Creative SoundBlaster X-FI XtremeMusic - OEM - £36.78 delivered + Quidco @ Novatech - HotUKDeals
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Hearing is believing. Redefine your expectations of PC audio.
Creative's Sound Blaster® X-Fi XtremeMusic brings the revolutionary new Xtreme Fidelity audio standard to the PC. With 24-bit Crystalizer it restores the sparkle lost during MP3/WMA compression while CMSS 3D Surround upgrades all audio to 24-bit surround sound. Featuring the world's fastest audio processor, it accelerates gaming and also enables CMSS 3D Headphone for incredible surround sound over stereo headphones for compelling LAN gaming, late-night gaming, and movie watching. Bring movies to life with comprehensive soundtrack decoding (DTS-ES, Dolby Digital EX), CMSS up-mix for non-encoded movies plus THX certification. With three selectable, easy-to-use modes (Gaming, Entertainment, Audio Creation) it's the ultimate audio solution for the PC.

The world's fastest audio processor for ultra-fast gaming, equivalent to a Pentium 4 3.6GHz and 24 times the power of Sound Blaster Audigy.

CMSS 3D for incredible surround sound over stereo headphones plus stereo-to-surround up-mix for headphones and multi-channel speakers.

24-bit Crystalizer makes all audio sound better, including MP3/WMA, streaming audio and video, DIVX and DVD movies.

Active Modal Architecture with 'Entertainment', 'Gaming' and 'Audio Creation' modes dedicates the processor 100% to the task at hand, with an easy-to-use interface for each mode.

SuperRip converts stereo CDs to 24-bit surround files.

DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX movie soundtrack decoding.

Specifications
24-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion of analog inputs at 96kHz sample rate
24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion of digital sources at 96kHz to analog 7.1 speaker output
24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion of stereo digital sources at 192kHz to stereo output
16-bit to 24-bit recording sampling rates: 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz
ASIO 2.0 support with direct monitoring at 16 and 24-bit at sample rates of 44.1/48/88.22 and 96kHz
Enhanced SoundFont support at up to 24-bit resolution
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (20kHz Low-pass filter, A-Weighted)
-Stereo Output 109dB
-Front and Rear Channels 109dB
-Center, Subwoofer and Side Channels 109dB
Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1kHz (20kHz Low-pass filter) = 0.004%
Frequency Response (+/-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input) = <10Hz to 46kHz
Frequency Response (Stereo only) (+/-3dB, 24-bit/192kHz input) = <10Hz to 88kHz
FlexiJack (Digital In / Digital Out / Line In / Microphone) via 3.50 mm minijack
Line level out (Front / Rear / Center / Subwoofer / Rear Center) via 3.50 mm minijacks
AUX_IN line-level analog input via 4-pin Molex connector on card
One External AD_Link (26 pin) connector for linking to the X-Fi I/O Console (upgrade option)
One Internal AD_Ext connector for linking to the X-Fi I/O Drive (upgrade option)
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7y, 8m agoFound 7 years, 8 months ago
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#1
With so many integrated card I lost track of sound card.

Do you mind if I ask you what is the port that looks like a DVI for?
#2
That will be for the break out box, i think
#3
asandino
With so many integrated card I lost track of sound card.

Do you mind if I ask you what is the port that looks like a DVI for?


shaz2sxy
That will be for the break out box, i think


One External AD_Link (26 pin) connector for linking to the X-Fi I/O Console (upgrade option)
:thumbsup:

Just a heads up, are Vista drivers that actually work available yet? Seem to remember there were none.
#4
Good price.

Gives you much better sound than your onboard - would recommend it for anyone spending over £40 on speakers!
#5
asandino
With so many integrated card I lost track of sound card.

Do you mind if I ask you what is the port that looks like a DVI for?


That will be the Joystick/MIDI port. Not many PC joysticks would use it any more (since USB became the standard), but still useful for MIDI interfaces.
#6
Bare in mind, I think this is the version of the Xi-Fi which doesnt have the onboard DSP, and does *ALL* its processing in software, so its just an audio interface, and it'll add x percent of cpu usage when playing games.
#7
NitrousUK
Bare in mind, I think this is the version of the Xi-Fi which doesnt have the onboard DSP, and does *ALL* its processing in software, so its just an audio interface, and it'll add x percent of cpu usage when playing games.


