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X-FI SOUNDCARDS

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April 25, 2006 2:24:29 AM

ExtremeMusic, Platinum, Fatal1y and Elite.
whats the difference between those 3?
i mean in australia (which is where i live) the;
ExtremeMusic is abt $230+
Platinum is abt $360+
Fatal1ty is abt $560+
and the Elite is abt fken $800

i mean is it even worth gettin these soundcards at all?
they're so expensive i could jus get a MSI 7900GTX 512MB for $860
and wth is the difference between the 4?

More about : soundcards

April 25, 2006 2:47:17 AM

The ExtremeMusic is uses the Audigy 2ZS DACs.

The Platinum has a breakout box with added connectivity.

I believe the others that cost more use XRAM, although I can't say how that affects your performance on a general basis. The ExtremeMusic is the only one that uses the older ZS DACs, the the Platinums and above use (on paper anyway) slightly better DACs. But of course, PC speakers will tend to be the bottleneck in sound performance. Increasing to a DAC that's about 2-3% more resolving on paper is probably not the best way to spend your money, as in audio, an extra $100 will generally double the accuracy of your speakers (up to a certain point, I'd say the sweet spot is around $300USD/pair of speakers).

They share the same software suite.

By the way, I realize the cost analysis isn't completely accurate since Australia is an import market and the cost of these goods are significantly higher. For example, in the US, the X-treme Music can be bargained down to $100 AUS, meaning it costs 2.3 times more in Australia than here, meaning you'd probably be a lot more better off going to a local hifi shop for speakers.
April 25, 2006 3:26:51 AM

Quote:
ExtremeMusic, Platinum, Fatal1y and Elite.
whats the difference between those 3?
i mean in australia (which is where i live) the;
ExtremeMusic is abt $230+
Platinum is abt $360+
Fatal1ty is abt $560+
and the Elite is abt fken $800

i mean is it even worth gettin these soundcards at all?
they're so expensive i could jus get a MSI 7900GTX 512MB for $860
and wth is the difference between the 4?


i just bought the platinum 2 days ago..and i was asking myself the same questions..."is 200 bucks really worth it for just sound?!" and i went up to everyone i work with at best buy, and they all talked me into it. i installed it, and let me tell you, its most defenetly WORTH the money for the platinum anyways..i also use it for guitar recordings which sound as professional sounding and crystal clear sounding as 900 dollar sound cards do at guitar center. its amazing for gaming, music, music creation, recordings. Extreme music will be fine if you just play games, watch movies and listen to music...if your a recording artist, get the platinum, the other ones are just too expensive for my taste , and i doubt i could see an improvement from those from my platinum.
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April 25, 2006 1:00:15 PM

The two more expensive options offer slightly better sound, but to be able to reach that potential you would need to invest even more money into some surround speaker. I recommend getting the Extreme Music card and then investing in a pair of high quality headphones.

I am using my Dad's old Sennheiser HD 535 headphones. I would recommend a pair of Sennheiser headphones intended for 5.1 surround sound with a minimun price of around 100 euros.

I have the Creative T6060 speakers which are great value at only around 70-80 euros. They offer great music playback and good dvd playback, and then when I want to play games or watch a dvd at its fullest, I simply use the headphones. A 150 euro pair of headphones can give you sound superior to a speaker system of 300 euros.

All in all it depends on what you want. Make sure to connect a digital line from the dvd player/writer to the x-fi soundcard to be able to listen to DTS. My dvd player didn't come with a wire like that and I am having trouble finding one also, as I do not know what it's called.
April 25, 2006 1:45:16 PM

You should get the X-fi extreme music for around $100! Don't get those $200+ sound card, there better a bit but you can't really hear the difference.
April 25, 2006 2:13:07 PM

I got the extrememusic and it is great. A huge improvement over the audigy 2 which i have. the other version just cost more and don't do anything really. Xram is used by so few games it's not even worth mentioning. And unless you need a breakout box or added connections there is no needs for anything more then the basic model. The software is alot better then the previous audigy models. It works to perfection. You will need to modify startup option to prevent the X-F1 from loading additional software for seemingly no reason. But that happens with anything you instal.
April 28, 2006 7:19:27 AM

Platinum, Fatality, and ELite comes with XRAM, i believe 64 mb.
This means games will run more frames per second. Wish enables gamers to set their display adjust to high. This is the reason it cost more. Leave ELITE for musicians producers.
April 28, 2006 8:53:29 AM

so that means the Xram is like extra vga ram or somthin?
so like vga card 256mb+soundcard 64mb = 320mb of dedicated memory to games?
April 28, 2006 9:38:05 AM

Hi guys,

I've used a fair number of Creative cards down they years and I have to say: Don't do it!!
I've had an SB16, an AWE64, an SBLive, a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and a Audigy 2 ZS.
I've used an audigy 2 ZS since trading up from my Santa Cruz for some time and after moving to KX project drivers I'm finally free of crashes in games. In all honesty I don't think the Audigy 2ZS is giving me better sound quality than the Santa Cruz did.

