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.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Azuen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 Almost Here
The first third-party soundcard powered by the X-Fi chipset will be hitting the stores later this month. Auzuentech's Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 will feature all solutions which come with Creative's soundcards including the X-Fi Crystalizer, X-RAM, EAX ADVANCED HD support and more. The card will also come with Dolby® Digital Live, DTS® Interactive and DTS NEO:PC™.
Scheduled for release near the end of June 2007, the Auzen X-FI™ Prelude 7.1 soundcard marks the first time Creative has permitted a third-party soundcard vendor to use the Creative X-FI™ chipset in its own soundcard design. It will fully support EAX 5.0 and have the same expandability as the Auzen X-Meridian™ 7.1.
You can read the whole press release here.
X-Fi going PCI Express?
The Inquirer reports that Creative is planning to bring the X-Fi to PCI Express. Previously it was stated that no such move will be made since "the performance of PCIe is truly bad for audio" and that "PCIe is designed for graphics and high data transfer, but audio sends very small packets and the overhead can be very big!". It seems Creative's plans have changed since ASUS announced their PCIe soundcards.
During our trip to Taiwan, we learned that Creative's riposte is set for introduction during second half of this year. In fact, it should be on the market for the "Back to School" shopping madness. Some samples are already floating around, so do not be surprised when pictures of PCIe cards start being leaked through different forums and news sites.
Source: The Inquirer
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook
Creative announced their latest addition to the X-Fi family - The X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook. As the name already says it's aimed for notebook users who don't want to miss out on the possibilities of the X-Fi soundcards. It comes with a headphones optical jack, Speaker Docking Module connector and a mic/line in jack. The Speaker Docking Module can be used to connect 5.1/7.1 speaker setups.
Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook brings your MP3 music and movies to life! Compatible with the new ExpressCard format it is a great choice for the latest notebooks. It features award-winning X-Fi technologies including X-Fi Crystalizer, which restores the details and vibrance lost during compression to MP3 and DivX, breathing life back into any audio, and X-Fi CMSS-3D, which expands stereo music and movie sound tracks into amazing surround, even over headphones.
Together with the Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook you'll get earphones with integrated microphone and a travel case. More information can be found on the product page. No details about the price yet.
ALchemy X-Fi Edition
If you already switched to Windows Vista or plan to you should definitely look into Creative's ALchemy. Since Microsoft announced they will be dropping the Hardware Abstraction Layer which was responsible for EAX effects in games Creative has been working on a way to restore them. ALchemy is an application which indeed does restore 3D audio and EAX effects in Windows Vista.
The audio changes in Windows Vista do not affect OpenAL however. For audio cards that feature 'native' OpenAL support, such as the SB X-Fi series of cards, there is no need to worry! Games that enable support for OpenAL will continue to run just as they do on Windows XP - with hardware accelerated audio and effects.
Although OpenAL has arguably replaced DirectSound3D, particularly in many modern PC Games (e.g. Battlefield 2142, Doom3, Quake 4, Prey, etc.), there are hundreds of older PC games that support DirectSound3D and EAX technology. All of these games will sound empty and lifeless on Vista. As most DS3D games only enable 3D Audio and EAX if a hardware accelerator is present, most of these games will be reduced to a stereo output.
ALchemy is not a hardware driver. You still need proper X-Fi Vista drivers for your soundcard installed before installing ALchemy. For now it only works with the Soundblaster X-Fi series.
Soundblaster X-Fi Vista Driver for Vista
A new Sounblaster X-Fi driver for Windows Vista has been released a while back. The driver version is 2.15.0002, dated May 30th 2007. Supported cards are the X-Fi XtremeMusic, XtremeGamer, X-Fi Platinum, X-Fi Fatal1ty and the X-Fi Elite Pro. This driver does not support the X-Fi Xtreme Audio soundcard.
This download is a driver providing Microsoft® Windows Vista™ 64-bit and Windows Vista 32-bit support for Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ series of audio devices. For more details, read the rest of this web release note.
This download supports the following audio devices only:
* Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
* Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer
* Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum
* Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty®
* Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro
Current release features:
* X-Fi Crystalizer™
* X-Fi CMSS®-3D
* MIDI Playback
* EAX® Effects
* PCM stereo output through Optical Out
* Line-in connectivity
* SPDIF passthrough is supported on both Vista 32-bit and Vista 64-bit
* Recording capabilities.
* This driver does not support the following:
o Decoding of Dolby® Digital and DTS™ signals
o DirectSound®-based EAX games
o 6.1 speaker mode
* Applications from the original Sound Blaster X-Fi CD will not work with this download.
* Windows Vista 64-bit or Windows Vista 32-bit
* Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi audio devices listed above.
To download the latest X-Fi Windows Vista driver please use Creative's download page.