Thursday, January 11th 2007

Creative shows off PCIe based Soundblaster X-Fi

Many have been wauting for card manufacturers to make good use of the PCIe x1 or x4 slots available on modern mainboards - especially with the number of traditional PCI slots diminishing rapidly. Creative will be offering the X-Fi as a PCIe x1 variant for $129 Dollars. The PCB is kept in blue which goes against the usual black color of PCI based X-Fi cards. The card carries one relatively small X-Fi chip, an unknown audio codec, the lack of onboard memory buffer, relatively small number of capacitors, the absence of MIDI port and the presence of S/P DIF connectors and five analog connectors to attack 7.1-channel audio system.

Source: X-bit labs
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17 Comments on Creative shows off PCIe based Soundblaster X-Fi

finally companies are starting to use the 1x and 4x sockets, slowly but surely
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It's about time, they make slots over 2 years ago and they're only starting to see use now :shadedshu .
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Azn Tr14dZ
Yeah, it's been so long. The only other PCI-E x1 that I know of is the one Abit uses in their motherboards (some), but finally Creative made X-Fi's for PCI-E x1/4.
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this looks like a crappy low end card, arseholes, wheres the hi end versions??
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Bird of Prey
I agree grings. From the descriptions, its a stripped down Ford Tempo ::rofl:: I want the same as the normal PCI X - Fi cards.
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I remember they were asked about this at the X-Fi launch and said it wouldn't happen.... good to see they've come to their senses.
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hmm at least its on the PCIe bus, we can wait for teh next XFi to be released. I'll make a name up, UltraFi.
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yeah,... wheres the Elite version of this?????
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At least the rear conectors are in the right place this time with hopefully coax/toslink for spdif (wishful thinking). The feature connector/midiport can go on a ribbon like audigy2 if needed.
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Meh, who needs sound cards anyway? Cant tell the difference beetween onboard.
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Señor Moderator
Track said:
Meh, who needs sound cards anyway? Cant tell the difference beetween onboard.
Often on board is sufficient yes. But not all boards have on board sound and some on board cards don't support everything the user might want. And of course there IS a quality difference depending on the model, plus CPU load can make a difference as well.
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when the onboard is a realtek ...sound cards still have a job to do ;)
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Wile E
Power User
Track said:
Meh, who needs sound cards anyway? Cant tell the difference beetween onboard.
I can clearly tell the difference between a good standalone card and onboard sound.
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01-10-2007, 05:12 PM
OnBoard said:
I too want AGP to die, because they already killed socket939 and DDR. Gimme low wattage dual core AM2 CPUs in s939 flavor and I won't mind :) Or better yet gimme a short PCI-E 1x creative soundcard, I got 3 of those slots for nothing and keeping AGP alive is not helping at all. PCI could go as well :P
Awesome!!!1 I've been waiting one for a year now! No mind that it's basic (have Audigy 2 value, that is basicly an Audigy 4) and does the job great and supported up to EAX Advanced HD 4.0. This has only coaxial out, so digital is a nice added bonus. Have digital out on my onboard soundcard, but using that would be wasting CPU usage. Creative uses under 5% and onboard soundcards are in the 10-15% region and yes processors are getting faster and it's not that big of a deal anymore, but it's a save.

Now the donwside with this card is that is very close to my CPU as this abit board has the PCI-E slot way down, like the lower PCI-e 16x in SLI/CF boards. So the soundcard is blocking some airflow to my gfx card. Now the PCI-e 1x slots are all on top of GPU slot, like this:

Will be buying one of these as soon as the price drops a bit. Now I just have to measure that it will fit there, as I have a passive heatsink on top of nForce4 Ultra. If it's too long, well nothing that a bit of modding or a new heatpipe chipset cooler can't fix :P

edit: ps. now that this card is true, what I didn't know about 2 days ago when I posted that quote about AGP cards. Bring 'em on, make every card in AGP flavour, I won't mind. So happy about this news, might even have to buy it as soon as we get them here :D

picture of the connectors, optical in&out
and orginal picture that shows the cards name as well
other side of the picture showing notebook version

EDIT2: and no, this won't cost 129$, it was Xtreme Music that was that much, Xtreme Audio is $65.99 in newegg, so maybe 70-80$. Couldn't find info if Xtreme Audio has support for EAX advanced HD 5.0, hopefully this does, but can live without too.
EDIT3: seems like it doesn't and can't live without it as it's not hardware accelerated then..
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Editing is getting tiresome, so I'll just post a new one. Did a bit of reading and if this truely just PCI-E version of the XtremeAudio, then it's not for games, as it will slow them down (like onboard sound) and doesn't support EAX. Hope they come out with XtremeGamer, that is the same card but with EAX support and for gamers. Looks like I have to stick with my current for a while longer :/

Here's the PCI version of this:
And here's what I want in PCI-E flavour:
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I'm the only one
the onboard sound on my p5wd2 was really good,the onboard sound on my p5b-dlx is crap.i can clearly hear a differance between my x-fi extreme music and the onboard sound from the p5wd2.i dont think onboard can better a decent seperate sound card.

yaaa for pci-e soundcards tho',i wondered what the crappy little white connector on my board was
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