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View Full Version : Am I going to Hear a difference if I go with the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme


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john19055
03-15-06, 05:33 AM
I was thinking about upgradeing to a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1,
but I have a Audigy 2 ZS gamer card now and my 5.1 Altec lansing speaker system sounds pretty good to me ,I just don't see how it could sound $120 better ,but I could be wroung ,I had a sound Blaster live and upgraded to the Audigy 2ZS and there was a noticeable difference ,Am I going to hear the same results by upgradeing.

sharangad
03-15-06, 07:57 AM
I was thinking about upgradeing to a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1,
but I have a Audigy 2 ZS gamer card now and my 5.1 Altec lansing speaker system sounds pretty good to me ,I just don't see how it could sound $120 better ,but I could be wroung ,I had a sound Blaster live and upgraded to the Audigy 2ZS and there was a noticeable difference ,Am I going to hear the same results by upgradeing.

From an Audigy 2 ZS the step will be very slight. I did the same, but I have crappy Logitech Z-5300 ( THX certified crap ) speakers and I didn't notice a difference in sound quality. If you use it with speakers which don't have internal bass management, the X-Fi is the first Creative card to have a +15 db subwoofer boost. This is necessary as Creative's Audigy ( and possibly the Live! ) series attenuated the subwoofer channel by +10 dB making it virtually impossible to hear any bass when bass redirection is turned on. On PC speakers though, this means didly-squat.

[EOCF] Tim
03-15-06, 08:06 AM
I definitely heard the difference...the x-fi wins handsdown, even with my Creative ti5400 speakers, don't forget to setup the card with the entertainment console / game console, that way you definitely hear the difference.... :)

But then again, I'm pretty much an audiofreak that way, I love it :D

superklye
03-15-06, 08:33 AM
It depends on how good your speakers and ears are, but I would say yes. Especially with the Crystallizer.

TheManko
03-15-06, 08:34 AM
I personally don't like the Crystalizer at all, but the virtual surround and upmixing features made it worth it for me. The sound quality did improve noticably for me without any of the cards features activated, so I guess you'd hear a slight difference as well.

SLippe
03-16-06, 01:57 AM
Okay, I have a similar question too. Would upgrading from my Sound Blaster Live! 24bit Advanced HD card with my Creative Inspire 4.1 speakers be worth it? I keep seeing these ads for this card saying get up to 40% more FPS in games with this card, how so? Thanks.

einstein_314
03-16-06, 02:14 AM
Okay, I have a similar question too. Would upgrading from my Sound Blaster Live! 24bit Advanced HD card with my Creative Inspire 4.1 speakers be worth it? I keep seeing these ads for this card saying get up to 40% more FPS in games with this card, how so? Thanks.
I haven't noticed any performance increases since I got my Fatal1ty edition. There would probably be a bit of an increase if you were moving from onboard to an X-Fi. But a 40% increase seems a bit high.

But I definately notice a difference in quality. I used to have a Audigy 2 ZS with my Logitech Z5300's and was scepticle as to how much of an improvement it would make upgrading to an X-FI. But I can tell you, it's amazing. Especially in games. Everything is so clear and crisp. And the 3D surround with headphones is amazing. Full 3D positional audio using my Sennheiser HD555's. I couldn't believe it the first time I tried it out.

jAkUp
03-16-06, 02:35 AM
Yea I heard a huge difference. Totally worth it.

TheManko
03-16-06, 07:37 AM
The only way you might get a 40% improvement in performance is if you have the worst onboard soundcard on the planet.
You might get a 5% increase in FPS, but the real benefit is the superior soundquality, 3d sound and EAX. The upmixing features are in some cases really nice, especially in crappy console ports which all just seem to be in stereo (I'm looking at you Need for Speed series! NFS4 had Eax for christ sake).

superklye
03-16-06, 08:47 AM
The only way you might get a 40% improvement in performance is if you have the worst onboard soundcard on the planet.
You might get a 5% increase in FPS, but the real benefit is the superior soundquality, 3d sound and EAX. The upmixing features are in some cases really nice, especially in crappy console ports which all just seem to be in stereo (I'm looking at you Need for Speed series! NFS4 had Eax for christ sake).
yeah...I went from the SB Live! 24-bit and the difference was night and day to night again. The X-Fi blows every other soundcard I've ever haerd/used out of the water.

john19055
03-16-06, 10:12 PM
Does just the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty have 64mb of ram or does all versions of the Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme have the build in 64 mb of ram.I am getting a lot more ,I will hear a difference then I thought I would get.
Does this Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme really improve frame rates for games.If I get a 5% boost in games ,that seems pretty good to me,just adding a new sound card,But I mainly want to know is all the Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme the same card ,I know the higher priced ones have remote control and the add on X-Fi I/O Drive ,but does all of them have the 64mb of ram.

Roadhog
03-16-06, 10:19 PM
no, the 2 lower ones dont have the x-ram.. the xtrememusic and i cant remember the other... but anyhow, the ram wont help any in current games.

