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Sound blaster xfi titanium upgrade? Or keep what I have?

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September 15, 2011 12:37:31 PM

I have a sound blaster xfi extreme music pci sound card (no not that gimped re-release of the card I mean the original full fledged xfi card that came out) and I was wondering if I would actually notice a difference going to a xfi titanium pcie card?

This will be going into a strictly gaming pc and my 5.1 speakers are good but nothing new. They are the logitech z5500, although I am considering getting new ones since I have the original ones and they constantly have a slight hiss to them and the volume control sucks.
September 15, 2011 2:23:13 PM

I wouldnt change anything, X-fi cards are all very good, you wont feel any diference by getting a newer version. Its great to have one in your XP gaming machine tough, with EAX and X-RAM, but no point under 7
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September 15, 2011 3:20:32 PM

i wouldn't bother upgrading. but if i had to, i wouldn't buy the xfi cards. Xonar have a much better range for the money of a titanium and the sound quality is much better...
xfi were good when games supported there tech but today most games use there own or propitiatory sound engines that totally bypass any enhancements that xfi offer...
i have the extreme gamer card but most of the time i use my G930's as the sound is better.. and only resort to the wired headset and card setup when my wireless set is charging.

so no as you already have an ok card installed i wouldnt bother upgrading as theres little real difference between what you have and what the titanium series offers.
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September 15, 2011 4:00:02 PM

The Titanium isn't significantly better then the ExtremeMusic; you'd need a higher tier card [HT Omega Claoro+, ASUS Xonar D1/DX, or Auzentech Meridian 2G] to make any improvment.
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September 16, 2011 5:45:27 PM

Theoretically the titanium is better. In creative labs speak, titanium means it has x-fi hardware. Anything below it is not a true x-fi card.

What is a true x-fi card you ask? We the x-fi chip can support about 128 3d voices at once in hardware. Everything else only supports round about 20 to 30. They are particularly good at battlefield type games where you have many moving objects each making multiple sounds all at once.

HOWEVER and this is a BIG HOWEVER. Windows vista and later (including 7) just plain doesn't use sound mixing hardware; it does everything in software. So the only things that really matter are the outputs on the card, the clarity of those outputs and the mixing software.

Now if you're using digital optical out then clarity doesn't matter (because it's all digital) and you've already got you're connections covered. I assume the software is the same between the music and titanium cards, so that doesn't really matter either.

Just make sure you've tested each channel on the creative-labs console so that you're really getting a separate channel to each speaker. If you're not, go to settings->encoding and turn on dts connect (optical only supports up to 5.1 btw). Also it you don't hear anything from your subwoofer, go to the bass tab and turn on "bass" redirection.

Probably more info than you asked for, but I just got done hooking up a 7.1 component system to my pc, and I'm eager to share.
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September 17, 2011 6:33:00 PM

The speakers you have won't differentiate the 2 sound cards.
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