I'm mentioning this cos I'm sick of the pointless so-called upgrades that Creative offer. If you compare the kind of product you get now to something such as an SB-Live or the original audigy then they've barely advanced a hair's breadth. They've made EAX closed so no one else can implement it and then stalled, leaving us with the same feature set that was available 5 years ago. The software is terrible and looks like a children's cartoon and as pointed out at the top of the article you can frequently end up paying several hundred £/$ for something that in hardware terms is worth £10.

Combine this with horrendous drivers that seem to ship months before they should and have killed my system more times than I can possibly count and you have to ask yourself why its worth the pain?
If you want a good card that sounds crystal clear and does a good job of games then try the MDA mystique, they are more widely available in australia than europe and the feature set is HUGE. Its about £50 I think but gives you everything the soundblaster has bar the slightly-faster (and much much more buggy) in game audio. Either that or something based on the Envy 24HT, which is a better audiophile's card than the creative range if you find one that has decent DACs as you can switch the output sampling rate rather than keeping it locked at 48KHz which creative tend to do unless you bypass the windows drivers with asio or similar.

Anyway- MDA mystique. Check it out.

laters
theDudeAbides
April 28, 2006 9:50:16 AM

People who read reviews and the measurements will know what's up. Those who buy for the marketting jargon are taking the risk of not being funny informed about a product and its true performance. It's the same with everything
April 28, 2006 11:03:13 AM

Quote:
Platinum, Fatality, and ELite comes with XRAM, i believe 64 mb.
This means games will run more frames per second. Wish enables gamers to set their display adjust to high. This is the reason it cost more. Leave ELITE for musicians producers.


The Platinum has no XRam... basically the Platinum is the same as the Xtreme Music... except it has a break out box as well as a remote control.
April 28, 2006 11:03:48 AM

Quote:
Platinum, Fatality, and ELite comes with XRAM, i believe 64 mb.
This means games will run more frames per second. Wish enables gamers to set their display adjust to high. This is the reason it cost more. Leave ELITE for musicians producers.


The Platinum has no XRam... basically the Platinum is the same as the Xtreme Music... except it has a break out box as well as a remote control.
May 4, 2006 7:05:53 AM

Quote:
Platinum, Fatality, and ELite comes with XRAM, i believe 64 mb.
This means games will run more frames per second. Wish enables gamers to set their display adjust to high. This is the reason it cost more. Leave ELITE for musicians producers.


Quote:
so that means the Xram is like extra vga ram or somthin?
so like vga card 256mb+soundcard 64mb = 320mb of dedicated memory to games?


I don't know if anyone is paying attention to this thread anymore, but I stumbled across it and thought something should be cleared up:

X-RAM doesn't really have anything to do with your video card RAM. I believe it will allow you a higher frame rate by unloading more work from your CPU (I could be wrong on that). BUT, you only get the benefit of the added X-RAM if the application is designed to support it. As of now, support for X-RAM is pretty limited (I think BF2 and Quake 4 make use of it), so you won't get any bonus to performance is in the majority of situations. I suppose that could change down the line if more developers begin to make use of it...
May 4, 2006 7:47:11 AM

This is no real difference in performance or qaulity. I have the Extrememusic and it's alot better then the Audigy 2 i had. Not only in sound but the software is just better. If you dont need the added hookups then dont bother. I would say the extrememusic is the best card on the market Dollar for dollar.

Oh and yes the Creative has been known for bad software problems. But Believe me when i say this that the A-FI software is top notch. Maybe someone else made it for them. But it works to perfection.
May 4, 2006 12:21:29 PM

Quote:
The ExtremeMusic is uses the Audigy 2ZS DACs.

I'm curious... where did you read this? Got a link?
May 4, 2006 7:44:31 PM

I had an Audigy 2zs that crapped out. i bought the X-Fi Extreme Music and its astounding. It makes my Altec Lansing 5.1 speakers sound better than my Stereo. I hear headphone like detail. The X-Fi makes my fat mp3s sound as good as the CDs. Its crazy! COD2 sound like real war and my head phones have a surround quality. The Stereo image of Digital is always strange and skewed. With the X-Fi, the soundstage or Stereo image sounds unified and there is space around separate instruments. i can hear the pick across acoustic guitar strings and i hear detailed things in the mix even on the mp3s i have never heard on the cd.
Amazing. Played Stick Pit by Buckethead to see if i could hear what he was doing on those licks. I heard panned , slightly delayed pull offs that i instantly figured out.
i also got Smart Recorder in the software package and hooked up my Nice Pioneer Cassette deck, made some passes for level and adjustments to the gate trigger and preceded to record old Analogy tapes into nice sounding MP3s! Sweet.
!