X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty vs. X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS

The thread from yesterday has again sparked my interest in getting a new sound card. As I'm doing a little more research, I've found that some ambiguities exist between cards in the X-fi series. Now we come to the point of my post:

X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty vs. X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS. The aesthetic differences I've listed below:

XtremeGamer Fatal1ty (newer card):
- Heatsink on the audio processor
- No Live! Drive

Fatal1ty FPS:
- Included Internal Live! Drive with remote
- Absence of heatsink on the audio processor

From what I've read, it looks like they have the same hardware, more or less, and the differences between them are just aesthetic. Because the XtremeGamer is a newer card, I haven't seen a lot of "official" reviews anywhere. Most of the reviews I've seen have been subjective product reviews, rather than in-depth reviews/comparisons with other audio cards.

Has anyone had any experience with one or both of these cards? Am I correct in that the differences are just aesthetic? Is there something more that the XtremeGamer has that the older FPS doesn't have as far as hardware is concerned? Again, with the lack of reviews, I turn to the experts. ;)
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  1. Well, I am looking forward to buying a Sound Card as well, and am running through the same doubt as you. I did some research, and find some info that might interest you as well:

    1 - The XtremeGamer doesn't have the front bay audio drive, and from what I've read, the optical out is the same as the mic in jack on the board. Seems to me that this is not an issue if you have the front drive.

    2 - I've read some things about the older one having some issues when using a nvidia 680i board with 2 8800 gtx on sli. Seemed it didn't work correctly(I am not worried about this as I don't plan on going sli).

    3 - There seems to be an issue with nforce 4 and nforce 680i motherboards and the X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS...something about some cracking and poping sound.

    I was also looking into the Brracuda ac-1, but I wanted to see how it fares against a X-Fi, as it does not have support for EAX above 2.0, but does have digital optical output.
  2. X-Fi Music flies by for the objective reasons. Here with Elite Platinum it would be interesting to compare. It for connection to the amplifier to receive the maximal dynamic range (that detail did not suffer).
  3. Quote:
    3 - There seems to be an issue with nforce 4 and nforce 680i motherboards and the X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS...something about some cracking and poping sound.

    I have the Fatal1ty and I can confirm this. It's weird though. It's not something that is constant. I can reproduce the crackling and know exactly when its going to do it. It only happens when I dual-log on of my MMO's.

    Oh well.....
  4. I just built a system and installed the Fatal1ty FPS with the front bay and remote, although I still haven't figured out how that works. I am using the Evga 680iSLI board and an Evga 8800GTX card. I have enjoyed playing my old MP3 through the headphones on it as it sounds much better than my old Hercules XP which I thought was very good.

    I have noticed no popping or hissing of any sort. All games I have tested so far, Farcry, COD2, NFS Most Wanted, NFS Carbon, Oblivion and FEAR have performed well as far as audio goes with no glitches or noise. I configured it for gaming mode.
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