1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

X-Fi....worth the upgrade?

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Griffyn, 3 Jun 2006.

  1. Griffyn

    Gangster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2004

    Posts: 394

    Well I am going to sell my current setup soon and go down the conroe route most likely with an x1900 xt-x. My pc is used alot for gaming, watching movies and listening 2 music. I currently have a Creative Audigy ZS2 THX 7.1 card with the Creative 7.1 Gigaworks S750.

    Now is it worth keeping this card or sell it with the current rig and use onboard sound or upgrade and get the Creative X-Fi.

    I admit I am audiophile and one of those annoying people who can hear the difference between 192 and 320kbps MP3's especially in my car which has Alpine Type-R Speakers (if ** not in the know they sound rather nice).

    Also since its a gaming rig I want to get the best FPS possible so presume onboard cpu power will be used if I use the onboard sound and surely this wont be as good?

    Cheers for the replies :)
     
  2. charltonfan1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,050

    Location: Reading

    If you are an audiophile then you will definitely hear an improvement. I'm no audio-know-it-all but noticed a decent improvement with an X-FI over onboard sound.


    Its also meant to be a nice step up from the audigy 2 aswell
     
  3. fish99

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 5,055

    Location: Doncaster

    CPU usage of Audigy 2 ZS and X-Fi are very similar based on the detailed X-Fi review I read. However, onboard does use significantly more CPU cycles. In a situation where a games framerate is CPU limited, there would be a framerate cost from using onboard - nothing huge - but if you've spent that extra £40 on a 5% faster CPU, you don't want to lose that 5%. If the framerate is video card limited though, there would be little measurable difference.

    Whether a games framerate is CPU or video card limited can vary from second to second though based on the complexity of the current scene being rendered. Personally I wouldn't put together a great gaming system and then use onboard.
     
  4. Griffyn

    Gangster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2004

    Posts: 394

    Ok so is the sound difference big enough to warrant buying "Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music" over the Audigy ZS 2 THX 7.1....bearing in mind I already have the ZS 2 THX 7.1. Just that since the cheapest X-Fi is £80 this could be the difference between a new conroe 6700 and 6600 or something. Cheeers
     
  5. charltonfan1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,050

    Location: Reading

    Do you know someone who has one you can listen too?

    Remember you'l fetch £30 or £40 for your audigy if you sell it which you can put toward the X-Fi
     
  6. TooNice

    Hitman

    Joined: 7 Mar 2006

    Posts: 545

    I agree, might as well sell the A2ZS and get an X-Fi. In terms of hardware (DAC/Op-amp) I don't think there is a major/any difference between the ZS and the lower end X-Fi. However the weakness in pre X-Fi card is that they resample when you play music, and the resampling algorithm isn't great. Both issues are fixed in the X-Fi series (no resampling in Audio Creation mode, and the resampling algorithm is considered good in other mode).
     
  7. ja3h

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jun 2005

    Posts: 999

    Location: London

    yeah i upgraded from an audigy 2zs to a extreme music and i definately noticed an improvement, especially with the crytalizer on!
     
  8. Griffyn

    Gangster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2004

    Posts: 394

    Unfortunately I dont know any1 with a X-Fi. I must admit tho I dont talk about pcs to ppl considering I wld jst get strange looks and most people would probably consider it a bad hobby!

    That is true I will get money for my Audigy ZS2.

    I have read a few reviews and they reckon the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS Edition is a worthwhile upgrade. The only thing they dont seem to mention is what the hell is the remote used for? I mean what can be done with it? I think I may go for this card since I quite like the input in the 3.5" bay plus the onboard memory sounds like it will useful in the future and the card is meant to better so may as well go for it :rolleyes:
     
