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Thread: on board sound vs creative x-fi?

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    on board sound vs creative x-fi?

    Hello,
    I done a search and couldnt find this question been asked before.
    i have some Acoustic energy 2 speakers with a sub.
    atm they are connected to my computer with a Audigy 2 ZS soundcard.
    soon i am getting my own pc away from this family computer.
    so im not sure if its worth getting a creative x-fi or not?
    i listen to music on my computer everyday
    once i get my own pc i might connect it up to the hifi in my room which has an amp and two speakers.
    will the on board sound be ok to hookup to the amp with two speakers?
    or will it sound rubbish?
    the motherboard will be one of the folowing two.
    http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1...74&modelmenu=1
    http://msicomputer.co.uk/index.php?f...=1&cat2_no=170

    I dont wanna buy a new pc with everything else decent but the sound being rubbish.
    a creative x-fi is around £50.
    my budget will be around £600-£700 max for the whole PC.
    thanks in advance
    lodore

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    Comparing onboard sound to an X-Fi is a bit like comparing a Ford Feista to a Subaru Impreza. If you have enough money sitting around, grab the X-Fi, although even the Audigy 2 ZS is a cracking card, you could recycle that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    It depends on the onboard solution - not all are equal.

    The ALC888 isn't bad to be fair. There is a lot worse out there.
    Its Windows Vista Logo Program 3.0 certified (although, MS testing methods are hardly at the cutting edge) and from Googling about seems to be well received in reviews.

    Im not a fan of Creative. Their drivers are poor and products overpriced. Having said that, they are a major market player and its hard to ignore them.
    As Ive said a few times on here, I went from a Aud2zs to a X-fi, and I ended up selling the X-fi, I just couldn't tell the difference (certainly nothing I couldnt replicate with a few equaliser changes)
    I do use digital to the amp, but still, I think you'd need a seriously good ear and speakers to pick up big differences.
    It just feels like everytime a new Creative card comes along we have a 'revolution' in sound. Honestly, how much better can it get? Its just so hard to benchmark sound compared to visuals.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Hi agent,
    I agree that the drivers from creative are bloated and unreliable.
    and there products can be expensive.
    if i could recyle this creative card i would but i cant.
    it has to stay inside this pc because my family will still use this pc when i get my new one.
    all i want is to be able to have decent sound to listen to music and also for movies.
    without any bloated or unreliable drivers.
    id rather spend more money on other componants that spend money on a soundcard.
    so what do you reckon i should do?
    which one of those motherboards have better sound?
    ill probaly end up getting windows xp as the OS since ive heard of alot of problems with vista.
    lodore
    Last edited by lodore; 02-08-2007 at 01:36 AM.

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    If you're not bothered about top-notch sound (I can't tell the difference, you've got to have an ear for these things) and you're not going to be playing games one of the low-end X-Fi's will do the job. I think you can find those for around £40-50.
    I've never had a problem with Creative drivers, but then I often just download the latest drivers off the web site and don't bother with any of the utilities they try and install off the CD.

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    If you are going to be playing any games on tis PC then I would def go for an XFI. You can't beat them for games. They use EAX5 when all the other cards can only use version 2.

    If you are only going to listen to music then I would suggest getting a different card altogether. Therea lots of cards that are better at musix than the XFI's. For example, the Auzentech X-Meridian 7.1 Soundcard is alot better than the XFI for music, especially as you can upgrade the OP-Amps on them to sound even better.

    The only time I wold go for onboard sound is when it is connected to a decent amp and you output the signal through the digital output. Again I wouldn't do this for games though.


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    If you have to ask if it's going to be worth it, it won't be. Just stick to the onboard sound. 95% of the time it'll do everything you need as well as any Creative or Auzentech one. It's not the best, but the differences will be so small you're unlikely to notice them, especially if you're using MP3 rather than FLAC or OGG for music.

    I only have a Creative card because I use the breakout box so much.

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    Ooh this is an interesting thread and I hope you don't mind be butting in.

    I'm in a similar position - I currently have an Audigy 2 ZX and am considering a Xi-Fi for my next build. I've heard about driver issues from a minority of people but also praise from others. Creative are certainly an established manufacturer and in my opinion, as they have been making sound cards since year dot, I imagine they have a quality, refined product that with a few exceptions would be first choice for many.

    If you're a music fan who appreciates audio quality and into gaming I think the Xi-Fi is probably worth the money.... ...but then if you're buying a sound card it's because you demand a lot, care about sound quality and expect a lot from it. If it doesn't perform you'll be disappointed - hence why those who've had bad experiences with the latest card probably want to tell you about it. Or maybe it is overrated?

