Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi goes onboard
MSI has cooked up a motherboard based on Nvidia's nForce 680i SLI chipset that features an integrated Sound Blaster X-Fi sound chip from Creative, according to a report by DigiTimes. This P6N Diamond motherboard, which MSI is showing off at CeBIT, has a built-in version of the X-Fi XtremeAudio, Creative's cheapest X-Fi sound card on the market today. Naturally, DigiTimes points out that the onboard X-Fi may not have the same features as its sound card brethren. Even the regular X-Fi XtremeAudio seems to lack support for EAX Advanced HD hardware accelerated audio in games, judging by the feature run-down on Creative's website. Nonetheless, the audio chip may provide better sound quality and performance than other onboard solutions.
MSI is quoted by DigiTimes as saying that the P6N Diamond marks the first appearance of the X-Fi on its motherboards, and that the company plans to feature X-Fi audio chips on more boards in the future, including models based on Intel's next-gen Bearlake chipsets. In the meantime, the P6N Diamond is reportedly expected to launch in the second quarter with a price tag of $280.