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Creative X-Fi is out

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Anonymous
August 27, 2005 7:36:56 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

I got this about 3 days ago. I had to re-install windows XP, though,
because there are no Windows 64 drivers- I guess I'm giving up on x64 for
now. This is one nice sounding card, though you need two things: good audio
source and good stuff to listen with. Music seems to be a better source
than many games: mediocre game audio suddenly won't sound awesome. OTOH,
with MP3/WMA, it's really great. The 24-bit crystalizer is equivalent to
anti-aliasing/anisotropic filtering. It really makse the music seem a
little sharper and live, even with low-quality audio. OTOH, I don't notice
as much effect in games. The reverb effects seem to have gotten a boost in
this card, too. Much better for music and games.

The 3D audio positioning is pretty good. The headphone 3D sound is good,
though I would not consider it a huge advance over the Audigy. It's
obviously better, but OTOH I have heard better implementations on old
Sensaura based boards such as the Fortissimo II and III. Another drawback-
the old Audigy let you customize the filters to personal taste. The new one
just comes with vanilla settings that, at present, cannot be altered. So
the algorithms don't work for you, tough (OTOH, they will probably work for
90 percent of the population to at least some extent). The sound quality in
games is good, but obviously the effect is game dependent. Deus Ex, for
instance, my current game I'm playing, just doesn't have outstanding game
audio to begin with. OTOH, the MacroFX feature that Creative got from
Sensaura adds alot to the detail of the gameworld- I just wish there were
more sounds going on at once, because DE is a bit sterile . After this I'll
try a play through Thief.

My labtec headphones, though, are clearly inadequate- the frequency
response is not nearly flat enough for this card, judging by using a Radio
Shack signal pressure level meter. You are going to need a decent set of
headphones or speakers to really hear how transparent even MP3 music can be
with this card. I'm currently using a set of Sony closed headphones, and
they are better, but I'm probably going to order a Sennheiser headset. If
you like your sound with a boomy bass and little else, well, this might not
be the card for you, it's overkill. The card has a good octave-based
equalizer that can also help smooth out your sound system, if you are so
inclined.

More about : creative

Anonymous
August 27, 2005 11:48:56 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"MP" <markparrish@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:mBXPe.2461$9i4.761@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> What if there one thing that separates it from other really good Audigy
> cards and the like, what would it be?

If I only had to pick one sentence to describe the difference between the
Audigy and the X-Fi, I would say it's audio fidelity enhancement with
existing sources. Clearly that is what X-Fi is pushing. X-Fi works well
with existing formats like MP3, DVD, and existing games, you won't need a
new EAX supported game or DVD audio to see benefits. Audigy, OTOH, was
clearly aimed at new standards, such as DVD-Audio, EAX 3, and so on. X-Fi
is all about enhancing stuff you already have.

>
> And, if you don't mind, what is the list price (USD, Euros, whatever) for
> the Creative X-Fi?

The Xtreme Music, which I have, is about 130 dollars, and it's the
version I would recommend for general PC use and gaming. The FPS version is
much more expensive (270 dollars), the audio quality is not that much
better, and the gaming features (onboard memory) are not yet supported in
games . If you are interested in recording, I'd recommend the Pro or Elite
Pro versions with the breakout boxes for connections. The Elite Pro also
has extremely good DAC's and ADC's that would be completely unnecessary in a
gamer/music card. For general home recording, the Xtreme Music should be
fine because the ADC's are pretty high end, they just aren't "professional".

> The Mini-Moog came waaaaay after Wendy (then Walter, in the '60's) Carlos
> released the album, "Switched-on Bach".

I have a few Wendy Carlos recordings. Though I like Vangelis better.

> Uh, does anyone here remember the Aureal A3D 360° software?

I can't say because I was using a Soundblaster 16 around that same time
period. I didn't upgrade to a Soundblaster PC512 (Live "Junior") until
2000.

> I also had 16-band up to 120-band equalizers, a few compressors, limiters,
> and effects (reverb and digital delay mainly) units. Of course, being a
> completely analog sound system, wires were everywhere. We can't seem to
> escape the wires.

X-Fi in audio content creation mode has compressors, reverb, chorus, etc.

>
> Magnulus, it's too bad you had to re-install Windows XP because of no
> Windows 64 drivers available for...what? Your new Creative X-Fi card? This
> is what I don't understand, quite.

Yes, Creative will eventually release a 64-bit driver. But it was also
the last straw in a long line of problems I had with the OS. I also like
using stereo drivers with my NVidia card to play Unreal Tournament or Quake
(hey, it's not a resource hog, which is important for stereo)- an
optometrist recommended it in place of expensive vision therapy (I have
strabismus/lazy eye), and currently there are no x64 stereo drivers.