No - thats the XtremeAudio (which is a rebadged Audigy).

This is the "full fat" version which does onboard processing.
#8
Very good deal, these cards are hard to find now as they were replaced by the XtrmeGamer card which retails at around £60. I'd have picked one up if I hadn't of just bought an XtremeGamer from Ebay over the weekend.

Drivers are reportedly fine on Vista now and this is the card to go for if you're a gamer.
#9
You say about the Audigy, was gonna put one in my gaming rig coz ive read about onboard sound resource hogging. ATM im using onboard 5.1 so will i benefit from installing a PCI Audigy or wont i really notice any difference if its software processing anyway ?
#10
Squelds
You say about the Audigy, was gonna put one in my gaming rig coz ive read about onboard sound resource hogging. ATM im using onboard 5.1 so will i benefit from installing a PCI Audigy or wont i really notice any difference if its software processing anyway ?


This card has a full hardware DSP, which it'll make full use of if games support it, which many do. Older games that support Creative's EAX effects, need the download of the free Alchemy software in order to work with full effects and hardware acceleration under Vista and games that support OpenAL will use hardware decoding natively.

With this card going so cheap I'd stay away from the Audigy range and just go with this card, Audigys don't support as many audio effects or voices at the same time in games and they also have inferior DACs.
#11
So without having to spend any cash, coz the onboard has done me well so far, i wouldnt really get that much benefit with the Audigy over my existing onboard ?
#12
Squelds
So without having to spend any cash, coz the onboard has done me well so far, i wouldnt really get that much benefit with the Audigy over my existing onboard ?


Which Audigy? An Audigy SE? Not much but an Audigy 2/2 ZS/4 would all be a decent upgrade though.

Still, if you haven't bought a card yet, this is the one to go for if you're a gamer espeically if you use headphones due to the CMSS-3D headphone mode that gives you 3D surround sound through your stereo headphones.
#13
Yeah ya right, this is the one that has onboard DSP.

Further info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Fi
#14
If only it would embed Digital audio onto an HDMI cabe loo[pthrough for my Home theater PC :(
#15
joylove
If only it would embed Digital audio onto an HDMI cabe loo[pthrough for my Home theater PC :(


And I almost bought one to do this :oops: Thanks for the heads up :thumbsup:
#16
joylove
If only it would embed Digital audio onto an HDMI cabe loo[pthrough for my Home theater PC :(


It can be connected internally if you're using a modern Nvidia card, this feature was removed for the XtremeGamer but should still be present in its predecessor. Still, why use this anyway? You'd get better results using the analog outs, as you wouldn't be restricted to DD and DTS output for surround sound. The DACs in this card are pretty decent as well, so making use of them makes sense. 3 extra cables aren't the end of the world when it means better audio quality.
#17
brain_stew
It can be connected internally if you're using a modern Nvidia card, this feature was removed for the XtremeGamer but should still be present in its predecessor. Still, why use this anyway? You'd get better results using the analog outs, as you wouldn't be restricted to DD and DTS output for surround sound. The DACs in this card are pretty decent as well, so making use of them makes sense. 3 extra cables aren't the end of the world when it means better audio quality.


Why would I be restricted to DTS and DD?

And why would I get better sound quality when the soundcard is on a noisy supply with an unscreened card in an EMC nightmare PC?
#18
brain_stew
Very good deal, these cards are hard to find now as they were replaced by the XtrmeGamer card which retails at around £60. I'd have picked one up if I hadn't of just bought an XtremeGamer from Ebay over the weekend.

Drivers are reportedly fine on Vista now and this is the card to go for if you're a gamer.


The XtremeGamer and XtremeMusic are both the same card, they just have different boxes and different PCB styling. Same drivers, same sound.


Very hot anyway, I'd get one if I didn't pick one up off fleabay for cheaper a few months back
#19
ive got the x-fi xtremeaudio PCI-Express, is it worth buying this? ive also got the creative t6100 5.1 speakers as well.
#20
am i going to see any benefit upgrading from the onboard sound i've got at the moment. got my sound home theatre speakers hooked up via optical output at the minute
#21
I got the Elite Pro shortly after it came out, but only because of a 'pricing error'. The website I bought it from had the decimal point wrong, so I paid ~£24 instead of ~£240. My best bargain ever (and it was fixed 5mins later).

