Creative's latest sound card is actually pretty good.

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by Guden Oden, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. _xxx_

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    Well then, go for it! :lol:
     
  2. John Reynolds

    John Reynolds Ecce homo
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    Got the X-Fi installed yesterday. While, as stated previously, my hearing isn't too great, I think the sound quality in MP3s and EverQuest 2 is better than my Audigy 2ZS. I'm hearing subtle background sounds better now through my old Klipsch's than I did before. And the sound in MP3s seems 'cleaner' (for lack of a better word).

    Hopefully games take advantage of the onboard memory at some point this year or I could've saved myself over $100 with the Music version.
     
  3. epicstruggle

    epicstruggle Passenger on Serenity
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    So far the onboard audio has been good enough, screw creative. ;)

    epic
     
  4. _xxx_

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    I dunno, I'm not into that "good company, bad company" thinking. I buy what offers the best compromise, be it from Creative or the devil himself. I just don't care about brands, it's kinda like belonging to a political party or something...
     
  5. Guden Oden

    Guden Oden Senior Member
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    :D I thought so too until I bought this thing! Seriously, this card really does beat the hell out of on-board mobo audio, there's no doubt about it. I don't care it's made by creative, it increases game performance AND improves quality at the same time. Win-win as far as I'm concerned...

    Yeah, I had zero difficulties with my on-board sound. It just worked like clockwork in every program and every game, new and old alike. Creative drivers have had a somewhat spotty track record in the past, I'm only too aware of that myself. Still, the increase in general fidelity and dynamic range is just too much to simply ignore. It's like switching from a set of bad speakers to a set of good ones, everything "opens up", becomes clearer.

    Besides, what geek don't want a sound processor with a heatsink on it, huh? :D
     
  6. Ty

    Ty Roberta E. Lee
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    Wow, hardcore.

    What if they contributed a ton of money to Bush though? ;)
     
  7. Fred da Roza

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    On board sound is terrible. I've played games with my MSI K8N Neo4 platinum on board sound. When a friend came over with his PC I could easily notice the sound on his PC that my integrated sound was not reproducing. And that was comparing it with a CL Live sound card.

    Picked up a X-Fi music last week. Like the SVM feature in games and the crystalizer for music. The 3D sound isn't bad but not as good as I hoped. Maybe it's just the game I play.
     
  8. HellasVagabond

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  9. KimB

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    I had similar problems with my Live! way back when, and it's why I'm very hesitant to ever try Creative again.
     
  10. Deathlike2

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    Are you saying that the onboard SB Live! on that MSI mobo sucks ? I was considering a mobo that had a onboard sound solution like that mobo (mainly for hardware acceleration). Perhaps that the fact that it is onboard has negative implications? (like less sound clarity/reproduction, that most add-in cards don't exhibit)
     
  11. Moloch

    Moloch God of Wicked Games
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    Do you know what the "crystalizer" actually does?
    it does nothing more than amplify the signal, actually reducing the dynamic range.
    http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/multimedia/creative-x-fi-part2.html
    Loud= sounds better :wink:
     
  12. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I thought it was more of a fancy equalizer/spatializer. It reminds me of my fav Winamp plugin, Izotope Ozone. Such a thing can most certainly improve the listening experience. But Creative did misleadingly market it, as usual.

    Look, it's not like the X-Fi chip has no worthy new additions to audio processing. Some of you are just so strangely negative. I don't get it. I've used lots of sound cards over the past 12 yrs or so and none of them has made me some piss angry ass. That includes SBPRO on up thru the Creative line, among just about all the other major cards. Granted they all have had limitations, such as AWE's MIDI interpreter and DOS games, the legendary EMU10K1 vs. VIA PCI debacle, etc, but they all have worked at least ok. I'm really very happy with this Audigy 2 ZS I've been using for over a year now. It's probably the most impressive sound card I've ever used for just about everything.

    I can't see spending >$140 or so on a sound card unless it has a killer feature, and that's not the case right now for any of them certainly. But a $130 X-Fi Xtrememusic or whatever would be an exceptional gaming card with fantastic audio quality. I got this A2ZS (w/ games bundle) for a whopping $50 after a Best Buy rebate, an unbeatable deal for sure.
     
  13. Fred da Roza

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    It's not a Live. The Platinum has something else (can't remember the name). The cheaper Neo 4 has the Live as strange as that sounds. The Platinum comes with the Fast and Giga Ethernet on board network interface, Firewire and some crappy integrated sound.
     
  14. Fred da Roza

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    Read something similar but I don't remember which review.

    Spend $145.00 Canadian. It's $139.00 locally today.
     
  15. horvendile

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    Since I'm going to have to think my audio setup over anyway, I might as well ask. (Strange sentence, just ignore it.)

    This improved audio quality of the X-Fi series. What do you need in terms of speakers to notice it? I suspect I may not be up to par. I don't remember the name of my setup, but it's a 4.1 system from Cambridge Soundworks (e.g. Creative). It's in computer white, it was bought in 2001 I believe, and it has no digital connectors. It wasn't especially expensive. You may know which system I'm talking about, it was fairly common at the time.
    Any idea of whether I will have any use for the improved quality?

    By the way... you can still connect an analogue 4.1-system to modern soundcards, right?
     
  16. phenix

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    I had a similar problem and made me sell my Audigy zs on ebay. Sound quality was good except for the cracking poping noises in the games but not that good over my Nforce2 sound to make me overlook the horrible noises during gaming.

    I will stick with onboard sound for a while until I am absolutely sure that Creative solves their problem or somebody else comes along with decent hardware acceleration and sound quality.
     
  17. phenix

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    This is from the Extremetech article about Vista:

    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1931917,00.asp


    It seems that Vista will change the rules of PC Audio so much that it would be wiser to wait for post-Vista (PCI-X based?) sound cards instead of shelling shitloads of money for something like X-Fi now.
     
  18. Bobbler

    Bobbler Shazbot!
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    Doesn't sound like something that will change by waiting... if its fixable then they could do it with drivers, and if it isn't then waiting for new hardware likely won't do much. It seems to me standard sound isn't automatically sent to the hardware in Vista (like playing an Mp3 for example), yet if the game is done with EAX/DX/OpenAL then it should be fine -- sounds like something they could get around with Drivers anywho (or music player plugins, which many players already have, I believe). I wouldn't hold my breath for PCI-E based soundcards for a while, at least not from creative.
     
  19. HellasVagabond

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    I dont think a Sound Card can fully use the Pciex bus so why even bother making them ??
    They will cost a load when they first get on the market and i doubt they will offer something better.
     
  20. Sxotty

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    http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/symphony.php
    PCIe check, soundcard check.
     
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