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X-Fi XtremeMusic - Best Bang for the Buck?

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June 16, 2007 2:50:14 AM

I'm getting a >$2K Rig (Q6600.8800GTS, 2GB RAM)

and there's a deal for the Xtrememusic at Fry's for $69.99" (OEM).

My first question is: What would OEM sound card be missing?....(I once got a Geforce with no dvi to vga adapters or s-videos :x ) or just bad packaging...


Second, I'm planning to play games (Oblivion, Supreme Commander, FPSs), listen to music (Soundtrack/Score, Techno, Trance, Alt Rock)
(and watch some movies, pirates, etc.)
Would a XtremeMusic be significant improvement (Audio quality-wise and performance wise) over Asus P5B Deluxe Onboard, or not much?


Last, I was intending on getting Logitech X-530 5.1 Speakers for the rig, but I want confirmation that that's the best choice for ExtremeMusic,and my computer habits...(music/game) - anything else from Logi better for me? (looking for something under 100$)


ThanksXD


EDIT: I have a 12 X 15 Room (roughly 175 Ft), and I'm the type of person who is between average joe and audiophile - I want the best sound quality (or close to it), at the best price...and i have a Seagate320GB HD, so i can use high-quality audio formats...(ie Ogg)

More about : xtrememusic bang buck

June 17, 2007 2:11:32 PM

Hello,

I would say buy the extreme music. It is a fantastic card and best bang for buck.
THE GOOD ONES TO GET:
X-Fi Elite Pro
X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS
X-Fi Platinum
X-Fi XtremeMusic (best value)

THE X-FI CARDS THAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED:
-X-Fi XtremeAudio
-X-Fi XtremeGamer
-Any of the low-profile X-Fis

ONES I AM UNSURE about:
X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series
This is one of the new ones. The other new ones are the XtremeAudio and XtremeGamer, which are both low profile. The low profile models do not support digital out (not easily, anyway), and they use lower quality components. The XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series is also new, but it is not low profile. If it is based on the same model as the good ones, it would be OK, but I don't know if it is. So it would be best to just avoid it.

oem= original equipment manufacturer and is usually a lower performing part vs the retail version which is the same part giving better performance. I dont know of any other difference.

If i was you i would figure out a way to skip the logitech x-530 and get you the z-5500 speakers which imho are the best pc speakers to be bought right now and they have gone down from 400 to 200 and they sound like a 5-600$ speaker set up. Im sure if you heard them i wouldnt have to convince you.
June 17, 2007 5:32:23 PM

Got the advice for the XtremeMusic, but are you really sure that OEM is low performing in sound cards? All it means in other parts is brown box packging, and missing the "plugs".....



About the speaks, the Z-5500s are "legendary"LOL

I was just wondering (not considering, as too expensive) how the Z-5450s performed, as wifi speaks would make my life a lot easier...

Z5500s are still too expensive though, :(  at mid $200s...

Hows the Z-5300e?

And Z-2300s? (you dont need more speaks for good sound, just better ones LOL)

was also wondering if you could connect pc speakers such as z2300 staight to plasma TV
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June 19, 2007 6:38:52 PM

Hello DeusEx, i have z2300 and they really kicks ass - especially the subwoofer, it can move things on my table while playing high.

But i havent played 100/100 yet, and dont think i will ever do, because its so loud :D 

------------
Is the x-fi Music better than the x-fi Gamer?
June 19, 2007 11:23:57 PM

Hey Man,

I think the difference between oem and retail dont matter much in soundcards. theres a more noticeable difference in cpus and video cards etc.
Im not sure about the other speakers .
June 20, 2007 6:23:10 PM

Anyone know about the speakers?
June 20, 2007 6:49:45 PM

typically only difference between oem and retail version of same model is packaging. performance should not enter equation. you will typically get a white box (or none at all) and little to no documentation, install cd, cables, etc. some oem versions include it, some don't but usually doesn't matter since you can get instructions and drivers from website. on my current pc, i got an oem hard drive and dvd burner. harddrive came with nothing else but dvd came with nero.
June 20, 2007 6:52:35 PM

As owner of both the X-FI XtremeMusic and the Logitech X-530 speaker system, I can say I am "Xtreme"ly happy with both. I have a smallish room as well where the computer sits and quite frankly, I've never had the speaker volume control over half way as the neighbors would complain (live in a townhome complex).

As far as "OEM" is concerned, I think it's not so much of a lesser product, but components may be missing from the "Retail" package; things like the driver/software cd and the connecting cable for your CD-ROM drive.

-Wolf sends
June 20, 2007 6:55:24 PM

Hey, as far as I know, there is NO DIFFERENCE in quality between OEM and Retail; OEM parts are bought in LARGE quantities by system builders and the like (who would waste all that retail packaging and the costs associated for it for say, 1000 sound cards?) OEM does NOT, however, provide cables, software discs, etc. as already mentioned.

Anyhow, I just purchased a Fatal1ty XtremeGamer because it is the lowest model with X-RAM (should receive in a few days) - also, Newegg reviews rate the XtremeAudio (which I assume is quite similar to the XtremeMusic) as much lower than the XtremeGamer Fatal1ty.

Here's the X-fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty for ~140.00 w/ shipping - $40 MIR = $100 total cost and excellent sound.
http://www.compuplus.com/i-Creative-Sound-Blaster-X-Fi-...

I suggest using Newegg for the reviews on the speakers, if they have them.
June 20, 2007 7:04:45 PM

I will be willing to sell you my X-Fi Xtreme sound card. It sucks a$$ under Vista. Totally useless card! Just PM me if you want it. It is the retail version.
June 20, 2007 7:22:58 PM

Thanks to MayDay/Wolfshadw/PCKid for sound card OEM clarification XD


To Wolfshdw - what a coincidence - both the same! - mind if I ask how large
your room is?



