Creative X-Fi impressions?

Dunno if you’re much of an audiophile, but the Elite Pro is pretty impressive. So’s the price, but at least you’re paying for a neat software bundle, better DACs, the ability to plug in a turntable and guitar hot.

If you get a model with a breakout box (the Platinum or Gamer or Elite Pro) you get optical output on that.

Do people really think that much about the branding? I highly doubt it. Anyone going out to buy the top-of-the-line latest’n’greatest isn’t going to worry much about paying an extra bit of change, regardless of the reason; they’ll just want it for the features (if it has the features they want). The only way people are going to be bothered by the endorsement deal is on principle.

The branding drove me away as well. I must not be the demographic that Creative labs and Asus are targeting with this fatality silliness.*

My aversion has nothing to do with my principles, and everything to do with my good taste. It’s the automotive equivalent of a burnt orange Ford F-150 plastered with Texas Longhorns emblems. While I’m sure there are Longhorn fans who would love one, it’s not something a normal person is likely to want.

    • I settled for an A8N-SLI DELUXE and cannibalized my older system of its Audigy2 ZS + drive bay control panel.

If you get a model with a breakout box (the Platinum or Gamer or Elite Pro) you get optical output on that.[/quote]

Meh. Soundcard to box to speakers. Yay, more cables to buy and take up space.

Odd, I wouldn’t expect something that’s mostly hidden from view and the only thing seen by very few people (including yourself) being the “Fatal1ty” logo in one corner to be the equivalent of your example. Too each his/her own, though. To me, it’s all about substance over style. If it has the features, I’ll get it; if it doesn’t, I won’t.

I’m not defending them, though. Personally, I despise branding of any sort on anything I own. I just don’t think most people think that way about a little word (if they even understand what it means).

It’s about time Creative developed some new tech. They’ve been riding that Emu 10K_ thing for like 8 years. The new cards seem like really slick pieces of kit. My complaints are threefold. The prices are ludicrous. Still no Dolby Digital/DTS live support for realtime audio. And I didn’t see a PCI express version in the line up.

I really think the RIAA phono inputs were a great idea. I wish my Game Theater XP breakout box had that.

Too bad you can’t get the “gamer” card with X-RAM, but without the breakout box. I’d never even bother to install the breakout box. I owned an SB-Live platinum a few years ago, and that box and remote were entirely useless to me.

a pci-express version? Do any manufacturer’s even make motherboards that have more than 2 pci express slots?

Yep, that’s my biggest beef with the product line as it currently stands. But I do like the 1/4" headphone jack on the front panel.

It will be some time before you see all PCI-E systems (except for a couple of Shuttle small from factor cubes, but that’s limited to begin with).

According to Creative, building a PCI-E version of the X-Fi would introduce unacceptable latency. I believe the X-Fi chip is PCI internally, and you’d need a PCI-PCIe bridge on the card, which would explain the latency issue. They’d have to respin the chip to make it native PCIe. Design on the chip started two years ago, and PCIe wasn’t fully baked then, so they had to put a stake in the ground.

We’ll see native PCI products from a variety of vendors for the next several years. PCI will survive longer than the old ISA bus did.