Gamers: X-Fi worth it?
Mar 28, 2006 at 9:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30

s3r

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Recently I got back into action gaming (FEAR, COD2, etc) at LANs, and I'm finding sound is very important (I forgot how much so!).

Right now I'm on a Chaintech AV710, which I love for the stereo audio, but it has no support for game features. So, I'm considering getting the bottom-end X-Fi for the EAX support and, more important, the virtual headphone surround, which I hear is very good.

I'm wondering if it's worth spending ~$100 to get the X-Fi. Also, will the stereo audio quality for music be much of a downgrade from my AV710?

Presently I'm gaming with my MisterX MINT->HD-280 Pro, although there may be a DT770 or A900 in my future, if this gaming keeps up.
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Thanks.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 10:25 AM Post #2 of 30

Seirrah

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The X-Fi will be a big improvement in games.

I'm no expert but what I'm thinking is.....why not have both? Use your Chaintech AV710 for music, and X-fi for games. You can then test the x-fi for music and if it's good enough for you then sell your Chaintech maybe.

I'm assuming you have a spare PCI slot of course
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Mar 28, 2006 at 12:24 PM Post #3 of 30

Razoramus

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the Chaintech AV-710 does support up to EAX2, i think the x-fi is only worth it if you game in surround which would require surround speakers, it does sound very good though in audio creation mode with crystallizer off, i don't know if it's a downgrade or upgrade from the av-710 as i've heard them with different speakers but they are both very good sounding, how are you amping your phones right now since the av-710 is ampless?
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 12:34 PM Post #4 of 30

Seirrah

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That's in the sig?
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 1:46 PM Post #5 of 30

breadcrumbs

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X-Fi is currently the only soundcard along with the Audigy 4s that has any support for OpenAL. Check whether the games you play use OpenAL, and if they do, X-Fi is most definately worth it purely for the OpenAL, but you also get good SQ and EAX too.

That said, I hate the way Creative has colluded with game developers to make sure OpenAL gets included in their product. I felt forced into getting an X-Fi because the base sound in the games I play (Quake 4) was so abysmally bad that OpenAL was my only option. But there you go...
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 2:44 PM Post #6 of 30

003

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Yes it will. The virtual headphone surround is amazing, and most games use EAX 4/5, which only the X-fi will support, not to mention OpenAL.
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 3:45 AM Post #7 of 30

markot86

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I say for any headphone gamer the x-fi is an amazing improvement; depending on the games you play. I absolutely love it for oblivion and bf2.

If you get the x-fi, don't bother with a second card. I actually really like the line out on the x-fi; quite strong, low noise floor, and pretty darn good sound quality. Also, the x-fi is capable of bit perfect digital out, so there's no need for a chaintech.
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 4:41 AM Post #8 of 30

Helter Skelter

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I've got a quick question, but don't feel the need to create a whole thread for it.

Does the CMSS-3D Headphone function work when using digital (coax or toslink) output? That is, could I run it to an external DAC (or the input of another soundcard) and still get the HRTF processing?

And does anyone know how well the X-Fi plays along with an EMU 0404 in the same system? I know there was some driver fiddling that had to be done with the Audigy cards, not sure if the same holds true now.

I'm building a new machine, and if it'd be too much of a pain to get a X-Fi working together nicely with my 0404, I may just sell the 0404 and grab the X-Fi Elite Pro for the nicer DACs. I'd like to know what I'm getting into beforehand.
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 4:54 AM Post #9 of 30

Discobiscuits

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I won a fatal1ty x-fi in a quake 4 tournament. the switch from a usb headset to my super.fi 5 pro's on the fatal1ty sound card was HUGE. I didn't know the super.fi's were capable of this great sound. It fits my needs perfectly (Nice bass, while still keeping the highs and mids clear.)

I'd say it'd be worth it, but I didn't pay the $280 to get it. OpenAL for Quake 4 sounds way too much better than the default sound device. It's not even funny how easy it is to hear footsteps -_-. Too bad Creative made the companies (apparently) do that just for their benefit.
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 7:28 AM Post #10 of 30

swatx

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i dont like CMSS-3d for headphones.! i dont know why. its might be my headphones but whenever i try to use CMSS3d with cs source i find the sound blocky, lacking in bass.

i am currenty using HD 201 but i might get Audio technics a500 later on.
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 7:50 AM Post #11 of 30

Discobiscuits

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Quote:

Originally Posted by swatx
i dont like CMSS-3d for headphones.! i dont know why. its might be my headphones but whenever i try to use CMSS3d with cs source i find the sound blocky, lacking in bass.

i am currenty using HD 201 but i might get Audio technics a500 later on.



for your headphones do you use the headphone mode? or do you use like 2.1?

i'm actually using 5.1 right now, and it sounds a lot better than the headphone preset... are you getting this too?
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 2:09 PM Post #12 of 30

BOERteun

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Helter Skelter
I've got a quick question, but don't feel the need to create a whole thread for it.

Does the CMSS-3D Headphone function work when using digital (coax or toslink) output? That is, could I run it to an external DAC (or the input of another soundcard) and still get the HRTF processing?



Quick answer: yes, although I'm not sure about the second soundcard thingy.
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 2:35 PM Post #13 of 30

003

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Discobiscuits
i'm actually using 5.1 right now, and it sounds a lot better than the headphone preset... are you getting this too?


That will not give you virtual surround. If anything it will mess up the sound, and you won't be able to hear everything because it is expecting for 6 drivers to output the sound, when in fact there are only 2. Headphone it the best mode. CMSS 3DHeadphone will sound bad on cheaper headphones, such as the HD201.
 
Mar 31, 2006 at 10:09 AM Post #14 of 30

Discobiscuits

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 003
That will not give you virtual surround. If anything it will mess up the sound, and you won't be able to hear everything because it is expecting for 6 drivers to output the sound, when in fact there are only 2. Headphone it the best mode. CMSS 3DHeadphone will sound bad on cheaper headphones, such as the HD201.


yeah, that cmss 3dheadphone sounds pretty damn bad on my super.fi 5pro's. i disabled it, and everything got clearer.

thanks for clearing that up for me
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