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Thread: Creative Gives In, They Open-Source Their X-Fi Driver

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfunkman View Post
    If you just listen to music then your onboard would probably sound better. Im not sure what benefit there would even be to the gamer in linux, i dont think many games support hardware acceleration anyway.
    Why would my onboard sound better than an X-Fi? I thought it should be the other way around.

  2. #82
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    Best use SPDIF and then the cheapest onboard will sound the same as an expensive card.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by cybcode View Post
    I'm an Ubuntu user and I've been using my onboard Realtek ALC883. I'm considering getting an X-Fi XtremeGamer. Am I likely to notice much of a difference?

    I don't play games much (obviously) -- I want the card for music.
    ALC883 is the bottom line of realtek's integrated chips. Integrated sound cards tend to have low SNR (i.e. audible hissing when you turn up the volume, which tends to become worse when you are using the mouse or scrolling a webpage). Chips in the ALC88x series also tend to amplify the lower frequncies, making music sound somewhat muffled. Finally, they tend to sound much better at high sampling rates (96KHz instead of the default 44KHz), so trying that might be worth it.

    Note: the above is for analogue sound only. Go digital (spdif) and the ALC will sound as good as anything else on the market.

    Almost any discrete card will have better SNR and will offer more balanced sound. If you have a good enough set of speaker or headphones, the difference should be quite audible - however if you are to pick between better speaker or a sound card, the speakers will make a larger difference.

    If you are to pick a card for Linux, avoid X-Fi chips for now. Most Xonar's have raving reviews so they are worth checking out.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Best use SPDIF and then the cheapest onboard will sound the same as an expensive card.
    But my budget is limited and external DACs are quite pricey and harder to find. Besides, sound cards have DACs in them, so why would I want an external one? Sure I can get a really good external one, but it'll surely cost much more than an X-Fi.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by cybcode View Post
    But my budget is limited and external DACs are quite pricey and harder to find. Besides, sound cards have DACs in them, so why would I want an external one? Sure I can get a really good external one, but it'll surely cost much more than an X-Fi.
    It's not only the DAC's that you should be worried about with headphones. Usually most cards have a piss poor headphone amp and things are just as bad as integrated solutions. If your going to look at headphone use I would recommend looking at solutions such as the Azuentech X-Fi Forte or the Asus Xonar Essence STX that are designed for satisfying headphone use and come with far better headphone amps then most other cards.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by cybcode View Post
    Why would my onboard sound better than an X-Fi? I thought it should be the other way around.
    If you where on windows i could see it but on linux with the horrid drivers your onboard will still probably sound better. Without hardware acceleration there gos most of the reason to own an xfi anyway.

    If its between the xtremegamer and your onboard i would stick with onboard. There are also better options to look into as well.

  7. #87
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    I'm currently using the driver and ubuntu 9.04. I didn't really expect it to work. But it does. Using my headphones with no issue apart from having to turn down the volume so as not to go deaf. The sound is damn good too.

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