Which PCIe X-Fi?

Discussion in 'PAX Download - PCIe X-Fi Series' started by demonixient, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. demonixient

    demonixient Member

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    I am considering buying a PCIe X-Fi Titanium (SB0880) or PCIe X-Fi Xtreme Audio (SB1040) to replace my PCI Xtreme Music (SB0460).

    In terms of sound quality, the Xtreme Audio seems better. In terms of driver support from Rob with his amazing drivers, the Xtreme Audio is also good.

    Am I correct? Can somebody help me with any corrections? Is there a better card that Rob supports out there?
     
  2. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on what you are going to use it for, however if you can get one, go with the Titanium. Going with an Xtreme Audio is a serious downgrade from the Xtreme Music. It's a rebranded Audigy SE, and doesn't have the Emu processing chip. The Music is similar to the Fatality card. So, either keep the card you have, or go with the Titanium.

    In my case I went with a Creative Zx as I didn't need 7.1, I know enough on how to adjust the equalizer to regain bass/treble control (with the Z series you lose the simple bass/treble sliders), and I didn't care about EAX effects. Oh, and the loss of "modes", such as Game Mode, Movie Mode, and so on.. you can save profiles with the Z series, so I could easily create my own to get the function back (in fact right now I use 2: music, and games... simple).

    If you want more ability to tailor the audio, go with the Zxr as you can change out the OP-AMPs to tailor the audio the way I want it. I got this for a friend as he wanted something more tailored for FPS games.

    Oh.. and the Rob has Z series drivers out too.
     
  3. demonixient

    demonixient Member

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    I have tried a Sound Blaster Z and hated it - I even tried another to make sure the first one wasn't faulty, it was that bad. But both sounded equally bad on my 5.1 setup.

    To be honest I play one or two games and listen to a few MP3/FLAC files - I don't really do anything special, such as recording. I just like the warmth of how the XtremeMusic sounds, while being able to hear the high frequencies. I admit it isn't perfect, but it's fine for me - the Sound Blaster Z was a very obvious downgrade, hence I returned both cards a day after getting them.

    I did think that the Xtreme Audio might be a little too budget, that's why I'm now glad I've asked on here to confirm my suspicions.
     
  4. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    I usually break the cards down into 3 groups: music, games, and all-rounder.

    Games' wise I will usually point people to Creatives' Z, but only after I point out that onboard audio these days are more than good enough for gaming IF you get the right one, with the right Realtek chip. I'll usually pick either as well for the all-rounders too.

    Music wise I always point people to the Asus Xonar Essence STX II, or at least something in that series. Hands down the best card for music. However I once read that, as far as hardware goes, the Creative Zxr is very similar to it, just implemented differently, or rather that they each tailored their cards for different customers. With the right op-amps you could get the Zxr up to snuff for music (although it'll probably cost you as much for the op-amps as it does for the card itself).
     
  5. demonixient

    demonixient Member

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    I've managed to get a X-Fi Titanium (SB0880) for a reasonable price, I am now waiting for it to be delivered - hopefully before the end of the week.

    Will this card be an improvement from my X-Fi Xtreme Music, or will it be very similar. How is the driver to setup? I will be using it on Windows 8.1, with a view to move to Windows 10 when they can sort out automatic updates of drivers.
     
  6. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    The cards are pretty much the same. The Titanium, obviously, is PCIe, but it also has the optical in/out connectors. There was something about Dolby Digital Live that I can't recall exactly. I know the Music has support for it, via software encoding/decoding, but I can't remember how the Titanium differs in support for it. As for drivers, it's been a while since I've install them, so unfortunately I can't speak to them. Sorry.

    Personally I noticed that switching from PCI to PCIe alleviated a little issue I was having while gaming. Actually it even happened with music playback. Can't explain what it was, but sometimes I'd get a bit of lag and/or distortion. It was almost like the CPU or the motherboard was causing a problem. I couldn't isolate it. All I know is that when I switched to the Gamer (essentially a Titanium, half the height, and no I/O shield) it all disappeared, and the audio was clear for me. I later found out that Azuentech was making an X-Fi card, the Forte, that had replaceable op-amps, a dedicated headphone amp, and used audio grade capacitors from Nichicon, so I moved to that. Love that card. Still have it in my multimedia box in fact.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  7. demonixient

    demonixient Member

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    Tipstaff, I want to personally thank you for your advice and time. Thanks you, my several year long hunt for the perfect replacement for my PCI Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music (SB0460) is over! The PCIe Creative X-Fi Titanium (SB0880) more than exceeds my expectations! it even has a usable interface and sounds much like the SB0460.

    The one thing that did catch me out were the speaker connections. But after reading the manual properly, my short-lived troubles were gone.

    I think I installed the drivers properly. I first installed XFTI_PCDRV_L11_2_40_0015 then PAX MASTER PCIe Titanium Suite Driver HD Full 2015 V1.15.

    Sadly PAX MASTER PCIe Titanium Suite Driver HD Win 10 Full 2016 V1.00 gave me a lot of errors during installation on my Windows 8.1 system. :(
     
  8. Robert McClelland

    Robert McClelland I'm An Uncle for 2nd time Staff Member

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    Hi demon I will try fix it sadly I don't own the T HD for testing :(
     
  9. demonixient

    demonixient Member

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    What is THD and what does it do? If there is any way I can help, I will glady try.
     
  10. Robert McClelland

    Robert McClelland I'm An Uncle for 2nd time Staff Member

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    it means titanium HD for short it be some time next week before working on it.
     
  11. demonixient

    demonixient Member

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    I see now. Well if you need a tester for Windows 8.1 let me know - I could also test Windows 10 with my spare drive if you want.
     
  12. Suku

    Suku New Member

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    Do not abandon titanium (normal) :(
     
  13. Robert McClelland

    Robert McClelland I'm An Uncle for 2nd time Staff Member

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    I won't :) I try do some starting Monday week.
     
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  14. QB71

    QB71 Member

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    Titanium HD is a different card... No wonder those drivers didn't work. As far as I know this is the latest drivers for the PCI-e X-Fi:
    PAX MASTER PCIe Titanium Driver Win 10 Suite 2016 V1.00 Default Tweak Edition

    QB
     
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  15. demonixient

    demonixient Member

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    I must admit I didn't realise the difference in filenames. With the soundcard currently working, I didn't think to question if I had the right drivers installed.
     
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