1989-1990 people. That was the year that this small company called Creative Labs released an ISA (predecessor of PCI slot) card called the SoundBlaster. The sheer success of that series is still unprecedented in its market segment. I mean look at the name of today's product, they still carry the SoundBlaster name. And ask anyone, everybody knows what SoundBlaster means.
Years pass and then back in 1994 they release the high-end SoundBlaster AWE32, the Cadillac among soundcards and not just because of the quality it brought to the PC platform, no this card was as big as a whale! I actually still own one (I have a huge collection of ancient hardware) and mind you that the AWE32 still produces very nice quality sound although not up to par with today's standards. I wanted to tell you a little about the AWE32 as something that was introduced on that soundcard came back on some of the X-Fi products. On board memory. Yes it's true, the elderly among that soundcard generation AWE32 could manage soundfonts 2/4/8 MB banks for all your MIDI and sampling love and loved that extra memory. Things changed and some of the X-FI products now have 64 MB of memory equipped on the card. Why? We'll tell you later, not specifically for soundfonts that is :)
It was May the 12th when Creative Labs announced the first in a long and rather annoying series of web announcements on SoundBlaster.com. I say annoying because every couple of days/weeks they would release a small piece of information on X-Fi, I don't know who's idea this was, but Creative you lost the majority of interested people after the second released fragment of information on your website. I really do believe this 'scratched' the X-Fi launch as people where confused, was it launched already, why do we have to wait weeks on more info, etc.
Creative's X-Fi Product Models
In that long period of announcements earlier this month Creative released information on the actually product models there are releasing. There will be four models in the first X-Fi line of products.
- ExtremeMusic (129 euro)
- Platinum (199 euro)
- Fatal1ty FPS (249 euro)
- Elite Pro (349 euro).
Clearly we are missing something in the product line, the low-end and mainstream users are left alone as the first and cheapest product starts at 129 EUR. So if you are interested in a X-Fi product you at the least are an enthusiast gamer or need to be a musician or music/movie lover or for that matter a combination of these. Actually, hey this is Guru3D.com's target audience. The products will start to sell in the second week of September 2005.
5.25-inch front panel X-Fi bay X-Fi card
5.25-inch front panel X-Fi bay X-Fi card, external X-Fi pod(X)RAM - - 64MB 64MBSoftware Bundle Standard* Standard* plus Vienna SoundFont Studio, Console Launcher, Volume Panel, WaveStudio, Creative Media Toolbox, Creative Diagnostics Standard* plus Vienna SoundFont Studio, Console Launcher, Volume Panel, WaveStudio, Creative Media Toolbox, Creative Diagnostics) Standard* plus Vienna SoundFont Studio, Console Launcher, Volume Panel, WaveStudio, Creative Media Toolbox, Creative Diagnostics, CuBase LE, WaveLab Lite, Amplitude SERemote Control No Yes Yes YesPrice $129.99 / 129 EUR $199.99 / 199 EUR $279.99 / 249 EUR $399.99 / 349 EUR
*Standard with all X-Fi products we'll see this software bundle:
Doom 3 Sound Blaster EAX patch, Entertainment Mode, Audio Creation Mode, Game Mode, Mode Switcher, Audio Console, Creative MediaSource, Creative MediaSource DVD-Audio Player, DTS Neo:6 Settings, Karaoke Player, Entertainment Center, Smart Recorder, SoundFont Bank Manager, Speaker Connection Wizard, THX Setup Console.