>
> Nevertheless, what a hassle, and too bad X64 is so new there isn't much
> for it.

It's a stillborn OS, you gotta avoid it. Wait for Windows Vista instead.
Windows x64 is like Windows 2000. What's sort of unfortunate is that it's
being marketted as a "high end" OS. High end means like rendering Star Wars
Episode III (which it did), not gaming, and MS never clarified that. Plus,
the performance gains for ordinary applications are relatively minor. It's
not worth upgrading just to run the x64 patch in Far Cry or Butcher Bay.
Anonymous
August 28, 2005 6:55:12 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

MP wrote:

> I hooked the PC audio card which had 4 discreet channel outputs - *true*
> quadraphonic - not just "Left-Front, Left-Rear, Right-Front, Right-Rear

What is the difference?

Dennis
Related resources
Anonymous
August 28, 2005 7:09:51 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Magnulus wrote:

> I got this about 3 days ago. I had to re-install windows XP, though,
> because there are no Windows 64 drivers- I guess I'm giving up on x64 for
> now.

What about the handling of the user interface? I've seen some screenshots
and it didn't look like a computer application at all - more like a
WinAmp-skin gone all wrong. I can't stand it when they make audio
applications for PCs look like a hardware audio player with all that
buttons, switches and LCD-like Displays. I'm operating with a mouse, not my
bare hands, goddamnit!

Dennis
Anonymous
August 28, 2005 7:09:52 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

The driver interface is good, but yes, it does look like it was inspired
by audio hardware, and it could use a few tweaks. There is also an
alternative audio console that looks more like traditional driver interfaces
with tabs, but I find it less useful. The way the card has "modes" might
seem odd at first, but once you get used to it, you can setup a "game" mode
that has seperate settings from the "entertainment" mode, and just switch
between the two modes- it also reconfigures the hardware to perform
differently- listening to music in the game mode for instance, even with
similar settings, doesn't have the same effect it does when using the music
mode.

One thing I would do differently is have the tray icon have a mode
selector, similar to NVidia's tray settings icon- currently it takes a few
clicks more than it should to switch modes. But overall it is a better
design than the early Audigy drivers, where features very often were
scattered around.
August 28, 2005 10:46:37 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Magnulus" <Magnulus@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:HB9Qe.5964$7F.908@bignews3.bellsouth.net...
> The driver interface is good, but yes, it does look like it was inspired
> by audio hardware, and it could use a few tweaks. There is also an
> alternative audio console that looks more like traditional driver
> interfaces with tabs, but I find it less useful. The way the card has
> "modes" might seem odd at first, but once you get used to it, you can
> setup a "game" mode that has seperate settings from the "entertainment"
> mode, and just switch between the two modes- it also reconfigures the
> hardware to perform differently- listening to music in the game mode for
> instance, even with similar settings, doesn't have the same effect it does
> when using the music mode.
>
> One thing I would do differently is have the tray icon have a mode
> selector, similar to NVidia's tray settings icon- currently it takes a few
> clicks more than it should to switch modes. But overall it is a better
> design than the early Audigy drivers, where features very often were
> scattered around.
>

Hmmm I understand it hasn't got a 3.5 mm line out so how do I connect it to
my (analogue) NAD Amp? I haven't got enough room for a discrete
2.1/5.1/6.1/7.1 speaker setup and the sound quality through the amp & Kef
speakers is excellent so I guess I wont be buying this.
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 5:08:26 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"BillL" <billc1@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:hEnQe.97926$G8.70099@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
> Hmmm I understand it hasn't got a 3.5 mm line out so how do I connect it
> to my (analogue) NAD Amp? I haven't got enough room for a discrete
> 2.1/5.1/6.1/7.1 speaker setup and the sound quality through the amp & Kef
> speakers is excellent so I guess I wont be buying this.

I see you are in the UK, but here in the US you can just go buy a stereo
3.5mm converter that is a "Y-splitter" that has two RCA plugs on the other
end, then you just stick them on the line-in on your receiver.

If you had no room for seperate speakers, I'd also recommend just using
headphones. It depends on how you have the PC setup, of course.
August 30, 2005 12:00:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Magnulus" <Magnulus@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:IJwQe.10618$7F.6150@bignews3.bellsouth.net...
>
> "BillL" <billc1@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:hEnQe.97926$G8.70099@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
>> Hmmm I understand it hasn't got a 3.5 mm line out so how do I connect it
>> to my (analogue) NAD Amp? I haven't got enough room for a discrete
>> 2.1/5.1/6.1/7.1 speaker setup and the sound quality through the amp & Kef
>> speakers is excellent so I guess I wont be buying this.
>
> I see you are in the UK, but here in the US you can just go buy a stereo
> 3.5mm converter that is a "Y-splitter" that has two RCA plugs on the other
> end, then you just stick them on the line-in on your receiver.
>
> If you had no room for seperate speakers, I'd also recommend just using
> headphones. It depends on how you have the PC setup, of course.
>
>
>
>

Thanks for the reply.

