View Full Version : Asus xonar D2X v Creative x-fi fatality

01-31-09, 03:15 PM
So i have my new Computer and after realising that the on board sound sucks on it, i am looking to buy a sound card.

I have already owned the creative xfi fatality champion PCI with my last computer and have to say that driver support and Alchemy for vista was pathetic. Are the new revisions that creative have thrown at us any better ?

On the other hand we have the Asus xonar D2X which is also PCI-e and on paper looks to blow the creative cards out of the water....Many reviewers are recommending this card as a better alternative to the creative cards for music and movies....but what about gaming? I know creative have EAX natively but that is useless on Vista and has to be emulated by software (which the asus card also does).

Opinions please :)

01-31-09, 03:29 PM
Pathetic? New drivers come out quite often, even have Windows 7 support. Plus now all X-Fi cards support DDL and DTS Connect. It's hard to recommend the ASUS right now. The cheap Creative cards are a better buy.

Also EAX does not have to be emulated via software. Alchemy is a wrapper that converts it to OpenAL for hardware support. Games which make heavy use of DirectSound3D like Oblivion and Fallout3 will also pick up a few frames with a Creative card + Alchemy.

Another thing to remember. Vista uses OpenAL. OpenAL IS Creative. Would you try to run Physx on an ATi card?

01-31-09, 04:15 PM
I had bad experiences with my old creative card thats why im slightly put off from the pci-e versions. Stuff like games and music freezing for no apparent reason and having to hard reset, 3d-xms turning it self on and off whenever it feels like it......i dont use dolby dts i only use analogue and i figure for analogue the asus may be a better option in vista.

I found this a good read http://techreport.com/articles.x/13874/1

01-31-09, 04:58 PM
Well my X-Fi has been rock solid. Only had a few hiccups with a beta driver a few years back. I have a regular PCI though. Not one of the newer PCI-e ones.

01-31-09, 06:46 PM
I love my X-Fi Fatal1ty card... been running it on Vista 64bit no problems for almost 2 years now :p

01-31-09, 11:33 PM
If your gonna buy a sound card today you have to mention The Asus Essence STX forget the 2 from the OP honestly no contest look at reviews. This card has a headphone amp aswell. check it out.


02-01-09, 06:11 AM
Lack of analogue connection for surround speaker setup put me right off the Asus essence....otherwise it would have been my choice for sure.

02-01-09, 09:34 AM
Lack of analogue connection for surround speaker setup put me right off the Asus essence....otherwise it would have been my choice for sure.

Ah I see these have headphone amps thats why I decided to purchase this card. Lately I have been 90% under headphones for gaming and mucis listening. I also purchased the Sennheiser PC350 Headphones should have both late next week.

Ill post my personel findings when te arrive late next week.

02-01-09, 02:27 PM
Just so you know, the PCI-E Asus cards require an external power connection. The PCI versions don't.

02-02-09, 11:48 AM
I replaced my X-Fi Fatal1ty with the Asus Xonar D2 some weeks ago, and I don't regret it at all. But I did it because of problems with one of the games I play more often: Lord of the Rings Online, it causes BSOD crashes with X-Fi under Vista, and it looks like neither Creative nor Turbine will do anything to fix it. Otherwise I was pretty happy with my X-Fi. However I have noticed that Vista boots much faster now, it looks like the Xonar drivers are lighter (much lighter) and less bloated than Creative's.

After so many games tested I only have problems with Stalker Clear Sky, it's the only game where I could enable 5.1 sound on the X-Fi that won't work on the Xonar (it uses OpenAL). The DS3D emulation in Vista works great, just as good as Alchemy if not better. With Alchemy the program copied some DLL files to the game folder, to fool it and make it believe DS3D hardware was available. The Xonar does it at driver level, you enable GX mode at the control panel and DS3D is available for every game. All the DS3D games that worked on the X-Fi work perfectly on the Xonar. It can even emulate EAX 5.0 (works incredibly well in Bioshock), but the processing is done by the CPU, and not by the sound card. But with any modern dual core processor this is far from being a problem.

Games won't rely on hardware accelerated sound anymore. I don't have GX mode enabled on the card for today games, because all of them have a 5.1 software mode. I have tested games like Tomb Raider Underworld, Prince of Persia, GTA IV, Dead Space, Crysis, Mirror's Edge, Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead... all those games have perfect 5.1 sound done in software.

Special reverb effects are done in software too, no need for powerful processors on sound cards anymore. Both the X-Fi and the Xonar do a decent DS3D emulation for those old titles we all love. But thinking about today and tomorrow games, if you want to buy a sound card take a look at SNR, output quality, inputs, outputs, and think what fits better to your needs. Sound cards as we knew from the XP era are dead.

And if you are going for the Xonar and have both PCI and PCI Express slots available, go for the PCI. The PCI Express model is exactly the same, but it needs a power cable from the PSU and may have a little bit of latency because of the bridge chip. Last advice: if you don't care about Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect, you can buy the Xonar D1 (or D1X for PCI Express), it has the same features for gaming and it's much cheaper, however the DACs are slightly worse than D2 version (but not much worse).

02-02-09, 02:54 PM
The PCI-E X-FI with the EMI shield is much better than the X-FIs without it.

My X-Fi Platinum PCI still has some noise and distortion issues when I play songs in iTunes, but the X-Fi Titanium with he EMI shield does not. That EMI shield makes a difference in any sound card!