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Creative X-Fi or ASUS Xonar?

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June 29, 2010 9:11:52 PM

If I were to buy a sound card for a computer which is used almost entirely for gaming, which sound card would your recommend? The creative X-Fi Fatal1ty professional, or the ASUS Xonar D2? The X-Fi cards are known for their endless driver problems.

More about : creative asus xonar

a b Ĉ ASUS
June 29, 2010 10:32:09 PM

I'm no expert with sound cards, but I a comparison at iXBT labs between the ASUS Xonar D2 and Creative X-Fi Elite Pro resulted in a draw, in the sense that the difference was nearly unnoticeable. If I recall, the X-FI Fatal1ty Pro is newer, and may be better than the Xonar D2 released in '07.
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June 30, 2010 4:39:17 AM

I own an X-Fi XtremeMusic and it is awesome, BUT... when i purchased it there was no Xonar on the market...
If i was to get one today i would definitely go for the Xonar. Don't get me wrong, the X-Fi is great, but so is the Xonar and at the end of the day the drivers and the support for the ASUS product are much much better! I have not had many nightmares with my X-Fi, but yes i have run into problems before and they are frustrating for something as simple as a sound card! It is far from plug and play. The ASUS on the other hand usually works straight out of the box, with nice options and very light drivers (as opposed to Creative's 300MB hard disk torment!).

Since i have been using a 3rd party driver (from DanielK) i have not had any problems at all. But that shows that Creative needed a driver written by a random person rather than their team... no customer focus really.

Bottom line: X-Fi - works great now (thanks to DanielK and not Creative!)
ASUS: i would go for this one today
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June 30, 2010 5:35:14 AM

darkguset said:
I own an X-Fi XtremeMusic and it is awesome, BUT... when i purchased it there was no Xonar on the market...
If i was to get one today i would definitely go for the Xonar. Don't get me wrong, the X-Fi is great, but so is the Xonar and at the end of the day the drivers and the support for the ASUS product are much much better! I have not had many nightmares with my X-Fi, but yes i have run into problems before and they are frustrating for something as simple as a sound card! It is far from plug and play. The ASUS on the other hand usually works straight out of the box, with nice options and very light drivers (as opposed to Creative's 300MB hard disk torment!).

Since i have been using a 3rd party driver (from DanielK) i have not had any problems at all. But that shows that Creative needed a driver written by a random person rather than their team... no customer focus really.

Bottom line: X-Fi - works great now (thanks to DanielK and not Creative!)
ASUS: i would go for this one today


How is the Xonar's audio quality in games, compared to the creative X-Fi?

They're both going to be better than the onboard audio, of course.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
June 30, 2010 6:19:51 AM

The X-Fi Fatality Pro will be a bit faster in gaming since it comes with 64MB of onboard RAM wich will gain you a few FPS in gaming. As far as sound quality goes they will both have incrediable sound I personally love my X-Fi Fatality Pro and never had any real problems with drivers like others have had.
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June 30, 2010 7:14:44 AM

saaiello said:
The X-Fi Fatality Pro will be a bit faster in gaming since it comes with 64MB of onboard RAM wich will gain you a few FPS in gaming. As far as sound quality goes they will both have incrediable sound I personally love my X-Fi Fatality Pro and never had any real problems with drivers like others have had.


A dedicated soundcard will offload the sound processing off of your CPU and give you maybe 2-3 FPS in games.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
June 30, 2010 7:39:24 AM

ambam said:
A dedicated soundcard will offload the sound processing off of your CPU and give you maybe 2-3 FPS in games.

Is there a question here or are you just stating this?
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June 30, 2010 9:28:32 AM

saaiello said:
Is there a question here or are you just stating this?


It's a statement.

The ASUS Xonar seems to be geared more towards music and professional audio editing, rather than gaming.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
June 30, 2010 12:11:00 PM

^^ People keep saying that, even though its false...

X-RAM on the X-fi has almost no effect whatsoever in performance. Only a handful of games developed support for it. Maybe back in the days of the Pentium 4 X-RAM mattered, but its a non-factor now.

To me, its all about sound qaulity. The Xonar wins that category hands down (192Khz @ 116dB vs 96Khz @ 108dB) over the X-fi.

The X-fi chipset itself is good (Auzentech continues to prove this), but Creative uses low quality parts to drive down its price, and the drivers are horrific. If anything, the fight is between ASUS and Auzentech, not ASUS and Creative.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
June 30, 2010 12:33:21 PM

gamerk316 said:
^^ People keep saying that, even though its false...

