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Creative Announces Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD and USB Sound Blaster X-Fi HD Audio

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    Will avoid. Hardware is useless without good, unbloated drivers.
     
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  2. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Based on what I've seen over the last year, Creative have made a major turn around in their drivers and support . . .

    Still wish they'd move to a more regular release schedule - but, hell, 3-4 driver packs and software updates a year is now better than the original once a year BS they were doing.

    I've brought this up so many countless times before . . . why do you feel they should support cards that are over 10 years old?

    Seriously, the amount of bitching people did when they cut support for the Live! series . . . 10 years after the cards release . . . I mean, c'mon - the PC world had moved through WIN 2000/ME, through XP, and was already into Vista, and people were complaining about losing support for a card that was initially designed for WIN98.

    Same goes with the Audigy series. People are still complaining about the cut-off on the driver support (although Creative have still released a couple more XP driver updates since), on cards that are nearing 10 years old.

    What other form of PC hardware recieves support from the manufacturer for so long, and what other forms of hardware are still capable of handling the modern PC workload? Very few compared to those still using "out-dated" audio cards. I mean, you can't exactly get by anymore on a Pentium II, nor a VooDoo3 anymore . . . but yet, people that own these *antique* audio cards still seem to think "if it ain't broke don't fix it."

    It gets to a point were a manufacturer doesn't have a choice but to cut driver support for the hardware. We don't see people complain about cut-offs for video cards or chipset drivers, as the vast majority of users have already moved on to new hardware. Give it about 10 years, and I'm sure we'll see the same bitching when ASUS starts cutting support for the first generation of Xonar cards.


    Didn't really read the listed specs, did you? . . . They're claiming TOSLINK I/O support, and based on the 4 RCA connections, and the Dolby digital support, I'd bet good money one pair of outputs is for digital via an adapter . . .

    . . . and if so, that same pair of digital RCA outputs will support coaxial SPDIF . . .

    If one is using a reciever unit, there's still digital connectivity available. Granted, it's not as 1337 as having native TOSLINK, but how many other "audiophile" cards support native TOSLINK (not having a need for an adapter)? The Forte doesn't, neither does the Bravura, nor the HomeTheater HD, nor the Prelude or the older Meridian - and only a couple of those support HDMI out. On ASUS' side, the Xonar D2X, Xonar DX, nor the Essence STX support a "native" TOSLINK connection. If you're that much in need of simply the best output quality, an adapter is not considered the "right" way to go about with I/O.


    The card is aimed at home theater use . . . as with other cars in this category, multi mini-jack connectivity isn't really needed. The majority of users who would be more interested in this level of card are more the likely going to be using either digital or analogue RCA-based connections.

    As to the bracket, more than likely a "see-through" for the image. I'd be good money that will turn out to be a full-blown EMI shield . . . of which, there's heavy need for in the modern rig.

    Really? Where did you read that?

    Niot quite - it's on-par with other competing cards in it's category.

    And you're basing this on?

    Granted, there have been a few issues here and there - as much as there has been with the Xonar series, or cards from other manufacturers.

    90% of the time, though, the issue lies with that of the user - either their hardware configuration, or conflicting drivers/apps.

    Audio cards are very sensitive pieces of equipment, and have been notorious for not playing well with other hardware - it's been the same for the last 20 years, no matter who the card manufacturer is. At the very least, we can say that in this modern age, setup is a helluva lot easier than it was when audio cards were still on the ISA standard, or just moving to PCI.




    <sigh>

    I give up . . . ignorance is definitely bliss . . .

    . . . and I'm suddenly getting the urge to start bleating like a sheep, too.
     
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  3. fluxc0d3r New Member

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  4. SetsunaFZero

    SetsunaFZero

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    realtek should aim for the high end sound card market they IC ain't bad and the driver support is good. :D would be epic if they release one
     
  5. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    it would be pretty cool if part of the company split & went on to make direct competitors to creative & Asus. but I think they probably have no interest in that part of the market.

    they make built in audio & network cards for almost every single damn peice of computer related hardware on the planet. they probably get millions in royalties everytime Asus or whoever ships a batch of motherboards or laptops etc etc that have one of their network cards or audio chipsets. they are comfortable & even though they could spare the cash & get their R&D teams on it they probably wont because they dont need to. im sure a top dog in RT has thought about that prospect & probably thinks there is no reason to go there as they are still making loads of money. if it aint broke dont fix it - the saying goes...

    but one thing they could fix is their website, its so god damn slow & half the links they have for drivers dont even work. they sack their webadmin or something???

