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Lazaredz
03-02-06, 04:32 AM
Just wondering, since its been out for a bit, if any real advantage to having the 64MB of X-Ram on the X-Fi exists? Trying to decide if I should just get the basic or pay the extra $$$ for the X-Ram.

How about future game announcments?

Thx

sweetmate
03-02-06, 04:42 AM
Quake 4 does.

jolle
03-02-06, 04:54 AM
Anyone benchmarked Q4 Extrememusic vs Fatality editions? se if the memory does any difference in this game?

Riptide
03-02-06, 08:22 AM
lol

One game? Pffffttt...

Lazaredz
03-02-06, 08:44 AM
Quake 4 does.

Okay, but does the X-Ram do ANYTHING vs the standard X-fi?

CaptNKILL
03-02-06, 08:50 AM
I know Battlefield 2 has an X-Fi setting but Im not sure if it uses Xram. Im pretty much convinced that Xram is a gimmick. Very few games are going to use it and the ones that will probably arent going to have any performance difference at all on a fast system with a lot of ram. I think its one of those "If you can afford it, your system probably doesnt need it" things :p

Q
03-02-06, 08:52 AM
Okay, but does the X-Ram do ANYTHING vs the standard X-fi?

Extra voices in a few games and a little bit better performance. Nothing to write home about, and nothing that is going to likely be implimented widespread ever. Creative, the braintrusts that they are, only included the 64mb on the two most expensive cards that come with break out boxes or internal boxes. (Yes I'm mad they didn't just release a plain card with it). But by those two cards being the most expensive, less people are going to own cards with X-ram than any other card. And as we all know, do gaming companies like to spend research money on features most people can't use? They barely cater to the hardcore gamer, much less a sliver of the population of hardcore gamer.

I went through all of this before I bought my X-fi extrememusic, which is waiting for me right now at my mail room!

jolle
03-02-06, 03:04 PM
The 64mb is aimed at 128 voices usage, to reduce the traffic to the card with all those sounds from system RAM.. I suppose it could offload CPU and stuff a little, buffering alot of it onboard.

I think BF2 "X-fi Ultra Quality" offers 128 voices on ALL X-Fi models, and it doesnt use the 64mb on the Fatality+.. so performance isnt abysmal without the RAM with 128 voices.

Nutty
03-02-06, 03:19 PM
If you played 128 voices at the same time, you wouldn't be able to distinguish over 3/4's of them. It would just be noise.

X-Ram is utterly pointless IMO. Current sound cards use this thing called DMA. They dont need cpu to access memory anyway..

Riptide
03-02-06, 04:46 PM
So IOW... it is a gimmick.

Creative marketing FTW!

keith33
03-02-06, 05:47 PM
So IOW... it is a gimmick.

Creative marketing FTW!

QFT

I think Creative got a little ****y when they decided to price their top end card at the same price point as say a 7800GT. I can just imagine the profit margins on the Elite Pro or Fata1ity. Sadly, just like other technologies that are only for the high end market, they'll get ignored and eventually something better and cheaper for mainstream will come along.

Lazaredz
03-02-06, 08:07 PM
Coolness ... thanks for the info all.

Now, to wait for an X-Fi OEM ........

Mr_LoL
03-03-06, 01:08 AM
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/multimedia/creative-x-fi-part3.html
UT2004 might take advantage of that ram with a patch.

SavagePaladin
03-16-06, 10:14 PM
FEAR uses it too.

FEAR, BF2, Q4 I think is all so far.

For now it is a gimmick, but therein lies the problem. Because very few people have it, and because cardmakers aren't willing to add it, it will stay a gimmick...

It's something sound cards really need, if you ask me. But at $300, I don't need it.

sweetmate
03-17-06, 03:17 AM
FEAR uses it too.

FEAR, BF2, Q4 I think is all so far.
BF2 does not use X-ram just EAX 5 and 128 voices (available on the 2 basic X-fi's). I didnt think FEAR used X-ram either, do you have a source?