X-RAM on the X-fi has almost no effect whatsoever in performance. Only a handful of games developed support for it. Maybe back in the days of the Pentium 4 X-RAM mattered, but its a non-factor now.

To me, its all about sound qaulity. The Xonar wins that category hands down (192Khz @ 116dB vs 96Khz @ 108dB) over the X-fi.

The X-fi chipset itself is good (Auzentech continues to prove this), but Creative uses low quality parts to drive down its price, and the drivers are horrific. If anything, the fight is between ASUS and Auzentech, not ASUS and Creative.

Even still benchmarks have shown the X-Fi Pro to improve gaming by 2 or 3 FPS and as far as Auzentech cards go they are all built on a creative chipset.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
June 30, 2010 12:48:40 PM

Well the discussion is about gaming and so creative becomes the obvious choice.. The Xonar series also offers some emulated EAX type thing but it still requires the CPU assist which personally i don't like having paid that much for a card.. The EAX may be loosing its grip now but its still a handy feature along with the X-Ram.. And 2-3 fps increase is significant.. I've read video cards being declared as winners with that margin..
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July 1, 2010 1:24:43 AM

Actually gamer316 is right. I have seen benchmarks that actually show the Creative product with the X-RAM to be a tad slower than other solutions.

Unless you are planning only playing older games on XP, then go for the Creative as it supports EAX up to revision 5 in hardware.

The ASUS Xonar supports EAX up to 2.0 in hardware and up to 5.0 in emulation mode. But apparently it is good enough for modern games.

One thing that pushed me buying the X-Fi was the Crystalizer. Although it may not be a really scientific solution, it indeed makes MP3s (compressed sound) sound a lot better! So all your old "muffled" MP3 are coming back to life again! It is a very nice feature and i guess is one point you should consider before making a decision.
Keep in mind, it is a software solution though and nothing stops ASUS from creating something similar in a future driver update.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
July 1, 2010 8:12:24 AM

Go with the Asus Xonar , the Creative drivers are a nightmare!
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July 1, 2010 8:51:25 AM

Auzentech cards have creative hardware, only with much better drivers and PCB quality. I cannot find any Auzentech sound card for sale at ANY retail store, among several other parts I want. The only place you can get it is online.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
July 1, 2010 11:58:34 AM

Auzentech uses the Creative chipset, but actually back it up with high end components, unlike Creative. It makes a massive difference.

And again, EAX is a dead spec. And again, ASUS' EAX 5 implementation is close to perfect now, and makes more sense then needing to go through Alchamy to get the same effects in Vista/7...

If you want X-fi, feel free to go with Auzentech. But based on quality, there is no reason to go Creative anymore; their products are simply of lower quality and performance compared to the competition.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
July 2, 2010 10:50:52 AM

They both will work fine together.. Although, since your primary use is gaming, I'll recommend you to look for a 5.1 setup.. Something like the logitech z-540..
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July 3, 2010 2:31:46 PM

darkguset said:
Actually gamer316 is right. I have seen benchmarks that actually show the Creative product with the X-RAM to be a tad slower than other solutions.

Unless you are planning only playing older games on XP, then go for the Creative as it supports EAX up to revision 5 in hardware.

The ASUS Xonar supports EAX up to 2.0 in hardware and up to 5.0 in emulation mode. But apparently it is good enough for modern games.

One thing that pushed me buying the X-Fi was the Crystalizer. Although it may not be a really scientific solution, it indeed makes MP3s (compressed sound) sound a lot better! So all your old "muffled" MP3 are coming back to life again! It is a very nice feature and i guess is one point you should consider before making a decision.
Keep in mind, it is a software solution though and nothing stops ASUS from creating something similar in a future driver update.


the crystalizer is still nothing compared to playing an original CD. and even that has reduced dynamic range cos of16bits. to me the crystalizer, it jsut boost treble and bass, when i already have tonnes of it coming out of teh speaker :S
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July 5, 2010 2:49:16 AM

MEgamer said:
the crystalizer is still nothing compared to playing an original CD. and even that has reduced dynamic range cos of16bits. to me the crystalizer, it jsut boost treble and bass, when i already have tonnes of it coming out of teh speaker :S


I agree, but you missed my point. I said playing MP3s, not CDs or audio DVDs or anything. For playing MP3s it is great. It is more or less a boost in treble and bass, but what do you do when you use headphones instead of speakers? No settings there... so... Crystalizer better than nothing. Actually MUCH better! ;) 
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July 5, 2010 6:24:53 AM

sennheiser IE7, are incredible headphones :) 
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