X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

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X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:46 pm

I have my Logitech Z-5300e speakers currently hooked up to my MB (Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L) and recently found my X-Fi Extreme Music card from a few years ago and was thinking of putting it in my current system or would I be better served by my onboard audio?
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:52 pm

Lol, if you already have it, then please by all means possible, use the card. If the drivers don't kick you in the nuts, you won't regret installing it.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:56 pm

Meadows wrote:...If the drivers don't kick you in the nuts, you won't regret installing it.

This is why I removed it in the first place, but thought it might be worth another try.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:59 pm

Spec4 wrote:
Meadows wrote:...If the drivers don't kick you in the nuts, you won't regret installing it.

This is why I removed it in the first place, but thought it might be worth another try.

Most definitely. If you haven't touched it in years, that means you might be surprised using Creative's latest drivers available. They managed to cut the crap mostly over the course of last year and showed something decent in response to crowd outcry and emerging competition.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:55 pm

Right now I'm using onboard audio and playing FPS games.
I really want to go back to my X-Fi Fatal1ty.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:06 pm

Meadows wrote:Lol, if you already have it, then please by all means possible, use the card. If the drivers don't kick you in the nuts, you won't regret installing it.


^What he said. Make a restore point then driver clean the onboard drivers and install the X-fi. If it works poorly use the restore point.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:10 pm

Having gone from an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro *to* onboard audio, I would say "don't bother".

I have a pretty good set of ears and the sound quality actually improved, mainly because of Creative's dumbass resampling. Then again, it seems Gigabyte has a pretty good implementation of Realtek's audio, so I may have been blessed. Up until that day, every motherboard audio solution (bar Soundstorm) sounded like crap, with lots of hiss.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:13 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:driver clean the onboard drivers

What for?
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:24 pm

Meadows wrote:
MadManOriginal wrote:driver clean the onboard drivers

What for?

Yeah, the integrated audio drivers won't interfere with the X-Fi...at least, they shouldn't.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:34 pm

morphine wrote:Having gone from an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro *to* onboard audio, I would say "don't bother".

I have a pretty good set of ears and the sound quality actually improved, mainly because of Creative's dumbass resampling. Then again, it seems Gigabyte has a pretty good implementation of Realtek's audio, so I may have been blessed. Up until that day, every motherboard audio solution (bar Soundstorm) sounded like crap, with lots of hiss.

I went from a turtle beach mx300 to santa cruz, to audigy2zs, to X-FI, and Prelude.
Other than the santa cruz, which seemed a step down from the mx300, every other card was an improvement over the last.
If your onboard is true 24-bit, which most are now, then I can see it sounding better than the audigy2, which isn't true 24-bit, and samples everything going through the dsp to 16/48.
The Xtreme Music sounds 2-3X better than the A2, and 3-4X better than generic onboard, so I would definitely recommend using it over onboard.
Spec4 wrote:I have my Logitech Z-5300e speakers currently hooked up to my MB (Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L) and recently found my X-Fi Extreme Music card from a few years ago and was thinking of putting it in my current system or would I be better served by my onboard audio?

If you don't want to use any of creative's control panels or programs, you can just install the basic driver.
You do lose some extra functions by not installing everything though.
I would also recommend this program, depending on if you change settings a lot:
http://www.freewebs.com/spectra9/xfmc.html

Another tip:
I have the same speakers and find that they sound much better setting the bass redirection @ 150.
Logitech's internal crossover sucks.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:34 pm

well, that depends.
are you going to install an old creative card on windows vista? j/k
your card should give better quality sound than onboard.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:39 pm

l33t-g4m3r wrote:If your onboard is true 24-bit, which most are now, then I can see it sounding better than the audigy2, which isn't true 24-bit, and samples everything going through the dsp to 16/48.

It was the 44100->48000 resampling that was comparatively ruining my audio, basically.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:41 pm

It shows how tarnished the X-Fi brand is that people wonder if it's better than integrated. I personally like my X-Fi, but the best part about it is the front box and remote control (X-Fi Platinum).
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:57 pm

morphine wrote:
l33t-g4m3r wrote:If your onboard is true 24-bit, which most are now, then I can see it sounding better than the audigy2, which isn't true 24-bit, and samples everything going through the dsp to 16/48.

It was the 44100->48000 resampling that was comparatively ruining my audio, basically.

I used foobar which had a plugin that worked around that issue. Did the resampling in software.
Know what you are talking about though.

You also had to turn off the extra effects like EQ and upmixing, to bypass the dsp resampling.

TurtlePerson2 wrote:It shows how tarnished the X-Fi brand is that people wonder if it's better than integrated. I personally like my X-Fi, but the best part about it is the front box and remote control (X-Fi Platinum).