    I always dred going to their site for drivers.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  6. SetsunaFZero

    SetsunaFZero

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    @FreedomEclipse: check out guru3d.com download section. they always have the new RT drivers.
    RT's webpage is rly fu slow, their server localization is in taiwan i guess. With their income they could rent any webserver on the world :?
     
  7. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    I trimmed the rest of your reply mainly due to length but wished to focus on this particular aspect first since everything else is based on it.

    Nowhere in my post, implied or otherwise, did I say they should support older cards. My problem is directly related to the complete and utter lack of support for the entire X-Fi line of sound cards which are WAY younger than 10 years old since they were released around 2006 which is when I payed $250+ for my Fatal1ty Pro. For example, the X-Fi STILL has the same frigging problems that it had when the card launched:

    - Lack of proper 64-bit OS support (a bug that started under Vista 64-bit)
    http://forums.creative.com/t5/Windo...esn-t-start-after-installing-X-Fi/td-p/538347

    - STILL has issues where the audio intermittently pops and crackles
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster_X-Fi#Sound_issues_with_crackling_and_popping

    - STILL has issues where, for no reason at all, you get a high-pitched squeal during various different games

    And don't EVEN give me the bunk excuse of "well it's x years old" since they are essentially using just a re-spin of the same frigging EMU20K1 just with a new coat of paint. You are entitled to your "OMG!! I :love: Creative!!" opinion but until you've run a 64-bit OS and dealt with the myriad of problems a lot of us have been dealing with since the cards came out you either have no clue what you are talking about or work for Creative.
     
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  8. Roph

    Roph

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    Gotta laugh at audiophiles who waste hundreds on sound cards and "special" cables :laugh:
     
  9. ToTTenTranz

    ToTTenTranz New Member

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    Hey look, yet another "let's all talk crap about creative" thread.
    I thought these were instinct in 2008 or so.
    Turns out all the ogres were just waiting for creative to launch new cards in order to come out and throw the same old bashing.


    I got an XtremeMusic in my desktop for 4 years and I've had nearly zero problems with the card or its drivers.
    Got a X-Fi 5.1 USB for the laptop when I went to study abroad, zero problems again.
     
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  10. DirectorC

    DirectorC New Member

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    These news actually make me think of finally buying a new top-end card from Creative. Never have, never thought I would, but hmm... pair it with a nice home theater surround system... we'll see what pockets tell me when I'm finally working again this summer.

    Edit: As far as the crap talking about Creative, I have to agree with you ToTTenTranz. I got my first Creative card, an SB Live years ago and never had a problem with it. Went Audigy back in 07 and haven't looked back.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  11. Apocalypsee

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    The spec looks nice, judging by the high DR of 122dB I guessing it might use Burr Brown DAC similar to Xonar ST/STX. From the pic, it looks like they finally use solid caps instead of cheap Jamicon and Wincap that are prone to leak

    Huge plus to me:
    -Dedicated headphone jack
    -RCA in and out

    I been using Creative cards from Pentium III era, never use onboard at all. So far there are no major problem that I can't fix
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  12. Meizuman

    Meizuman

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    This will be a monster post, sorry.

    Well. I must say I really don't know yet. I have just a budget Audigy SE and it has served me quite well with modded drivers.

    But I have been thinking of taking the PC audio to the next level... but then again I have quite a bunch of low/mid quality MP3's and I definitely can't get my hands on FLAC versions of any of those... since I mainly listen to electronic and dance. I've been thinking about going to some high quality product and to have some future-proofing on that side. I would definitely like it to have good DSP abilities... Then again, maybe I'm living in the old world. I havent even used HDMI yet (well once, some girl couldn't get his PS3 to show on his TV)...

    "I'm too old for this sh*t"

    And I haven't even started yet (the true guest to HiFi), because lack of funds.

    The experiences I have from integrated audio... only one mobo had good enough SNR, so there wasn't any annoyance in the sound, that was Epox 8RDA3+.

    I've been through some mobos and the two last ones were 790GP-DS4H and 790GP-UD4H. Both have "High quality 106dB SNR ALC889A HD audio" And of course, I tried the onboard on both just to determine if it's any good...

    I put on my headphones and the second I plugged in my laser mouse, I was saluted by this annoying squeal... At least my ears are more than delicate to that kind of interference. The movement of mouse caused the squealing. I tried to drop the polling rate to lower Hz and it somewhat helped. But that was a deal breaker. And both mobos did just that.

    Also I have tested some of the more generic computers (in classrooms and such). Once you plug a USB stick in, it all goes to hell. Plain interference.

