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Creative Sound Blaster Z Sound Card

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Frederik S, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. CiroConsentino New Member

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    hi, are you talking about the Z series card ? If that's true then it's a relief since I still play a few games with OpenAL / EAX effects.
  2. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    I think I love this card.... even if it does use Alchemy to bring EAX back to the game. Compared to the Asus Xonar audio cards Ive owned this is just leagues ahead when it comes to gaming.

    tbh, now that i think about it. I dont know why I ever left creative in the first place. I used to own an XFi Titanium Fatality Pro card but it died then i decide to give Asus a go.... worst decision I ever made.
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  3. ZakkWylde

    ZakkWylde

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    feel like selling your asus card?
  4. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Yes as a matter of fact - Providing you want to pay shipping to CA from the UK
  5. ZakkWylde

    ZakkWylde

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    What do you think it would be all together?
  6. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    No idea - but for that distance Id definitely get a courier to deliver instead of letting the postal service handle it.

    Where abouts in CA are you? theres a good chance that shipping will just kill any deal i make and it would probably be cheaper buying from NCIX or newegg
  7. ZakkWylde

    ZakkWylde

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    yhpm, figure its worth asking anyway
  8. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Use a third party headphones amp that's connected to the card's line-out (analog), or TOSLINK (digital).
  9. james888

    james888

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    Well, if I ever do upgrade from my dg, I think I will go to creative just by what you just said.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  10. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Ive owned a Xonar D2X and STX.

    If you are a gamer the only way to go is Creative or with a brand that uses Creative tech in their cards like Auzentech.

    I would stick to the Xonar if my rig was just for music/movies - for this application there is no better sounding soundcard for the job.

    Asus's EAX emulation is really terrible.

    Granted that no games are made with EAX anymore but games still SOUND better with the creative then the Xonar(s)
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
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  11. james888

    james888

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    Well I decided to take a leap of faith and by my xonar dg for $10. I could not believe how much better everything sounded. The guns in world of tanks had a awesome sounding boom compared to the thud that my stock audio had. This computer really is only used for gaming.

    Is creative, say the card of this review, that much better than what I have?
    Crunching for Team TPU
  12. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    I would say so, the DG is definitely a budget orientated card. Its very cheap but it sounds great for music/movies which is why its such a good budget buy. for gaming and especially games that rely or feature EAX or directional audio (surroundsound) then the Creative is more accurate at producing them correctly.

    to simply put it Xonar cards can be a small nightmare when it comes to gaming.

    Ive been a Xonar user for years and i stuck by Asus hoping their drivers would improve things but the truth is, driver updates are so rare and updates never fix gaming related issues or problems regarding the EAX emulation.

    Even the modded drivers in my sig are better but they still cant improve it to the same level as the creative when it comes to gaming.

    This SB-Z would make a good upgrade.
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  13. james888

    james888

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    In fact, I do use the drivers in your sig.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  14. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    well if you got some disposable income loitering about - this is a good time to spend it :laugh: you wont know how good it really is till you try it.
  15. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    Tally up another Creative endorser!

    I really wish Creative would come out and educate their potential customers. I think they are hesitant to reach out because of the possible backlash from those silly reviewers and supposed enthusiast gamers that keep repeating the same crap over and over until enough new gamers believe it. When not for ignorance, then for spite.

    For years now I keep hearing the same regurgitated nonsense about how great gaming audio quality is with onboard sound and there's no reason to buy audio cards anymore. Yet more regurg I see quite often is the claim certain Xonar cards are equal to, or better than, Creative cards, for gaming. Guess what? I have partial hearing loss in one ear and half deaf in the other.....yet even I can notice immediately the difference between onboard quality vs the real thing. I don't care if the onboard chip is from Creative IT WILL NOT BE AS GOOD AS THE REAL THING, PERIOD. Maybe one day that will change, but not today and not tomorrrow either.

    I've been gaming on PCs for over thirty years and trust me, I've tried nearly every combination out there at one time or another. The real truth is most casual gamers don't even know how to adjust settings or the proper way to install/update drivers. Many of your favorite enthusiastic forum members are just that...enthused, and not well versed in all things PC. It has to be a seemless experience for them of plugging in the card, clicking on the driver install and not much else beyond that. Anyone familiar with hardware and software beyond assembly and user interface understands that it's not always so simple. Settings must be adjusted according to the intended use both in-game and through Creative software. Different games require different adjustments, same as graphics/visual quality. Maybe if some of these gamers spent even half as much time fiddling with audio quality as they do overclocking their GPU and adjusting image quality then they might change their tune. But they must be educated first.

