X-Fi: Which Version for Gaming?

I'm thinking about a new sound card and i'm a bit confussed about the x-Fi Range. The Fatality is very expensive yet the bottom of the range implies it's geared towards music not games.

I understand that some have higher quality DACs and some have some special RAM (XRAM) but do any of these features on the more expensive cards actually make a difference to gaming?

Do they reduce the CPU overhead any more?

I assume they all support EAX 5.0?

Thanks for any help :)
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  1. Im thinking of that too.

    I supose XRAM helps the system cpu and mobo work less for sound so performace increases, but how much?

  2. The Fatality is geared towards gamers, and it near top of the line, below only the Elite Pro. It comes with 64Mbs of XRAM and is a beauty. Who told you that its bottom of the line?

    A good sound card can drastically reduce CPU load, take the X-Fi, it uses a 3.4GHz CPU to process sound, which is (theoretically) faster than my 640. The XRAM also frees up normal RAM.
  3. Sorry worded it all wrong, I ment that the bottom of the range card seems to be aimed towards music and that the fatality (i.e. gamer version) is very expensive, Sorry my bad.

    Does the XRAM work by defult or does it require specialist programming support. Does any EAX 5.0 game automatically use the XRAM?

    I'm trying to figure out if the extra price for the Fatality acually benefits games over the bottom of the range version?

    If only a few games make use of the XRAM I might just get the cheapest version.

    BTW I mostly use headphones not 5.1 surround
  4. Is not it true that X-RAM only works for games that are designed to take advantage of it?

    As games are written to exploit this (and since Creative is the PC gaming defacto standard) over time games will be written to take advantage of it. Today however? I've read that only BF2 and Quake4 are on the current menu.

  5. To date, no game BENEFITS from X-RAM... yes, a few support it... but there hasn't been any performance gains from it. As-is the lower-end cards are still a MUCH better bargain IMHO.
  6. All cards are essentially the same, they're just advertised differently, or come with the extra goodies. As far as I know, the Xtreme music is the same board as the Elite Pro.
  7. The elite version has better quality DAC's and better sig to noise ratio.

    Basically better for sound recording and music, but gamers would never need/use/notice those aspects
  8. I have the X-Fi Extreme Music and works great with gaming. I had it now for about a year and still impresses me with great quality sound in entertainment, gaming and audio editing mode. I love it for gaming as with my onboard audio causes drop in frame rates while the X-Fi Extreme Music sound card on Game Mode does nothing negative but gives great sounds to my Klipsch speakers. I got around $100 so it's not gonna cost you an arm and a leg to get it.

  9. ive got the lower end xfi (its in my sig i forget the actual name) but it was 120 at compusa. im VERY impressed with it, although i only use 2.1 and occasionally headphones, the quality is much higher and even the microphone is clearer (still same hardware of course) the software seems to be a bit bulky, uses a lot of power when its open, but when u have it minizmized its unnoticable. in gaming fps have increased a little (going from onboard) but it wasnt a huge jump likei hoped, maybe 5-10 fps at most in bf2. still IMO it was worth the price tag, i think it can be found on newegg in the 80's after rebates. go for the lower end one, if you want the front audio (which i did at first) that would be my only reason to get a more expensive one.
  10. Quote:
    The elite version has better quality DAC's and better sig to noise ratio.

    Basically better for sound recording and music, but gamers would never need/use/notice those aspects

    This man speaks the truth. I looked this up myself today for a similar post... the card itself is the same for the three lower models with the Fatality having 64 MB of memory. The Elite version does have slightly different hardware on the board.
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