Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS
- Sounds incredible
Overall, the SoundBlaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS is an impressive piece of hardware that fulfils the key functions of a sound card better than any other consumer product. Hardcore gamers now face the difficult choice: a new graphics card, or an X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS?
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
While many of us appear content with our motherboard's on-board audio, integrated sound drains precious CPU cycles - especially during games using 3D effects. To fix this, Creative has released the SoundBlaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS, one of four new sound cards featuring the new X-Fi chipset.
With 51 million transistors and an architecture that has much in common with current graphics processors, the X-Fi chipset is way ahead of existing audio hardware. This means more simultaneous voices and real-time effects, but there's more to it than just games performance.
The X-Fi's flexible architecture allows it to allocate resources dynamically when you switch between Games, Home Entertainment and Audio Production modes. In Games, the card puts its efforts into providing 128-voice support and EAX 5 environmental audio, Home Entertainment mode focuses on surround setups and CD/MP3 enhancements, while Audio production Mode provides recording frequencies from 44.1-96kHz, low-latency and hardware effects processing.
For headphone and two-speaker setups, Creative's new CMSS-3D provides the best "simulated" 3-D audio that we've ever heard, and this feature can be applied to any stereo signal. For example, using this with audio CDs or MP3 files gives them a much wider soundstage (much like Dolby ProLogic II Music).
Another new audio process is the 24-bit Crystalizer, which re-samples audio at 24 bits for a higher dynamic range. However, this is like resizing and sharpening a digital picture - the actual image detail isn't improved. What you're hearing is the volume and attack of audio "transients" (like percussion or plucked strings) being increased, giving music a more "aggressive" feel.
The difference in price between this and the $299 X-Fi Xtreme Music is down to a combination of external and on-board hardware. The X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS comes with a breakout panel for all your audio connectors (though FireWire has been dropped) and a remote control. More importantly, the card has 64MB of XRAM for storing audio data - like a graphics card's texture buffer - which means better performance from games that have been written/patched to take advantage of it (like Battlefield 2 and UT2004).
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Intel Coffee Lake 8th-gen Core processors release date rumours
- Intel's mobile future is in blazing modems as it buries Atom failure
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Technical Consultant - MicrosoftACT
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW
- FTL1 Application SupportWA
- CCIT Solutions ArchitectQLD
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorNSW
- TPSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- TPDigital Strategist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- TPDesktop Support OfficerQLD
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPIT Project Manager - Office relocationVIC
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW