Creative Soundblaster X Fi Xtreme Gamer Soundcard
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Anyway, as I am using good old XP I thought I would be OK. However, I immediately experienced an intermittent, but very severe crackling sound. Sometimes I even lost sound completely and had to reboot and a few times the PC actually crashed. After Googling this, I found on Wikipedia and Creative's own forums that this is a long known problem. It appears to be a problem with the PCI bus on mobos with certain chipsets. Creative is convinced that it only affects nVidia nForce chipsets, as these are the mobos with which they have run tests. However, I and others with VIA chipsets have experienced the same problem. It looks as though X-Fi cards really need to be used with the PCI Express interface, but the Xtreme Gamer is only available as PCI. As I only have standard PCI slots, I took my X-Fi back to the store and bought myself a second hand Audigy 2 ZS (superior to the SE version) from eBay and that works with no problems! The X-Fi is a great card IF you can get it to work properly.
And the sound.. Well, put it this way, I had the Asus Xonar DG, and it was nowhere near as good as this.
Really happy with the purchase. (I bought the Creative refurbished one).
Oh, and don't listen to those claiming that there are problems with drivers in Windows 7 - there are not. At least I don't have any.
Just download the latest drivers from Creative, and everything will work great.
Music, gaming, DVDs and Blu-rays are all so much better with the addition of this sound card.
In response to the previous reviewer's remarks, you'd only experience crackling in two situations 1) playing games more than 3 years old (b) EMI interference affecting pc case audio cabling.
The former can be resolved by switching out of gaming mode and using entertainment mode (one of the three sound modes is bound to work with an old game). The latter is resolved by not connecting the front audio cables at installation and then your headphones will be defualted to the back port of the card, which is protected against EMI interference.
Works perfectly with Windows 7 after downloading relevant drivers from Creative Labs website.
Therefore, five stars for great little card!
Now i've used it for a variety of games, and i can say it is defiantly better than my old onboard sound. Older games do sound nicer with it, but there not up to some modern standards. I hoped it would all make all games sound amazing, and instead it has made all games sound great, with those few gems still sparkling.
If you got a decent pc, ect and looking to spend another £100 then id recommend it, if your looking at this or a new graphics card or something, id go with the other thing first.
The sound is better than onboard sound, The difference to me is it seems to be able to play particular notes which I previously never heard, mainly low notes, and higher notes are crisper too. But I have to listen carefully to tell the difference.
I've had no problems with installation or compatibility, (Win 7 64bit)
(AMD based chipset and cpu.)
From what I've read this PCI version is is better than the cheaper PCI express one, (Without lots of capacitors) So watch out for that, apparently lots of capacitors are good for a sound card, and as it has a heat sink, you know its really processing under its own steam and not the Cpu.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
worked flawlessly until I upgraded & new MB was PCI-E only... Oops. my faultPublished on 19 Oct. 2014 by Robin G
Works fantastic on windows 7, 86/64 using the windows 7 driver!!!!!
Some of the components on the card are generic compared to an original.
But you cannot go wrong.
I bought this card early 2012 and immediately stumbled on to a problem with almost all of my games: The Dolby Digital Live encoding with this card does not work properly. Read morePublished on 5 April 2012 by namewithapen
Very clear and not overpowering sound quality. Got it for my new computer for desk top speakers. Very clear and precise sound which seems to do a excellent job of picking out... Read morePublished on 1 Mar. 2011 by Michael T. Davies