I had the Xtreme music and bought the I/O Console for the extras.
The x1900 AIW had a better remote though.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:07 pm

l33t-g4m3r wrote:You also had to turn off the extra effects like EQ and upmixing, to bypass the dsp resampling

Yeah, pretty much. But the EQ I "couldn't" turn off to get the sound like I wanted to with the speakers I was using at the time. Same with the front-to-back sound copy, which I also needed.

Among other factors were the numerous artificial limits, ASIO driver issues, and the simple fact that a "recording-quality" sound solution still had copious amount of noise in the line-ins. Pfffft.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:29 pm

titan wrote:
Meadows wrote:
MadManOriginal wrote:driver clean the onboard drivers

What for?

Yeah, the integrated audio drivers won't interfere with the X-Fi...at least, they shouldn't.


Of course...when replacing a part with another one the drivers should 'never interfere.' In the real world? Why take the chance, it's not lke it's hard to do or anything.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:35 pm

You don't really need to run a cleaner.
The uninstaller should work fine, unless you're using the default windows drivers, then you don't need to do anything.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:39 pm

l33t-g4m3r wrote:If your onboard is true 24-bit, which most are now,

The problem is, intel Azalia-type codecs (Realtek HD Audio, most prominently) should support 32-bit out of the box, but manufacturers generally don't bother implementing it. That scratches my chalkboard in a very bad way. I might have to invest in a Xonar somewhere down the line just to get true 32-bit sound, 192 kHz master mixing sample rate without the glitches I get now, top quality audio in games, and a nice box to join the others on my "box shelf". Probably next to the pretty Sennheiser box.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:42 pm

Meadows wrote:The problem is, intel Azalia-type codecs (Realtek HD Audio, most prominently) should support 32-bit out of the box, but manufacturers generally don't bother implementing it. That scratches my chalkboard in a very bad way. I might have to invest in a Xonar somewhere down the line just to get true 32-bit sound, 192 kHz master mixing sample rate without the glitches I get now, top quality audio in games, and a nice box to join the others on my "box shelf". Probably next to the pretty Sennheiser box.

You do realize that *nothing* that you're going to do (unless you do recording/producing) even has 24/96Khz depth, much less 32/192, right?
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:49 pm

Meadows wrote:
l33t-g4m3r wrote:If your onboard is true 24-bit, which most are now,

The problem is, intel Azalia-type codecs (Realtek HD Audio, most prominently) should support 32-bit out of the box, but manufacturers generally don't bother implementing it. That scratches my chalkboard in a very bad way. I might have to invest in a Xonar somewhere down the line just to get true 32-bit sound, 192 kHz master mixing sample rate without the glitches I get now, top quality audio in games, and a nice box to join the others on my "box shelf". Probably next to the pretty Sennheiser box.

I didn't know the Xonar was 32-bit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... toreType=0
morphine wrote:
Meadows wrote:The problem is, intel Azalia-type codecs (Realtek HD Audio, most prominently) should support 32-bit out of the box, but manufacturers generally don't bother implementing it. That scratches my chalkboard in a very bad way. I might have to invest in a Xonar somewhere down the line just to get true 32-bit sound, 192 kHz master mixing sample rate without the glitches I get now, top quality audio in games, and a nice box to join the others on my "box shelf". Probably next to the pretty Sennheiser box.

You do realize that *nothing* that you're going to do (unless you do recording/producing) even has 24/96Khz depth, much less 32/192, right?

He does, as his argument in the last thread was how there was no discernable difference between the audigy and the X-FI, 24-bit was pointless, and basic onboard should be good enough for everyone.
Then he endorses the Xonar. :roll:
Buy it, if that's what you want.
I have a hunch you'll be disappointed though.

Meadows, I've been using creative for a long time, and they've certainly had issues.
Just about any owner of their cards knows it.
However, I think most of the bugs have been fixed, and they are worth trying out again if you have an old card lying around, or picked one up cheap off ebay.
I'd still avoid buying the new creative cards, as they seem to be made worse than the old ones, use the same cheap caps(afaik), are overpriced, and DDL has activation.
(the exception being auzentech, they're probably the best.)
Last edited by l33t-g4m3r on Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:37 pm

There are a few reasons that CDs use 44.1 KHz. The critical one is that it's a really good choice for human hearing. It gives you 0-22.05KHz sound frequencies, which goes quite a bit higher than humans can hear anyway. We usually max out at around 16 KHz, I believe.

Higher fidelity audio is only going to be useful for studio work, when the audio needs to be processed in various ways. And in those cases what you'd want is higher quantizer bit depth (like 24-bit or 32-bit) to avoid excess damage from precision loss when the audio is processed over and over. A wider frequency range like 96 KHz (actual = 0-48 KHz)is only useful for some sort of use outside of human hearing.

At least this is what I gleaned from learning about digital signal processing. Twas painful.

