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Quick info needed! X-Fi Xtreme Music vs X-Fi Fatal1ty

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November 7, 2006 10:01:48 PM

I have a good offer for an X-Fi Xtreme Music retail version, for about £55. The question is, should I rather save some more money and wait to get one of the Fatal1ty versions? Maybe that new gamer edition? The only difference between the two cards seems to be the X-RAM. Is it right that the only advantage of it is a few frames more in games?

I don't need the extra panel, since I never record from external sources, nor do I have a particularly expensive set of loud speakers (it is a 7.1 system though).

Any opinions?
November 7, 2006 10:43:01 PM

You mentioned two of the older X-Fis... maybe it's time you cruise on over to the Creative site to read up on the newer cards.
November 7, 2006 10:47:18 PM

Presumably you refer to the impossibly named X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Professional Series card, which is the only one which does not come with the extra panel which I don't need, and that has yet the X-RAM on it. A quick check on ALL of the major online retailers shows me that it is not available yet in the UK. The question would still remain: how important is the X-RAM?


Quote:
You mentioned two of the older X-Fis... maybe it's time you cruise on over to the Creative site to read up on the newer cards.
Related resources
November 7, 2006 10:49:03 PM

When the cards with X-Ram first came out several sites did benchmarks and they concluded the benefit was negligible... to the tune of like 1%. They said it was a great idea in theory, but not in practice because developers really weren't lining up to support it.

I have an Xtreme Music and it games fine for me.
November 7, 2006 10:50:32 PM

So the X-RAM is not much more than a gimmick then? Or is it only because games have not been programmed to take advantage of it yet?
November 7, 2006 10:51:58 PM

Well, only time will tell... my personal opinion is that it won't catch on... but I could be wrong. Lemme see if I can dig up the review I read. It's probably a year old now and to my knowledge no progress has been made on supporting it in games.
November 7, 2006 10:53:46 PM

I also wonder if I would really hear an improvement over my Audigy 2 ZS. I am a classical musicians, so my ears are rather well trained.
November 7, 2006 10:56:43 PM

Hmmmm... Interesting! They say their frame rates took a hit of about 5/sec. That's a lot, particularly if, say, you're averaging at only 25 in the first place!

Quote:
This article is a bit more optimistic than the one I read... but they do mention specific games that support X-Ram... admittedly, without much benefit.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2005/10/31/creative_xf...
November 8, 2006 3:59:56 PM

That's a great link.
November 8, 2006 6:51:03 PM

I really get the impression that the step from Audigy 2 ZS to X-Fi is not all that a dramatic one!
November 8, 2006 7:23:39 PM

I did hear a big difference going from the nforce sound storm (recognised as being very very good for on-board) to Xi-fi music, clearer, sharper I'd vote for it. Only problem is connecting usb mic to it.
November 8, 2006 9:14:28 PM

No doubt that the step from ANY onboard sound to a dedicated soundcard would be very noticable, just like with onboard graphics.

The Audigy 2 is a very good card though. It's never let me down.


Quote:
I did hear a big difference going from the nforce sound storm (recognised as being very very good for on-board) to Xi-fi music, clearer, sharper I'd vote for it. Only problem is connecting usb mic to it.
November 8, 2006 9:40:07 PM

The gamer version (Not Fatal1ty) of the X-FI is relatively cheap.
November 8, 2006 9:43:20 PM

For me it's only a choice between Xtreme Music and Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty, in other words, to have X-RAM or not. The non-fatality Gamer version would definitely not be an advance over my Audigy 2.

Quote:
The gamer version (Not Fatal1ty) of the X-FI is relatively cheap.
November 9, 2006 6:57:24 AM

That's the impression I get from the reviews as well. I doubt there'd be a ~$100 difference. I'd wait for a few months, if possible, to see if anything new pops out in January for Vista.
November 9, 2006 7:04:28 AM

Quote:
I really get the impression that the step from Audigy 2 ZS to X-Fi is not all that a dramatic one!

Thats the impression I initially had, and it was with some reluctance to move from a 2 ZS to the X-Fi XM, but I did and difference was quite noticeable. I was hearing things never heard before on the 2 ZS, especially in music, delicate percussion, cymbals, etc. Even gaming. Quite happy with my move to the X-fi.
November 10, 2006 8:07:03 AM

buy the xtremegamer fatal1ty, its the fatal1ty without the front panel crap. and it cost 150 bucks (the xtreme music costs 120-130 i think) and if you want cheap and good get the xtreme gamer vanilla version. its second from the bottom @ 100 bucks, the cheapest being the xtreme AUDIO at 70 bucks.
November 10, 2006 8:11:49 AM

If you dont feel like you need to upgrade then dont, the X-Fi Xtreme Music's main pro is the software it comes with, and the fact that it pwns at upmixing mp3s on the go (as you play) to get, even to the untrained ear (i.e. mine) a considerable sound quality boost.
November 10, 2006 8:17:35 AM

has anyone read the Xi-FI vs Vista thread, looks like EAX and therefore soundblasters selling point is dissappearing, it might make these cards obsolete, unless they can use the eax hardware as openal hardware acceleration. Although there is talk of simplifying the number of voices, i.e. reducing them, which seems like a big backward step to me.

xi fi thread

thoughts?
!