Soundblaster XtremeAudio PCI-Express
Windows Installation & UsageInstallation was fairly simple as with most software these days. The installation prompt came up shortly after I inserted the driver CD, and asked which programs to install. I opted only for the X-Fi driver and configuration utilitiesm as I'm not a fan of Creative's media player.
A quick reboot is required after installation, and then your soundcard is ready to use. This card auto-detects any jacks plugged into it, and you will not be able to configure the speaker ouput in the Creative audio console without having a jack(s) plugged in.
The Creative Audio Console is a fantastic tool for configuring your soundcard, and feels intuitive enough while using it. From the console, you're able to configure outputs and outputs, adjust the equalizer, and add all sorts of effects through EAX.
Also featured here is the X-Fi Crystalizer, which promises to "Revitalize your downloaded music and movies: Restore the details and vibrance your music and movies lost during compression". It doesn't replace or repair damaged music, but rather adds sound in based on it's own analysis. It may take away some hum, or in some cases, add more to it.
Regardless of whether or not you use Crystalizer, the sound coming from the XtremeAudio is nothing short of fantastic. I'm not quite an audiophile yet, but there is a noticable improvement in sound quality over the Audigy.
Also bundled in the software package is Creative's ALchemy. ALchemy was created to allow some legacy games that utilized 3D or hardware-accelerated sound to work work properly under Vista. Microsoft changed DirectSound in Vista, so 3D sound and effects remained broken. ALchemy corrects these issues, restoring surround sound, EAX, and hardware acceleration to many games.
ALchemy has a very simple user interface which lists detected games compatible with it and which games are allowed to use ALchemy itself. You can add and subtract from this list as you wish. If a game isn't detected, but is a game that relies on EAX and the like, you can add it yourself manually.
Now, let's look at how the PCI-Express XtremeAudio affects gaming and desktop usage.
Jump to page:blog comments powered by Disqus
Open Source News
- Linux Mint Swap Banshee Affiliate Code, Take 100% of Profits
- Wayland Has Working Screensaver Support
- FreeBSD 9.0 May Just Be One Week Away
- Google Inc. Renews Firefox Search Deal
- Red Hat releases Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2
- KDE Widgets: Why They Matter
- Opera 11.60 Arrives
- Racing To Finish X.Org Multi-Touch Support
- Android 4.0 For x86 Is Now Available
- Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 1 Released
- Dungeons of Dredmor and Introversion source code added to Bundle!
- Open-source skills best hope for landing a good job
- Xen Virtualization Comes To ARM Cortex A15
- Linux Mint 12 Released
- Ubuntu On TVs
- Diablotek Legend Computer Case
- Patriot Pyro SE Solid State Drive
- EVGA Z68 FTW Motherboard
- Antec Eleven Hundred Mid Tower Gaming Case
- Raidmax Seiran Mid-Tower
- MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC Video Card
- Roccat Kova[+] Optical USB Gaming Mouse
- ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe Z68 LGA 1155 Motherboard
- Crucial Ballistix 6GB DDR3 2133 MHz RAM Triple Channel Kit
- OCZ Octane 512GB Indilinx SSD
- SteelSeries Desmo Digital Eyewear
- Cooler Master Storm Trooper Full Tower Case
- IOCELL NetDISK 351UNE Network Storage Device
- Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 Low Voltage 1600MHz
- SilverStone SST-EC03 USB 3.0 PCI-E Card