The days of audio getting "way better" were when we went from 8-bit 11/22KHz to 16-bit 44.1 KHz. And then when we got sound cards that didn't obliterate signal quality like Sound Blaster 16 did. Some recent onboard audio implementations are just as damaging to the analog signal. But really, we've entered the era of extreme hair splitting.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:24 am

I don't believe the sampling frequency has anything to do with the frequency range. With digital music, the sampling rate (frequency) dictates how often a continuous analog signal is sampled per second to convert into a discrete and then digitized signal. Music sampled at a higher frequency retain more of the original analog signal, which is always good as far as I'm concerned. Going from 16/44.1 to 24/192 is a fairly audible difference, at least to me. Don't know about 24/192 to 32/192 though.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:56 am

morphine wrote:You do realize that [...] you do recording/producing, [...] right?

Yes.

l33t-g4m3r wrote:He does, as his argument in the last thread was how there was no discernable difference between the audigy and the X-FI, 24-bit was pointless, and basic onboard should be good enough for everyone.
Then he endorses the Xonar. :roll:
I have a hunch you'll be disappointed though.

I have a hunch you haven't the slightest idea about what audio quality is or why some people would like better stuff than the X-Fi.

The other forum post dealt with gaming concerns or common recreation, mainly. The last thing you need there is anything better than 16-bit, 48 kHz.
I use my trusty Realtek for gaming, EAX 2.0 rules. :P (as if any of my games used it except WoW - I have more OpenAL/proprietary games than EAX)
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:00 am

Zoomastigophora wrote:I don't believe the sampling frequency has anything to do with the frequency range. With digital music, the sampling rate (frequency) dictates how often a continuous analog signal is sampled per second to convert into a discrete and then digitized signal. Music sampled at a higher frequency retain more of the original analog signal, which is always good as far as I'm concerned. Going from 16/44.1 to 24/192 is a fairly audible difference, at least to me. Don't know about 24/192 to 32/192 though.

Sampling frequency DIRECTLY dictates frequency range. In order to define a wave of 5000 Hz, you need more than 10,000 Hz of sampling frequency (11,050 Hz or more), and even that will only produce a crude, distorted triangle wave. You can't produce a high frequency if you don't supply the sine wave coordinates quickly enough (sample frequency). For this reason, 44,100 Hz output is typically limited to little more than 21 kHz maximum, and 192 kHz will offer superior interpolation of analogue signals and an - irrelevant - maximum frequency of over 92 kHz. You could make dolphin music with that, or at least confuse their location.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist%E2 ... ng_theorem
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:24 pm

Meadows wrote:Sampling frequency DIRECTLY dictates frequency range. In order to define a wave of 5000 Hz, you need more than 10,000 Hz of sampling frequency (11,050 Hz or more), and even that will only produce a crude, distorted triangle wave. You can't produce a high frequency if you don't supply the sine wave coordinates quickly enough (sample frequency). For this reason, 44,100 Hz output is typically limited to little more than 21 kHz maximum, and 192 kHz will offer superior interpolation of analogue signals and an - irrelevant - maximum frequency of over 92 kHz. You could make dolphin music with that, or at least confuse their location.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist%E2 ... ng_theorem

Cool, good to know. Thanks for correcting me.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:29 am

This thread died an unjust death. Did the OP ever get his card to work fine?
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:57 am

X-Fi is definitely a huge improvement over onboard, and that new DTS/DTC pack, which is commercial :evil: :evil: :evil: is great. But the drivers are still nightmare, the card starts to crackle on a regular basis.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:30 am

Madman wrote:X-Fi is definitely a huge improvement over onboard, and that new DTS/DTC pack, which is commercial :evil: :evil: :evil: is great. But the drivers are still nightmare, the card starts to crackle on a regular basis.

Try changing slots to one where IRQ's are not shared with other devices. I don't know why but the X-Fi seems to dislike IRQ sharing. Also, make sure you have the latest drivers. There was a fix some time ago for systems with 4GB or more of RAM.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:42 am

I waited months after building my Vista x64 system to reinstall my X-Fi Extreme Music, because I wanted the drivers to catch up. It was very much worth installing the card.
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Re: X-Fi or Onboard Audio?

Postposted on Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:42 am

Taddeusz wrote:
Madman wrote:X-Fi is definitely a huge improvement over onboard, and that new DTS/DTC pack, which is commercial :evil: :evil: :evil: is great. But the drivers are still nightmare, the card starts to crackle on a regular basis.

Try changing slots to one where IRQ's are not shared with other devices. I don't know why but the X-Fi seems to dislike IRQ sharing. Also, make sure you have the latest drivers. There was a fix some time ago for systems with 4GB or more of RAM.

The entire PCI Bus is on one IRQ.

For the crakcling bit, I've had that happen with my M-Audio Revolution 7.1 card and a motherboard with an Nvidia chipset. (I can't remember which chipset.) It didn't matter where the card was placed, it would still crackle. I finally noticed that it would only crackle when there was a moderate amount of HDD activity.

To make a long story short, the solution was a new motherboard with a different chipset. The Revolution has been working like a charm ever since.
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