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Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer

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Ramble 1st July 2007, 14:37 Quote
How can the fact that the X-Fi sounds better on HL2 be put down to EAX when HL2 doesn't support EAX or any sound accel?
Bindibadgi 1st July 2007, 14:52 Quote
Sorry, badly worded by myself. :S I meant in general, but it read straight on from the last sentence.

It still sounds better on the X-Fi, I don't know what it does but it just feels more accurate. :o
Chronic 1st July 2007, 15:02 Quote
Great review but was wondering do you know if this is Compatible with 5.1 Digital Speakers, you do mention something about a Digital out but needs a toshlink adapter never heard of this before so might be very interested if this is Full 5.1 Digital now..

Thanks..
Mankz 1st July 2007, 15:04 Quote
Nice and very informative review there Rich.

Will there be any reviews of the Xtreme Audio card (£30 or so)?
Bindibadgi 1st July 2007, 15:12 Quote
The PCI-Express one with no X-Fi processor? Possibly, we can ask.

Chronic: The toslink cables have a square plug, but you need a square to 3.5mm "pointy" adapter. You can buy them from some electronics or A/V shops as well, you don't have to go to Creative. The S/PDIF out supports the same modes as standard analogue out afaik, I've not got digital speakers nor the adapter unfortunately :( I've been meaning to get round to asking someone for a proper amp but we don't do that many soundcard reviews.
DarkLord7854 1st July 2007, 15:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
It still sounds better on the X-Fi, I don't know what it does but it just feels more accurate. :o

Bought one myself just recently, gotta agree with that statement, it seems all games I play have a big boost in sound quality even if none of the sound settings have changed :D

There's an OEM version going for 75$ at Newegg btw


Although, when I installed my X-Fi drivers, I didn't get the control panel and all.. odd.
Bindibadgi 1st July 2007, 15:38 Quote
*Phew* As long as I'm not going nuts about the sound :D It's hard to explain something that's just "better".

Newegg link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102006R ;)

Control Panel: In XP!? I installed it, then it auto-updated and everything was there :?
DarkLord7854 1st July 2007, 15:41 Quote
I guess I'll try installing from CD instead of downloading them
atanum141 1st July 2007, 15:46 Quote
I like the look of the card and what it has to offer but the software looks far to bloated. My Current Audigy has nothing but the drivers & small control panel. Thats what i want with the X-Fi.
DarkLord7854 1st July 2007, 15:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by atanum141
I like the look of the card and what it has to offer but the software looks far to bloated. My Current Audigy has nothing but the drivers & small control panel. Thats what i want with the X-Fi.

When installing the drivers you can choose all the different software components you want to add/remove, there's a lot, so you have the choice on what to add/remove :)
Though honestly, it may seem bloated, but it's had no effect on my boot/load times

Edit: My only complaint bout this card is that it's bringing out the cheapness of my speakers :p
Spacecowboy92 1st July 2007, 17:01 Quote
I always wondered why they put those environment effects on, they work well and sound convincing but who wants to listen to music in a sewer pipe?
Neogumbercules 1st July 2007, 18:29 Quote
Or a cathedral hall? Or inside a trash can? Or through a vocoder?
Cupboard 1st July 2007, 18:46 Quote
toshlink=toslink?
are they the same thing, or is one a new version of the other? or maybe a Creative thing?
Mattt 1st July 2007, 18:59 Quote
"toshlink=toslink?"

exactly what i was wondering!
Veles 1st July 2007, 20:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
toshlink=toslink?
are they the same thing, or is one a new version of the other? or maybe a Creative thing?

Nah it's they hyperbolic equivalent :p
Bindibadgi 1st July 2007, 20:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
toshlink=toslink?
are they the same thing, or is one a new version of the other? or maybe a Creative thing?

Yes, it's Toslink :o

It's designer was Toshiba, so the association is in my brain

Wiki is awesome: It's a mini-Toslink jack uses a TRS connector
Bladestorm 1st July 2007, 21:55 Quote
Arg I was all ready to abandon creative sound cards when it came time for a new one, but this sounds nice to the point that I might have to pick one up whenever I do my Vista+DX10 upgrade.
Cthippo 1st July 2007, 22:20 Quote
Did they ever get the linux drivers sorted? I've still get an Xfi collecting dust in my case because of a lack of driver support
dom_ 2nd July 2007, 00:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
The PCI-Express one with no X-Fi processor? Possibly, we can ask.

