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X-FI vs. Fatal1ty vs. Audigy 2 - Any help is appreciated!

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March 21, 2006 4:08:10 PM

Ok so I have been looking at the X-FI and the Fatal1ty it seems great and all but is it worth the upgrade if you play games? Currently I have an Audigy 2 and play Battlefield 2, Doom, Morrowind Oblivion (soon to play anyways) and I was wondering, because I've never heard an X-FI based sound card before, if the difference in sound is that much better? I mean the games sound good now (I can run High Quality with EAX enabled, on hardware mode) but does Ultra quality sound that much better or that much different? And as far as the Fatal1ty goes, what does the 64MB of ram help you with exactly, and is it worth the extra 200ish dollars?
March 21, 2006 4:37:51 PM

Im satisfied with my XF-i in both entertainment and gaming. If you use 2.1 and headphone then the XF-i is for you. 5.1 or 7.1 sorround with crisp and clear sound at high then the Audigy 2 is great. Fatal1ty, well I don't buy names. The XF-i is both good in value and performance. :D 
March 21, 2006 7:36:34 PM

I've been wondering this as well, as I have an original Audigy Gamer. (Trying not to hijack the thread) :D 
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March 21, 2006 11:52:21 PM

You need to weigh your priorities--effects? (better sound card) or sound quality? (better speakers).

For me its usually a no-brainer, I put my money in the speakers. But thats just me. Some people have a hobby of collecting electronics, and that's their prerogative too.
March 22, 2006 12:15:48 AM

I have the X-fi platinum, and I absolutely love it (I upgraded from onboard). However, I doubt if you will notice much difference in sound quality in the games. What X-fi is really good for is high quality headphone sound.
Also the XRAM in the fatality should give you only slightly better fps, so it helps but im not so sure it's worth $100 over the platinum.
So what I suggest is just keep your audigy until it either breaks down or better cards come out. Just save your money.
March 22, 2006 12:15:59 AM

I play Battlefield2 with Ultra high sound quality, and I've noticed no difference from High.
March 22, 2006 10:21:34 AM

I have not heard any difference in BF2, too, but in Quake 4 my X-Fi Fatal1ty sounds better if OpenAL is selected compared to normal setting.
Especially in multiplayer the sounds do not get abruptly cut off when you move from open space into a bunker. I still can clearly hear people talking outside.
March 22, 2006 10:03:34 PM

Quote:
I play Battlefield2 with Ultra high sound quality, and I've noticed no difference from High.


That's nice to know. I'll be purchasing better speakers now!

Thanks!
March 23, 2006 5:52:01 PM

I upgraded from onboard sound, and the difference is stunning. There are some interresting features to the X-FI, a couple being the Crystalizer and the 3D virtualization. I find both to have a noticeable, and pleasant, effect on sound. However, I have not had the chance to expirience an Audigy 2, so the upgrade might not be too terribly great. If you do go for the X-FI, I would NOT reccomend the Fatality model. The X-Ram feature is used only for certain games, and I have yet to come accross one. Supposedly, it would remove further load from your system. The basic and the Platinum both have 2 megs of ram (on earlier cards; I believe they ship with 4 now?) to aid with sound processing. Back to framerates, I have to say I have a noticeable increase in frames with this card in game mode then I ever had with onboard sound.
March 27, 2006 2:30:05 AM

I personally upgraded from Audigy series to X-Fi and I feel the difference is there but not too much. Only the CMSS 3d heaphone and crystalizer effect wowed me.

I upgraded more to keep the system current for future new games and Quake 4 is an eaxample where I can tell the difference in sound. The other thing that influenced my buying decision is the fact that more and more games are becoming very resource intensive and X-Fi would really help in that manner since it has its own APU that should offload well for future games. Futhermore, I do think the current utilisation of X-Fi's capability is still not full, future game developers has a lot of room to play with in that area and set higher standards really.
March 29, 2006 5:16:58 AM

I'm soo glad this thread was made, I can finally decide I can get a xf-i with my sennheiser hd555s after some feed back on how it benefits highend equipment.

I have a question about the oreientation of the headphone jacks, is the microphone port right next to the headphone port? thanks.
March 29, 2006 3:05:21 PM

In battlefield 2 when switching from an Audigy2 to an X-Fi I've noticed some things right off the bat.

For one the sounds are sharper, crisper and more realitic. Mainly when sniping ground forces from atop a tower.. you hear the wind blowing and when a ground troop opens fire in your direction... you clearly hear the bullets ricochet off the metal making a sound that's just eery and get's your heart pumping.. feels like you're really getting shot at... makes me giddy..lol.

I've also noticed some differences in the quality sounds with regards to vehicle engines... they sound more realitic and you can hear the tiny parts moving and clunking.

