Creative Introduces Sound Blaster X-Fi cards

By Julio Franco
Aug 8, 2005
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  1. Designed to dramatically enhance any music or audio and accelerate PC game play

    SINGAPORE - August 8, 2005 - Creative Technology Ltd., the worldwide leader in audio with over 250 million Sound Blaster® sound cards sold to date, today announced the future of audio with the introduction of its highly anticipated Sound Blaster X-Fi™ line of sound cards. Powered by the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity™ audio processor, the Sound Blaster X-Fi cards introduce Xtreme Fidelity, an entirely new audio standard for music, movies and games.

    "On May 12th of this year, we introduced the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor and the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard, and the response has been phenomenal. People have been contacting us from all over the world wanting to know when they can experience Xtreme Fidelity with MP3 music and games from a Sound Blaster sound card. We gave a sneak preview at E3 in Los Angeles, and the crowds were in awe when they heard the difference that Xtreme Fidelity makes," said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative. "We're addressing all the excitement in time for the holidays with the introduction of the Sound Blaster X-Fi family of ultra high performance sound cards that can dramatically enhance any music or audio, accelerate gaming, and provide an amazing headphone experience. With Sound Blaster X-Fi's 24-bit Crystalizer™ and CMSS®-3D technologies, all your MP3 music and CD music can sound even better than the original studio recording. The CMSS-3D Headphone Expander technology will blow you away. You will think that you are listening to a super high quality surround speaker system, as the sound will seem to come from external speakers instead of headphones pressing right against your ears."

    "Sound Blaster X-Fi heralds the beginning of a new epoch in audio, where X-Fi enabled audio products will eventually and completely replace the old hi-fi equipment in the home," continued Sim. "With the arsenal of high-end audio products, technologies and intellectual properties that Creative owns, you can expect Creative to release more and more audio product lines that support this new Xtreme Fidelity audio standard."

    Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro
    The Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro features professional-quality digital-to-analog converters (DACs) with 116dB SNR, plus an I/O module with a comprehensive selection of connectivity for audio creation with easy-to-use control knobs for the X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, X-Fi CMSS- 3D (Creative Multi-Speaker Surround), 3DMIDI, and EAX. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro also features 64MB of on-board X-RAM-- audio memory dedicated to higher gaming audio quality and performance, in addition to a built-in pre-amp for direct recording, and high-impedance inputs for electric guitars. The "top of the line" Sound Blaster X-Fi solution, the Elite Pro includes all of the standard features, application software, power and performance capabilities of the entire family of Sound Blaster X-Fi cards (described below), in one ultimate solution.

    Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS
    Designed to meet the performance demands of the world's best-known professional gamer, Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty™ FPS sound card provides stunning 109dB SNR audio quality, accelerates gaming performance and includes 64MB of on-board X-RAM for high performance gaming. With support for EAX® ADVANCED HD™ 5.0, the latest version of the EAX Environmental Audio standard, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS card utilizes X-Fi CMSS 3D technology for stunning audio realism over headphones in LAN gaming. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS features a convenient front-facing internal drive bay for easy connectivity, plus the X-Fi IR remote to easily access and control all digital entertainment, and to control the X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, X-Fi CMSS 3D, 3DMIDI and EAX. In addition to providing outstanding gaming performance, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS includes all of the standard features, application software, power and performance capabilities of the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum and Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music.

    Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum
    The ideally versatile sound card to suit all digital entertainment experiences, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum sound card includes an internal drive bay with additional, convenient front-facing input/output connectivity for headphone listening, PC gaming and audio creation. Delivering 109dB SNR audio quality, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum includes the X-Fi IR remote, for easy access to the Entertainment Center software console, which enables access to music, movies and picture slide shows through a slick, streamlined interface. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum also includes all of the standard features, application software, power and performance capabilities of the Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music.

    Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
    The Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card harnesses the full power of the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor to upgrade any existing library of MP3 or any music files to the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard. With the X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity 24-bit Crystalizer, MP3 music and movies are converted to Xtreme Fidelity, which deliver an experience beyond the original CD or DVD recordings. With the included Creative MediaSource™ 3 software suite, users can easily SuperRip™ all their digital music permanently to Xtreme Fidelity. In addition, MediaSource 3 also allows users to further enhance their music content with single-click access to rich features like X-Fi CMSS-3D, Smart Cross-Fade and Smart Volume Management. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music sound card plays back audio with rich 109dB SNR quality.

    Optimized Modes for Peak X-Fi Performance
    Each Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card can direct its power to any of three key modes that are optimized for experiences with music and movie playback, PC gaming or music creation. Each mode is configured to dynamically dedicate the processor's power to deliver only the features, quality and capabilities that the user requires.

