it was throttling my CPU (i7 920) going from 5% usage to 100% every few seconds. Quitting the game actually didn't solve it, had to reboot.

Just installed the full game though, I'll update here if I run into the same problems.
I don't know how you traced it to the sound card though, for me it was throttling my CPU (i7 920) going from 5% usage to 100% every few seconds.


Same here. For some reason the sound card causes the CPU to spike, causing terrible intermittent freezing. I found out it was the sound card after messing around for several weeks with my computer's hardware.

One day I just decided to disable the sound card and miraculously the game stopped freezing. Several dozens of people have replied to my threads here and in beta to confirm that it is indeed the sound card.

Unfortunately we have yet to make it a "known issue" to Blizzard yet, but I've waited two months so far... may as well wait longer.

If interested you can see everything I tried at the following thread: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/109981021
Edited by Unranking on 7/29/2010 6:23 PM PDT
Unfortunately we have yet to make it a "known issue" to Blizzard yet, but I've waited two months so far... may as well wait longer.


Well hopefully datth tries out his Audigy 2 and notifies the programmers. I thought the Audigy 2 was a very popular sound card so I'm surprised there aren't more threads popping up about it.
Well hopefully datth tries out his Audigy 2 and notifies the programmers. I thought the Audigy 2 was a very popular sound card so I'm surprised there aren't more threads popping up about it.


I've seen a couple and we had quite a few posted during beta. Unfortunately I think they're being drowned out by other threads right now, but let's hope this gets some attention. :)
Well hopefully datth tries out his Audigy 2 and notifies the programmers. I thought the Audigy 2 was a very popular sound card so I'm surprised there aren't more threads popping up about it.


I've seen a couple and we had quite a few posted during beta. Unfortunately I think they're being drowned out by other threads right now, but let's hope this gets some attention. :)


Ouch, I feel less confident about this being fixed any time soon if the problem has been around since the beta :(.
I'm really looking forward to getting this fixed.
I have an Audigy 2ZS, and I do not seem to be getting the lag that others have posted about. I have tweaked my PCI buffers to 32 (from 64) in my bios. The Audigy 2 can be a resource hog, grabbing the attention of the PCI bus bandwidth entirely if given a chance. This is why the number is lowered to 32. It seems to work well. Also, the location of the card relative to the video card also has an effect. It should NOT share a PCI interrupt with the video card. Almost all motherboards share the first PCIe or AGP slot with the first PCI slot interrupt. If both devices are resource hogs, a conflict will most likely occur (thus causing the HUGE lag times described). The second PCIe slot will probably share the second PCI slot interrupt in the same way, so if you have an SLI setup, it might be wise to physically move the sound card to the last PCI slot. More people with one PCIe or AGP card, move the soundcard down one slot and see if that helps. It should solve quite a few problems. Your motherboard manual will tell you which slots share which interrupts. Just ensure that the Audigy doesn't share with the videocard, or if possible, the hard drive controller (both are very resource intensive).
I have the same card, and in other games with this issue I think adjusting the Hardware acceleration for the sound card helped some people. I think they always said something like putting the slider all the way down to the second notch on the low-end of the slider. Try that, it MIGHT help...
Edited by ShadyJay on 7/31/2010 8:35 PM PDT
I also brought my in-game sound channels down to 64, I THINK that is the most that the Audigy 2 can handle. (Or is supposed too.) By default the game had mine up to whatever is right above 64 channels, 128 I think? I have noticed in campaign that a couple levels had some brief skipping as the intro sounds were accessing. But that only lasted for 3-5 secs. I think maybe the rest of my system is making up for what my soundcard might be lacking.

I would like to ask a question about the onboard Vs. add-on soundcard issue. I had always thought that it was better to have a add-on card in almost every case than using the onboard sound, even with my Audigy 2 ZS. (Up to a point.) Can anyone tell me if my onboard sound device would actually be better than the ZS? I have a ASUS motherboard with a Realtek ALC 1200 8-Channel High Definition Audio.

Now that I have actually been giving it some thought, I'm almost betting that the answer would be yes, the onboard IS better than the Ol' Audigy 2?

Man... now I'm wondering just how much the SB card may be limiting performance.....


EDIT: Anyone know if it would be better to remove the card rather than disable it in OS, when I go to test the onboard sound?
Edited by ShadyJay on 7/31/2010 8:34 PM PDT
The Audigy 2ZS can support up to 64 sound channels. The game appears to be able to support 128 channels, so setting the game to 64 with the Audigy 2ZS is a very good idea. The game should merely drop any sounds over 64 simultaneous channels that it attempts to play, but it could cause other oddities if not set correctly.

The question of whether the Audigy 2ZS (or any other external sound card for that matter) is better than a built-in chip is this. With very very few exceptions, almost all manufacturers of motherboards will use the least expensive chipset they can get away with. That, coupled with the fact that the chipset is physically very close to other electrical circuits, leads to much lower sound quality. Yes the signal is digital up to a certain point, but at some point it must be converted into an analog signal, and at that point, the quality of the sound is greatly affected by the surrounding signals and interference. Moving the sound chips off of the very noisy (electrically speaking) motherboard is a good idea if quality sound is desired. Also, a dedicated sound board manufacturer has only one concern, and that is to sell a chipset that creates a quality sound. You get what you pay for, so they will provide the best quality chipset that the consumer demands. Thus the onboard chipset will be vastly inferior to a dedicated sound board.

I haven't researched what DAC (digital to audio converter) chip the Realtek ALC 1200 uses, but I'd bet it's not very good. The DAC is the main component of concern where sound quality is a factor, as it is responsible for all of the digital to analog conversions.

The easiest, and most reliable way to test your card vs onboard chipset is to remove the card, and enable the onboard audio in the BIOS. Some motherboards are notoriously stubborn about not allowing the OS to control the onboard audio, besides, you will easily eliminate any question about interference.
Edited by Latharion on 7/31/2010 9:37 PM PDT
I have an Audigy 2ZS, and I do not seem to be getting the lag that others have posted about. I have tweaked my PCI buffers to 32 (from 64) in my bios. The Audigy 2 can be a resource hog, grabbing the attention of the PCI bus bandwidth entirely if given a chance. This is why the number is lowered to 32. It seems to work well. Also, the location of the card relative to the video card also has an effect. It should NOT share a PCI interrupt with the video card. Almost all motherboards share the first PCIe or AGP slot with the first PCI slot interrupt. If both devices are resource hogs, a conflict will most likely occur (thus causing the HUGE lag times described). The second PCIe slot will probably share the second PCI slot interrupt in the same way, so if you have an SLI setup, it might be wise to physically move the sound card to the last PCI slot. More people with one PCIe or AGP card, move the soundcard down one slot and see if that helps. It should solve quite a few problems. Your motherboard manual will tell you which slots share which interrupts. Just ensure that the Audigy doesn't share with the videocard, or if possible, the hard drive controller (both are very resource intensive).


Just out of curiosity, what driver version are you using for your Audigy 2 ZS and what OS are you running?
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