Friday, May 16th 2008

Creative Unveils X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Series PCI-E Sound Cards

Creative, a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, today announces the PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series and PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series sound cards, unleashing the full power of Creative X-Fi hardware audio processing for PCI Express-based PCs.


The new PCI Express Creative sound cards each feature a striking design that screams “high performance.” Creative will equip the world's best professional PC gamers, who are now competing in the Championship Gaming Series (CGS), with the new PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series, the official sound card of the CGS, the only worldwide professional video gaming league.

“Audio plays a huge factor in professional gaming, where every competitive advantage can make the difference between winning and losing. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty edition sound cards significantly enhance any professional gaming rig, enabling us to hear what we can't see and perform at our highest level,” said Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, world champion gaming legend and exclusive on-air analyst for the CGS.

“I demand extreme performance from my PC, and I won't settle for less than Sound Blaster X-Fi. It gives me the huge advantage of hearing my opponent before they can see me, and finishing them off before they can do anything about it,” said Yazan “Clown” Ammari, Counter-Strike Source member of the San Francisco Optx CGS team.

“We've developed the PCI Express models of our Sound Blaster X-Fi gaming sound cards to meet the specific requests that we've received from end users,” said Steve Erickson, VP and GM of audio and VLSI for Creative. “We have re-architected our X-Fi processor so we can deliver even more performance and provide the best audio available on the PC today. You'll know why it's worth the upgrade to PCI Express the second you hear it. We've also added Dolby Digital encoding, for connection to a home theater system for an awesome gaming experience. We created an entirely

new I/O drive with an innovative design that can fit either a 3 ½” or 5 ¼” drive bay. Plus, the Sound Blaster Titanium series cards are optimized for Windows Vista with UAA-compliant hardware.”

The PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series features Dolby Digital encoding, for single-cable connection to home theater systems. The card leverages the power of the X-Fi processor optimized for PCI Express to deliver accelerated audio for improved game performance, with ultra-realistic EAX 5.0 effects and 3D positional audio. Hardware-powered 3D positional audio and EAX 5.0 effects provide stunning positional audio realism over headphones and speakers, for a much more immersive gaming experience than any motherboard audio solution can offer. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series also vastly improves voice chat clarity in online games where collaboration is vital.

“With its superb audio fidelity, EAX 5.0 support, and 128 hardware-accelerated voices, the Sound Blaster X-Fi is simply the best way to experience the rich soundscape of Guild Wars. Gamers who really care about how their PCs sound should give it a serious listen,” said James Boer, ArenaNet audio programmer and Game Audio Programming author.

The new PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series sound card includes all of the features of the PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series, plus an internal I/O drive for quick front panel connection to headphones and headsets. This versatile internal I/O drive design offers the choice of placement in either a 3 ½” or 5 ¼” drive bay. The 3 ½” drive features mic-in and headphone-out connections. This drive slides inside the 5 ¼” drive, which adds RCA line-in connections.

The world's first native PCI Express hardware accelerated sound cards, the PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series and PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Championship Series sound cards also feature:
  • Creative X-Fi processor specifically designed for high-speed PCI Express slots in modern PCs
  • X-Fi Crystalizer technology, which leverages audio algorithms to intelligently and selectively determine how to restore the highs and lows from sound effects, instruments and vocals and voices that were damaged or diminished during the MP3, AAC, game audio or other compression processes
  • X-Fi CMSS-3D technology, to create virtual surround sound through speakers or headphones in games or music. In games, you hear your opponents in their exact location. With music, the sound expands so it completely surrounds you
  • Dolby Digital support for compelling 5.1 surround sound through a home theater system
  • Creative ALchemy to restore EAX and surround sound in DirectSound game titles running under Vista
  • Certified UAA compliance for maximum Windows Vista compatibility
  • X-RAM dedicated audio memory to boost performance in select games
  • THX Certified surround sound for cinematic movie audio playback
  • PowerDVD software with DTS-ES and Dolby Digital-EX decoding
  • 24-bit audio quality and 109db SNR audio clarity
  • ASIO recording support with latency as low as one millisecond with minimal CPU load
Source: Creative
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91 Comments on Creative Unveils X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Series PCI-E Sound Cards

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Finally, they port the CA20K1 to PCI-E. This will own a Auzen X-Fi Prelude.
Posted on Reply
#2
FatForester
Creative needs to stop adding more adjectives to their products. 'The Creative Mega Super Extreme Sound Blaster X-Fi Professional Fatal1ty Titanium Champion Series PCI-E Sound Card!' is a bit redundant!
Posted on Reply
#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: FatForester
Creative needs to stop adding more adjectives to their products. 'The Creative Mega Super Extreme Sound Blaster X-Fi Professional Fatal1ty Titanium Champion Series PCI-E Sound Card!' is a bit redundant!
Why? Don't video-card / GPU / CPU / [insert component here] vendors do the same?
Posted on Reply
#4
Black Panther
Senior Moderator™
This officially supports Vista apparently.