To PCKid777 - Great deal on Fatal1ty, for 89.99$, but is the dealer trustworthy?
June 20, 2007 7:39:53 PM

You can have my X-FI Xtreme Music and all its bloatware too. Many problems running games in XP Pro.

Found a better card, that even has workable Vista drivers for both 32 & 64 bit OS. Plus comes with fiber optic able so you can hook it up to Stereo or HDTV.

Bluegears b-Enspirer 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is Link to their Homepage also.
http://www.bluegears.com/b-Enspirer.html
June 20, 2007 7:45:31 PM

Well, I paid via Paypal - and that only works for "Verified" entities....

Anyhow, I did check resellerratings - granted, they do not have the best reviews in the world....but I'm in no rush to receive my item (but hopefully they don't screw up my order because I would still like to have it ASAP...)

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Comp_U_Plus

Yes, it's a big chance that I'm taking, but recently they've been having more satisfied customers. The only reason why I'm going with this company is because I delayed on purchasing the same sound card off Compusa - they were selling it for $105 (w/ shipping) and I missed out on the deal...
June 20, 2007 8:05:05 PM

5.56 / 10.0......


LOL-im not sure...


seems like everyone here misses out on F--- Compusa deals - I missed out on the P180b deal last month...
June 20, 2007 8:09:54 PM

I have the X-530 and they are great value speakers (under $100). About OEM and Retail they are the same except the OEM may have less software and extras (like cables & stuff).
June 20, 2007 8:20:37 PM

I don't know what idiot thinks that the OEM is actually slower than the retail version. This is rediculous. The only difference is the packaging, the extra connectors, ect. So lemme get this straight. My OEM Opteron 170 runs slower than a retail Opteron 170. Whoever thinks this is on crack and should have their rights to post on this forum taken away. Go post on a forum that isn't respected for knowledge. The fact with OEM is generally you have to buy other pieces with it because it is generally only available for system manufacturers. Thats why sometimes at newegg, for example, when they offer an oem part they will throw in a molex to molex extension that costs them a few cents so that they aren't breaking their agreement with the OEM supplier. Things are constantly changing in this regard and what needs to be done to recieve the OEM prices but the guys on this thread that are saying it is without retail packaging and extras are correct.
June 20, 2007 8:22:59 PM

Well I wouldn't trip about it with the Xtrememusic. It has been a fantasic card for me dude and I have had it for around a year now. No problems except with an initial problem with the creative drivers and asus flash bios utility. With a hard to find workaround it is fixed. I think the reason that it is so cheap is that I think it may have been discontinued or something. Newegg doesn't have it anymore only the expensive things or the crap low-profile cards.
June 20, 2007 8:28:13 PM

Quote:
Got the advice for the XtremeMusic, but are you really sure that OEM is low performing in sound cards? All it means in other parts is brown box packging, and missing the "plugs".....



About the speaks, the Z-5500s are "legendary"LOL

I was just wondering (not considering, as too expensive) how the Z-5450s performed, as wifi speaks would make my life a lot easier...

Z5500s are still too expensive though, :(  at mid $200s...

Hows the Z-5300e?

And Z-2300s? (you dont need more speaks for good sound, just better ones LOL)

was also wondering if you could connect pc speakers such as z2300 staight to plasma TV


i have the z5300e and IMHO they totally rock
i listen to very bass intensive music, and the subwoofer doesn't let me down :p 
June 20, 2007 8:31:28 PM

Hey, I have experience with both the Z-5500s and the Z-5450s.

There is two major differences between the two sets of speakers. Obviously, the first difference is that the Z-5500s are completely wired and the rear Z-5450s only need connection to a power source.

Secondly, the Z-5500 has a larger, more powerful subwoofer. The Z-5500 subwoofer also looks a bit more appealing than the Z-5450's sub.

Overall I can't hear any differences between the two sets of speakers, but I also haven't tested them at anything over half volume. Both sets sound ridiculously loud even at half volume, and there is no distortion on either.

As for the setup as the system they are very similar, the hub for the Z-5500 is nicer than the one for the Z-5450s. Both accept optical, coaxial and analog inputs. Surround sound sounds amazing on both sets of speakers.

Personally, I prefer the Z-5500s because they look more appealing, but the Z-5450s sound the same and have the wireless functionality.
June 20, 2007 8:46:48 PM

Quote:
ONES I AM UNSURE about:
X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series

I haven't seen this officially but this looks like the X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS without the front module ... making it a bargain FPS for those who don't need that component. If so it's a decent card.

Another decent card that I'm not sure if anyone mentioned is the upcoming Auzentech X-Fi Prelude that is supposed to be out near the end of this month. This is third-party X-Fi licenced from Creative.

There is also the ASUS Xonar card coming at some point but that is probably further out and I haven't seen how much it will cost. This one lacks EAX 5 but looks very promising on paper.
June 20, 2007 10:34:11 PM

Ya, I'll be sure to do a follow up on this forum to let you guys know how well this transaction with Comp U Plus goes...
June 21, 2007 12:25:53 AM

how much?i cant pm yet!heheh
June 23, 2007 1:46:19 AM

Quote:
also, Newegg reviews rate the XtremeAudio (which I assume is quite similar to the XtremeMusic) as much lower than the XtremeGamer Fatal1ty.
No, it's not similar to the XtremeMusic card. It shouldn't have been branded X-Fi at all; it's a renamed SoundBlaster Live 24-bit.
June 23, 2007 2:08:40 AM

Then I stand corrected.
!