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Thread: X-Fi Audio vs. X-Fi Gamer

  1. #1
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    Question X-Fi Audio vs. X-Fi Gamer

    Let's have a look at what scan have at the moment at the low end of the Creative X-Fi cards.

    Creative X-Fi Extreme Audio Sound Card 24Bit 7.1Ch OEM £27.60
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=527290

    Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Sound Card UK Retail £56.39
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=503577

    OEMs are always cheaper, I know, but the difference here is not the fact the former card is an OEM. These are different cards - but how are they different?

    Both do 7.1 24bit audio, 5.1 is fine for me, and I guess for most people anyway. The Gamer card says it increases framerates in your games. This is true, it offloads instructions from the CPU when doing audio processing. But, shouldn't the other (Extreme Audio) card do that too? It is also an X-Fi card, and should be able to offload some instructions, thereby helping out in games...

    I guess the real question is, is there any point in buying the more expensive gamer card?

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    Neither of them are proper x-fi's. They both have missing features and memory compared to the real full sized cards. Your best off looking around for an OEM extreme music, they can be picked up for around £50-£60.

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    This is the one you want, the X-Fi Xtreme Music OEM Soundcard (it's a full sized card, unlike the 2 in your links) for £49.99, from ebuyer.

    http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/112512

    (P.S. atm they have 544 in stock, but on Saturday they had over 1800, so make your mind up soon if you want one of these).

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    That's the exact same one I have which was kindly recommended to me on these forums I think. Superb card and highly recommended by me too.

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    Hmm, I just bought an XFi gamer card from Scan, so are you saying this card is deficient in some way? What is it missing compared to the bigger cards?

    I'm upgrading it from an Audigy 2 ZS.

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    I'm sure I read it was missing memory, its not compatible with any of the break out boxes either, granted not everyone needs them but at £50 for either I'd go with the full size card which allows me to add on at a later date rather than the half sized cards they are selling. Although, it you have a small case or a htpc then it will probably suit to have the samller cards as you probably wont use a front panel or break out box anyway.

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    Well, the Xram memory doesn't bother me, personally i think there's more marketing gimmick to that than anything really useful, and I'm not going to make use of a break-out box, so if those are the only differences I'm happy! Too late anyway!

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    what a load of tosh creative labs are - dont forget that without HAL in Vista, this thing is virtually useless - cant control individual speaker volumes, no vista software (ie surround mixer, thx control panel etc), no EAX. oh, and creative like charging their customers for drivers for vista.

    get one of those azuntech's or something that has vista support.
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    Theoretical Element Spud1's Avatar
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    ^^ The above poster is about right to a degree..although I thought the new drivers fixed EAX?

    The XFI cards all seem to be vastly overpriced for what they do..they all have very very limited connections (no toslink or coax on any of their cards!), none of them (even the top end cards) can output a 5.1 Dolby or DTS surround signal via digital..meaning if you want 5.1 surround you need to mess about with lots of analog cables - leaving you with poorer quality sound and in a mess.

    The ONLY thing that the creative cards have going for them these days is the EAX support, and thats only a tiny consideration because EAX 3+ doesn't really do *that* much more than EAX2.0 - which almost all cards from other vendors support. Lots more games are using the Miles Sound Systemor OpenAL these days too which makes the creative cards even less attractive.

    I've just picked up one of these:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=579624

    Its a great card..can upmix to Dolby AND DTS which is actually really nice..it works really well, Sepultura upmixed to 5.1 DTS sounds good lol. Creative cards can't do that

    The software is decent enough too, and doesn't come with all the rubbish that Creative give you..also gone is the need to switch your sound to 'gaming' or 'music' mode etc. Oh and it works perfectly under Vista with the FREE drivers from the auzuntech website..

    Apologies for the mini-rant, but Creative are only surviving on their previous repuation as top-dog at the moment in my opinion; they don't produce top quality cards any more. Indeed until a few days ago I was considering the same choices as you (X-Fi audio or gamer), but after some convincing on here by Agent and reading around the area alot I'm glad I went for the Auzentech

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    in unigine gaming benchmark there was only a 2fps difference with my old x-fi fatal1ty set to gaming mode over audio creation and entertainment modes

    thats 2 fps @ 69.9fps on full settings, 8800 gtx, c2d e6300@2.8ghz, 2gb geil ull.

    it had the x-ram aswell, not sure how much difference this makes, doubtful it makes much.

    im after a new soundcard but i want to control individual speakers and what not.

    the sub control on the x-fi was awfull!

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    Quote Originally Posted by twoblacklines View Post
    in unigine gaming benchmark there was only a 2fps difference with my old x-fi fatal1ty set to gaming mode over audio creation and entertainment modes

    thats 2 fps @ 69.9fps on full settings, 8800 gtx, c2d e6300@2.8ghz, 2gb geil ull.

    it had the x-ram aswell, not sure how much difference this makes, doubtful it makes much.
    Okay, some mixed messages from the you guys

    If the full sized card from ebuyer above doesn't have X-RAM what advantage does it have over the smaller cards? Acknowledging of course that X-RAM appears to be helping very little...

    I need to go and do some reading, but can't find any reviews of the newer cards, only those from 2005 when X-Fi first came out...

    Maybe I should ditch creative...

    As always, thanks for the responses

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post

    The XFI cards all seem to be vastly overpriced for what they do..they all have very very limited connections (no toslink or coax on any of their cards!), none of them (even the top end cards) can output a 5.1 Dolby or DTS surround signal via digital..meaning if you want 5.1 surround you need to mess about with lots of analog cables - leaving you with poorer quality sound and in a mess.

    The X-Fi does have a coax optical out. The top port is a multi-jack. I currently have Logitech z5500 hooked up via analog to my x-fi xtreme music. Sounds good, not sure whether its better through optical though, need to give it a try.

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    well ive had an audigy 1 for 5 years and an x-fi for a few months, and on both i havent noticed great things.

    the x-fi sounded ok in music though

    I am going to try auzentech next

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5aboy View Post
    what a load of tosh creative labs are - dont forget that without HAL in Vista, this thing is virtually useless - cant control individual speaker volumes, no vista software (ie surround mixer, thx control panel etc), no EAX. oh, and creative like charging their customers for drivers for vista.
    If you have a creative X-Fi card you can enable EAX and the like using Alchemy which creative developed for those cards, its also supposed to work with a few other cards although ive only heard anecdotal evidence for this. Creative may have lost it a bit but they do try to look after their customers

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    Get to da choppa Million's Avatar
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    This is really interesting. For a while i've been looking at getting a separate soundcard, and the only company that really gets their name out there is Creative, so that was the natural choice. This 'Auzentech' now, i've never ever heard of them, but am interested in what Spud1 said.

    One of the main features that Creative boast on their full size cards is the crystallizer, for enhancing the sound of compressed files like MP3s. Since everything I listen to is MP3, I liked the sound of that. Is there another company that claims such ability?

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    WEEEEEEEEEEEEE! MadduckUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Million View Post
    One of the main features that Creative boast on their full size cards is the crystallizer, for enhancing the sound of compressed files like MP3s. Since everything I listen to is MP3, I liked the sound of that. Is there another company that claims such ability?
    firstly make sure everything you listen to is 192k or above. 160k is borderline only for if you cant get better, and 128k is rubbish.

    go here for some optimizations:
    http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=227334

    do this, and with the money you save make sure your using descent speakers (if your into music enough to care about a "crystalizer" your into it enough to make sure your using something other than a 3.5mm jack for a start :confused)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephesians
    Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit
    Vodka

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