  9. TooNice

    Hitman

    Joined: 7 Mar 2006

    Posts: 545

    IMO, it is worth thinking if you need the connectivity first.
    The Xtreme Music -> Fatal1ty all use the same DAC/Op-amp, so no difference from a music playback point of view. I am also skeptical about the benefit of the onboard memory (completely negligible right now, and by the time games really benefit from it, if it ever does, we'll probably be seeing the X-Fi's successor). That makes the Fatal1ty the worse buy IMO. If you don't need the connectivity, the Xtreme Music is the best buy, if you need it, the Platinum would be the next best. The Elite Pro is the versatile right now since it actually has upgraded DAC/op-amp that puts it in the same class as some pro card (with gaming support and all decent connectivity)... But it comes at a very significant price premium and is probably overkill for the Gigaworks S750. As for the remote control, it can be used with the Creative media center. Not much use really when you are at your desk, but if you watch movies/listen to music from your bed it might come in handy (personally, I've not used mine so far).
     
    Last edited: 3 Jun 2006
  10. pastymuncher

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 12 Jul 2005

    Posts: 18,862

    Location: Aberlour, NE Scotland

    If you look around you can get the Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music for £55.95 (£ 65.74 inc VAT) and in stock too.
     
  11. Griffyn

    Gangster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2004

    Posts: 394

    Still dont know about the Fatal1ty as I know BF2 uses it and I am sure BF2142 will also use it.....and well BF2 is my fav game currently!

    Also the ports on the front would be useful.

    Also I do watch a fair amount of stuff on the pc at uni and listen to music pretty much all the time. So remote could be handy. Would you be able to use it for winamp though? Maybe a hack for it somewhere?
     
  12. TooNice

    Hitman

    Joined: 7 Mar 2006

    Posts: 545

    Well, look at it this way: http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2518&p=10

    Hardly any difference between the X-Fi Elite Pro and Audigy 4 Pro in terms of performance. Even in BF2 where the X-RAM is supposed to do something, it doesn't do very much. That's why I think the Platinum is a better buy than the Fatal1ty. If you really want to go above the Platinum though, I would go Elite Pro simply because it has better DAC/Op-amp for music.
     
  13. Griffyn

    Gangster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2004

    Posts: 394

    Okay points noted....will see what the prices are like when I come to build rig in a few months or so. But the difference in price between the x-fi platinum and fata1ty are quite minimal so seems more future proof to get the one with the X-ram. Since I do like the idea of the inputs on the front.
     
  14. spinna

    Hitman

    Joined: 14 May 2003

    Posts: 978

    Location: Liverpool

    ive just gone from a Audigy 2 ZS to a X-Fi Fatal1ty and im over the moon with it :)
     
  15. Nelly

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 Dec 2003

    Posts: 6,985

    Location: Grimsby, UK

    Did yours install easily? My pc wont boot up just locks up before anything gets on the screen, maybe my Xi-Fi is duff - The Audigy 2 ZS works when I replace it, removed drivers etc prior to install. :confused:
     
  16. spinna

    Hitman

    Joined: 14 May 2003

    Posts: 978

    Location: Liverpool

    yeah works fine.
    i used a program called driver cleaner to get rid of my old Audigy 2 ZS drivers ,how about you?
    try putting you card in a differanct PCI slot and see if it works.(also have you got your onboard sound disabled?)
     
  17. Griffyn

    Gangster

    Joined: 17 Jun 2004

    Posts: 394

    Cheers Spinna is good to hear.....I am 99% sure I will go with it.
     
  18. KnightStalker

    Soldato

    Joined: 27 Apr 2004

    Posts: 5,536

    Location: Doncaster, S.Yorks

    i went from an audidgy 2 zs to a x-fi extreme music today, and there is a difference on my £400 setup, things are alot clearer, more pronounced (sp?), havent tried games yet, but i cant see it being worse.
     
  19. Nelly

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 Dec 2003

    Posts: 6,985

    Location: Grimsby, UK

    Aye I used driver cleaner, tried different PCI Slots, onboard sound was already disabled, I even tried resetting the bios, I think I'll go for an RMA I'm 100% certain its the card.
     
  20. spinna

    Hitman

    Joined: 14 May 2003

    Posts: 978

    Location: Liverpool

    :( sounds like a duff card