Chronic: The toslink cables have a square plug, but you need a square to 3.5mm "pointy" adapter. You can buy them from some electronics or A/V shops as well, you don't have to go to Creative. The S/PDIF out supports the same modes as standard analogue out afaik, I've not got digital speakers nor the adapter unfortunately :( I've been meaning to get round to asking someone for a proper amp but we don't do that many soundcard reviews.

Speakers are analogue.
A "digital" speaker is an active speaker (one with its own amplifier) that has a dac built in or is a true digital amp (most class d's are not).
A "proper" amp wont help as a "proper" amp would be i assume a power amp. Which will only have a single analogue input.
A line stage or pre amplifier allows multiple sources to be used and allows you to adjust gain etc.
A dac is a digital analogue converter.
Something with two or more of the above is an intergrated amp.

In the interests of testing audio gear i would hope that you had the above available, as testing with active pc speakers or headphone plugged directly to soundcards can not allow you to assess sound quality. You need something better you need hi-fi components. Not PC components.
Mister_Tad 2nd July 2007, 00:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dom_

In the interests of testing audio gear i would hope that you had the above available, as testing with active pc speakers or headphone plugged directly to soundcards can not allow you to assess sound quality. You need something better you need hi-fi components. Not PC components.

Seconded, theres not much point in debating sound quality differences between cards if theyre being tested with Gigaworks T20 for example (which I suspect they may be?)

Not sure Hi-fi components would be the best though, as the majority of PC users are going to be listening to music near-field and hi-fi components arent necessarily designed with that in mind. A set of decent active monitors may be more suited for critical listening.
dom_ 2nd July 2007, 08:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
Seconded, theres not much point in debating sound quality differences between cards if theyre being tested with Gigaworks T20 for example (which I suspect they may be?)

Not sure Hi-fi components would be the best though, as the majority of PC users are going to be listening to music near-field and hi-fi components arent necessarily designed with that in mind. A set of decent active monitors may be more suited for critical listening.

Stop trying to get people to buy those tannoys :D
Bindibadgi 2nd July 2007, 09:11 Quote
Point duly noted, thank you :)

I've got some decent Logitech 5.1 speakers and Sennie headphones, but nothing HiFi-esq. I'm just testing what most PC users will hear, if you're an audiophile you won't watch movies or listen to music through a PC, right? ;) It would be nice to give DTS a bell and ask to borrow one of their setups :D
Jipa 2nd July 2007, 09:57 Quote
Ok I get it, gamer sound cards and gamer-reviews for gamer-soundcard-buyers, but still I kinda missed the point. I have a hard time believing that one can really hear the difference between the Extreme Gamers (I refuse to write it like a retard) and a half-decent integrated sound card (like the one also included in the tests) with the "standard" gear that people seem to have on their table/head. I just wonder if it would be a better buy to put all the money on headphones/speakers than split it between this sound card and cheaper headphones? I hope someone understands what I'm after...

As Misted_Tad said, it's hard to listen to the differencies between sound cards if the weakest link of the chain is somewhere else.

[whine]
And about the about the Entertainment Mode: such feature is called night mode in AV-amps. I hope I got this right, but it flattens the dynamic range? And doesn't just regulate the volume of different music/movie files? I've had issues sometimes when I first have to crank up the volume while watching movie and then mindlessly click open a Youtube-link or something and end up being deaf for a while.

And still about a second thing that made me laugh. The chrystalizer! Cmon you don't have to be a purist to figure out you can't just add stuff into audio that's never actually been there. And you can be sure that no purists or even purist-ish people use such feature, "some audio purists" was just plain funny. But maybe such features actually sound good on the average set of speakers/headphones... Opinions.
[/whine]

With that said I can continue enjoying my holiday and not visit forums for a while :) And don't get me wrong, the review it self was all OK, maybe I just shouldn't have even opened a review of a gamer-soundcard.
Mister_Tad 2nd July 2007, 13:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dom_
Stop trying to get people to buy those tannoys :D

I will not!
I should ask for some money from Tannoy for all my efforts tbh :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
if you're an audiophile you won't watch movies or listen to music through a PC, right? ;)

You would be surprised at the amount of quality you can get out of a PC, I certainly was when I started to put some effort into it
Jipa 2nd July 2007, 13:54 Quote
Go for a sound card with a frequency responce that doesn't look like a rollercoaster and so on :) Proper card, proper amplifier and proper speakers. And proper cables if you still have money left after these.

And Tannoys are nice, but my own lovely Amphions are lovely
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