Live! Experiences Review
By: Neil Yates - November 12, 1999
In the past year or so, leading up to the present, Creative Labs unleashed onto this world a series of exceptionally powerful sound cards that gamers and home-theatre wanna-be's clamored after. During this course, gamers and audio artists have witnessed the release of at least nine SoundBlaster Live! card variations.
Instead of releasing 1 or 2 cards in this period with 'Pro' and 'Consumer' versions that set each other apart, Creative fired-off a slew of cards that had almost imperceptible differences. Although only two cards initially shipped to North American markets - the Live! and Live! Value, some of the other products were for European or Asian markets.
This reminds me of the mid-80s and early 90's when Apple Computer had literally dozens of Macintosh models; driving consumers and support personnel batty. With the plethora of SB Live! card variations on store shelves and website e-commerce catalogs, it has become increasingly difficult to purchase the right card for your needs.
This article reviews one of Creative Labs' latest innovations; the inexpensive and flexible SoundBlaster Live! X-Gamer. In addition to a review of the card's ports, jacks, and the included Live!Ware 3.0 software, this article will provide insight into the differences between the X-Gamer and its more common siblings.
A word of warning, this isn't a traditional review, it's more of a 'user experience' - one that outlines my own journey of discovery into the world of SoundBlaster Live! cards.
Next: A Slew of Live! Cards