X-Fi launches with a bang

Grinning wildly, like children with a fancy new toy, Creative launched its X-Fi series of sounds cards on Wednesday night with a product presentation at the Mercure Hotel in Rose Hill. They showed off the features of the X-Fi Fatal1ty sound card by playing clips from Blade Trinity, some Alicia Keys Mp3s and a level of the PC game, Painkiller.

Creative X-Fi
Creative X-Fi

The DVD sound wasn't quite as incredible as they were hoping, although it was reasonably good but the Mp3 audio quality was outstanding with the 5.1 extrapolation working brilliantly. Painkiller sounded great, with nine virtual speakers simulating directional audio from all around the room including above and below.

They also demonstrated the bundled software which is broken up into three different modes designed to optimize audio sources for music playback, audio creation and gaming specific applications. One of the most interesting elements of the software was the super rip option which rips a CD to mp3 at high speed and in a 5.1 surround.

We also got a chance to play F.E.A.R. with an X-Fi Fatal1ty and headphones and were blown away by the simulated surround sound. The card worked so well that sounds actually sounded like they are coming from behind or above and in a game like F.E.A.R. that's scary as all hell.

The X-Fi has been in development for 5 years. It contains 51 million transistors, 10,340 MIPS, 4096 Internal audio channels and is 30 times more powerful than a Creative Live! processor. We will have a review up of the X-Fi range as soon as it becomes available to us.

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Dave Jansen

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