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New PCIe Sound Blaster Cards

Creative Unleashes the Power and Performance of Sound Blaster X-Fi Hardware Audio Processing for PCI Express announces new PCI Express sound cards. No word on whether they are Ad Lib compatible. Here's a bit on the cards, which are now available for preorder:

MILPITAS, Calif., May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Creative Technology Ltd, a worldwide leader in digital entertainment solutions, today announced the PCI Express Sound Blaster(R) X-Fi(R) Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series and PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series sound cards, unleashing the full power of Creative X-Fi hardware audio processing for PCI Express-based PCs.

The new PCI Express Creative sound cards each feature a striking design that screams "high performance." Creative will equip the world's best professional PC gamers, who are now competing in the Championship Gaming Series (CGS), with the new PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series, the official sound card of the CGS, the only worldwide professional video gaming league.

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40. No subject May 18, 2008, 07:27 Dev
 
LOL, and NOW we see why they weren't giving us dolby digital live for the x-fi. They were saving it for this $150 "upgrade"
thats mostly a software driver upgrade.

Hmm, given creative's example when they first went to PCI from ISA with thier non PCI complient cards that were screwed up so bad, that most motherboard makers had to patch BIOS to work around them, I'm definately going to wait a generation or two to see if they can even do pci-express properly. What with all thier excuses of how they couldn't figure out how to do it before (about how PCI-express was slower and everything)

 
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39. No subject May 17, 2008, 19:48 Paketep
 
I've been buying Creative for almost 20 years. No more. I'm tired of their BS support and driver problems, not to mention their attitude. They seem to despise their own customers.

A pity they destroyed Aureal, the only true competition they ever had.

 
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38. EAX? May 17, 2008, 18:00 Ant
 
Are there any non-Creative sound cards/onboard that can do hardware EAX? I only use Creative sound cards for serious PC gaming. I hate emulated/software EAX!  
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Ant @ The Ant Farm: http://antfarm.ma.cx and Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net ...
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37. Re: PCIe XtremeGamer May 17, 2008, 17:46 FreonTrip
 
That's creative for you. Great hardware, worst drivers ever.

Honestly, their hardware hasn't been impressive since the days when ISA roamed the earth. Check into the design quirks of the Live and Audigy series some time, or long-term driver glitches for the original Sound Blaster series, or their previously adversarial position toward releasing hardware specs (especially for OS/2 drivers back when that was relevant), or their suing Aureal / Media Vision into oblivion in spite of their clearly superior hardware, or...

 
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36. Re: Why onboard sucks May 17, 2008, 14:28 Sparky
 
Bad example. Your sound card is connected directly to those very same signals as a chip sitting on the motherboard, and is in the same proximity to it.

It's where that chip is located on the motherboard in relation to the "noisy" parts, the components connected to it, the power isolation feeding it, and the quality of the chip (or chips) themselves. In fact, the on-board system has the advantage of sitting on the same ground plane as the rest of the system.

There are some superior on-board sound designs to many of Creative Labs offerings and their drivers actually work and work with stability.

My audio system, an on-board system, is completely noise free, of excellent quality, has 24 bit 192K resolution, 7.1 channel and plenty capable of outperforming many Sound Blasters on a card.

To think a sound card, with its exposed PCI or PCIE interface sitting above a motherboard (which is actually a noisier place to be, due to radiated EMI) is somehow a better environment shows lack of serious thought.

The built-in DSP that Sound Blasters have were a clear advantage back when CPUs were in the MHz speed range. Now with multiple cores and monster floating point cores of today's CPU's, everything those DSPs do can be done without much of a dent of whatever else the CPU has to do, and faster than that DSP. Sound processing is not a massive CPU hog at all.

This comment was edited on May 17, 14:33.
 
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35. No thanks May 17, 2008, 14:13 Sparky
 
I will never buy a Sound Blaster as long as they have their intentionally crippled driver policy.

I happen to have a great on-board audio system, that never had the issues Sound Blaster has a history of having with new hardware (sound skipping, non-fully compliant PCI interfaces thus causing clicking, noise, and stuttering on some systems.

I used to by them all of the time. My last was an Audigy Platinum card. Their blatant disregard for their past customers (even those with just their last model) and forced hardware upgrades (where none are needed, just a driver fix is all that is necessary) really chapped my hide.

If Creative Labs disappeared today, I wouldn't shed a tear. It would be good-riddens.

There's plenty of good, high quality, and stable sound hardware out there that I can steer clear of CL's crap.

New card? No thanks, same old BS.

 
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34. Why onboard sucks May 17, 2008, 05:39 Dmitri_M
 
Onboard sucks. The soundchip is located directly on the motherboard, picking up every hiss and buzz the machine generates.

 
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33. Re: Marketing bullshit May 16, 2008, 22:41 CreamyBlood
 
My main gripe with them has been their shoddy driver support although lately it's been somewhat 'better'.

The Vista support is a good example but they've been like that for many, many years.

As to onboard sound, many of those have flakey drivers and also chew up CPU to do their processing, therefore killing framerates or affecting some games with choppy audio.

I don't remember what I have, I think it's an Audigy 2 but I had to buy one to play BF42 as the onboard just killed the game.

