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How much better is X-FI from Audigy2

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R4z0r4mu5 Pr|m3

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Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Location
New York
unless you get the elite pro version of the x-fi, not much

except for the elite pro, all the x-fi cards use the same DACs and opamps as the Audigy2, DACs are one of if not THE determining factor of sound quality next to the audio chip itself

as for the audigy 4, here is an article that compares the A4 and A2ZS:

http://www.anandtech.com/multimedia/showdoc.aspx?i=2338&p=4

Interestingly, the Audigy 4 is a top performer in our tests, as the improved build quality serve to mask some of the issues that we've seen with the Audigy 2. We would still like to see balanced I/O, and truly reprogrammable sampling rates (to avoid the 44.1kHz resampling issue and IMD problems altogether). But overall, the Audigy 4 Pro is a welcome improvement to the Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro. Not so much that we would recommend upgrading, but if you have to choose between them, we would point in the direction of the Audigy 4.
 

tom10167

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Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Location
Phoenix. YOUR HAIR IS GOOD TO EAT
Creative ........marketing.


I regrettably bought an Audigy 2 Platinum and don't plan on buying another Creative sound card ever again.


The OMGZ X-FI uses the same Digital-Analog converter as the Audigy 2, so what are you buying?

A bunch of CRAP.
 
OP
lXlFUSElXl

lXlFUSElXl

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Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Location
Pa
I want to keep my price range around 50-80 bux....but i would go better if there is a great difference between a pair
 

Intrepid

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Joined
Jun 30, 2002
Location
Boise, ID, USA
If your gonna spend the $200 for one of those crazy high end audigy cards, I would suggest you spend it on something better for you buck. The E-MU 1212M is a damn fine $200 card. Also, check out the M-Audio revo 5.1 (not the 7.1 as its DAC is weaker) and the M-Audio Audiophilia. The M-Audio cards are 5.1 capable, good for movies and games that support it, but since all music is only sterio, the E-MU is 2 channel, so 2.1 but its geared for music lovers. All these cards can record decently as well but the 1212M is better made for that as well.

Also for better sound card information, check out www.head-fi.org as they are a forum geared to sound stuff specificaly.
 

marscay

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Location
London, UK
the elite pro is far superior to the audigy2 due to having the emu1212m DAC and good quality opamps.

the rest of the x-fi models aren't much further ahead than audigy2 except in CMSS + u get EAX5.
 

Buhammot

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Joined
Nov 21, 2002
Location
North Carolina
Not to forget that the xfi has 128 3d streams while the audigy 2 has only 64. small difference, and only taken advantage in certian games as of yet.
 

Chaos_Being

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Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Location
Eldersburg (Sykesville,) Maryland
Interesting post, actually I was going to ask this exact question. I'm sick of crappy onboard sound, so my next build is going to have a dedicated sound card. I was trying to compare an Audigy 2 ZS oem for $70 to an X-fi XtremeMusic for $117. Sounds like there may not be $47 worth of extra performance with the X-fi, eh?
 

four4875

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Jan 6, 2003
Location
I can see walmart, 44906
if the opamps are of lesser quality... why arent they being replaced? is it not worth the SQ improvement for the effort? i see people replacing output caps.. but what about the whole opamps? even if it is a less-than-desirable package for the chip, it can always be adapted to other pinouts (even soldering on jumpers to a socket would work, no? unless RFI would be too great along the wires to the new ocket, but that doesnt really seem like it would be that bad, at least i wouldnt think anything on an audible level, and the inducted noise would be extremely low if there was any.

I'm considering trying this on a PCI sound card (for practice and experamentation) and also have thought about possibly doing something to adjust output gain. I would love to have a little more gain straight out of the card for headphones use. but either pot style like a Vmod to change gains or a jumper and resistor (jumper to bypass gain changes)

so whats everyone think? feasable to change out opamps for better ones? possibly completely taking out the output stage and replacing with something like a cmoy?

