back to article Creative X-Fi ExpressCard soundcard

Creative’s X-Fi has been a darling of the desktop world, particularly when it comes to gaming. This notebook soundcard promises uprated sound and more flexible outputs. Will it have the same appeal? Can't see the video? You'll need Flash player from Adobe.com Video Reviews • Blackberry Pearl 8120 smartphone • Samsung ML-1630 …

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Alien

creative?

creative? it'll be a cold day in hell before i buy any of their hardware again!

i bought a webcam and go a few years back and after moving house could no longer find the driver disk. it was a good little gizmo so i wanted to get it back working.

no biggie, i'll go online and download the driver.

not going to happen. they wanted to sell me the disk.

ok, its a few quid i'll buy it.

they wanted i think $30 for a driver disk. and then postage on top of that.

haven't bought creative since. when ever a customer asks me about creative hardware i tell them the above.

i reckon i've cost them thousands in sales.

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Silver badge
Dead Vulture

Great review

Apart from it's missing all the text....

What next? Reviews of video cards by pointing a web cam at the screen....C'mon, we expect better of you guys...

And if you think I'm being a pain, remember many of us are supposed to be working, so can't actually listen to the video !

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Stop

Vista bogged

our trusted reviewer, however, failed to mention that Microsoft's beloved Vista virtually snuffed out any potential an X-Fi processor might bring into the game.

As some of us have noticed, Vista's sound system does not allow routing of unprotected (DRM, anyone?) sound for hardware processing, thus "defeating the purpose of ever having an X-Fi engine" down the sound path, other than, say, generating extra heat. Creative just seems to have noticed this fallout and reacted accordingly, as most recently sold notebooks do come preloaded with Blisters.

And if the card succeeds at separating computer noise from the actual sound signal, I'd say it fit the designed purpose perfectly.

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TEXT and STILL pictures would be better.

And I was going to say so, even before I read "Great Review" above.

There's too much annoying "animation for animation's sake" on the web these days.

Put the information in an ordinary HTML web page like information is meant to be, and we can scroll down at our own speed and/or pick out the important points in a tenth of the time spent listening.

Plus there's nothing in the video that couldn't have been presented as text and stills, thereby making the video completely unnecessary.

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Bronze badge
Stop

but..

how does it *sound*? If I have an old laptop (P3) with a messed up sound system, would something like this work? Would it make a good semi-portable DVD movie player with a nice set of 5-1 or 6-1 speakers?

As posted above, I want to *read* reviews. I want charts, numbers and graphs. The video is like those TV commercials trying to show you how much better the picture on their new TV was, when you were watching it on your old one.

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Anonymous Coward

@Rick Brasche

> If I have an old laptop (P3) with a messed up sound system, would something like this work?

No. This is an ExpressCard and will not work (or fit) in a Cardbus (PCMCIA) slot, which your P3 laptop probably has. Even then, Cardbus came in 16-bit and 32-bit versions.

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why no USB?

They did make a USB form factor for it - the Xmod. Same lousy noisy sound chip inside. I prefer the turtle beach SRM for usb 5.1, due only to driver differences.

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zzZZzzZZzz

1) How does this compare with the X-Fi software + SigmaTel HD Audio on a Dell?

2) This whole review could have been done in two (maybe three) paragraphs

3) Is anyone going to release a decent audio (co)processor that works with Vista?

4) How unfortunate that this guy was given the task of reviewing an "ExpressCard soundcard"

5) No surprises that Creative gets thumbs down, things haven't progressed since they bought out their 3D audio competitors (Aureal)

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worthless review

This laughable attempt at a review leaves its viewers with no more than one or two lines of text information, a fact the editor at unwired seems to have missed. I can't fathom any other reason why this would be allowed to see the light of our screens.

The "review" completely omits any reasonable facts and test results, which would actually shed some light on the product's performance. Not to mention that it is not searchable, indexable or useful to anyone without hours of time available to watch such nonsense.

While the product gets "a disappointing 2 stars", the review itself is a prime candidate for an abysmal score of 0 points.

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Gold badge
Unhappy

ExpressCard

Great. Another interface "standard" for expanding laptops that *isn't* compatible with the ubiquitous PCMCIA.

Can I have a hole in the head to go with that please?

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Heart

Feedback?

@Quartzie: thanks for the feedback (as the worthless reviewer in question...) Have you checked out the other articles at unwiredshow.tv? Would be interested to see if those are more detailed / more up your street.

@Craig Foster: to be honest there's little to choose between this and the SigmaTel HD, partly because both are going to be running the majority of the work through noisy mainboard components. The desktop X-Fi is great for isolating circuit noise but the laptop has none of those advantages. As for Vista... I've heard good things about Turtle Beach but the general consensus seems to be that Vista is a trainwreck when it comes to audio.

@People who don't like video: sorry, video is what I do. I'd urge you to check out ChannelFlip.com where you can see some of the other stuff we do - you might find it interesting from a curio perspective.

@Moylan: I was under the impression that Creative had sorted out the driver disk situation, but you're right, it is ludicrous to charge for drivers and not just make them readily available for download. The lack of support online has really killed them, as you point out.

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