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XtremeMusic vs XtremeGamer vs onboard SoundStorm audio

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  • Sound Cards
  • Audio
  • Components
Last response: in Components
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January 8, 2007 11:13:27 PM

hi guys,

right now i have an older socket Asus Deluxe board with the old nvidia SoundStorm audio that was all the rage back in the day. i have the nice logitech 5500 speakers and it sounds pretty good. i use my system 50/50 games/music. do you think its worth my while to upgrade to one of the new creative cards? if so, what exactly would be the noticable difference between the gamer and music lines? does the gamer just have that xram or whatever it is that no game companies are gonna use anyway?

More about : xtrememusic xtremegamer onboard soundstorm audio

January 9, 2007 12:01:12 AM

Hi tdean:
Don't know about the xram thingy but in my limited experience a standalone card has proven to produce better and cleaner sound and better bass than any onboard that i have heard,i too have logitech speakers a 4 in 1 with an 8in bass.
I found that i could hear sounds in my games that wern't audible with the onboard solution,and you do take a performance hit,however slight that may be,probably differs from system to system ,fyi the card is a sb live 5.1,have yet to see areson to upgrade???? just slow i guess.....
January 9, 2007 1:17:56 AM

hey dokk... the xram thing, i think, is creatives proprietary ram for games. im not sure if that is the only difference between the gamer and music card though. i also am concerned that i can hook my speakers up to the card... i guess it appears that it has the digital i/o connector that looks like the old game port.
i've read that the peeps over at the creative forums are ripping into the whole x-fi line. i had a sblive card and thats ultimately what led me to the soundstorm onboard audio....

decisions decisions...
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January 9, 2007 11:56:35 AM

xtreme gamer looks like a slightly stripped down version of xtreme music with added front panel connector and optical out instead of a coax one. They are very similar and use the same ciruitry anyway.

I compared the specs for music and gamer cards:

(1) digital output: xtrem music has coax out, xtrem gamer has optical out - both good and digital but different

(2) front connectivity: xtrem music can be hooked up to the proprietary creative dock/drive bay. Xtreme gamer connects to standard front panel connector (2x5 pin aka Intel HD connector)

(3) digital input: xtreme gamer does not have one

(4) ac3 decoding: xtreme gamer doe not have ac3 decoder (or at least it is not mentioned in the specs).

Live and X-Fi are like 7-8 years apart.
January 9, 2007 12:30:04 PM

thanks uncle ben.... im thinkin then, that i should go with the xtreme music b/c of my spdif speaker connection? i have the logitech 5500's.

hmmm. i may pull the trigger on this today. so this think is waaaay better than the nvidia sound storm audio?
January 9, 2007 12:40:46 PM

I don't know what your upgrade cycle is on your OS, but you might also remember that **as of now** Vista doesn't support hardware accelerated audio. Meaning that the nice board you purchase today, won't give you any CPU performance under Vista. I am hoping that MS will fix this, and I know Creative is working on their own work around for this. However, it is something to think about.
January 9, 2007 12:45:16 PM

wow.... that seems very odd. This machine would likely stay XP Pro anyway. thanks for the heads up!
January 9, 2007 2:00:31 PM

Quote:
thanks uncle ben.... im thinkin then, that i should go with the xtreme music b/c of my spdif speaker connection? i have the logitech 5500's.


5500s have optical connector, too. If you want to save some money get xtrem gamer. It does not have digital input, so if you plan to record from a minidisc etc consider getting the xtrem music version. Dolby/DTS decoding feature does not matter as you have decoder built in your 5500s set anyway. Xtrem Music can be connected to a separate drive bay - I use it mainly as a headphone amplifier for my 250 Ohm DT990 headphones - but it also expands your recording options - if you ever need them. In short - choice between music and gamer depends on how you use your PC. For gaming, movies and listening to music xtreme gamer will be sufficient.

Quote:
I don't know what your upgrade cycle is on your OS, but you might also remember that **as of now** Vista doesn't support hardware accelerated audio. Meaning that the nice board you purchase today, won't give you any CPU performance under Vista. I am hoping that MS will fix this, and I know Creative is working on their own work around for this. However, it is something to think about.


Vista does not support hardware accelerated audio - that comes as Direct X stream. But if it is coded in OpenAL then Vista has no say about how sound is handled and it is handled by the sound card. This is a fundamental difference that seems to get you confused... Older games that were DX only will be handicapped by Vista, or to be precise DX11 and it's lack of backwards compatibility. Unless MS and Creative come up with a wrapper that would encode DX10 sound into OpenAL on-the-fly. Which is something they seem inclined to do. See this article: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2006/11/28/Vista_will_supp... for details.
I think X-Fi is a safe choice for both XP and Vista.
January 9, 2007 4:28:33 PM

xtreme music cards have 3 outs and 1 in..all 3.5mm jacks, no optical or coax or anything else...just 7.1 and a mic in.

x-fi platinum has front panel with optical in and out, coax in and out and others

xtreme gamer is one -up from xterem audio because it has a processor...xtreme gamer fatality pro is an xtreme music with XRAM and xtreme gamer fatality FPS is a platinum with XRAM (<-the one i have).

one way or another, creative cards are excellent, creative already have a ptach for VISTA so it can act as it does under XP but you need a front bay for coax and optical.
!