    [history part]
    In fact my first own computer build started from a sound card. We had some Asrock based socket A rig back in the day as a family computer and I listened a lot of music with it. At some point I got a nervous brakedown because all that interference. So, I went to a PC store and bought whatever was cheap, a bulk Audigy SE. Back at home, I simply couldn't get it to work because the PCI slots on the asrock wouldn't work. After a little while I bought that Epox used from Germany and build my first own rig. That was around 2006-2007 (!!)
    [/history part]
     
  13. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    I love some of these blind views people love to throw out, and how quick some users are to start with the "flanboi" insults. How mature. :toast:

    What complete and utter lack of support for the X-Fi line are you talking about?! :wtf:
    You don't check for driver updates very often, do you? There've been countless driver (and software) updates within the last year alone.

    I can't agree with your statement about the APU - reason being is that yes, the CA20K1 is a re-designation for the EMU20K1 . . . but neither of those APUs were ever installed into the Audigy line. The E-Mu was specific to the E-Mu cards, and the CA20K1 was simply re-designated for use on the Creative cards . . . and these were introduced with the X-Fi series - not before.

    The current APU, the CA20K2, is based heavily off the CA20K1 architecture - with a few improvements. For the general user, it's biggest benefit is being a native PCIE chip, it doesn't require the use of a "translator" like competing PCIE cards do.



    As to your complaints with the OS - I currently run 2 64bit OSes and have gone through quite a few different X-Fi models . . . and not once have I ever encountered any issue. As well, I've heard very few complaints from the general users running 64b OSes with issues, either. All of my older X-Fi models still operate perfectly fine . . . even the first gen Fatal1ty Pro PCI that I have laying around.

    Again, many times it boils down to one's hardware and software configurations.

    The 8GB error is something that originated with the Vista OS, and has been cropping up with OS7 . . . funny, as other audio manufacturers have run into similar problems with 64b installations with 8GB/DRAM. Xonars have their fair share of problems with similar setups, from crashing games to corrupt registry entries as well.




    Intermittent crackling audio is not typically a fault of the card, nor is it typically a fault of the drivers. This noise is audio clipping, which occurs when the output stream is spending too much time in the buffers . . . the signal starts to break down. It's usually caused by hardware competing for the SYS BUS, or maintaining control of the BUS for too long. nVidia hardware has been NOTORIOUS for this problem, especially motherboards equipped with nVidia NSBs. The problem isn't pinned down to one specific brand of audio card, it can happen with any of them . . . the only reason its been more of an issue with X-Fi cards is due to their much higher bandwidth the APU requires, compared to the much slower C-Media DSPs.

    Only real way to get away from the problem is to move up to a native PCIE interface - the translator chips on most PCIE audio cards add even more latency, which can quickly negate any benefit from moving the audio onto a PCIE channel.




    If you hear high-pitched squealing intermitently, and especially from one or two specific channels, and tend to run with your overall average volume set over 50% (between the WIN control panel, the audio driver's control panel and the game), you've more than likely got a failing OPAMP . . . tends to happen over time, and especially if you've run with the volume above 50%. The higher the volume, the harder you're forcing that OPAMP to work; add in potential EMI that it's picked up from neighboring components, heat from neighboring components, and rapid volume fluctuations (typically found in games) - it leads a very hard life.

    I can't recall but a very few rare instances where a card made this type of noise brand new, or even shortly after the owner purchased the unit. This noise is usually the result from user abuse, more-so than the fault of the card itself. Good news, though, the OPAMPs can be replaced with some moderate soldering skills, and the card will continue to serve quite well . . .
     
  14. pjladyfox

    pjladyfox New Member

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    This coming from the person who has the little Creative sticker in the bottom of every post. Note here that you're the one that came out swinging on this one not me claiming that I said something I did not and then went on your little "Creative can do no wrong" tirade accusing those of us who have had nothing but issues as crackpots or liars. :wtf:

    The sad part about this entire exchange between the two of us is if you had condenced the last two paragraphs of this post into your inital reply, instead of resorting to "Creative can do no wrong" speech, things never really would have gotten this far. Heck, I would have THANKED YOU for the information and we could have moved onwards.

    I cut the rest of my replies to your comments since, in the grander scheme of things, it just would have made things worse. That and I never expected to get into some kind of argument with a fellow TPU person over something that really we both see differently.

    Again, I never said that other companies were innocent of the problem which is why I'm not using a C-Media sound card in my gaming system. I got fed up with the money grubbing over an issue that should have been fixed after it was first found under Vista. Onboard audio, while not ideal, at least works every single time I use it without a hiccup or complaint.

    That would most likely explain why the onboard Realtek audio, while not the best, tends to work more often than the $200+ dollar sound card I've got sitting in a box that I'm trying to get rid of since I'm tired of dealing with it.

