Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro review

Julio Franco

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Staff member
Creative has been a leader in the PC audio market for as long as I can remember. In fact, the first Sound Blaster card hit the market almost 20 years ago, which can be considered an eternity in "computer years".

During this time, Creative has launched about a dozen major soundcards, with their latest outgoing product being the Sound Blaster X-Fi series, which replaced the popular Audigy line a few years ago.

The X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro that we are testing today is Creative's latest offering in the series aimed at audio enthusiasts and especially gamers, making use of a slightly modified chip called EMU20K2 that adds native PCI Express support among a number of improvements and fixes over the previous generation of cards.

Please leave your feedback here. Thanks!


Posts: 1,215   +177
Is there internal support for my case mic and audio jacks?

What is the total bloat, and total size of the software package installed? How much footprint in RAM did it take?

Gah! Still no Linux support? BSOD on the Windows install? Creative?! I'm.... honestly... not much surprised. What have they done with the name we used to love? When will the madness stop and the quality come back?

I know onboard audio is not worthy, but my old Windows XP computer has my last SoundBlaster (X-fi Elite) card that I'll be buying. In that computer, the AC'97 audio was horrendous and needed augmentation. When I built this PC last November, Creative didn't even have a working driver for Vista 64-bit, let alone a beta driver for Linux. Honestly, my new motherboard with ALC889A embedded works fine for my needs, it has Vista 64-bit and Linux support, and I won't be looking back. Thanks for the article - I read all of it. It's an eye opener.

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,974   +1,922
Staff member
Review update - as reflected in our closing comments:
Right after publishing this review, Creative informed us they have added a new card to the X-Fi line-up. The PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium is selling for a discounted price of $99.99, with the main difference being that it removed the Fatal1ty branded cover. Not a bad deal if you were looking into buying a new Creative soundcard.
The less expensive version is also missing the 64mb x-ram. Although I have no idea if that really makes any difference.


I just built a new computer for my theater room to keep movies and music in and am trying to use the optical out of the Titanium Fatality Champion sound card with a proven good TOSS link cable to my A/V pre amp with no luck what so ever. I've tried to contact Creative Labs Inc. to get a technical assistance and all I get from them is a boiler plate trouble suggestions sheet e-mail in return. I've got all the drivers updated and the card does work quite well with all its low level analog outputs and front controler panel. However the optical out just wont work with my existing equipment in the theater room.

The A/V pre amp in the theater room sees a signal through the TOSS link from the card as is does display on it's own front panel Dolby Digital and DTS when I click on the control panel for this card on these selections but I get no sound. Actually I do get a very faint sound output through the speakers when I have the volume turned all the way up in the control panel and the theater systems volume control turned all the way up, but that is all I get.

I have since given up on Creative Labs Inc. for technical assistance and have gone to NAD (the manufacture of my A/V amp and some of my other equipment) and they are actually helping me out. They say they have been testing many sound cards from various manufactures including the card I have. Some of the various cards dont work well with their equipment and some dont work at all. Especially regarding the optical out of these cards. Something to do with the optical frequency selections with these cards and what their equipment will accept.

All that being said, I'll have to say that if your only going to use the analog audio out of the back of this card and are using run of the mill audio equipment to plug this card into this card does work good. All of it's features work for me excpet for the optical out when trying to use it with my high end audiophile level equipment.