It took some time, but Creative Labs has finally introduced decent sound cards for PCI Express interface. The company is offering two products and has come up with names that may grab your attention, but aren’t necessarily easy to remember: The PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series and the PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion series. Got it?
Both boards come in a more modest package than the long names may suggest. They include Creative’s X-Fi processor that has been modified to work with the PCI Express interconnect and X-Fi APU got a revision: The chip now supports Crystalizer, a brilliant piece of technology that brings all those crappy 128 Kb/s MP3 files to life. The X-Fi CMSS was also implemented in a patchwork piece called X-Fi Xtreme Audio. This "true X-Fi" parts also come with X-RAM memory - dedicated memory that promises to boost the card’s performance in games.
The X-Fi cards continue to support Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES and, of course, THX. The software bundle includes a ton of creative applications as well as and PowerDVD with DD-EX and DTS-ES support. Creative includes UAA compliant drivers for Vista.
The X-Fi PCI Express card is available for pre-order for 150, while the Fatal1ty Champion Edition (board+dongle+add-ons) will retail/e-tail for $200.
It seems that we might see some competition between the Creative Labs Sound Blaster and the Asus Xonar cards after all.
I will also wait till creative releases a stripped down version that doesn't include fat's name on it that comes a price of about $40-$70 cheaper than these two boards.
I remember at Quakecon 2005 when creative was pushing its fatal1ty product how people made fun of them there. They even went as far and drawing obscene pictures over the mouth of that fatal1ty kid's picture cut-out board. The mood of the audience was very cynical as to why they should pay more for a sound card that their motherboard.
creative got it right with the soundblaster live! and has been terrible ever since...here's to another crappy product from the company that doesn't care about their customers enough to address problems when they happen and then threaten legal action when someone tries to be a good samaritan and fix the problem themselves.
boo creative, boo fatal1ty and boo...um...what's left...oh yeah, boo macintosh!
I also hope more than that like:
- @least 10% increase in SNR
- EAX 6.0
- New sound prosesor like >= EMU 20k
- Driver support than can survive after Windows 7 with fully functional (regular driver shuld increse the functionalily / speed).
- Value Version < $80
The only thing that poople are love to see in this sound card is Dolby Life. That just IT. I love Microtek ScanWizard V6USL. I buy it in 1999 and it still kicking and alive with updated driver in Windows Vista. I bet this scanner will still kicking in Windows 7 and more :).
The only way they can make people buy new cards is to cripple the drivers for the older ones. The sound card technology has reached maturity. Why do they charge $50 more for the PCIe version of the same card? :heink: