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X-Fi vs Xonar

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

I was recently forced to retire my old PCI X-Fi XtremeMusic and now I'm in the market for a new card. Trying to decide between the X-Fi Titanium (non HD) and the Xonar D2X. From what I've read it seems both Creative and ASUS have driver issues with W7 X64 even though I personally never had any driver issues in the 5 or so years I've used my old X-Fi including over a year under W7 X64...   in any case a major feature I need in my new card is good 3d positional audio for the sake of gaming. My old X-Fi's CMSS-3D was awesome and for that reason alone I was planning to simply pick up the Titanium and be done with it... but from what I've heard the ASUS cards seem to be all around better than the X-Fi's with the exception of EAX support and such. Now I doubt it that I'll notice any difference in sound quality between the Titanium and the D2X with my lowly HD555's so my main concern is how CMSS-3D compares to the Xonar card's Dolby Headphone 3D positional audio? And which of these 2 cards do you reckon would be the better choice with gaming being a primary focus but also quite abit of HD video viewing involved?



 

 

 

post #2 of 40

SQ wise, D2X is better than X-Fi Titanium, but that's regarding SQ itself, not positional audio, which is indeed better on the Titanium. If gaming is your main focus, Titanium all the way. In the end, it all comes down to the price you can get each card.

post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 

The price difference between the cards is neglible to me. I do game alot but im actually leaning abit more towards the D2X right now, still not sure though its a pretty tough call for me :|

post #4 of 40

Well, X-Fi soundcards just beat Xonar soundcards when it comes to gaming. They do better positional audio, have a lower overhead and real EAX support (version 1 to 5). Why can't you get the Titanium HD? Their price isn't so different, last time I checked.

post #5 of 40

The thing is, the titanium HD can't switch between your speakers/monitors and your headphones. The only way is to have a Y-splitter or to disconnect your headphones every time you wan't to use your speakers..

Though the disk that comes with titanium HD is PACKED with software ranging all across the music spectrum. Probably around 300Mb worth of software if im not wrong. Though I doubt you will ever use half of it.

 

The only 2 flaws with Titanium HD right now is you can't switch between speakers/headphones and the drivers react really slow.

They will have an update soon though.

 

If I had the extra cash, i would pay for the Xonar D2X only for the reason that you can switch between speakers and headphones.

post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 

I heard the EAX Advanced HD is somewhat screwy on the Titanium under Win7 and that its not a whole lot different to the how the Xonar "fakes" it. Any idea if thats still a problem? since Creative arent exactly known for their awesome drivers or support...

post #7 of 40

The thing is that Xonar EAX emulation sounds awfully fake indeed. I don't like to use Creative's fancy names for EAX. Advanced HD is supposed to be EAX3 if I'm not mistaken. Basically every soundcard that's not a Creative only has hardware support for EAX2, Creative has EAX3 up to EAX5. The only issues I've seen with EAX was when Vista came out, before SP1. Afterwards things were running smooth, on both x86 and x64 OSes (Vista and above, of course).

 

Even without having EAX turned on, Titanium's sound in games is very clear, with no issues, popping or the likes, which do happen with Xonar soundcards.

 

Creative support is terrible, and the drivers out of the box can be tricky. Luckily, components can be installed separately, and there is an acceptable community support.

post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 

The speaker/headphone issue really doesnt bother as I almost never use speakers, 95% of the time im using my HD555's. I think ill go with the X-Fi since I really enjoyed my original XtremeMusic and thankfully never had any driver issues plus im used to the Creative Audio Console. Not to mention the external power via the seemingly fragile floppy connector the D2X needs is kind of a turnoff for me even though the card itself looks sexy. One thing im wondering right now, does the Fatal1ty version of the Titanium differ in any significant way to the regular one expect the cover (which isnt even an EMI shield from what ive come to understand) or will I simply be paying extra for the name?


 

post #9 of 40

The cover is indeed an EMI shield, not just a piece of plastic wink.gif Also, the Fatal1ty has 64MB of onboard memory and full support for Dolby Digital Live and DTS HD.

post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 

Ah yes I totally forgot about the XRAM... though from reading online it seems that a precious few games utilize it. In any case do you reckon its worth to fork out a little extra for the Fatal1ty over the vanilla Titanium? I have to say im a sucker for looks :D

post #11 of 40

Well, not many games use X-RAM, but you have the EMI shield that does look better than the plain Titanium, as well as better digital I/O and the full support for Dolby Digital Live and DTS HD.

 

I would probably wait a little more and get the Titanium HD, to be honest wink.gif

 

Otherwise, between the regular Titanium and the Titanium Fatal1ty, I might pick the regular Titanium, as the price difference around here is a bit significant, even if I would like to have the entire onboard memory, not just for softening the overhead, but also for added sounds.

 

Again, the prices of the Fatal1ty and the Titanium HD might not be that different, and you would have a much better soundcard if you could go with the Titanium HD. It's up to you.

post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 

Well waiting isnt much of an option for me as im currently stuck with VIA onboard audio... besides I think the Titanium HD is too hardcore of a sound card for me lol I doubt I'd notice much if any difference with it over the current Titanium atleast not without seriosuly upgrading my cans. Anyways I think ill go ahead and splurge on the Fatal1ty and be happy (hope I wont have any nasty driver issues) cheers for the input Roller you helped me out quite abit.

post #13 of 40

Alright, it's your call, the Titanium HD does fare better with headphones, but you'll be pleased enough with the Titanium Fatal1ty. After you get it, do report on how it performs, as there are a few things that can be done in case some issues do surface. I'm glad to help in any way I can, man, all for the joy of sound biggrin.gif

post #14 of 40

creative is having a pretty decent valentine's day sale right now too.  i'm tempted to buy one of those external cards like the  X-Fi HD or X-Fi surround 5.1 pro. 

post #15 of 40

X-Fi HD is the Creative USB solution to go for, as long as SQ is in mind, not gaming, as it doesn't support gaming and entertainment features, focusing more on audio itself.

 

On the other hand, if someone plans on getting the X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro, do yourself a favor and get the non-Pro version, as the regular version is indeed superior.

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