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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... I'm reading these reviews of the X-Fi, and it sounds like Creative ATTEMPTED to fix many of the sound quality issues they had with the Audigy series. So... is someone here gonna buy one and see how it does in a home theater / gaming PC, compared to some of the other, more sound-quality oriented cards out there? I would love to read that! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
bump
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gluegun
So... I'm reading these reviews of the X-Fi, and it sounds like Creative ATTEMPTED to fix many of the sound quality issues they had with the Audigy series. So... is someone here gonna buy one and see how it does in a home theater / gaming PC, compared to some of the other, more sound-quality oriented cards out there? I would love to read that! Thanks!
I don't know if I will uprade to it... I bought my Audigy 2 because of the DVD-Audio decoding function, but I can't seem to find any info on the new card if it still does decode DVD-A or not. Also the card are now speciallized. If you buy the Media one you end up with less quality in game and vice-versa...


I think I'll skip a step in the evolution ladder this time. :)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosferax
but I can't seem to find any info on the new card if it still does decode DVD-A or not.


Also the card are now speciallized. If you buy the Media one you end up with less quality in game and vice-versa...
The card decodes DVD Audio just like it's predecessors.


Your info on specialized versions is wrong.
 

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I'll be checking this card out in my HTPC when it gets delivered. I ordered it at Creative for a special Quake Con promo price two weeks ago. What is sad is that it is available at the local BB now but still shows as a pre-order on my order status page. I really hope they ship it out soon. My onboard audio is not the greatest! :(
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosferax
Tom's Hardware as a comparative chart for this card family. Not all function are available on all the card. Even the high end has some feature missing from the mid and low end.

http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer...ges/image3.gif
You've misunderstood the picture.

The picture refers to three differens modes of operation:

In the X-Fi drivers you can choose between "Gaming Mode", "Creation Mode" and "Entertainment Mode".


It's a driver settings that all four X-Fi cards have.


Check the picture at this page and you'll see the control panel for switching between the three different modes:
http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer...e_x-fi-08.html

The chart on that same page is just a more detailed version than the picture you linked.


The reason for the three modes are two:

1. To simplify control panels, accomodating them for the current usage scenario.

2. To reroute the DSP processing powers to different tasks (ie if the DSP was even more powerful it wouldn't really need three different modes).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by UndaC
You've misunderstood the picture.

The picture refers to three differens modes of operation:

In the X-Fi drivers you can choose between "Gaming Mode", "Creation Mode" and "Entertainment Mode".


It's a driver settings that all four X-Fi cards have.


Check the picture at this page and you'll see the control panel for switching between the three different modes:
http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer...e_x-fi-08.html

The chart on that same page is just a more detailed version than the picture you linked.


The reason for the three modes are two:

1. To simplify control panels, accomodating them for the current usage scenario.

2. To reroute the DSP processing powers to different tasks (ie if the DSP was even more powerful it wouldn't really need three different modes).
You are right... sorry about that. I misread the article. English isn't my main language and I was confused by the three configuration available. They were refering to driver configuration and not hardware.


Then again, like I said I upgraded to the Audigy 2 for the DVD-A capability, but I just saw a moment ago a Pioneer DVD player with DVD-A and SACD playback for $139.00 Cdn at Futureshop... That's way less that Creative is gonna charge for this baby. Ok it won't be a part of my HTPC but since I use it more for capture/conversion/playback the Audigy-2 should be enough for it's usable lifespan since I upgrade every 2 years anyway.
 

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I have the Xfi xtreme music. I had an audigy 2 zs before and the xfi definitely sounds better. Its not a major jump in improvement but it is noticable. The bass sounds better with the xfi. Switching modes is a pain in the a$$ too. I always start my games while in entertainment mode then have to quit, switch modes, then start the game again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I want someone who at LEAST can compare the x-fi to the Chaintech AV-710, and maybe the M-Audio Revolution and hopefully some other M-Audio and other hi fi cards...
 