I'm building a new system again and plan on avoiding Creative this time, I'm no audiophile but thanks for the alternative suggestions...


 
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32. Marketing bullshit May 16, 2008, 21:42 Creston
 
"The new PCI Express Creative sound cards each feature a striking design that screams "high performance.""

It'd be better if the card didn't actually "scream". Seeing as how performance from a soundcard is fucking irrelevant. It just has to sound good.

You fucktards might also, I dunno, hire a guy who can write a decent driver.

The benefit of a PCI-E X-fi compared to a PCI X-fi is none.

Creston

 
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31. Re: RE: HT Omega May 16, 2008, 21:14 kyleb
 
I purchased a great sound card recently the HT Omega (Claro) and have sold my X-FI gamer card. I have been very happy with this new card. It completely smokes my old card when it comes to sound. BUT if the game is encoded with EAX it can't compete against my old XF-I card. Many games today though are stepping away from EAX instead going with Dolby.

EAX isn't an encoding method, it is simply an effects library. And game audio files aren't encoded in Dolby Digital, to get DD output from a game you need a sound device which supports Dobly Digital Live encoding.

 
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30. Re: PCIe XtremeGamer May 16, 2008, 20:52 Nuclear Watchdog
 
Creative should have released a PCIe version of the XtremeGamer too, that's down to around $70 at places like Newegg while the price of the cheapest PCIe X-Fi is $150. The X-Fi is good hardware, but even most picky people only need the cheapest hardware X-Fi card.
That's creative for you. Great hardware, worst drivers ever.

 
================================================
"Whattadya wanna hear, that I'm your bitch? Fine. You came in
here, took it to me, and now I'm your bitch. Happy now?" - Creston
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29. PCIe XtremeGamer May 16, 2008, 19:19 ViRGE
 
Creative should have released a PCIe version of the XtremeGamer too, that's down to around $70 at places like Newegg while the price of the cheapest PCIe X-Fi is $150. The X-Fi is good hardware, but even most picky people only need the cheapest hardware X-Fi card.

 
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28. No subject May 16, 2008, 19:07 Blackhawk
 
Creative's record of support for their customers is one of the worst in the business. Not only that, they've got a product that people could buy and use for years on end without ever upgrading, and they know it, so they aren't at all subtle in the way they prematurely end support for their hardware to force people to upgrade. They do everything they can to make your still perfectly good card useless, making a long-term purchase into a short term purchase, costing you money for their benefit.

No Creative for me, thanks.

 
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27. Re: RE: HT Omega May 16, 2008, 19:04 PHJF
 
Or to, gasp, play any game because they almost all include hardware audio acceleration.  
Avatar 17251
 
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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26. Re: RE: HT Omega May 16, 2008, 19:02 Overon
 
Really the only way to hear a quality difference between discrete sound and onboard sound is the following:
1) for stereo recordings you needs some cream of the crop uber speakers to hear the difference
2) for stereo recordings you needs some high end headphones to hear the difference
3) of course you can tell the difference if your sound card can only output 3.1 sound and you have a 5.1 or a 6.1 sound setup and you compare it to a 5.1 or a 6.1 capable sound card
4) you record sound and your recordings sound better with one sound card as opposed to another


This comment was edited on May 16, 19:02.
 
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25. Re: RE: HT Omega May 16, 2008, 17:50 PHJF
 
PCI sound cards can have issues with PCI latency, my fancy $180 Auzen Prelude being no exception.  
Avatar 17251
 
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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24. Re: RE: HT Omega May 16, 2008, 17:14 4D-Boxing
 
I have the Xonar D2X & It's been great up to now..had it for 6 weeks & see a huge improvement over my onboard sound & almost equaly bad Audigy 2NX usb ....

Bottom line check reviews for the D2X I think it's the best choice after the Auzuntech...

I did not have a pci free to so I opted for the PCIe D2X.

This comment was edited on May 16, 17:16.
 
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23. Re: RE: HT Omega May 16, 2008, 16:31 Bucky
 
Asus Xonar DX!

$90, PCI-e (though it requires a floppy power connection as well), excellent drivers, EAX emulation that sounds about the same to me, and great sound quality. I was previously using on-board audio, but the quality difference was very noticeable when I dropped the card in. FYI, this is using Logitech Z-680 5.1 speakers and Sennheiser 555 headphones.


I had sworn off dedicated sound in favor of onboard, but I won't make that mistake again. The sound quality is worlds better than my onboard (Realtek ALC883 Hi-Def)


Edit: Newegg linky with all the other fun facts.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132006

Seriously, for anyone looking for good quality sound this is the way to go.


This comment was edited on May 16, 16:34.
 
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22. Re: RE: HT Omega May 16, 2008, 16:24 rocketpcguy
 
audophiles like myself however need the best possible sound evar.
having the best possible sound is not important; you shouldn't be having sex with underage audio files in the first place.

 
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21. Re: RE: HT Omega May 16, 2008, 14:42 Nuclear Watchdog
 
audophiles like myself however need the best possible sound evar.
So you're an "audophile"? Ok...

 
================================================
"Whattadya wanna hear, that I'm your bitch? Fine. You came in
here, took it to me, and now I'm your bitch. Happy now?" - Creston
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