Great. :rolleyes:

That's why they threatened a modder with legal action when he adapted the drivers for their current x-fi cards to work well under Vista... :ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#5
imperialreign
The new PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series sound card includes all of the features of the PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series, plus an internal I/O drive for quick front panel connection to headphones and headsets. This versatile internal I/O drive design offers the choice of placement in either a 3 ½” or 5 ¼” drive bay. The 3 ½” drive features mic-in and headphone-out connections. This drive slides inside the 5 ¼” drive, which adds RCA line-in connections.
interesting I/O drive . . . I wonder, though, if they've actually gotten away from that damned proprietary front panel connector on their cards?


I'd fathom as well that this card will more than likely be PCIEx1. It's nice to see that the BUS hungry APU be given a little more bandwidth than PCI can provide. I might just have to pick one of these up . . .

I get the feeling this will be the first of the new X-Fi series; we're probably going to end up with as many X-Fi cards as there are Audigy cards
Posted on Reply
#7
Exavier
I wanna know why ALchemy is still being used..I'd prefer a Asus Xonar v2 until I see a comprehensive report of these newer X-Fi cards...

..and is it me, or has Fatal1ty become a bit of a cop out?
Posted on Reply
#8
FatForester
by: btarunr
Why? Don't video-card / GPU / CPU / [insert component here] vendors do the same?
Oh yea, but Creative definitely takes the cake. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#9
sinner33
Man that whole naming scheme is hard to say in one breath. Why can't they go with something easier to say? :wtf:
Posted on Reply
#10
imperialreign
here's some more news from vr-zone: http://www.vr-zone.com/articles/Creative_Unveiled_X-Fi_Titanium_Fatal1ty_Series/5781.html

they also claim an initial price of $299 . . . $150 without the I/O bundle - both varieties are already up for sale on Creative's website: http://www.soundblaster.com/products/product.asp?category=209&subcategory=669&product=17791



of major interest, these pics:












I want pics without the EMI shield!!!! Dammit! :banghead:


Guessing by that PCB size, they've been able to cut down some of the redundant architecture . . . hopefully. I'm a bit worried on the size, though, as that's the same size as the Xtreme Audio and a couple of the Audigy cards.
Posted on Reply
#11
Specsaver
by: imperialreign

Guessing by that PCB size, they've been able to cut down some of the redundant architecture . . . hopefully. I'm a bit worried on the size, though, as that's the same size as the Xtreme Audio and a couple of the Audigy cards.
Judging by features this is a fully fledged X-Fi with a few bits added, primarily, and this seems to have gone unnoticed here, it has Dolby Live encoding. That's cool.
Posted on Reply
#12
imperialreign
by: Specsaver
Judging by features this is a fully fledged X-Fi with a few bits added, primarily, and this seems to have gone unnoticed here, it has Dolby Live encoding. That's cool.
kinda sad on the encoding - the X-Fi's are capable of it, but the features were locked out . . . I think that had more to do with any deal between Creative, Dolby and Auzentech; as the Auzen Prelude had encoding enabled. I think pressure from competitors is what finally drove Creative to enable it with a new card.


but still, I'm a bit leary of wht lurks under that shield. Creative tried passing the Xtreme Audio and Xtreme Audio PCIEx1 off as full-fledged X-Fis, which they weren't . . . but with this card stouting the Fatal1ty logo, it should defi be packing the X-Fi APU.

But, it's still a small card compared to the full-PCB designs of the current Fatal1ty, Elite Pro and the Prelude . . . and I fathom there'd have to be a PCIE chip on the card as well . . . I'm just curious what they cut, re-arranged, or re-worked to make this idea viable without sacrificing quality/performance.
Posted on Reply
#13
INSTG8R
Hmm TBH it looks a bit cheapish for a Fatality. No nice connectors on the back. It looks like my first mistake Creative buy, the Audigy LS....
As much as I would like a bit wider pipe my current Fatality does a fine job and I dont see anything "better" being offered here other than the PCI-E interface, I only see less...
Posted on Reply
#14
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Card looks Razer-ish. A lot like the AC-1 with the jacks instead of HD-DAI. Dimpled EMI shields are the next big thing, those pits you see aren't fancy decor, it deflects EMI better.
Posted on Reply
#15
EastCoasthandle
by: btarunr
Finally, they port the CA20K1 to PCI-E. This will own a Auzen X-Fi Prelude.
Shouldn't you be more concern about what's under that covering :wtf:
My question about all this is if they listened to the modding community by adding the appropriate high quality components or did they just move from a PCI to PCIe with a some fluff? The cover is a bit concerning as an advertising piece. I like to see what's on the board.
Posted on Reply
#16
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: EastCoasthandle
Shouldn't you be more concern about what's under that covering :wtf:
I am, I'm talking to quite a few sound-card guys all over the web to get a pic of what's under the EMI shield.

