X-Fi Xtreme Music Sound Blaster review -
Page 1 - Introduction
What: Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music Review
Who: Brann Mitchell
Does anyone out there remember playing Wing Commander without a sound card? Yeah, I'm so old-school that even old-school doesn't have a name for us (Ed: I think they do, they call you "old") and games didn't use sound cards. I was playing Battlefield 2 online the other night, testing the X-Fi out and thinking back to playing Wing Commander with the first sound card for the PC, the AdLib. It had 2 channel FM synthesis and a meager software bundle. Sound cards have come a long, long way. Now we have cards with 7.1 channels, 24 bit/96 kHz sampling, 3D positional audio and games that can really use it. Shortly after AdLib put out their card, Creative put out the SoundBlaster and put Adlib out of its misery. I knew that for better or worse, Creative was here to stay, and AdLib was their first casualty. Oh, Creative has had their competition, but by tooth or by nail, it pretty much owned the entire sound card market since. Back in the virtual world, my reverie gets cut short by an artillery borage. Suckage! Way to no-skill kill, man.
Thumbing through Creative's catalog of products, you can see some of the SoundBlasters of yore, like the SoundBlaster 16, still for sale. At the top of the list, of course, is the X-Fi. This ain't yo Daddy's SoundBlaster. Creative developed a whole new processor to power it, the 20K1, sporting 51 million transistors and 10,000 MIPS.
10,000 MIPS? What the hell do you do with 10,000 MIPS? If you are Creative you could apply all that power to do sophisticated real time effects with audio streams. Well they did and it does. Meet your new sound card: the Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi!
Like we usually do here at guru3d.com, if we don't give you twice as much review as any other site, we give you twice as many. In the case of Creative's X-Fi, we give you both!
Bordering on false advertisement, Creative's latest X-Fi isn't an X-Fi at all, it's a new rev of the Audigy series using the X-Fi drivers and gliding on the PCI Express bus. The EAX gaming enhancements are gone, however, in favor of the more usable Crystallizer and CMSS3D functions. The X-Audio does provide a good value with decent performance, stability, and last but not least, is does sound good.
X-Fi Xtreme Music Sound Blaster review
Creative's entry level X-Fi turns out to be pretty killer. All new hardware, all new software, makes this thing all the better. Gone are the old annoyances of the Audigy series, replaced by the X-Fi, which isn't very annoying at all!