I use headphones at night etc but during the day when I'm using the PC as
julebox/TV etc I'd just rather listen via the speakers. I currently have an
external Creative USB 2NX with 3.5mm jack (from SC) to L&R Phono (back of
the amp). I just understood (from reading a review on gamespot) that the
X-Fi wouldn't allow me to do this, as there is no analouge line out only
digital.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 4:35:57 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

There is an analog line out- what do you call all those speaker
connections? If you are getting your Audigy 2 NX to hook up to the
receiver, you can get the X-Fi to hook up.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 10:53:00 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Dennis Schamne wrote:
> MP wrote:
>
> > I hooked the PC audio card which had 4 discreet channel outputs - *true*
> > quadraphonic - not just "Left-Front, Left-Rear, Right-Front, Right-Rear
>
> What is the difference?
>
> Dennis

I guess here really is no difference (except "discreet" control over
the amplification of each channel using a mixer wherein I used four
separate power amplifiers (one for each of the four channels -
L-F,L-R,R-F, & R-R) with tri-amping with frequency bandwidth
cross-overs (Highs, Mids,and Lows) for the speakers themselves rather
than one integrated amplifier with four channel speaker outputs.

Mark
August 30, 2005 11:28:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

"Magnulus" <Magnulus@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:5lRQe.18381$wb5.14681@bignews1.bellsouth.net...
> There is an analog line out- what do you call all those speaker
> connections? If you are getting your Audigy 2 NX to hook up to the
> receiver, you can get the X-Fi to hook up.
>

Apologies, I am an idiot and should be shot! The no line out refers to the
external box of the Xfi Pro not the actual card. Now excuse me while I jump
back into the shallow end of the gene pool .....

BillL
August 31, 2005 10:49:42 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Where did u buy it?

"Magnulus" <Magnulus@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:WIUPe.9482$N1.7594@bignews4.bellsouth.net...
> I got this about 3 days ago. I had to re-install windows XP, though,
> because there are no Windows 64 drivers- I guess I'm giving up on x64 for
> now. This is one nice sounding card, though you need two things: good
> audio source and good stuff to listen with. Music seems to be a better
> source than many games: mediocre game audio suddenly won't sound awesome.
> OTOH, with MP3/WMA, it's really great. The 24-bit crystalizer is
> equivalent to anti-aliasing/anisotropic filtering. It really makse the
> music seem a little sharper and live, even with low-quality audio. OTOH,
> I don't notice as much effect in games. The reverb effects seem to have
> gotten a boost in this card, too. Much better for music and games.
>
> The 3D audio positioning is pretty good. The headphone 3D sound is good,
> though I would not consider it a huge advance over the Audigy. It's
> obviously better, but OTOH I have heard better implementations on old
> Sensaura based boards such as the Fortissimo II and III. Another
> drawback- the old Audigy let you customize the filters to personal taste.
> The new one just comes with vanilla settings that, at present, cannot be
> altered. So the algorithms don't work for you, tough (OTOH, they will
> probably work for 90 percent of the population to at least some extent).
> The sound quality in games is good, but obviously the effect is game
> dependent. Deus Ex, for instance, my current game I'm playing, just
> doesn't have outstanding game audio to begin with. OTOH, the MacroFX
> feature that Creative got from Sensaura adds alot to the detail of the
> gameworld- I just wish there were more sounds going on at once, because DE
> is a bit sterile . After this I'll try a play through Thief.
>
> My labtec headphones, though, are clearly inadequate- the frequency
> response is not nearly flat enough for this card, judging by using a Radio
> Shack signal pressure level meter. You are going to need a decent set of
> headphones or speakers to really hear how transparent even MP3 music can
> be with this card. I'm currently using a set of Sony closed headphones,
> and they are better, but I'm probably going to order a Sennheiser headset.
> If you like your sound with a boomy bass and little else, well, this might
> not be the card for you, it's overkill. The card has a good octave-based
> equalizer that can also help smooth out your sound system, if you are so
> inclined.
>
September 1, 2005 11:17:18 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

On Thu, 01 Sep 2005 04:24:08 GMT, No One Realy <1@2.com.au> wrote:

>
>
>
>Wish A3d cards were stilla rrounf. Now they knew how to make a
>soundcard :( 

Yup, the 3D effects of my A3D were the best I have heard. Maybe the
high end Creative cards are good, but I don't want to pay a large
amount of money to find out.
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