    Very interesting and it would explain why the Auzentech we have for our media center stopped squealing after the OPAMP's were replaced by my husband by a friend of his.

    For my part, if I came off in a way that you took offense to that was not my intention and was rather me just venting over what appeared to be yet another money grab IMHO by Creative. However, that said, you really need to dial back on your rhetoric where you give the impression that everyone should bow at the altar of Creative and that they can do no wrong since that is VERY far from the truth and you admitted as such yourself.

    At this point, I think I've pretty much said my peace about all of this. This is going to be one of those situations where I'm just going to have to agree to disagree with you and leave it at that.

    Peace?
     
  15. TAViX Guest

    As an old user of a vanilla X-FI Titaniun PCI-X card, I can tell you this:

    - I have absolutely no problems with the drivers in Win7-64. None.
    - The Alchemy works flawlessly for the older games
    - The X-Fi Crystalizer works best and wilds the best results if it's set somewhere between 20 and 40%
    - The Graphic equalizer, EAX effects, Surround Mode, etc, all works flawlessly
    - Changing the mode from Entertainment to Gaming it's a little annoying (read VERY ANNOYING)
    - You loose some of the presets when changing modes, and also every time you change the mode, the mic port opens giving you the extremely annoying fsssssss sound. Seems than the Creative Console Louncher is as buggy as the drivers used to be...


    Regarding the USB X-Fi.

    So it doesn't support HARDWARE EAX 5.0??????
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  16. DirectorC

    DirectorC New Member

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    Biggest e-p33n ever!!!

    :roll:

    BTW thanks for chiming in on the side of Creative. They are not all that bad. I also had no problems with 64-bit X-Fi drivers on Vista/7, and that was on this Audigy SE.
     
  17. EarlZ New Member

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    I've never really had major issues with the X-Fi until i moved to 5.1 just on some games, on some games i can hear some popping or crackling here and there but its very rare.. only in dragon age so far.. switching to 2.1 removes that issue so its a 5.1 mode problem.

    Maybe I need to put up some alchemy entries for dragon age?
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  18. Scrizz

    Scrizz

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    I haven't had any problems with any of my creative cards
    :D
     
  19. pr0n Inspector

    pr0n Inspector

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    Why would you even touch that shit?
     
  20. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    You can laugh all you want but it DOES make quite some difference. And you have to decide what's your top priority. For gaming, X-Fi is still hard to beat. All the small gizmos and gadgeds that make 3D sound positioning a true masterpiece experience. But it sounds kinda flat for music. On the other hand, ASUS Xonar STX offers superior music quality, but has quite some problems with games. Sure, when it works, it's great. But when it doesn't, it's just bad.
    I've had Xtreme Music and i was quite satisfied with it. No driver issues (i used only Console Launcher and drivers, no other crap) and it worked perfectly on all systems. So, if i decide for X-Fi HD gaming experience for some reason, i'd pick it up without much thinking. But since i don't play that much games anymore i'll stick with STX.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  21. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    If you find counting higher than 1 to be uncountable, or "countless", then I think you're in trouble. Trust me, I check their site for updates on drivers, control panel, and alchemy, etc once a month and it's been far from countless. It really feels like you're pulling stuff out of your bum.

    And I have to say, pci-e sound card in 32 bit vista = no popping, same card in 64 bit vista = equals situational popping... does not seem like user error to me. While we're on the topic, have you allowed yourself to realize that successive creative driver releases have decreased sound quality? The best sounding driver I had for my Fatality was from 3 years ago. It's been left to community members to restore the quality and fix the bugs with unofficial drivers. Then there's the response we've seen from creative, none. An issue is proven to exist in the user community, creative ignores it, ignores support tickets, and apparently bans naysayers. Creative's management isn't just incompetent, it's practically cannibalistic. If you've been lucky enough to not encounter these issues, then good for you, but as for the rest of us we're tired of their BS.
     
  22. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Don't you think hardware degradation might play a part in the loss of sound quality?
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  23. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    I was using X-Fi Xtreme Music on Vista 32bit and 64bit and never had any pops. Same with Xonar STX. Works perfectly under Vista 64bit.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  24. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    I too was using an XFi Titanium Fagtality Pro on 64 bit Vista & Win7 & tbh asside from the borked drivers really early which caused me a lot of agro & time wasted messing around with reinstalls & what not. every function I have enabled has worked flawlessly till the opamps went south.... but otherwise a top card & I wouldnt hesitate to buy another one but unfortunately I decided to go try a Xonar & Im stuck with an STX which seems to be a bit grumpy when it comes gaming.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  25. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    No more "Creative" witch-hunting, please.
     

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