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Creative Releases Version 2.18.0008 Sound Blaster X-Fi Driver

Creative updated drivers for its Sound Blaster X-Fi series sound cards to version 2.18.0008. The driver covers all X-Fi series sound cards based on the CA-20K series audio processors, that includes the X-Fi Titanium Series, Xtreme Gamer Series, Xtreme Music, Platinum and Elite Pro. The new drivers add to the capabilities of the sound card in a Windows Vista environment, notably Dolby Digital and DTS decode for certain models, a feature that was lost in the transit between Windows XP and Vista. DVD-Audio playback for models which included the MediaSource DVD-Audio Player application has been re-established as a feature in 32-bit Windows Vista.

Fixes relating to issues such as audio popping/crackling during AC-3, PCM or Dolby Digital through digital outputs of the card, have been brought about. The driver also fixes erratic CMSS-3D behaviour in the Audio Creation mode. The driver can be downloaded from Creative Worldwide Support website.

Auzentech Unveils X-Fi Forte 7.1 Native PCI Express Soundcard

Auzentech has unveiled the X-Fi Forte PCI-Express sound card. The Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1 is the first Low Profile native PCI express audio card that Auzentech has designed especially for gamers and audiophiles. Compared to the X-Fi chipset reference design, the Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1 has improved circuitry and components.
"A large percentage of our customers are both gamers and audiophiles," said Stephane Bae, president of Auzentech, Inc. "Increasingly, they are requesting a low-profile sound card with 'mind-blowing' audio playback for music, movies, and games. We created the Auzen X-Fi Forte with these customers in mind."

Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD PCI-E Sound Card Release Delayed Until January 2009

Auzentech, an exclusive Creative partner, informed recently that it has revised the release date for its Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD soundcard to the last week of January 2009. The Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD soundcard was originally scheduled for release sometime in September or October of 2008.
"I regret delaying the product release," said Stephane Bae, president of Auzentech, Inc. "The decision came suddenly due to strategic marketing changes by our partners. These partners have been instrumental in making the Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD an industry-supported audio solution. When it is released at the end of January, it will include the necessary software to access the advanced HD capabilities of the soundcard—and much of that software comes from our partners."
The Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD is a premium sound card, that will compete well with ASUSTeK's recently launched Xonar Essence STX. When released it will offer PCI-e x1 interface, Creative's 20K2 sound core, 64MB X-RAM, HDMI 1.3a output and some of the latest audio technologies in the market, such as Dolby Digital Live, DTS Connect, ASIO 2.0 and EAX 5.0. The card is also said to be able to output multichannel audio from Blu-ray discs with no downsampling, and play high bit-rate audio such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream without altering the original sound. For more information, please visit Auzentech.Source: Auzentech

Creative Releases Official 32-bit Linux X-Fi Driver

Creative staff has announced that it is ready with its first release of drivers for Sound Blaster X-Fi sound cards, that supports 32-bit Linux. The driver comes in the form of a source tar-ball. The drivers allow seemless operation over ALSA. Updates to the x86_64 drivers are provided as well. This driver applies to all X-Fi series sound cards based on the CA-20K series audio processor. Its known issues include lack of functionality for external I/O modules, and that there are no Linux versions of the applications Creative bundles in its Driver CDs, which work under Windows, as of now.

To download the drivers, select your compatible Sound Blaster X-Fi model from this page and choose Linux under the manual selection drop-down to list Linux drivers.Source: Creative Forums

Creative Expands X-Fi Titanium Lineup

Creative has expanded its Sound Blaster (SB) X-Fi Lineup with two new entries. The Titanium series marked Creative's entry into true PCI-Express hardware-accelerated audio. The Titanium series cards are said to have a tweaked CA-20K audio processing core that has native PCI-Express interconnects to the rest of the system. It is also said to run a lot cooler than its older variant featured in some of the PCI versions of Sound Blaster X-Fi.

First up, is SB X-Fi Titanium. This vanilla version of the card features the same PCB as the other variants. It is best put as the successor to X-Fi Xtreme Gamer. It has the same audio processor, DAC and OPAMP circuit, just that the X-RAM buffer isn't provided. In its place, a low-capacity memory chip that keeps the CA-20K operational is present. That shouldn't in any way affect its function or quality, except that the X-RAM feature which will be lacking. The card lacks an EMI shield as well. This card has been put on sale for weeks now, on popular etailers such as Newegg. It carries a price tag of around US $100.

Next is the card we are interested in, the card is SB X-Fi Titanium Professional Audio. In many respects, the card is close to being identical to the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional. The card lacks the Fatal1ty branding, perhaps to give it an audiophile card's look. It bundles 3.5mm to RCA converter cables. The software bundle includes Creative Media Toolbox, a content creation software kit that takes advantage of the card's Audio Creation Mode. Other than that, nothing else advertised seems to differentiate it from the Fatal1ty card. It has been published on Creative's Hong Kong website here, and is priced at approximately US $154.