Q
03-16-06, 10:24 PM
The lower 2 cards DO have x-ram, but just not nearly as much. I think 2mb versus 64mb.

I upgraded from a ZS2 to an Extrememusic a few weeks ago. Quality has been a mixed bag for me, honestly. Overall, there seems to be a better depth to the quality of sound. Music seems to have more flesh to it. The only complaint that I have is crackling in certain apps, like TV in Windows Media Center. For some reason, the ZS handled it fine but the X-FI sounds like the volume is turned up too loud in it and it causes distortions and crackles. There is no way to adjust the sound volume independtly in MCE, so I'm using Smart Volume Management in Entertainment mode with the X-FI. It's a bit of a compromise for me, but overall I'd say it was worth the money.

Vista will take care of that problem in a few (10) months, anyways. :D

SLippe
03-16-06, 10:50 PM
Okay, thanks for the answers guys. I'll see if I get one or not in the near future.

john19055
03-16-06, 10:55 PM
I just checked out the demo for the head phones and if the X-Fi makes that kind of difference in games ,it will be worth getting it just for that ,because it made my headphones sound like I was right in the action.

Roadhog
03-16-06, 11:56 PM
yep.. it does do it.. the virtual surround sound is orgasmic. I think ive said orgasmic in my posts tonight like 4 times...

sznupi
03-25-06, 04:35 PM
hydrogenaudio.org <- that's the place to ask such questions

But overall: given what speakers you have, it's impossible you'll hear any true audio quality improvent other than placebo - Audigy 2 is very good already. Hovewer, by "good audio quality" I mean the "standard" meaning of "reproducing music as transparently as possible" (as close as possible to original - and BTW, there are better and much cheaper cards than X-Fi when it comes to that)
You might hear differences due to postprocessing/effects. You might like them, but not necesserily. Many people don't like such manipulations of sound. BTW, this stuff can be accomplished in software also. The second time when you'll probably hear difference is when games will start to use new EAX features...
Your choice.

jAkUp
03-25-06, 05:10 PM
I notice a huge difference, mainly in headphones with the directional audio.

With my Audigy2, I used speakers most of the time because it was easier to tell the direction of the enemy.

Now with headphones its amazing, turns 2 speakers into what seems like surround sound. The first time I heard it, it completely blew me away.

sznupi
03-25-06, 05:20 PM
Well, finally they did something with that tech from Aureal... (yes, on their cards you had such models of human hearing on headphones/in games as on X-Fi)

Soylent
03-27-06, 05:44 PM
Only have two ears, anything above 2.1 is pointless.

Creative is finally catching up to the good HRTF included in aureals cards (6?) years ago. If mainstream actually cared about GOOD sound in games we'd have 150W monster sound cards with dual slot coolers by now; not low powered devices in a quad flat package and a passive sink fit for cooling a 486.

It's absolutely beyond me to comprehend why it isn't standard to use binaural recordings, especially for music, instead of some ugly 5.1 hack job.

(physX/GPGPU physics required + HDR required + good HRTF + reasonably fast soft shadows. The next few years are going to be AWESOME (nana2) )

john19055
03-28-06, 12:20 AM
Well I bought the Logitech Z-5300e to go with my X-FI sound card ,I thinking of useing some better speakers then what it came with,but to me just the improvement in the headphones made it worth getting a Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme.

john19055
03-31-06, 11:33 PM
The Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic has 16mb on it from Hynix ,so that should help it out but I don't think I will see a 40% increase in frame rate in my games but it sounds pretty good and it makes my headphones sound great.

superklye
03-31-06, 11:50 PM
You sure about that 16MB? I'm pretty sure the XM and Platinum only have 2MB.

Clay
03-31-06, 11:53 PM
Only have two ears, anything above 2.1 is pointless.Joking right? That's like saying: "Only have two eyes, anything above an 256 color display is pointless." :D

superklye
03-31-06, 11:54 PM
Only have two ears, anything above 2.1 is pointless.

Creative is finally catching up to the good HRTF included in aureals cards (6?) years ago. If mainstream actually cared about GOOD sound in games we'd have 150W monster sound cards with dual slot coolers by now; not low powered devices in a quad flat package and a passive sink fit for cooling a 486.

It's absolutely beyond me to comprehend why it isn't standard to use binaural recordings, especially for music, instead of some ugly 5.1 hack job.

(physX/GPGPU physics required + HDR required + good HRTF + reasonably fast soft shadows. The next few years are going to be AWESOME (nana2) )
The hell are you talking about? You don't have to have 5 ears to hear and appreciate 5.1. There are speakers on the left and right...two sides for two ears. They are for positional audio and sound MUCH better than stereo.

And binaural recordings aren't standard because they sound terrible unless you have a $300 pair of headphones. And even then, I still think they sound like crap. Ever listen to the Pearl Jam album of the same name? I can't stand listening to it because it sounds so awful.