Back in the dark ages of PC gaming, when MS-DOS was the usual platform and the mouse was an optional affair, one had two choices for getting sound out of the PC. Choice one: get a Sound Blaster card, and let the games do their thing mostly unassisted. Choice two: get another card and try to trick your system into thinking that it was a Sound Blaster. Things have gotten considerably better since that time; modern OSes provide an audio API that allows games to handle sound input and output without having to care about what sound system you have under the hood. Cue the rise of onboard audio, and the demise of add-in sound cards as a requirement for a gaming PC.
There’s still a place for sound cards in the modern PC market, though. Maybe you need a low-latency sound system with a dedicated APU for professional audio creation. Maybe you want a gaming-oriented card with lots of extra post-processing effects for 3D sound. Maybe your onboard audio just has an unacceptably high amount of line noise, and you want to kill the hiss or whine coming out of your speakers. For these reasons, the add-in sound card is here to stay.
Talking of games, Creative decided to put together a sound card based on their X-Fi platform, designed to improve the gaming experience. Having done this, they sought and obtained an endorsement deal for this card with someone they feel the PC gamer crowd would respect, one Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendell. The result is the lengthily named Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series sound card, which we’ll be reviewing today.
Before we begin, let’s see what Creative have to say about this card.
Get the Pro Gamer’s Choice for Sound
Realistic EAX® 5.0 sound effects that pull you into the game
Accurate 3D positional audio – even with headphones
Accelerated audio for unbeatable game performance
Clearer voice chat for better voice communications
Works with PCI Express equipped PCs
Chosen by professional gamers, the PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series sound card delivers the ultimate PC gaming audio experience. You’ll hear realistic EAX® 5 sound effects and 3D positional audio that’s so accurate you can locate opponents by sound – even over headphones. Plus, get unbeatable performance in your games with hardware accelerated audio and X-RAM.
Sound Blaster X-Fi is Fatal1ty’s Choice for Audio!
www.fatal1ty.com “When I’m competing I need top-notch performance and the most realistic sound to help me know where my opponents are and Sound Blaster X-Fi really delivers for me…there is nothing faster or better.”
Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel is the best-known professional gamer in the world with 38 1st place wins in nine years of tournament play.