I'm of course using headphones but am soon going to migrate to my speakers.. we'll see how those sound.

As for any differences between the Fatal1ty and the Xtreme Music.. I can safely acknowledge that there are hardware differences (64MB onboard vs 2MB onboard for 24bit sound processing) but as far as sound quality there is no difference. (I own both).
The differences will surely arise with the arrival of more demanding games that utilise more sopphisticated Dolby Digital or DTS 24bit sounds. As those sound streams are sure to take up a hefty amount of system memory and hard drive swapping space for processing.. the 64MB should make a large difference.
March 29, 2006 3:31:03 PM

"Also the XRAM in the fatality should give you only slightly better fps, so it helps but im not so sure it's worth $100 over the platinum.
So what I suggest is just keep your audigy until it either breaks down or better cards come out. Just save your money."

Not all games support the XRAM but in those that do you'll get a modest improvement.It does have potential. I switched from Audigy2 ZS and the sound difference was amazing. I also like the front panel that has Optical(which I use), 1/4" mic and headphone jacks as well as MIDI, SPDIF and RCA. And you still have the normal plugs on the card itsself. And don't forget the remote! It also comes with some usable software. Is it worth the $100 premium? If you use the features like I do, yes. If not, then save that $$$. IMHO, I think it's worth it.
April 3, 2006 12:39:41 PM

Quote:

I have a question about the oreientation of the headphone jacks, is the microphone port right next to the headphone port? thanks.


Yes.
April 3, 2006 11:43:33 PM

Heyyou27, on a sidetrack i was reading your system stats and wondering how well FEAR runs on your system (assuming you play it), and how it runs elsewhere. your system kinda looks like the parts i plan to put in my system in a few months.
May 5, 2006 2:26:28 AM

HERE IS A FIX FOR CREATIVE CARDS AND BF2

YOU WILL SEE THE DIFFRENCE !!!!!

well i was like why not it worked for me i didnt have any real problems just really slow server load times and the movies would lag the hell out of me but no more.

http://www.forumplanet.com/planetbattlefield/topic.asp?...


I just came across an official forum from EA and the guys totally messed up the EAX thing. They figured out how to fix it with a few replacements of files, and after installation of these files, BF2 will not stutter, system lag, or freeze frame once after 5-10 seconds of each map, THATS IT. Anyone with an Audigy 2 Sound Card needs to check out the forum, or follow my easy step by step process (They explain the reasoning for the problem in the forum.)
THIS FIX HAS WORKED FOR 95% of the people who tried it. -(I guess the other 5% didnt follow the steps I list below correctly)

http://forum.eagames.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=3256&postday... -- EA FORUM

Follow these easy steps below this link Carefully ***(VALUE AUDIGY 2 USERS SKIP STEP 1)***:
Please make sure you have the latest Creative drivers in the first place (most importantly the beta drivers that enable OpenAL support) BEFORE You do these steps.
1. Install the OPENAL32.exe App from Creative (Link Below).

http://developer.creative.com/articles/article.asp?cat=...
No, it's not a virus or else you could sue Creative for mass distributing one. No, this will not ruin any sound in other games. ** A box will come up, click yes I agree.. yadda yadda yadda, and you're done.**

2. Go into your windows/system32 directory, NOT YOUR CREATIVE DIRECTORY, and copy the OpenAL32.dll and paste it into your BF2 Directory (Main Folder). DO NOT CONFUSE THE OpenAL32.dll file for the OpenGL32.dll. THAT WILL CAUSE PROBLEMS.

3. In the BF2 Main Folder, make a backup of the BF2OpenAL.dll file and put it some where that you could remember where it is if any bf2 problems occur.

4. Rename the OpenAL32.dll file you got from the System32 directory to BF2OpenAL.dll and replace the original BF2OpenAL.dll. Don't forget to make a back up (just incase).

5. Play the game.

I swear to you all that I creamed my pants when BF2 stopped stuttering for like the first 5-10 seconds and not the 5 - 10 minutes AS USUAL. I have a 4000+ AMD with 1 Gig of good ram, and a sweet ass motherboard. I did not deserve the stuttering, and neither do you.

HAVE SO MUCH FUN.
HAVE SO MUCH FUN.
May 5, 2006 3:21:23 AM

I realy enjoy my X-Fi Fatal1ty :)  If you got the money its 100% worth it. Now if your trying to save some bucks it may not be worth the extra money.
May 5, 2006 5:39:06 AM

Buying a nice set of speakers (if you already dont have an expensive set) will bring you a more noticable increase in sound quality.
May 5, 2006 3:33:49 PM

Yes if you have junk speakers the X-Fi wont help at all... lol but then again it wouldnt sound worse :)  all things being equal in the speaker department a good sound card will almost always sound better then onbourd audio. I think the one exception might be some of those new HD Audio mobo's.
!