Unfortunately im not too well into the workings of the audio end of stuff, and im not as much into SQ as others here, and i might not even be able to notice a diff in the opamp qualities and such, i just know that more output power would be nice for the LAN parties where im using headphones (also would consider a similar mod to the laptop if sucessful)
 

murdok5

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Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Location
Portland OR
would there be any difference from say an on-board optical out versus a X-FI optical out? (dont remember if they even have optical on those cards, but if they did/do)

Mike
 

grunjee

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Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Location
Tri-Cities, Washington
I'm probably going to get flamed for saying it, but I love my X-Fi (Fatal1ty)... I have never heard cleaner sound coming from my PC, and I still have the same (Klipsch) speakers I used with my Audigy2. There is just no comparison... the Audigy2 always sounded like warmed over a$$.

Make no mistake... I still despise Creative and was reluctant to put down $300 for this card, but the sound is truly worth it IMO.
 

marscay

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Location
London, UK
i was in the same boat with my audigy2 ....i wanted better music quality which i route to my yamaha amp so i decided to go for the elite pro x-fi due to it's emu1212m DAC.

expensive card but the sound quality is phenomenal v the a2.

breakout box is nice too :p
 

Firey_chasm

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Location
Guildford, England
I used to use an extigy and got myself the x-fi fatality and the difference is insane i thik it mainly the crystalising or something im not an expert but well worth the money over the extigy.
 

ocing newbie

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Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
If you play bf2 then x-fi is so much better. I also really like the crystalizer for listening to mp3s. I can't really answer your question very well as I know nothing about audigy's, I had a sb live 5.1 before I got my x-fi.
 

Chunkylover763

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Jun 1, 2004
Location
123 Fake Street
There seems to be a lot of bias around here against creative and esp the new X-Fi cards. I have an audigy 2 and was blown away when I first got it, it made me want to listen to all of my music again and again, it was like I had never truly heard it till then. This week, I got an X-Fi and let me tell you, I feel the same way all over again. I ussualy prefer not to use the crystalizer though, as the audiophile in me enjoys the sound of unaltered music. Gaming with the X-Fi is exceptional, I often times have to use headphones because my roommate and I are on different sleep patterns and I used to be disappointed because I lost the doppler effect, but with the 3D CMSS, I find myself reaching for the headphones even when he's not sleeping.

In the end, it comes down to two things, first of all, how nice of speakers do you have, and secondly, how important is sound to you?
 

R4z0r4mu5 Pr|m3

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Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Location
New York
taste and appreciation for sound has a long way to develop, creative is good for general purpose and excel in games but if you heard better (which isn't too hard) you'd have that blown away feeling all over again Chunkylover763, it's not bias against creative, it's that the soundblaster line just doesn't sound that good overall compared to real decent quality sound cards - it is made for gaming, the emu professional line made by creative is awesome and audiophiles love it, for games there is nothing better than a top of the line soundblaster which happens to be the x-fi elite pro as of now
 

PhobMX

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Joined
Jun 27, 2002
Location
Toronto, ON, Canada
Chaos_Being said:
Interesting post, actually I was going to ask this exact question. I'm sick of crappy onboard sound, so my next build is going to have a dedicated sound card. I was trying to compare an Audigy 2 ZS oem for $70 to an X-fi XtremeMusic for $117. Sounds like there may not be $47 worth of extra performance with the X-fi, eh?

im personally very happy with my audigy2, but since creative keeps releasing new EAX revs it force us buyers to get the new stuff, hence I've already ordered my X-FI.

For me, $47 difference for the new EAX to be used in a bunch of games is well worth the money, i dont want to spend that much on the elite pro, i know the extrememusic (or whatever crap that is) will satisfy my needs.

And yes theres a lot of bias against creative because of the aforementioned sound quality in music and OLD VERY OLD driver issues (heck, its older than saying than ATI drivers sux ROFL) , but hey, for gamers theres nothing better...
 

murdok5

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Mar 4, 2004
Location
Portland OR
I have an audigy 2 and its great. I will eventually get an X-FI in my next computer, because i mostly game. there are different kinds of audiophiles out there. Some record music, some play music, some compose, whatever. each has different needs. The X-FI is much better than the audigy 2 because it gets more FPS in games, which is why i would buy it.

I will buy an X-FI when i get my next comp simply because of the onboard ram and the fact that it will take more of a load off the rest of my system for games. Ill buy a sound card for games first, then sound.

there is usually to much goin on around my place to appreciate the clear sound, and yes i have nice headphones, but i cant wear them for extended periods, jsut gets annoying. but thats just me