You'll only get an improvement in sound if you have the speakers to match. And the 'crystalizer' does indeed make poorer MP3s and other formats sound better. Just don't use it with 320kbps MP3s or FLAC formats, as I find it screws the sound up (trying to fix something that doesn't need fixing).

In terms of Vista drivers - I haven't checked for a few months, but last time I checked the console and all that jazz that works under XP was still not available. Shocking, tbh, but at least I didn't pay over £200!
#22
Thanks for this deal!

Just wondering though, does this card have the proper front panel connector bits to connect the front audio jacks of the case?

I vaguely remember that some/one of the x-fi cards did not have this and that put me off buying it.
#23
This card is really good but to get optical out you need to find a dongle for the back that goes into the microphone socket. This is about 10 to 15 pounds and is not so easy to find. I had to get mine from the staes.

If you want to use DTS you also need new software from creative which is about £3 otherwise you just get 2.0 through the optical.

Of course, if you want to use analog cables this wont bother you, but I like the one cable as apposed to 3, and you dont have you pay nearly as much for an optical cable as digital is digital nomater the quality....

So, I recommend this card, but you need to tdo some reserch if you want to go digital

Good price (but i payed less on a lucky ebay auction ...)
#24
Got one of these last year for double the price. Its good having come from onboard but i struggle no end with finding the driver that works in Vista and by that i mean properly. often get audio errors in games and i'm sure its the driver i'm using. Can anyone post what driver they use if they have this on Vista please?

Currently using Driver Version: 6.0.1.1368 and have no gui to play with, only windows own.
#25
will these be good with sennheiser headphones,as my onboard asus p5 ,sound is a bit low,.just wondering wether to stick with onboard or go for these.
#26
I'd vouch for this - a great item. I have it matched up with S750 speakers and it sounds MILES better over onboard sound.
#27
marshalex
am i going to see any benefit upgrading from the onboard sound i've got at the moment. got my sound home theatre speakers hooked up via optical output at the minute


Your games will only be outputting in stereo with your current optical solution. You could use DD Live or DTS Live with this card to encode the surround sound from your games in real time and then send that feed over optical. Optical can't handle the bandwidth of 5.1 LPCM.


mamboboy
Well this is at the lowest end of the REAL X-Fi range - i.e. one that actually uses the X-Fi chip. It doesn't have the DAC's of the higher end ones, but still an OK deal at this price.


Its only the very top X-FI card that has better DACs from what I've read, in all this is a very good card for the price. The Xonar is indeed a great card, but for gamers the X-FI is still the better choice imo due to the hardware acceleration and full support of EAX and hardware OpenAL effects, they're only emulated in software on the Asus card and compatability isn't guaranteed. Plus, CMSS-3D headphone is a better solution for games than Dolby headphone, though if its a HTPC card you're after, I'd agree the Xonar is a better bet, its just impossible to get one at this pricepoint.

Really bottom line is, if you're a gamer and want decent sound then this is the best bang for buck out there, no matter how much of a shady company Creative may be.

EDIT: Didn't know the optical dongle was so pricey, that sucks, the XtremeGamer can use just a standard mini toslink, guess this can't. What about coaxial? Surely that can work just fine and its the exact same sound quality and signal as optical.
#28
Get a cheaper Audigy
Then if you want optical chances are your MB will have an optical out, so use the audigy for PC speakers/gaming etc & use the optical out on your MB for movies.
#29
Squelds
You say about the Audigy, was gonna put one in my gaming rig coz ive read about onboard sound resource hogging. ATM im using onboard 5.1 so will i benefit from installing a PCI Audigy or wont i really notice any difference if its software processing anyway ?


It'll probably make 5-10% difference in your CPU usage if you have all your audio settings cranked up, if you've got a decent set of speakers and headphones then it might be worth going for but it's probably not worth it for the performance increase alone.

joylove
If only it would embed Digital audio onto an HDMI cabe loo[pthrough for my Home theater PC :(


My X-fi Titanium works fine with the HDMI output of my Radeon 4850 (I haven't checked whether the x-fi has any actual involvement with that signal, but it certainly doesn't conflict).

gnoofz
Thanks for this deal!

Just wondering though, does this card have the proper front panel connector bits to connect the front audio jacks of the case?