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Been running the low end X-Fi card since last week. This is the card I've been waiting for as by all accounts it can play CD's with much better resampling and, more importantly -- without resampling. (There is a setting in the "Creation" mode, which allows you to select "Bit Matched Playback." And also one to set the "Master Sampling Rate," which includes 44.1 kHz.)


Based on what I read in this forum, I had earlier installed a second sound card just to play CD's. And it was shocking how bad the Audigy is with CD's and how much better the non-resampling second sound card sounded. However, the X-Fi and its media player really do sound great. So now I'm back to the less awkward, single sound card, solution.


Which card? After reading the various reviews, and what sense I could make from their test results, this appears to be the breakdown:


1) Extreme Music -- Great for playback, but recording lacks true 192kHz capability

2) Platinum -- Same, but adds internal rack

3) Fatal1ty -- Same, but adds internal rack and local memory cache for potentially increased game performance

4) Elite -- Has the local cache and includes true 192 kHz recording and a big exterior rack.


As I'm really just interested in playback, didn't want a rack, and given the price differences, I went with the most basic card.


One note, I don't know what the deal is with the Creative media player and KMixer, but for whatever it's worth, Creative's media player sounds much better with X-Fi than Windows Media Player.


And I certainly can't comment definitively on the SPDIF output. However, the rate selection between 48kHz and 96kHz one sees in "Entertainment" mode is greyed out and blank in "Creation" mode. Maybe this is a good sign?
 

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Note that the Elite Pro is the only version that has a different PCI card (and the big external break-out box)..... it uses 4 Higher Quality Stereo Dacs while the other cards use one 8 channel Dac. In addition, examination of the photos show that the Elite Pro has quite a few additional and larger capacitors on board.... my guess is that all adds up to the increased specs for the Elite Pro.... I'm watching this one very carefully (I can't believe I'm actually interested in a CREATIVE product ! :) ).... it'll be interesting to see what Emu releases with this new processor....


:cool:
 

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Is anyone here using the X-Fi for SPDIF output for movies and music?


I am considering getting an X-Fi and would want to use it for games (7.1 analogue outputs) and DVD/CDs (SPDIF). I would never listen to music or movies using analogue outputs, for these I will always use the DACs in my preamp.


I am curious to know:

1. How the digital output compares to other cards

2. Whether it is necessary to switch to 'Entertainment' or 'Creation' mode when using the SPDIF for DD/DTS/PCM. I am hoping I can always leave this in 'Game' mode so I get the latest EAX - this assumes that the extra options in Entertainment/Creation apply only to analogue output, and do not affect the digital output?


Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bump... anyone have anything to add to this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bump once again. I'm not giving up!
 

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The X-fi is foolish.... no computer based outboard DAC meant for audiophile use should be without balanced outputs.


No matter how good they advertise this thing, I can't imagine it's worth getting this over an m-audio delta 1010.


Anyone using this instead of something cheaper for OPTICAL output is out of their mind. The only people who should even be talking about this card is those that use it for the analog output.
 

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I doubt the X-fi is targeted for audiophile use. If it were they woudn't boast stupid notions like the crystalizer. But the argument that balanced out is a must have for audiophile use, seems a bit strange. The M-Audio 1010 like the other products from m-audio are meant for music production/recording, not audiophile reproduction of pre-recorded material.


The X-Fi did have potential due to the processing power of the chip. But the software and application of the chip is a huge letdown.


The quality of the DACs are impossible to tell as the Elite pro which has different DACs than the rest of the series hasn't been released yet.


I agree buying it for digital out is stupid.
 

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"The X-fi is foolish.... no computer based outboard DAC meant for audiophile use should be without balanced outputs."


this is a moronic and myopic point of view.... based on the current crop of "techNOphiles" who look at "pro-sound" audio equipment (meant for clubs and band sound-reinforcement in acousticly poor environments) and confuse it with "audiophile" equipment meant for serious listening in home environments where the acoustics can be outstanding. Blanced lines are designed for long runs and rejection of noise pickup due to these long runs and poor placement of said cables. In a home environment with static cable positions (at least after they've been run correctly) and short to moderate cable run lengths, single ended cables have been succesfully used for far longer than the term "pro-sound" has been used.... :D


:cool:
 
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