    Will I be buying a Xi-Fi for my next build? Well, I'm not sure!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cotswoldcs View Post
    I'm in a similar position - I currently have an Audigy 2 ZX and am considering a Xi-Fi for my next build. I've heard about driver issues from a minority of people but also praise from others. Creative are certainly an established manufacturer and in my opinion, as they have been making sound cards since year dot, I imagine they have a quality, refined product that with a few exceptions would be first choice for many.
    The products themselves (read: hardware) are awesome, no doubting it in my mind. I'll give you an example of the support and driver issues people are having. When Vista was released there were no working drivers, for any of their sound cards. Not one. A month or so later, basic drivers were released for the Audigy 2s and 4s, and a day or 2 later the XFIs. The problem was, certainly with the Audigy's, and I've read with the XFIs, that you couldn't get any analogue sound output above 2.1 - they even admitted it in the release notes. In March I think it was, they released a newer set for both - apparently the XFI owners can now get 4.1 and above (minus 6.1), while when I tested them, there still wasn't more than 2.1 available. There's also no EAX support, but that's more because MS have rewritten the sound stack in Vista. The story was exactly the same with XP came along, and again with XP x64. Every single time. As of May there was still no working drivers for my Audigy 4 Pro - this after a public BETA test for Vista, 2 public release candidates and 6 months of Vista going gold. I've no idea if there's a fully working driver now. //edit: nope, still the same driver for the Audigy's, so that's 8 months now from Vista going gold...

    The Auzentech Prelude is seen as many as the answer to their prayers - XFI gaming with much better audio quality and working drivers... the problem is that the Prelude with use Creative's drivers (possible rebranded) rather than their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by katana6434 View Post
    If you are going to be playing any games on tis PC then I would def go for an XFI. You can't beat them for games. They use EAX5 when all the other cards can only use version 2.

    If you are only going to listen to music then I would suggest getting a different card altogether. Therea lots of cards that are better at musix than the XFI's. For example, the Auzentech X-Meridian 7.1 Soundcard is alot better than the XFI for music, especially as you can upgrade the OP-Amps on them to sound even better.

    The only time I wold go for onboard sound is when it is connected to a decent amp and you output the signal through the digital output. Again I wouldn't do this for games though.

    Auzentech are even worse at drivers than Creative (if that were possible). They aren't even bothered with an OpenAL layer wrapper for surround sound support in DX, nor will they bother with ALSA. No point in getting crystal clear audio if the light is out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Funny this, I'm in the market for a soundcard that works (as advertised) cross platform, I emailed Auzentech tech support just the other day basically asking what their plans were regarding Linux and the Prelude 7.1 and X-Fi, this is the response I got back ...

    Here is the last response to your ticket:

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for contacting Auzentech, Inc.

    Our driver for X-fi prelude 7.1 will be supported by Creative Lab.
    Currently we do not have a plan to develop the Linux driver, but we
    will discuss about it with Creative and bring out the conclusion.

    We appreciate your kind interest in our product line.

    Sincerely,

    If you need to reply to our response, please follow the below link



    So my follow up question was ...


    Thank you for your prompt response, I have important follow up questions,

    1) Have discussions with Creative already taken place or are they pending?

    2) If they are pending can you give me a real time frame in which
    discussions with Creative will take place?

    I will be purchasing new hardware very soon and your situation with Creative is very relevant to how I proceed in future product decison making. Any further assistance with these questions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again.


    Guess who's still waiting for a response ?

    Mind you, the Vista driver situation for the M-Audio Revolution 7.1 is undetermined and the Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 HiFi appears to be a dead in the water product.

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katana6434 View Post
    They use EAX5 when all the other cards can only use version 2.
    Which in most games, just seems to add random amounts of echo to the game

    I actually find the sound much clearer in most cases with EAX turned off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Not mad just max with a long beard Mad-Max's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lodore View Post
    on board sound vs creative x-fi

    Having a separate sound card will always be better but it all depends on what you are using it for ?

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    Don't mean to threadjack but it's just a flying query really.

    I've downloaded the creative console driver for my old audigy 2 zs on my new build, although I don't have the equaliser software that I used to get on my old build. Just wondering what software I need to download to get the eq as they only seem to have update files only.

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    Hello Mad-Max,
    i will be using it for the following.
    1. music
    2. movies music videos and trailers.
    3. games.
    for music i eiether play cd's or play music using sonicstage in atrac3 format.
    with my new pc i might make a separate partition just for music.
    lodore

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    Quote Originally Posted by IntaCepta View Post
    Don't mean to threadjack but it's just a flying query really.

    I've downloaded the creative console driver for my old audigy 2 zs on my new build, although I don't have the equaliser software that I used to get on my old build. Just wondering what software I need to download to get the eq as they only seem to have update files only.
    You need to install the software off the CD, and then update the drivers from the download. Creative don't host the applications from the CD, only updates.

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