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Creative X Fi Xtreme Music

Reviewing: Creative X Fi Xtreme Music  |  Rating:
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Luckily for Creative, there isn't a whole lot of intense competition in the sound card industry. Most enthusiasts and gamers end up buying a Creative-based soundcards because a lot of newer games have actual settings for their cards, the X-Fi in particular.

This variant of the X-Fi, known as the Xtreme Music version, is not the big bells and whistles gamer version of the X-Fi. That would be the Fatality version that has 64MB of RAM on the card. Whether or not that actually helps game performance in any significant way is a topic of great debat on any forum you find discussing it.

This version though, the Xtreme Music, will do just fine for giving you great sound from your games, music, movies and all other things audio on your PC. The Audio Creation mode is also particularly nice if you like to mess with effects and such while recording.

One big negative for Creative is their driver support. This is really nothing new. If you peruse over to Creative's official forums and visit the Vista section, you will find post ofter post and megathreads of people complaining about how they are getting extremely loud popping and cracking sounds, rendering their card next to useless. It's understandable when a few people are having problems, but it appears to be a lot. I myself experienced this with creatives latest X-Fi vista driver, I had to remove it and install one on an X-Fi vista driver CD that was from quite a while ago. Others are having to resort to using "hacked" drivers from people on the forum to get their cards working properly.

With Vista being over a year old now, it is quite unreasonable for such a flagship company like Creative to have such shoddy driver support. Many people have voiced their opinions on how they will never buy another creative card again. I myself will have to think twice before I buy another one. Though I will say, if you can get them working without any driver issues, they work great and sound great too.