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Thread: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

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    Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    Ok ive not spoke in a wee while because I have been very happy with my machine

    And now I would like to add a half decent soundcard, so ive been looking around and found the Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer.

    Could you give me the pro's and con's of ths card before I order. Thanks

    I mainly play games (FPS) but do like to listen to music and watch movies from time to time.

    Any other soundcards that you recommend around that price range (£50-60 Inc Delivery)

    Thanks
    Last edited by Mikey9980; 10-08-2009 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Typo :(
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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    And another thing will the soundcard fit in beside my graphics card on my motherboard and in the case.

    It looks a little tight but im sure it will, just need confirmation.
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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    I'm in the same boat as you at the moment mate. You have a similar price range to me aswell. I've decided to go for the Asus Xonar D2X, it's £75 from Scan and should outperform the xtremeGamer by a fair bit sound-quality-wise if most reviews are anything to go by. Check it out!
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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey9980 View Post
    And another thing will the soundcard fit in beside my graphics card on my motherboard and in the case.

    It looks a little tight but im sure it will, just need confirmation.
    I don't know I haven't seen your case or motherboard!

    I guess the question would be why do you think you need a new sound card? Most motherboard sound systems are pretty capable these days... Some cheap boards might introduce noise, but they won't if you're using optical or HDMI. If you really think you need a card then stay within sensible bounds - I ended up getting an X-fi extreme for a machine without SPDIF. Works fine but the fancy extras are a waste of time...

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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    It maybe worth a look at the Xonar DS for under £40:

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-...-616052/review

    http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/ind...=729&Itemid=27

    Another alternative is the PCI Xonar D1 and PCI-E Xonar DX:

    http://www.overclockersclub.com/revi...onar_d1/10.htm

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/14500

    The DX seems much cheaper at Novatech than Scan.


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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    The downside of the X-Fi/XtremeGamer is well covered here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster_X-Fi (Oddly enough Wiki does a very good job for such a specific piece of hardware).

    For me, the main selling point for the X-Fi card is CMSS, if you use headphones. Even with a cheapish (but good) headphones, I feel the 3D positioning in movies even more immersive than my 7.1 setup for movies. That feature is not as impressive for gaming though.

    It still sound better than built in sound card if you use it with headphones. Yeah, you can run a DAC+amp to overcome the limitation of an built in sound card, but that add up to the cost far more than a sound card would.

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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    A Beresford TC7510 is good for the money:

    http://www.homehifi.co.uk/PP/Stereo_...onverter_.html

    The TC7520 is also interesting as you can use USB:

    http://www.homehifi.co.uk/PP/Stereo_...2FTOSLINK.html


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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    If music is the primary use, the external DAC is definitely worth looking into. If gaming is involved, then the X-Fi is probably going to be one of the options if only for (EAX). I definitely think it's an all-rounder, though at some point I'll look into the Xonar (will most likely miss CMSS though).

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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    Never noticed a difference with mine... although then again, my ears can't tell between vinyl and CD!

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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice View Post
    If music is the primary use, the external DAC is definitely worth looking into. If gaming is involved, then the X-Fi is probably going to be one of the options if only for (EAX). I definitely think it's an all-rounder, though at some point I'll look into the Xonar (will most likely miss CMSS though).
    One thing I'm pretty certain you won't miss if you have a Xonar is CMSS-3D Headphone. Dolby Headphone, which sounds far better to my ears, is available on pretty much every Xonar model apart from the DS.

    You will miss EAX effects in a few games with Xonar. They have emulated EAX 3 - 5 but it doesn't always work and not everything works as well as X-Fi for games that are supported.

    I've just moved from a Xonar D2 to an X-Fi Prelude. I've only done this becuase I now have a Victor SU-DH1 Dolby Headphone processor. I wouldn't have moved without it as I would have missed Dolby Headphone on the Xonar too much.

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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    Guess I'll find out for myself at some point. I have tried looking up CMSS vs Dolby Headphone, and it's far from a win for the later (even compared with the older Audigy2ZS version of CMSS). The weird thing though, is that everything have a different opinion on what makes one or the other better at X or Y.

    Even when referring to CMSS alone, I've seen at least one person who prefers CMSS for gaming, but Dolby Headphones for movies, while being not impressed at all by CMSS for movies. Whereas I am the opposite, I often disable CMSS for gaming but enabling it for movies.

    Headphones synergy may also play a role. Anyway, I try out Dolby Digital for myself given a lack of consensus. It would be nice if Creative release a true successor of the X-Fi though.

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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    I bought an XtremeGamer card a while back and found that it made small difference to some games and more noticeable difference to others. Battlefield 2142 was one which impressed particularly.

    I like the CMSS Headphone lark - in FPS games you can actually make out where sound is coming from. I've not tried it for movies though - I use my AV setup for that!

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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    Mikey... get a really good card, don't compromise.. even if it cuts your spend on something else this month.

    A GOOD sound card outlasts your video card, and CPU and sometimes even your CASE>

    In XP there was nothing to beat the M-Audio Revolution 7.1, but it DID use CPU cycles. I still have mine, though it won't work in Vista 64 at all.

    Long ago I'd have knocked the X Fi for bloatware, but having fitted one to a mates PC it was very good and not too loaded up with rubbish.

    But IF the dough could be found.... Razer Barracuda AC-1..not the headphones... they're very average if with a clever conector.

    But in stereo.. it's amazing. I've gto mine on Vista64 and so far, so good. I get occasional window's popping up but it's very rare.

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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    I have an X-Fi gamer in 1 pc and a x-fi fatal1ty in another and have been very pleased with both. Can't comment on the Asus range as I have never owned one, but I have not had any problems with creative drivers and Vista or Windows 7.
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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    Well you certainly need a good set of adequeately amplified headphones for Dolby Headphone to work well. CMSS-3D headphone can be more forgiving of cheap headsets.

    As CMSS-3D is HRTF based, it needs to be pretty close your own HRTF to work well.

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    Re: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer - Pro's? Con's?

    What makes good sound is subjective, there will always be debate as to which is "best".

    Personally, I can't get rid of my Xonar. It was like someone took cotton wool out of my ears when I switched from an XFi Fatal1ty to the Asus Xonar D2X....it was night and day.

    Yes, in some games the SFX aren't as clever but to me the across-the-board sound quality and clarity more then makes up for the odd effect in the odd game.
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