I salivate over some of the things I've heard about the X-fi. I currently have an Audigy 2 ZS or ES or something along with a crappy pair of headphones but a pretty decent 5.1 sound system. The statistics on all of the X-fi cards are insane. I have almost no doubt this will make my sound clearer and more defined.
What do you guys think I should do? Money is not a big issue, so If I do get an X-fi, it will either be the Xtrememusic or the FPS. The only thing holding me back is a couple of bad reviews I've read. Most of them rate this card as ridiculously amazing, but some people complain of all sorts of sound errors in games. I have an nForce4 board, should I be weary about getting this new card or may I assume that they will patch bugs? My audigy 2 sounds good for music and all of my games, but I really desire this x-fi as long as it does what it is supposed to.
PLEASE, if you know some information first-hand or know a friend who has one, let me know. I listen to music and play a sh!tton of games, am I safe to upgrade?
I don't have a reply,.. but some TurleBeach users bash the X-Fi on Newegg stating it only uses analog passthrough for digital sound. I know this because I'm facing the same dilemma. I want a new sound card,.. but the turtle beach card only supports EAX 2.0... the X-Fi doesn't have true digital sound... which is worth it? Turtle Beach is cheaper too.
I have X-Fi and have no problems with the card.
It's really nice one and no way I am ever going back to my Audigy 2 ZS.
Get it, try surround over headphones and you will know what I mean.
I have SIS chipset but read that some, not all, nForce4 mainboards may require BIOS update or X-Fi won't be properly recognized. Well, flashing bios is not a rocket science so you should be fine.
Once you installed the card, update the drivers. Latest one from last week does a great job and I did not see anyone complaining about it.
I wonder what ppl mean saying X-Fi doesn't have true digital sound. Sound is not digital as such, recording or playback can be and you can have either with X-Fi, can't see the problem with it.
X-Fi is a brilliant card. Interface is much better, more logical and better looking than with my previous Audigy 2 ZS . You can tweak sound as never before but you do not have to bother: default settings are, overall, fine. Crystallizer and surround sound over normal headphones work surprisingly well with music and games, respectively. And if you need more sophisticated controls switch to creation mode, this has them all.
I actually went for Fatal1ty version. It is true that you don't see much performance gain with with XRAM at present, but I wanted a future-proof card. I am not upgrading all too often these days, no time for searching web and fiddling with my PC over and over again. But when I play games or listen to music I want best sound and no troubles.
As for marketing BS we will see if the claims made by Creative are true or not in next months. EAX 5 and 128 voices processing without offloading CPU is, potentially, a huge benefit. Next to BF2 there is Quake 4 that, according to the reviews, has very complex sound structure. I have read on some maps a single player mode with just one weapon utilizes 28 channels! Imagine what happens if you are in mutliplayer. Anything without X-RAM will have to scale it down. Hopefully Santa Claus will get me the game;)
I'd say if you are gaming a lot consider X-RAM. Side benefit is that X-Fis with X-RAM have no hiccup with nForce4. But if your budget is tight get Xtreme Music.
hopefully they do write software to utilize the x-ram...otherwise it could be a waste of $150 ...BUT the faceplate and remote are good bonuses. Plus, you said people weren't having probs with the Fatality one, which is the one I originally wanted.
Got the XtremeMusic card about 2 months ago and its absolutely fantastic. Not only the Crystaliser makes most mp3's sound fantastic, but the CMSS 3D over headphones is amazing. I now enjoy all my games with my headphones enjoying close to true surround sound, without any penalty on the frames!