Discover the SoundBlaster X-Fi models. What are the differences, what do the models have in common.
What does X-RAM really do? Read about the extra 64MB onboard RAM on the SoundBlaster X-Fi.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
New Beta Drivers v2.09.0000
New drivers are available for the X-Fi series of cards. Remember, those are beta drivers and might have a negative effect on your system.
As an admin at the Creative forums said:
"Please note that these are unsupported beta drivers, and were not released to the site. I wouldn't recommend installing drivers until they are released publically, and are available through the Downloads page. This beta driver was not intended for public release yet."
If you would still like to check them out you can get them here. Size 41.7MB, a 32bit and 64bit version is included. No information about changes is available yet.
It's always the same, if there is more than one option people always have problems picking the right one for themself. Same goes for the SoundBlaster X-Fi series. There are 4 models with different sets of features and it's not really clear which would be most suitable for yourself. So let's make it as short and simple as possible and pick you the right one.
Most important: The X-Fi is a gamers soundcard so don't even bother if you're not a gamer. You can easily get a cheaper card for things like audio creation, listening to music, etc.
If you have a rather small budget wait till the prices drop. There is not one game that requires a X-Fi card and there sure won't be such requirement any time soon. For those with some dated onboard sound system or an older card like the SoundBlaster Live the upgrade is well worth it. The difference in games is huge and well noticable.
As for the card itself the main difference is the extra onboard RAM on the two higher-end models. Does X-RAM speed up your games? Well, it might a tiny bit, but let's be serious. If you're even thinking about getting a $300 soundcard for a couple frames per second your PC is probably running a high-end graphics card already. You will gain much more with getting some extra system RAM than a X-Fi Fatal1ty or Elite Pro.
The real advantage from the more expensive cards is definitely the extra hardware. If you need a remote control or a I/O Drive get the X-Fi Platinum. If you can live without them, get a X-Fi XtremeMusic.
To sum it up:
» XtremeMusic - Great sound experience, suitable for every gamer.
» Platinum - XtremeMusic plus a remote control and a I/O Drive
» Fatal1ty - Platinum plus the extra X-RAM
» Elite Pro - Fatal1ty without the I/O Drive but with a I/O console.
X-Fi Quake 4 Contest
If you still don't have your X-Fi card here's your chance. Creative is hosting another Quake 4 contest. Prizes include the sound card, Quake 4, a GigaWorks ProGamer speaker system and a Dell XPS 600.
All you have to do is answer one simple question and fill out your details. The contest is open to residents of a country in Asia, the United States or Canada.
Head over to the Quake 4 contest page and win yourself some gaming stuff. You've got time till March 13th. Good luck.