There are three main uses of the the sound blaster X-Fi:
- About Audio Creation mode
Xtreme Fidelity Audio Creation Mode Features
Sound Blaster X-Fi's Audio Creation Mode optimizes the processor for
a flexible and high performance and quality experience. This means that
any of the resources required for Xtreme Music/Movie Entertainment or gaming
are leveraged to deliver an Xtreme Fidelity Audio Creation experience.
It should be noted however that in this mode one can still play music,
movies and games, however some of the Xtreme Fidelity features/quality
levels for those uses will not be available in this mode.
Sound Blaster X-Fi features for Audio Creation
- Sound Blaster X-Fi supports
up to eight different 24-bit hardware effects, all of which are accessible
through the special Audio Creation Mode Interface and usable through
any of the inputs.
- You will also enjoy unprecedented
hardware synthesis capabilities with 24-bit SoundFont sampling.
- You will be able to create multi-channel
MIDI content for the first time with 3DMIDI.
With SPDIF I/O, Optical I/O, Analog I/O and MIDI I/O connectors, users
have all the connectors they need for recording and mastering. For users
who want more professional connectivity options, they can choose the Sound
Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro. This model comes with an external I/O Console that
includes Hi-Z and Phono analog connectivity, full-size MIDI connectors
and multiple analog and digital I/O options.
- About Gaming mode
Xtreme Fidelity Gaming Mode Features
Sound Blaster X-Fi's Gaming Mode optimizes the processor for the fastest
most realistic gaming audio you can experience. This means that any of
the resources required for Xtreme Music/Movie Entertainment or Audio Creation
are leveraged to deliver an Xtreme Fidelity Gaming experience. It should
be noted however that in this mode you can still play music or movies and
record audio, however some of the Xtreme Fidelity features/quality levels
for those uses will not be available in this mode.
Sound Blaster X-Fi features for Gaming
- A completely re-engineered game audio processing engine utilizing
the Creative X-Fi audio processor allows Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty
FPS to deliver the fastest gaming performance ever seen, providing
more than a 15% performance boost over motherboard audio solutions
while simultaneously delivering full audio effects.
- X-RAM allows developers to deliver even higher quality audio samples
that can be loaded into dedicated X-RAM (Xtreme Fidelity RAM)
rather than system RAM, which would affect overall performance. In
certain implementations it can further boost performance beyond the
standard Sound Blaster X-Fi technology.
X-RAM is only available on Sound Blaster Fatal1ty FPS and Sound
Blaster Elite Pro products.
- Sound Blaster X-Fi Technology
takes your gaming experience to a new level with X-Fi CMSS®-3D
(Creative Multi-Speaker Surround 3D). If you use anything from headphones
to 7.1 speakers, Sound Blaster X-Fi delivers the ultimate surround-sound
- With EAX® ADVANCED
HD™ 5.0 the Sound Blaster X-Fi delivers the most realistic
gaming audio. For the first time it can do so while providing maximum
performance. Features like 128 voice support, EAX MacroFX, EAX
PurePath & Environment FlexiFX set a new standard
for EAX and
realism available in game audio.
- Sound Blaster X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer
makes games sound better than ever before. Gaming audio is typically
recorded at 16-bit/22kHz, this means that the audio you hear
is lower than CD quality. This compromise makes sound files smaller
and easier to process for less powerful audio solutions, but obviously
means that the sound is often poor. The X-Fi created the world's most
powerful audio processor that actually enhances gaming audio in real-time
and makes your games sound extremely rich.
The dynamic range is enhanced for added depth, while transients (sounds
with sharp attack) like gunfire, or 'hi-hats' in a music track, have
more definition. This is what gaming audio would sound like if game
developers could create games in 24-bit quality.
The goal for the new architecture used on the Sound Blaster X-Fi is to
advance users' expectations of music and movie audio experience.
The Sound Blaster X-Fi system architecture offers a new level of audio
processing for entertainment. The Sound Blaster X-Fi system architecture
can render all the important compressed and high precision audio formats
such as AC3, DTS, and DVD-Audio. See (Sound
Blaster Audio Technologies Glossary) It also renders audio at up to
192 kHz sample rate, as well as supporting up to 7.1 speaker configuration.