Creative Announces X-Fi Notebook ExpressCard

Creative today announced the Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook ExpressCard. As the name suggests, device is a sound card for notebooks with ExpressCard slots. The X-Fi Notebook comes in two modules, the card itself and the portion that protrudes outside the notebook. It provides wired as well as wired interfaces. The card can transmit audio to wireless speakers. Features that are usual to the X-Fi series, such as CMSS-3D and 24-bit Crystalizer aling with EAX Advanced HD positional audio. The package includes a pair of earphones with microphone attached.

Additionally, the card provides theater DSPs such as Dolby Digital and DTS Surround through PowerDVD. Would you want to use this on a gaming notebook as an audio enhancement? While the card does provide features such as CMSS-3D and EAX Advanced HD, the audio processing itself isn't native. The card doesn't feature the CA-20K series audio processor, so there isn't a performance enhancement on offer. The card is priced at US $90. More details are provided on the product page.

Creative to Unravel a New X-Fi Product

Discrete sound cards aren't the essential PC component they used to be about a decade ago. Several forces such as Microsoft, Intel and upcoming semiconductor companies in Taiwan such as Realtek had then envisioned a day when the required processing power for audio would be completely at the disposal of the CPU, and that audio processing would have a very insignificant impact on CPU performance. Intel made the standards (such as AC'97, Azalia HD), Microsoft made the common software driver model, while semiconductor companies sold CODEC chips to motherboard manufacturers like pieces of toffee.

Today's discrete audio finds its way to an audiophiles, HTPC users willing to splurge, and enthusiasts. So features are all that matter. Creative recently released the X-Fi Titanium series of sound cards that offer native PCI-Express support while running a tweaked CA-20K series audio processor. They've done quite a bit, in propagating the "Xtreme Fidelity" technology beyond their own sound cards. Currently Auzentech, MSI and ASUS hold agreements with Creative to launch PC audio products, while Creative itself makes headphones with the X-Fi DSP, iPod docks and external sound cards. They could well be heading towards another sound card release, and as early as this Wednesday. Indications are, that this could well be an external sound device. Creative has already released two external cards based on the X-Fi technology, though not much is known about this device.

Source: TechConnect Magazine

Creative Announces New GigaWorks T3 2.1 Speakers

Creative, a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, announces the Creative GigaWorks T3 speaker system. Designed to deliver the ultimate music listening experience, the Creative GigaWorks T3 combines innovative design, the best audio components and state-of-the-art technologies to elevate users' audio listening experience to an entirely new level of excellence.

Creative Releases USB 2.0 Sound Stick X-Fi Go!

Creative on Friday announced the introduction of Sound Blaster X-Fi Go!, a USB 2.0 flash device with 1GB of built-in memory that also serves the role of a fully functional sound blaster. Sporting a sleek and distinctive black finish, the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! is incredibly lightweight (less than 20g) and compact. It is compatible with USB 2.0 computer devices and features many of the sound enhancements found in other X-Fi sound cards, like X-Fi Crystalizer that restores details lost during compression of MP3 music or movie files and X-Fi CMSS-3D that expands the stereo signal into virtual surround over 5.1 speakers or headphones. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! also supports Creative EAX Advanced HD 4.0 which provides a better and more realistic gaming experience for users. The 1GB onboard memory is there to store the essential software for instant simple installation on any notebook or desktop PC without the need of a CD, you just plug in the X-Fi Go! and enjoy it. The included software has drivers for both Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista as well as some bonus software that includes Creative Karaoke Player, Creative Mediasource 5/Organizer and Creative WaveStudio. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! will be available in Singapore at the end of August 2008 at a suggested retail price of $79.00.

Source: VR-Zone

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Series Driver 2.18.0004 for Windows Vista Released

A long time has passed since Creative last released any new Vista drivers for its X-Fi audio cards. Usually new drivers are being published every single day, and they don't concern us much, but in Creative's case a new driver release can be considered a break-through. It goes even worse, because when we talk about new Creative drivers for Windows Vista we expect something new to be added, but in reward we receive only features that are supposed to work by default with this concrete product. A perfect example for my words is the brand new Windows Vista 2.18.0004 driver for Creative X-Fi cards released today. It is now here to re-establish the hardware Dolby Digital, DTS decode and DVD-Audio playback functions, that were available in Windows XP for more than two years. If you own a Creative X-Fi card just like me and you use it under Windows Vista 32/64-bit, please follow this link to download Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi series Driver 2.18.0004.Source: Creative
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