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Creative X-Fi!!

ray_gillespie

OSNN Veteran Addict
Political User
#1
Hi Guys,
I'm thinking about buying a Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music sound card. I'm using the crap on-board AC97 sound at the moment, what sort of difference do you think it will make to;
a) Sound quality
b) Game performance
c) Overall performance
Please bear in mind that I have really old 2.1 speakers that are a bit crap now and I will eventually get some nice new Creative ones.
Also, there is the question of price. The cheapest I've found it is on savastore for £74.33 inc. postage and VAT. Does anyone know of anywhere cheaper? As far as I can tell, this is for the retail version, and it must be on offer as the OEM version is more expensive!

Reps for helpful people as usual :)
 

madmatt

Bow Down to the King
Political User
#2
The card is much improved over previous Creative offerings and I'm certain you would hear a difference over your onboard audio. However, you may want to consider upgrading your speakers. It's one of those things in life, it's only as good as... Do you know what I mean?
 

Electronic Punk

willalwaysbewithyou
Staff member
Political User
#3
Yeah, very happy with my X-Fi. People seem to think it was plagued by issues, however the Audigy2 ZS -- that was a card that had issues.

Destroyed mine a few weeks ago in a fit of rage, had a screwdriver. Felt better.
 
#5
While considering your choice, I would also suggest having a good look at the M-Audio Revolution. It's a great card with great sound and has zero customer complaints.

By the way, here's the 1,871-post old thread on X-Fi crackling, now closed, which has been replaced by a new thread.

If you have issues with the card, Creative claims it's your bios, or you're using more than 3GB of memory, or that you need to buy a dual-channel motherboard and run it in that config (if you haven't already). They tell you to update your motherboard bios, too.

Even with all that, you'll notice a lot of people in the thread saying it doesn't work. People are spending hundreds of dollars buying new ram and motherboards to fix their problems, but the cards keep crackling/screeching.

My suggestion, if you REALLY want an X-Fi (which sounds and performs marginally better in games, but not in anything else), roll the dice and get one. Otherwise, grab the revolution. I'm definitely not sorry I did.
 
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#6
I have 3gb of ram and no xfi issues. If your x-fi crackles either the games audio is too loud combined with the card output volume being high or your pci bus is very busy which a bios upgrade should fix to a degree.

Lastly - creative advise against using beta drivers and overclocking with the xfi installed.

I advise against non-creative audio prducts unless you are in the pro-audio market.

[posts merged - kcnychief]
 
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#7
LordOfLA said:
I advise against non-creative audio prducts unless you are in the pro-audio market.
Why is that?

With the M-Audio card, you can have all the ram you want, turn the audio up anywhere you want, not have to upgrade your bios, don't have to buy a new motherboard, can use beta drivers with all your stuff, overclock, and still have no issues. I'm not saying every Creative card will crackle, but there are quite a few (thousands of) upset customers in Creative's forums that warrant at least a little caution.
 
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#8
Compared to how many satisfied customers?? I can do whatever I want with my system with my x-fi card. I have 3GB ram, I use beta drivers I have my asus bios adjust overclock settings on the fly and have no issues.

Just because a few thousand people cant build and maintain a computer properly is no reason not to buy the best consumer audio product available.
 
#10
"I didn't have problems with mine, thus everyone in the universe who does have problems doesn't know how to use a computer."

That's the general response that the thousands of us whose cards don't work get from those who defend Creative. No logic or reasoning; they just tell us our problems don't exist and we don't know how to use computers (even though most of us have built them from the ground up and don't have any other computer issues).

If you were a cabinet maker and someone told you that your work was shoddy, Creative labs wouldn't jump in and them "well he did good work for us, so the work he did for you is also good. If you think it isn't, it means you don't know how to use a cabinet." Why do the same for them? They don't care about you personally; they're just a corporation out to make money.

And to tell me I don't know how to use a computer is directly insulting (not that I haven't seen it before in the CL forums). If you were having a problem with hardware and posted a thread about it, I wouldn't pop up in your thread and tell you that you don't know how to use a computer.
 
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Aprox

Moderator
Political User
#11
I personally have a X-Fi and I love it, the sound quality is excellent and the game performance is nice too. I had a Audigy 2 before and this is most definitely better. The Xtreame music version is the only one worth the money however, the others are simply a huge rip-off.

I think the people that are having issues are the ones who purchased the card when it first came out. I read that creative has since updated the firmware to the card as well as other various fixes. For example my card has a heat sink on the primary IC, others with the older version do not have this.
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#12
Not sure if everyone is old enough yet, but I compare the first day I listened to music through my Creative X-Fi to the first day I got behind the wheel with my license. It really is an amazing experience. You haven't listened to music on your computer until you have heard it through this card, period.

I have 2.1 speakers too, but only because of space. Still sounds absolutely amazing.
 

Aprox

Moderator
Political User
#13
I felt a similar way the first time I played BF2 with the X-Fi. It just sounds amazing, seriously 10 times better then the Audigy 2.

I think it might be wise to invest in a nice 5.1 setup as well. the Z-5500's are a must.... totally kick ass ultimate speakers for the PC. :)
 

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
#15
kcnychief said:
Not sure if everyone is old enough yet, but I compare the first day I listened to music through my Creative X-Fi to the first day I got behind the wheel with my license. It really is an amazing experience. You haven't listened to music on your computer until you have heard it through this card, period.

I have 2.1 speakers too, but only because of space. Still sounds absolutely amazing.
Nice analogy, and I totally agree. I have the platnium version (would've regretted not having that drive bay option later on) and I love it.
 
#16
I have the X-Fi Platinum and I love it. The nice thing about these cards are the advanced sound features now. But there is a setback at the moment. It seems to be firmware or driver related (associated with the motherboards). The cards are producing a crackling/popping noise while playing games. Apparently it has something to do with higher end systems using most of the PCI bus available, placing the X-Fi's further down the list to receive information and bus speed, which in turn causes theses sounds. Since the sound needs to be at the same speed as the video cards, and there is a delay of bus speed to the card, these problems arise. Currently, Nvidia and Creative are working on a solution for these problems.
 

iceman7311

OSNN Senior Addict
#17
i am very happy with my x-fi(now that i fianally found a way to connect the front pannel). if you listen to music play games or whatch movies you should get it. you won't regret it. plus plus if you game it will take a little bit of stress of the cpu.
 

ray_gillespie

OSNN Veteran Addict
Political User
#18
Ok guys, thanks for all the great responses. My only remaining question over the X-fi is roughly how much performance gain I can expect from moving to the X-fi card from crappy on-board AC97 audio. Anyone got any suggestions?

PS I've repped too much in the last 24 hours so anyone that's not received any will hopefully get it later today :)
 

Electronic Punk

willalwaysbewithyou
Staff member
Political User
#19
I remember an article on hardocp (and haven't been able to find it) that had the audigy2 vs onboard and the audigy 2 won on several benchmarks including a general 3dmark test.
 

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