JohnC wrote:just brew it! wrote:JohnC wrote:There's no reason at all for getting an outdated junk like X-Fi series.
It's not like PC sound card tech has progressed much in the past decade (give or take). For the vast majority of users, the current crop of cards isn't going to sound appreciably better than the "outdated junk" like X-Fi.
It's not even about sound quality - take a look at the frequency of an official driver releases for X-Fi cards. The latest is from January 3rd of this year (the previous one was released in 2010), and most likely it will be the last for any OS. The card is not being manufactured anymore, only chance of getting them is from a leftover stock at few retail stores with a heavily inflated price or a used one from someone else with an unknown lifetime left and no warranty... Whereas anyone can get SoundBlaster Z for about $100, new, with proper warranty and most likely better future driver support.
In Creative's defense here (doesn't happen often), when I did the Windows 8 x64 upgrade last year, the drivers for my soundcard were downloaded and installed flawlessly, before there were 'official' drivers, like the ones in January.
That said, people are really harping on the new Z series for headphone use- the built-in amps work great with the nicer cans out there that require a little bit more power, they sound great in and out of games, and their control panels/drivers beat the snot out of Asus'.