I recently began looking into new sound cards. I currently have a Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer, but would like to move this into my secondary computer. I skipped the X-Fi Titanium generation, and one reason was that they don't support 7.1. After reading The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio I learned that the new Z series of SB cards will not be an option for me, as they are just using software to do the work. I can't imagine what that's all about, nor can I imagine choosing to purchase one of those. I do still play older games which use OpenAL/EAX/DirectSound3D and will forever mourn the demise of these APIs.
I also don't have an interest in the Asus cards, because I am comfortable using Creative Alchemy and do like having the full EAX 5.0 support in older games.
Does anyone know why the Titanium series cards support 5.1 surround but not 7.1? I have used 7.1 speakers (the Creative Labs GigaWorks S750 set) for the past 8 years. Other companies are still supporting 7.1, but not Creative.
If I choose to go with a Titanium, will I still be able to use the 7.1 speakers through an upmix function? Is the software still the same as what I use with the XtremeGamer? I still see four speaker outputs on the Titanium cards (assume sub/center, front, rear, sides). But the specs list Line In, Lint Out, SPDIF In and SPDIF Out. It lists 5.1 or 7.1 speakers as an additional feature, but all the literature states this is a 5.1 card.
Also, with the Titanium, will I still be able to use 7.1 audio from BluRay discs? Or only 5.1? I think this is the same question as above, but not 100% sure.
Thanks for any insights.