If the best card on the market (mid low end)is the Creative labs X-FI line How well would a sound card by Asus or Rocketfish with the X-FI chip onboard stack up?
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  1. make sure it has an actual xfi chip onboard instead of simulated xfi, there's a BIG difference in the sound quality.
  2. The lowest end real x-fi is the x-fi titanium for around $90. That said the drivers for it are no good, they tend to cause games to hang on initialization without any explanation or error message.
  3. X-Fi's are the WORST cards on the market, not the best. Both ASUS (C-Media chipset) and HT Omega (also uses the C-Media chipset) have better cards then Creative. Heck, even though Auzentech uses a X-fi chipset, they at least put decent Oamps on the cards to give significantly better quality.

    HT Omega only supports EAX 1-2
    ASUS supports EAX 1-2, and support for EAX5 via emulation [works very well in the games I've tried]
    Auzentech supports the full X-fi spec

    And I should point out that X-fi is more or less a dead standard now; very, very few new games use X-fi at this point...
  4. You won't find many fans of Creative here... Their hardware is.. adequate. Their drivers are abysmal. You'd get more support from a jock strap. And god forbid you step up and write a fix for their garbage: Instead of a thank you letter, you'll get a lawsuit. (seriously!)
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