I will dismiss that there's no CA20K1 because:

A. Creative haven't come-up with a new APU, maybe this is a CA20K 2? (CA20K1 + bus translation ).

B. They wouldn't advertise features such as EAX 5.0 without the CA20K1 since it still is a hardware accelerated feature. You never know, though because the ASUS SupremeFX X-Fi uses software-accelerated EAX 4.0 HD which we all thought couldn't be soft-accelerated.

If you have a PCI X-Fi and its running without problems, there is no reason for you to buy this. Unless you just went Crossfire/SLI and blocked a PCI slot.
Posted on Reply
#17
imperialreign
by: btarunr
I am, I'm talking to quite a few sound-card guys all over the web to get a pic of what's under the EMI shield.

I will dismiss that there's no CA20K1 because:

A. Creative haven't come-up with a new APU, maybe this is a CA20K 2? (CA20K1 + bus translation ).

B. They wouldn't advertise features such as EAX 5.0 without the CA20K1 since it still is a hardware accelerated feature. You never know, though because the ASUS SupremeFX X-Fi uses software-accelerated EAX 4.0 HD which we all thought couldn't be soft-accelerated.

If you have a PCI X-Fi and its running without problems, there is no reason for you to buy this. Unless you just went Crossfire/SLI and blocked a PCI slot.
or if you want supported Dolby encoding from a Creative card . . . but if Dolby is yer deal, Auzen and ASUS have better sound quality for entertainment purposes.


Im really interested in seeing pics of this little thing nekkid - I want to see how they're translating for the PCIE BUS to the APU, unless this will stout a revised APU with integrated support . . . curious. From what little bit I can tell from current pics, the PCB looks like it's going to be rather crowded.

Big thing for me, though, is I'm looking forward to the performance reviews. The PCI Fatal1ty is already fast as hell, and this card could theorheticlly stomp the crap out of that due to the increased bandwidth across the PCIE BUS as compared to a standard PCI line.

On the EMI shield, yes, the dimples help a lot - it also appears they had the foresight to directly attach the EMI shield to the PCI bracket, which helps ground the plate for further shielding capabilities - first audio card I've seen with an EMI sheild to do that.
Posted on Reply
#18
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
If it's the same old CA20K1 even with an on-die bus translation, you can expect high latency. It can actually mess with ASIO based recording setups in some cases.
Posted on Reply
#19
imperialreign
by: btarunr
If it's the same old CA20K1 even with an on-die bus translation, you can expect high latency. It can actually mess with ASIO based recording setups in some cases.
true, and it'd require a translator chip on the card as well, which can be quite large in and of itself . . .

and based on that PCB size . . .





odd, though, how no review sites heard hide nor hair of this thing, and all of a sudden it's up for sale . . . typically there's at least 1 "hands on" review before release . . . :confused:
Posted on Reply
#20
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: imperialreign
true, and it'd require a translator chip on the card as well, which can be quite large in and of itself . . .

and based on that PCB size . . .





odd, though, how no review sites heard hide nor hair of this thing, and all of a sudden it's up for sale . . . typically there's at least 1 "hands on" review before release . . . :confused:
After all that happened between PC enthusiasts and Creative in the last year or so, this release lacks enthusiasm from a lot of people who were 'ZOMG!' when the original X-Fi released. Even the reliable friend of mine from Singapore is like "really? they released a new card? how did all this happen" - the sort of cold reaction similar to when you wake up in Hawaii and discover the Nasdaq index taking the fall.
Posted on Reply
#21
EastCoasthandle
One has to ask if this was the card that would be "Vista Compatible...". During their public "posting debacle" many knew a new card was on the way.
Posted on Reply
#22
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
You would still need ALchemy. It's advertised on the website as well. As long as you want your DirectSound games to exploit hardware EAX acceleration in Vista, you'd need ALchemy, unless MS replaces DirectSound to what is was during DX 9.0c
Posted on Reply
#23
imperialreign
I'm interested to see how and what kind of issues might arise with these cards, especially in Vista.

I'm hoping, though, Creative is starting to turn their stuff around and march back towards being a company I remember while growing up; not this money-grubbing corporate monstrosity they've turned out to be over the last decade.


This, combined with making ALchemy free for all users, might just be a good start . . . time will tell.
Posted on Reply
#24
1c3d0g
Creative is dead. They recycle the same old crappy products as new yet the company can't even release some decent drivers. Talk about a greedy company! :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#25
Para_Franck
I will start to be interested when the hardware supports all these fancy audio things + a Physics engine! Now that piece of equipment would have the arguments to find it's way in my CM690!

Franck
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