    If not for the SB Live! (and console commands, muhuhuhaha) I'd never have been much good at competing in say, Quake, TFC, CS on any of the big clan servers. Just plugging in the card and installing the drivers was a MAJOR improvement back then, but not good enough. Those seeking out methods to gain advantage found the console to be useful for increasing footstep sounds even further and disabling other sounds. What did help were console commands which allowed for this type of adjustment to be made in-game and were not known to most gamers then, and still aren't today. You see, at competitive levels of gaming every advantage counts. Hearing footsteps alone isn't good enough if you can't tell from what direction they come from. And here is where Creative comes in to play. They are practically spoon-feeding this ability to gamers today with very little adjustments necessary other than game-specific settings. It's all on the game developers at this point to add these features in.

    You don't need to be an audiophile or hardware guru to enjoy these advantages. You simply need to read, read, and read some more. Try to understand audio technology in the way you think you understand PC hardware in general.

    Don't go hog wild on a gaming build, spending two weeks getting your CPU overclock 'stable', another week on the GPU overclock, and then no time at all spent on the audio end other than installing the driver, plugging in the cans and hoping for the best.

    lol?
  16. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    audiophiles dont need gimmicks such as 'scout mode' - Also general consensus is that Asus Xonar cards sound better for media use and Im not the only individual who shares this opinion, you could go on Guru3D and they would say the same thing,

    Asus trips over their own feet by making this great sounding soundcard then not putting the necessary support behind it. Have you ever been to Asus's soundcard forums?? Its a user-to-user based forum and there are barely a handful of Asus reps that use the forum and those that do rarely interact or reply with the other members let alone reply to threads where people are having issues with their Asus soundcard.

    youre lucky to get driver updates once a year, DS3D GX (EAX emulation) is a complete joke and either breaks the game, causes audio clipping & sound anomalies in games or just totally crashes the game all together.

    I think that Asus Xonar reviewers generally get paid off to lie to the public about how great the cards are especially when it comes to gaming. Lets face it. hardware audio acceleration i.e. directsound no longer exists because Microsoft killed it off and the whole selling point of having a creative soundcard or at least a soundcard dedicated for gaming has long since gone out the window.


    I played Killingfloor with Hardware+3D turned on with my creative card. the difference in sound was night and day, no more audio clipping and everything just sounded more full and crisp especially when it came to sounds of SMGs going at full auto.

    There are still a lot of games out there that support EAX/DirectSound that almost EVERYBODY with a steam account either owns or plays religiously, titles like L4D 1&2, CS:S. TF2, Killingfloor - etc etc


    So for the reason that Asus Xonars are just totally poo poo when it comes to gaming. Creative is definitely the way to go. but for great audio fidelity when it comes to music and other media - Xonars cannot be matched.

    I love my music, and having owned a Xonar D2X and STX - they were a real joy to listen to when i played my music.

    However, I am a gamer and I believe that the Creative SB-Z is quite a balanced card in general. it sacrifices that ultra high audio fidelity for a better gaming experience. Thats not to say that the SB--Z sounds shit when it comes to music and movies, It does an amazing job. but not to the same high standard as the Xonars.


    Its all about picking the right card for your needs. I would never recommend a Xonar to a fellow gamer. Even though directsound is dead theres is something about Creative cards that still does things right when it comes to supporting older titles.
  17. igyb New Member

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    eax

    With alchemy will the zx be able to play eax 5.0 and earlier sound in windows 7? Or do I have to stick with xfi for that?
  18. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Alchemy will work.
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  19. igyb New Member

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    Will it also work with older EAX titles in winxp (I dual boot) ?
  20. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    And why would you need it for XP? xp supports directsound. The only reason Alchemy came about was because Microsoft removed directsound from every OS after vista
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  21. igyb New Member

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    Sorry I meant will the Sound Blaster Zx still process all EAX 1.0-5.0 in xp?
  22. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    If there are even drivers for WinXP, then yes.

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