    Entertainment Mode
    The Entertainment Mode accesses the X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, which is driven by the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor. The processor converts audio to 24-bit/96kHz quality using its 136dB virtually transparent SRC (Sample Rate Converter) engine. Then it re-masters and selectively enhances the audio by analyzing and identifying which parts of the audio stream have been restricted or damaged during the dynamic compression stages to 16-bit and then the data compression stage to MP3 or WMA formats. For music, low and high frequencies are enhanced while dynamics are improved, for cleaner, richer sound. For movies, explosions, gunshots and high-impact audio sequences sound more realistic than ever before.

    In the Entertainment Mode, X-Fi CMSS-3D technology leverages the power of the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor to intelligently upmix audio into surround sound. It also uses advanced techniques to extract specific audio elements, like voice to the center channel and ambience to the surrounding channels.

    Gaming Mode
    The gaming mode accelerates PC game play. A completely re-engineered game audio processing engine utilizing the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor enables the Sound Blaster X-Fi cards to deliver a very impressive and critical performance boost of up to 40 percent in some cases during game play while simultaneously delivering full audio enhancement effects.

    The Creative X-Fi CMSS-3D feature delivers amazingly realistic game audio over headphones. EAX ADVANCED HD 5.0 provides support for an unprecedented 128 voices using the X-Fi processor's hardware, utilizing EAX MacroFX, EAX PurePath and Environment FlexiFX technologies to provide a new standard of audio realism in games. The X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer automatically upgrades existing games to the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard.

    Audio Creation Mode
    The Audio Creation capabilities of the Sound Blaster X-Fi cards surpass the performance of many professional solutions. The Sound Blaster X-Fi utilizes the transparent SRC engine in the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor to convert to and from any resolution at 136dB THD+N. It also provides digital-matched recording capabilities in resolutions from 44.1kHz to 96kHz. Musicians who utilize the Audio Creation Mode offered in each Sound Blaster X-Fi card can enjoy ASIO recording with latency as low as one millisecond with no CPU load, up to eight different 24-bit hardware effects, 24-bit SoundFont® sampling, and 3DMIDI.

    Xtreme Fidelity Driven by the Power of X-Fi
    Xtreme Fidelity sets a new standard for audio by supporting a combination of 24-bit quality, stunning audio clarity with a minimum of 109db SNR and up to 116dB in the X-Fi Elite Pro version, and the CMSS 3D headphone and surround speaker technology. To achieve the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard, Sound Blaster X-Fi cards draw immense power from the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity processor, which includes more than 51 million transistors, and is capable of more than 10,000 MIPS. With 24 times more power than the previous Sound Blaster Audigy® audio processor, the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor utilizes multiple engines to dynamically direct resources through a unique Ring Architecture to completely change the way audio is managed for any application.

    Pricing and Availability
    The Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro, priced at US$399.99, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS, priced at US$279.99, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum, priced at US$199.99 and the Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic, priced at US$129.99, will be available this month at major retail outlets.

    For more information about Xtreme Fidelity, the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor, and Creative's line of Sound Blaster X-Fi sound cards, visit www.soundblaster.com.
  2. SubKamran

    SubKamran Newcomer, in training Posts: 303

    Beautiful, this will save me mega money on my new home-recording venture. Now I don't have to worry about anything except a very good microphone. Mmm, Elite Pro... :hotbounce
  3. dady393

    dady393 Newcomer, in training Posts: 21

    your right!

    Creative struck gold when they discovered this technology!
  4. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan Newcomer, in training Posts: 46

    Oh yes that's a gold mine, great job to the creaters of sound blaster!!!!!
  5. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,846

    I finaly got to hear what this card sounds like (at a local lan party), and it blows my SB 2 out of the water, you would never think you could hear a difference, but you can.
  6. cookiedude

    cookiedude TechSpot Booster Posts: 227

    I have to agree. Used this card in a recent media centre build and was stunned by the sound quality. DVD playback shows so much more detail and control over surround audio. Haven't tried the Xtreme fidelity on MP3 yet but on what i have heard i don't see it letting me down!

    Nice one Creative!
  7. hewybo

    hewybo TechSpot Maniac Posts: 570

    XFi Extreme Music

    I've been using an Audigy 2ZS for about a year, and it was great. When Creative intro'd the XFi, I watched with interest, read some reviews/comparisons, and decided to try the basic card. I've had the Extreme Music installed for a week, running through my old set of Logitech x530's. The difference in clarity, especially in the high and mid-range areas, is astounding!

    I have a set of Logitech z-5500's due tomorrow, and if I hear what I belive I will, I will be upgrading to the high end XFi before February ends!

    I LOVE MUSIC!! :giddy: :grinthumb
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