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X-Fi Fatal1ty

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January 11, 2007 12:55:54 PM

Do you guys think is it worth it to get one of these cards? The prices seem to come down quiet a bit now so it is more affordable.
I have an Audigy 2 ZS. Do you guys think is it worth the effort.

More about : fatal1ty

January 11, 2007 2:16:22 PM

If you have the speakers for it and you are getting the $130 card without the front control panel, then I would say go for it. The ram and performance on the games that it supports give you maybe 2 fps if you are lucky, but my friend has that card and the same speakers as me gets much better sound quality with his X-FI then I do with my ZS 2. I would say go for it if you have the xtra cash and speakers.

Best,

3Ball
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January 11, 2007 2:34:30 PM

Yea, I would probably get it if you dont have anything in your system that may be crippling your use.

Best,

3Ball
January 11, 2007 2:38:00 PM

Quote:
if you dont have anything in your system that may be crippling your use.


What do you mean ?
January 11, 2007 2:52:20 PM

Audigy 2 ZS is fine since you can always go to SPDIF output and get your dolby digital and dts out. It has the build in decoder. The upgrade is only worth it if your absolutely going to use the features.

An upgrade is probably only if your recording in which case a creative card is not recommended.

I'd keep your current card, unless you have the money and can sell off the old one.
January 11, 2007 3:31:39 PM

I feel kind of a n00b asking this but how do you go SPDIF output? I mean all i did was connected my cables that speaker came with to my sound card. I dont know if i did miss something or if theres a way to get any better sounds or whatever? :?
January 11, 2007 3:41:28 PM

If your speakers arent junk & you have to cash go for it. I upgraded to the X-Fi from a Audigy Platnium & the difference is amazing.
January 11, 2007 4:27:46 PM

I meant if you dont need anything like a CPU, Vid card, ram, etc...then go for it. If you want it and have the money for it then buy it. Thats my philosophy.

Best,

3Ball
January 11, 2007 4:31:46 PM

Ok i see thank you guys for your input. I really appreciate it.
January 11, 2007 4:45:14 PM

no problem, good luck with your decision!

Best,

3Ball
January 12, 2007 12:27:54 PM

The creative labs cards are hard to work with if you don't know how. I will explain how to use the creative card properly.

First of all when you install the drivers and software you get the creative audio console. You go in here and can set EAX effects. I put mine to Rock and what a difference it makes to music. It's like going from an alarm clock to a high end $5000 home theater for music. If you play games like this you won't get any sound. You have to disable the EAX effects in order to get soundso you get the EAX wo in games rking in your game. Go to the audio console and select no effects.

There is also the CMSS settings. When listening to MP3s I use the EAX Rock effect and set the CMSS to stereo surround. That puts the stereo MP3s into surround sound with awesome sound.

For Games set it to CMSS2 and remove your EAX effect or you risk not getting any sound period. Once in the game go to your options and set your audio, and most new games will have EAX as an option.

For DVDs this is where the Creative Audigy 2 ZS and up are awesome. When you open up PowerDVD or WinDVD go into the options and set up the audio. You can select if you have 2.1, 4.1, 5.1, 7.1 etc.... speakers. That's if you have a 5.1 version of the software. The cheapo OEM versions of PowerDVD and WinDVD don't support surround sound so watch it. Your computer speakers are hooked to the sound card using regular cables. You could however hook a home stereo to the SPDIF optical out on your sound card or motherboard onboard audio using a single fibre optic SPDIF cable. In your DVD software choose SPDIF output instead of your 5.1 or regular speaker setup and all audio will be sent through the fibre optic cable to your stereo or speakers. The stereo will decode the Dolby Digital and give you awesome sound without having to frig with audio settings in windows.

Now this is where the built in decoder of the creative cards comes in. If you have regular 5.1 speakers plugged into the 3 jacks on the sound card and choose 5.1 speakers in your DVD software your surround sound will be decoded using software. If you remove the EAX effects and choose CMSS2 you can set your DVD software to SPDIF out and the sound card will decode the Dolby Digital or DTS sound and output the sound to the 3 jacks to your computer speakers. Your sound card acts like a dolby digital or DTS decoder. No more messing around with the software to get good sound or AC3 filter to get surround sound to work with DivX movies. You can also go to your CMSS2 setting in the audio console and slide the fadding to front or rear. I put around 70% in the rear so the rear sound effects are loud in the DVDs cause I find the rear speakers are rarely loud enough to get good effects in the back.

YOou have to learn to play with the EAX. Turn it on for Music to get good surround sound and a nice sound from stereo MP3s and CDs. I prefer the ROCK effect under special effects. Turn the effects off to get EAX working in games and also to get your cards built in decoder working for movies. Just make sure you set your DVD movie software to use SPDIF out. It will decode the audio and not actually send the sound through SPDIF but through your 3 regular jacks.

Play with the CMSS slider ot get your sound fading front to rear. Make it sound good. Very easy but not many people know aobut this.

