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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Creative Labs SB Live! Platinum review


Creative Labs SB Live! Platinum review
Posted by Julio Franco on January 26, 2000
Company: Creative Labs     Product: Sound Blaster Live! Platinum

After more than a year since the first Sound Blaster Live! Card appeared in the market, Creative is now bringing us three new cards as an addition to the Live! Family, each one aimed to different type of users in order to full fill the needs of everyone out there looking for the latest in 3D sound for the PC.

Itís important to notice that all the cards are based in the same EMU10K1 audio processor that powered the original Sound Blaster Live! Card, this canít be considered a drawback however, as you might know, this chip from Emu Systems (which is owned by the same Creative Labs) is re-programmable so that with newer LiveWare! Releases you can keep updated with new technologies including newer versions of EAX.

So, at first glance we can say that if you already own one of the original Sound Blaster Live! Cards you shouldnít consider any of this cards because they are pretty much the same thing with a just a few additions here and there which definitely arenít worth spending $100 on a new soundcard.

Instead you can go to Creative Labsí website and download LiveWare! 3, which will add, support for EAX 2.0 and other effects such as occlusion and obstruction.

Ok, so here we have got the new cards, each one targeted at different types of market:

SB Live! X-Gamer

Aimed specifically to the full time gamer as you could imagine by its name, this card doesnít come with any extra programs for editing audio or music content creation instead you will get a nice game bundle conformed by Thief: The Dark Project, Descent 3, Need for Speed 4: High Stakes and demos of Myth II and Alien vs. Predator.

SB Live! MP3+

The MP3+ is the best choice for Internet and music enthusiasts, not to mention MP3s, of course. Unlike the X-Gamer the bundle of this card isnít all about games, you get instead a very complete suite of applications for audio content creation and entertainment, that includes Cakewalk Express Gold, Mixman Studio, Sound Forge XP and a very nice utility called Creative Digital Audio Center that will let you record your own MP3s with no loss of quality.

SB Live! Platinum

The card we are reviewing here, definitely the most complete audio solution, combines the best things of both worlds. Although itís more expensive than the previous cards mentioned, this is THE soundcard for those ones who can afford it.

In the box you will find an incredibly large bundle, actually you will get all the programs and games you get with the other cards together.

Additionally you get the Live!Drive, which is a front-end console that fits in a 5/4 bay, this device provides convenient connectivity to a wide array of analog and digital devices, more details on the Live! Drive on next pagesÖ


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