I vaguely remember that some/one of the x-fi cards did not have this and that put me off buying it.


I'm fairly sure it's this range that doesn't have the intel-standard front panel audio jack connections (although it'll hook up to an x-fi front panel), I think the newer Titanium PCI-E model may do though.
#30
an audigy 2 will be a big jump up from your onboard sound, your pc will run slightly faster too.

and i have the fatality pcie card fo this and its brilliant for music through my stereo. dont play games on my pc socouldnt tell you about that side of it.
#31
would this be a better buy than the xfi extreme music,
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?CRE-XFIEE
#32
bcham
would this be a better buy than the xfi extreme music,
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?CRE-XFIEE

No - the XtremeAudio is much worse.
#33
Unfortunately guys the card ive got sat in front of me just states Audigy SB1394 SB0090, so i think its just a number1. It came out of a broken pc so was free, was gonna sell it if it wouldnt make any difference to my rig. Just curious coz being free id chuck it in my spare PCI slot.
#34
Stud
I got the Elite Pro shortly after it came out, but only because of a 'pricing error'. The website I bought it from had the decimal point wrong, so I paid ~£24 instead of ~£240. My best bargain ever (and it was fixed 5mins later).

You'll only get an improvement in sound if you have the speakers to match. And the 'crystalizer' does indeed make poorer MP3s and other formats sound better. Just don't use it with 320kbps MP3s or FLAC formats, as I find it screws the sound up (trying to fix something that doesn't need fixing).

In terms of Vista drivers - I haven't checked for a few months, but last time I checked the console and all that jazz that works under XP was still not available. Shocking, tbh, but at least I didn't pay over £200!


Everything works fine in Vista, I got an Elite Pro when PC World had them up for £80 at Xmas, it's a brilliant sounding card, the sound quality is fantastic, it was like night and day compared to the Audigy 4 Pro it replaced.
#35
Looks like a decent card for the price but whatever happened to coaxial? Surely that is still a good way to get sound I am surprised not to see it mentioned here at all.
#36
joylove
If only it would embed Digital audio onto an HDMI cable loop through for my Home theater PC :(

ASUS Xonar HDAV can do this.
http://uk.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=25&l2=150&l3=0&l4=0&model=2355&modelmenu=1
http://www.elite*******s.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=613&Itemid=27
#37
joylove
Why would I be restricted to DTS and DD?

Erm, because how else are you planning to transport digital surround ?

SPDIF is limited to 2 channel audio. And the only way to fit 5.1 (or 7.1) into 2.0 is to compress it - with Dolby Digital or DTS.
joylove
And why would I get better sound quality when the soundcard is on a noisy supply with an unscreened card in an EMC nightmare PC?

See above.
DD and DTS are lossy codecs - if you want the best possible output, then analogue is the way to go.
#38
industrial
This card is really good but to get optical out you need to find a dongle for the back that goes into the microphone socket. This is about 10 to 15 pounds and is not so easy to find. I had to get mine from the staes.

Not true - that Microphone socket contains a CoAxial SPDIF out.
All you need is a simple adaptor
http://www.summitsource.com/images/products/ADS122.jpg
to convert it into a full-size CoAxial output.

Either stick with that, or convert it to Optical if you're out of CoAxial inputs - eBay item 330310574747 will do the trick.
industrial
If you want to use DTS you also need new software from creative which is about £3 otherwise you just get 2.0 through the optical.

Grab the software pack from http://buy.soundblaster.com/_creativelabsstore/cgi-bin/pd.cgi?page=product_detail&category=Software&pid=F2222DDN6Z2H2ADDEZD - it does Dolby Digital too :)
#39
xtrem3x
Get a cheaper Audigy
Then if you want optical chances are your MB will have an optical out, so use the audigy for PC speakers/gaming etc & use the optical out on your MB for movies.

Don't go this route ! As above, the Creative cards already include an SPDIF out.

Dual Soundcards can open up a whole world of pain...
#40
psd99
Looks like a decent card for the price but whatever happened to coaxial? Surely that is still a good way to get sound I am surprised not to see it mentioned here at all.

See above - SPDIF always comes as either CoAxial or Optical.
Both produce identical audio, and it's trivial to convert between one or the other with a simple box - eBay Item 330310574747 or 280342836040

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