Your Audigy 2 ZS was the first card to have built in Dobly Digital and DTS decoding so if you watch a lot of DVDs on your 5.1 computer speakers plugged into the normal jacks this is a nice feature you should be using. You probably won't notice much difference in upgrading your card. A new card will be better, but by how much? Maybe you want to upgrade to get a breakout panel with remote controle to controle your volume. In this case the upgrade might be worth it. but your card is definitely a good card and it has the built in decoding so don't throw it out just yet.
January 12, 2007 1:07:31 PM

Wow gondo very nice explanation thanks for writing it up mate.
I don't watch any movies on my PC i use it mostly to listen to my favorite radio station in winamp and play games like BF2142 and Rainbow Six Vegas, and some newer ones like Supreme Commander. I have not decided yet if i will upgrade or not. I don't have any use of the front panel because i have a control panel sitting on my desk for my speakers and i plug my headphone into that so i control my sound from that. It has a remote control as well. So i was thinking about getting the version of the sound card without the front panel because that i have no use at all.
February 19, 2007 3:48:45 PM

I have a SB X-Fi Fatality and Logitech Z-2300 and its all worth it. the sound is amazing and you get a boost in games.
February 20, 2007 12:20:32 PM

I upgraded from SB Live 24bit to X Fi Xtreme Gamer and it was worth every dime.
February 21, 2007 1:57:51 PM

hello, I recently upgraded to the XFI fatality gamer edition. the box claims "up to 15% performance boost". does anyone actually get a boost? tested Company of Heroes with and without the new SB XFI and I actually get lower average fps with the SB XFI. my max fps went up by 4( to 120 I think), but the average went down by .5. any ideas on why? or how to tweak this card to get the claimed performance boost? side note: the quality is amazing, and even w/o the perf boost, it is worth the price.


edit- CoH is the only game I tested so far. Will be testing MTW2 , FEAR: EP, and Warhammer soon. Will post findings.
February 21, 2007 2:07:20 PM

It has 64mb of XRam and at this time there's only a few games that uses that memory and those are BF2,Prey and Quake4. And the game you played dosent take advantage of that. But any sound card will boost up your computer a little beacuse they have a own sound processor and that means that your processor don't have to do anything that has with sounds to do, and that means that you free some Mhz to something else.
February 21, 2007 2:47:02 PM

I thought coh and fear took advantage of the xram, maybe that was EAX? have you tested any of the supported titles? if so, what was your perf increase?
February 21, 2007 2:56:46 PM

I bought a Fatal1ty card and now I am wondering if it was a waste of money. I was very pleased with the card under Windows XP. I have not upgraded to Vista but with Microsoft removing the HAL does this completely cripple even using a Creative card? I am not 100% sure how this works with Vista so maybe someone with a better understanding of this can reply. I, personally, have no immediate plans to move to Vista but with the Redmond Monopoly eventually we are all going to be forced to upgrade. Can someone with a better understanding of how Vista's removal of HAL affects Creative sound cards?
February 21, 2007 2:56:49 PM

i have tested BF2 but i haven't noticed any boost becuse it ran perfectly without it. If i would have remembered to see how many fps i had before i installed the X-Fi card and then looked again after i installed it, i would probably have seen a few fps more....
February 21, 2007 3:04:13 PM

I have no idea... Let's hope someone who knows answers to that.
February 21, 2007 3:40:16 PM

Quote:
If your speakers arent junk & you have to cash go for it. I upgraded to the X-Fi from a Audigy Platnium & the difference is amazing.


Speakers and sub basically amplify sound and make it more clear. So invest in a really solid set of 5.1's and make sure they have optical digital. It's the best connection you can get. Then you'll be able to tell how clear the sound coming from your mobo is. A lot of people won't be able to tell much of a difference between today's onboard sound and a sound card, but it depends on your setup and the board. The board itself can cause distortion and so can a crappy PSU. Seperate sound cards often are better because they help to eliminate the interference caused by other components, but if you don't hear any and you're happy with your speakers, then you're still golden.
February 21, 2007 3:40:43 PM

Quote:
I feel kind of a n00b asking this but how do you go SPDIF output? I mean all i did was connected my cables that speaker came with to my sound card. I dont know if i did miss something or if theres a way to get any better sounds or whatever? :?


Wires aren't as good as optical digital. They pick up more interference.
February 21, 2007 3:43:44 PM

Quote:
I bought a Fatal1ty card and now I am wondering if it was a waste of money. I was very pleased with the card under Windows XP. I have not upgraded to Vista but with Microsoft removing the HAL does this completely cripple even using a Creative card? I am not 100% sure how this works with Vista so maybe someone with a better understanding of this can reply. I, personally, have no immediate plans to move to Vista but with the Redmond Monopoly eventually we are all going to be forced to upgrade. Can someone with a better understanding of how Vista's removal of HAL affects Creative sound cards?


I'm a bit ticked at the money I threw down for mine, but when I plop it into my new HTPC system I'm trying to build (wait'n on cash) I think the ease of mind of quality sound alone will be worth it.
February 21, 2007 4:01:42 PM

I have some figures I wrote down (pre XFI) for FEAR and MTW2. If I have time tonight I will test. for some reason I thought CoH took advantage of the XRam. must have dreamed that. to RyanMicah, how much did you pay for yours? at $100 I am pleased with it so far.
February 21, 2007 4:19:56 PM

I paid 120 euros for mine (120€ = 157$) Finland has very expensive computer stuff and the taxes are high :( 
February 23, 2007 12:47:07 PM

I have a ZS 2 also but I've been happy with it, I think i might just put it in my New PC when I built it ^_^
February 23, 2007 5:15:02 PM

you(or anyone) happen to know what the "auxillary" connector on the actual card is for?
February 23, 2007 5:27:57 PM

CDROM Stereo plug maybe?
February 23, 2007 6:17:05 PM

so its not necessary? the card itself does not come with any plugs. nor does it mention this in the instructions. also, what you paid is pretty close to what I got it for( was $150 US with a $50 rebate)
February 24, 2007 6:43:08 AM

Yes i think so.
!