SavagePaladin
03-17-06, 03:52 AM
And yet, everything I've read on my search for your source says that BF2 does use it. Still looking on FEAR.

SavagePaladin
03-17-06, 03:55 AM
Higher-spec X-Fi sound cards (including X-Fi Elite Pro and X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS Edition) feature 64Mb of "X-RAM" - fast SDRAM reserved for storing audio data. Battlefield 2 detects the presence of X-RAM, and automatically moves a large number of audio samples from the system RAM to the sound card. This enhances performance by taking the strain away from your computer's PCI bus and system memory.
http://www.soundblaster.com/products/x-fi/technology/battlefield2/

SavagePaladin
03-17-06, 03:57 AM
I guess I was wrong on FEAR, though, so we're even.

john19055
03-17-06, 05:07 AM
I just can't see paying that much for a sound card just for the 64mb of ram,so I ended up just buying the Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic ,because I am not going to spend over $200 for a sound card and I could care less about the breakout box.But since I do like some of the new features the card offers I willing to spend $115.

SavagePaladin
03-17-06, 05:28 AM
Seriously.
http://techreport.com/reviews/2006q1/xfi-fatal1ty/index.x?pg=5
If there were more games that (ab)used the 64mb, it'd be cool, right now it's useless.

MaXThReAT
03-17-06, 12:10 PM
Well I had to get one myself. As for not being able to hear 128 voices at once sorry but that’s not how it works. Foot steps 2-3 voices, Reverb- 1 effect voice on the footsteps, add occlusion another voice. Then you have running steps. One machinegun sound can use up more than 15 voices. Add effects to that and your up to 30-60. 2 shooting at once, 120. EAX if very dynamic in the way it can apply effects to any sound in real-time. But of course if you played 128 voices all at the same time, no you wouldn't be able to tell one from another. I can tell you I can a very large difference in effects quality on BF2 and Q4 when switching between audio modes. I'm sure more games are coming that will support the X-Ram. I already don't consider X-Ram a gimmick. I've tested and got a 10% increase in FPS at lower Rezs. At 1600x1200 it does have little effect on FPS. But I think it has to be heard. I'll be incredibly surprised if Stalker doesn’t use X-ram or UE3 or FEAR2 but it's not called FEAR2. How about racing games Lots of sounds in there. Only think I would say is don't even bother with x-Fi unless your speekers cost more than it, you'll be waisting your money.

dwhjr77
03-17-06, 12:25 PM
The back of the box for FEAR has the Xfi logo. We have to assume it's using it.

SavagePaladin
03-17-06, 12:50 PM
I can tell you I can a very large difference in effects quality on BF2 and Q4 when switching between audio modes. I'm sure more games are coming that will support the X-Ram. I already don't consider X-Ram a gimmick. - Only think I would say is don't even bother with x-Fi unless your speekers cost more than it, you'll be waisting your money.
I think your effect numbers are a little high, but yes, that is effectively how it works.

It's a gimmick until it's not $200 extra to get it, and supported by two games.

And regarding the speaker bit: I've always heard people say it, and I've always ignored it. As long as you have reasonably clear speakers, you're good to go with upgrading your audio card. Despite the disbelief of audiophiles everywhere, it has a noticable effect on what you hear.

Regarding FEAR, it uses EAX 4, not 5, so does not use the X-Ram.
http://www.soundblaster.com/gaming/fear/
Of course it 'sounds best on X-Fi.' Then they can get marketing dollars...

J-Mag
03-17-06, 12:51 PM
The back of the box for FEAR has the Xfi logo. We have to assume it's using it.

The X-Fi logo doesn't mean that it uses the XRAM... It means that it has a mode to take advantage of the X-Fi sound processor (or maybe not even that, it could be just a creative marketing deal)

dwhjr77
03-17-06, 11:23 PM
I didn't say it uses Xram. It uses the basic capabilties of Xfi (i.e.: EAX5)