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Upgrade time, keep my X-Fi or use on board?

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March 2, 2010 9:33:32 PM

Sorry for another of these threads everyone.

Based on what I've read so far, I'm leaning toward using the onboard sound I will be getting with this MoBo when I buy the parts I'm upgrading to this week.

But I have an X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatality Pro currently sitting around (I stopped using it when creative started having driver issues in Vista).

I use this machine for gaming, as a source for my 42" Plasma and to the audio reciever, I rarely listen to music on headphones or speakers unless I'm doing it while gaming.

The bottom line is, am I better off ditching my X-Fi and using on board? I paid good money at the time for the X-Fi card, and if it is still worth using, I'd like to use it, but if it really isn't worth it...*shrug*

Thanks for the help all!

More about : upgrade time board

March 2, 2010 11:24:59 PM

I would assume you are using optical out to the receiver which basically makes the question mute. There would be no processing being done by either, imo, all the work being done by the receiver.
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March 2, 2010 11:59:05 PM

Technically I'm currently using the Coax out as my current does not have an optical.

However, I meant in general. I was trying to convey that I'm not an audiophile, though I still appreciate good sound. And am really looking to know if it is worth using my X-Fi now or not.

To put into perspective, I will game with this machine, MUCH more than use it as a source on my Reciever. I just wanted people to know I will be occationally using it as a reciever source as well.

Thanks!
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March 3, 2010 12:08:37 AM

Best way to tell is test it yourself see what sounds better the motherboard you are getting is an awesome motherboard and the onboard sound will be decent but your x-fi will still have the upper hand in games for its ability to process EAX through hardware where as the onboard will do it via software. You will also gain 2 or 3 fps by using the x-fi test it out see what you like better is the best way to figure this out.
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March 3, 2010 6:07:04 AM

Stick with the X-Fi.
Your motherboard's onboard codec does not have DDL or DTS Connect functionality enabled.
As such, you will be limited to Stereo LPCM output through TOSLINK while gaming.
At least with the X-Fi you have the possibility to pay an additional fee to enable DDL and DTS Connect, which will enable full 5.1 surround for your gaming.

You already have it and it has a better DAC than the onboard, might as well use it..
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March 3, 2010 12:38:33 PM

Use onboard! Mail me your crappy X-Fi so I can properly dispose of it.
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March 3, 2010 12:41:34 PM

I have the same card. The other week I ran out of PCI slots and decided to just take out the sound card to plug something else in it. I had to put the card back in b/c after a little while of using the onboard it just sounded horrible. I also don't have any driver issues with windows 7. I run in audio creation mode with bit matched playback.
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March 3, 2010 2:46:04 PM

Wow, so the X-Fi really is that much better huh?

Only one more question. I didn't get the version with all the front panel connectors, and the external ports on the card itself doesn't have your typical optical/coax digital audio connection.

I know I'm supposed to use the S/PDIF port, but with it being a small jack, how would I physically connect it to my Home Theater system?

Looks like you guys have me leaning the other way. Thanks for the help!


EDIT: Also, this is a PCI X-Fi Card, NOT PCIe. Does that matter?

EDIT2: Nevermind about how to connect it, did some looking around on Creative's site and found this. Though I'd still like to know if this being a PCI instead of PCIe makes a big difference. Thanks!
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March 3, 2010 5:53:53 PM

Lan said:
...EDIT: Also, this is a PCI X-Fi Card, NOT PCIe. Does that matter?...

No. The HDMI HDaudio specification, for example, calls for about 37Mbits bandwidth. PCI is big overkill already with its minimum of 133 Mbytes.
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March 4, 2010 2:00:15 PM

Thanks all for everything. Everywhere I'm seeing that Digital I/O Module (so I can plug my X-Fi into my HT reciever) is out of stock or on back order. Is there any way to still get one without buying a whole new card?

That by itself may force me to use the on board sound. :( 
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March 5, 2010 4:29:40 AM

Petrofsky said:
No. The HDMI HDaudio specification, for example, calls for about 37Mbits bandwidth. PCI is big overkill already with its minimum of 133 Mbytes.


You are confusing CPU to device communications bandwidth with a cable interface standard. It's apples and oranges. They are not comparable.
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March 5, 2010 12:00:34 PM

I'm not sure I'm confusing anything. However the audio is being conveyed, it will require a certain minimum rate of information transfer. The highest rate of data per second demanded by digital audio falls far below the rate at which even the most primitive PCI board can move data. Please enlighten us on the proper way of viewing the the reason that PCI is just as good as PCIe for a sound card.
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