What is new about the Sound Blaster X-Fi is Active Premium Audio
Processing. This optimizes and improves the audio quality
for your particular speaker system and listening environment. This approach
is vastly different to the Passive Premium Audio of today's best
Passive Premium Audio means that the solution is capable of handling
high bit-depth, high sample-rate content in a very precise way, but because
it is passive it can only do this when it receives premium quality content.
When a Passive Premium Audio system receives standard quality content,
such as CD-Audio or compressed audio the user experience is limited by
the system's inability to enhance that content.
However, Active Premium Audio system is capable of enhancing any
content to derive multi-channel premium quality audio even from stereo
compressed audio content to give a DVD-Audio like experience. This Active
Premium Audio capability has been branded as 24-bit Crystalizer and
implemented as a feature of X-Fi products.
What is important, is the fact that because of the Active Modal Architecture,
when in entertainment mode, the card dedicates the whole Sound Blaster
X-Fi processor to premium audio rendering experience.
Creative X-Fi Entertainment Mode Features
Sound Blaster X-Fi's Entertainment Mode optimizes the processor for Music
and Movie playback. This means that any of the resources required for
Xtreme Gaming or Audio Creation are leveraged to deliver an Xtreme Fidelity
Entertainment experience. It should be noted, however, that in this mode,
one can still play games and record audio, however some of the Xtreme
Fidelity features/quality levels for those uses will not be available
in this mode.
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi features for music playback
- Sound Blaster X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer enhances MP3s to sound
better than they do on their original CD
Utilizing the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor, your
music is put through a two-step quality enhancement process. First
the processor converts the audio into 24-bit/96kHz quality
using its virtually transparent SRC (Sample Rate Converter) engine.Then
it re-masters and selectively enhances the audio by analyzing and
identifying which parts of the audio stream have been restricted/damaged
during the dynamic compression stage to 16-bit (in the studio) and
then the data compression stage when converting to MP3.
The overall benefit to your music is that low and high frequencies
are enhanced while the dynamics are also improved.
- Sound Blaster X-Fi CMSS-3D allows users to enhance their
MP3 music to surround sound over headphones or multi-channel speakers
Instead of performing a basic upmixing of stereo content, the Creative
X-Fi audio processor intelligently re-mixes the audio into surround
sound to match the speaker system you have (including headphones).
It also uses advanced techniques to extract specific audio elements,
like voice to the center channel and ambience to the surrounding
channels, so your music sounds more alive. The outcome for stereo
music over speakers or even headphones is that you will be able to
enjoy a high quality, virtually zero artifact surround sound experience.
For multi-channel music you will be able to enjoy the same thrilling
surround sound experience over headphones as you would on multi-channel
- SuperRip allows users to save their MP3s or CDs in Xtreme
The X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer and X-Fi CMSS-3D features, when combined,
allow you to SuperRip CDs into Xtreme Fidelity quality so
you can now enjoy permanently enhanced music instead of low-quality
MP3 files. There are many options when SuperRipping your CDs. You
can save your music to basic MP3 and WMA files (with the Xtreme
Fidelity Enhancements included), or to WMA Pro (24-bit/96kHz, 5.1
Surround Sound format) or at the highest end you can even save
your enhanced music to WMA Pro Lossless (24-bit/96kHz, Stereo,
using a lossless compression algorithm).
If you want maximum enjoyment and portability you should choose the basic
option, whereas for the maximum quality experience you should choose the WMA
Pro Lossless format.
DVD-Audio playback up to 24-bit/192kHz in stereo and 24-bit/96kHz in
DVD-Audio delivers more brilliance and clarity during playback, while
preserving the depth, warmth and presence of the original recording.
Discrete DTS-ES 6.1 Support
DTS-ES offers 6.1 sound for supporting DVD titles. DTS-ES is the only
format that supports discrete 6.1 sound for movies. This means that unlike
Dolby Digital EX, the 6th channel (Rear Center) is actually encoded into
the movie soundtrack like all the other channels. This provides far greater
control to the movie producers in delivering to you a fully immersive movie
Certified Dolby Digital EX 6.1 support
The best known, most highly supported movie audio format is provided by
Dolby. Sound Blaster X-Fi is a fully certified Dolby Digital EX playback
platform. Compared to Dolby Digital 5.1, this technology adds a matrix-encoded
rear center channel, which provides better positioning of audio and effects
coming from behind the listener. The additional rear speaker also creates
a better overall effect of fly-bys and fly-overs making the audio experience
more enveloping and immersive.
Bass Management Support
Bass Management support allows a user to adjust the crossover frequency
to eliminate distortion that can occur when the satellite speakers fail
to handle deeper frequencies. Therefore users can attach a subwoofer module
to boost the bass effect or connect Sound Blaster X-Fi to a full home-theater
speaker system and amplifier/receiver with confidence that their audio
experience will be second-to-none!
- Genuine Intel® Pentium® III 1 GHz, AMD® 1 GHz processor
- Intel, AMD or 100% compatible motherboard chipset
- Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
- 256 MB RAM
- 600 MB of free hard disk space
- Available PCI 2.1 slot for the audio card
- Headphones or amplified speakers (available separately)
- CD-ROM/CD-RW or CD/DVD-ROM required for software installation
- Available USB port for the IR Receiver*
- Available 5 1/4-inch drive bay for the X-Fi I/O Drive*
Additional Requirements (where applicable)
DirectX® 9 and OpenGL® compliant 3D graphics accelerator with at
least 32 MB of texture RAm
DVD-Video and DVD-Audio Playback
6x or faster DVD-ROM drive with one of the following recommended software
DVD players: InterVideo WinDVD or CyberLink PowerDVD (latest version recommended)
5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 speakers for optimal listening experience
Entertainment Center and Remote Control Usage
Graphics card with DirectX 9 compatible video drivers to ensure proper interaction
between Entertainment Center and software DVD players
Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 97 or later to control PowerPoint presentations
wirelessly using the remote control
256 MB RAM and above is required for loading 24-bit SoundFont banks
Other applications, especially games, may have higher system requirements.
Refer to the applications' documentation for details.
*Available with some models of your audio device, or as an upgrade accessory
in some regions.
Visit www.soundblaster.com for
the latest Sound Blaster news and products. The site also includes information
on making purchases, technical help, and the latest driver updates.
Blaster X-Fi Software:
Installing Drivers and Applications
You need to install device drivers and applications before using your Sound
Blaster X-Fi. The instructions below apply to all supported Windows operating
- After you have placed your audio card in a PCI slot, turn on your computer.
Windows automatically detects your audio card and searches for device drivers.
- When prompted for the audio drivers, click the Cancel button.
- Insert the Installation and Applications CD into your CD/DVD-ROM drive.
Your CD should start automatically. If it does not, follow the steps below:
- Start Windows Explorer.
- On the left pane, click the My Computer icon.
- Right-click the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive icon, and then click AutoPlay.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation. It
may take up to around 10 minutes for the installation procedure to complete.
- When prompted, restart your computer.
Using Creative Software AutoUpdate Locating, downloading and installing
updates for your Creative products is now simpler and faster with the new
web-based Creative Software AutoUpdate system.
When you connect to Creative Software AutoUpdate via the Internet, the web
site will analyze your computer system to determine what operating system
(OS), language and Creative products are installed in your system.
After the online analysis, you will be able to select from a list of only
the most relevant software and driver updates. The files will then be retrieved
and installed on your system for you.
- Ensure that the power cable is connected to the I/O Drive if you have one.
- First-time users of Creative Software AutoUpdate may be prompted to authorize
the download of a browser component required for system inspection. Ensure
that the content is signed by Creative Labs, Inc., and then click the Yes
- Ensure that all your Creative products are connected and installed on the
same computer running Creative Software AutoUpdate.
Sound Blaster X-Fi Software:
Uninstalling all Audio Drivers and Applications
- Click Start - Settings - Control Panel or Start-
- Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon.
- Select the Sound Blaster X-Fi entry, and then click the Add/Remove (or
- In the InstallShield Wizard dialog box, select the Remove All option.
- Click the Yes button.
- Restart your computer when prompted.
- You may now install the original or updated Sound Blaster X-Fi device
drivers or applications.