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 Pro-Gamer sound card review D2x ultra VS X-Fi titanium

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DANGERDAN
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PostSubject: Pro-Gamer sound card review D2x ultra VS X-Fi titanium   Tue May 19, 2009 3:31 pm

Xonar D2X VS X-FI Titanium

Now i was intentionally going to make this review a long time ago but i decided to extend the
review and gave both cards a fair fight.
Ok so instead of the usal reviews they (At the most) test and review things for one week and since this is a user review (also under Pro-Gamer review) I gave each card not even weeks but months of testing drivers,settings,games,research etc and since this is a review from a professional I think i can give a more! professional review with the more understanding and research. To this day i beleive both are unique in there own way but i could still define the crown in this review.

What was involved in the testing

Games
Crysis
Cod4

Main test specs
.Asus Xonar D2x ultra
.Creative X-FI Titanium
.I used headphones (Sennheiser 595) Recomended and re-recommended from me
.OS Vista 64 SP1,XP SP2
.Latest drivers from the sound card source

Testing information
Now I chose these games for many reasons
.Most popular games to date
.Involves a highly needed and 3d positional gameplay
.To see the difference between mid gfx and high gfx designed games from two different engines/company
.What impact the gameplay differences had
.Are the game's i play professionally and can judge on them both professionally

The testing was taken with two games both of which was equally tested over 7 months, testing that was involved included things like differences between optional sound settings what sounded better and what didn't, what game or design gave impact over the other what card had better advantage over the other and many more.
I used headphones because 3d positioning is far greater and cheaper , they also are the only hardware to produce a major difference to be able to tell the difference.
I tested every single setting found in the cards ability hours and nights determining which would improve location quality, after many tests and study i came to realise that the normal settings for which game mode for both is designed for was what was best for it and did work the best.

Crysis and Xonar d2x

This game with its high amount of skill involement and every inch of advantage with it is greatly needed and wanted.
I was able with the really long extensive test to basically hear what made this card good, Crysis with its own sound driver called FMOD-EX removes the ability to have or enable eax sound's, which in a way is good as it limits the ability to have much higher ability to hear things. As for where it stands crysis and Xonar work really well it picks up the most needed things including footsteps, gunfire, gun reload etc and when i mean picks up i mean it puts all its sound 3d positioning to these areas and not to the uneeded things like bird chirpings or other background noise. This is really good as you dont get mixed influences in the game distracting you.
Crysis and X-FI

This card reacted differently and can show alot of poeple that sound cards to make a difference (Headphones mostly) and that sound is different.
How this card worked well was its accuracy in 3d positioning and could also produce sound of which distance it came from for eg. if a bullet was fired from close range the sound would be very load compared to a shot fired from the other end of the map.

Cod4 and Xonar d2x
This game with also its own engine and no eax support is probly one of the most popular games out to date.
Its ingame design to crysis obviously is different but like most fps games sound is needed in pretty much the exact same areas, for eg. Footsteps , Gun reloads, gunfire etc all are where and how people locate within these sounds to achieve the game expeirence.
Cod4 and Xonar does really well and to many peoples surprise it acts very similar to crysis and other games and feels like that the game does not hold a massive effect to its performance.
It like in crysis picks up footsteps really well small details like gun reload or bomb placement is detailed really well and picked up with ease and comfort.
Cod4 and X-FI
The X-FI also worked really great in this game and as previously stated both games reacted the same with the individual cards, the X-FI pulls of great 3d positioning and performance like Crysis

Conclusion
Now both cards no matter what you get work tremdisouly well with games and give off enough performance to play at your best, but as it comes down to no card is perfect and there will always be improvement.
Now compared with XP and Vista there is a major difference as the X-FI works with 2 channel audio already and convert that into really good 3d positioning the Xonar does not as well and works best in vista with 8 channel than in xp with 2 channel. (note that latest drivers for Xonar are really important as the quality is improved by software compared to X-FI where its inbuilt to the card and cannot be improved.
The X-Fi has great positioning could be the sharpest iv had and has some good features with it including the eax driver and better performance with its onboard driver processor, taking the load off the cpu and giving the cpu more power and dedication to other things. Even though it might be only around 5 frames at the most, to the enthust's thats a great deal and can be of a great help to squeezing those extra bit of juice out of the system.
The X-Fi though did have some quality issues its ablility to make the user feel like its at all imersed in the game was poor it took our some of the detailed sounds and from what i think tryed to make all dedication onto just footsteps gunfire etc . But also comes a problem with that as those dedicated sounds were unbalanced, you play the game and the foot steps are queit and not really there to pick up so you turn up the volume only to find its good but the gunfire just overwhelms the ability to keep your headphones on, also its horrizontil location felt more like a front on 180 positioning instead of 360.

Which is why i come to decision that the Xonar is the better sound card because....

The Xonar with its great sound balance and alot less stress to the ears, its 3d positioning vertical and horizontal was much greater had far superour sound quality than the X-FI also better features including dolby surround optional sound modes eg game,music,movie that were just a click away from been changed unlike the X-FI where you had to change your complete control panal and wait longer,
It could also pick up sounds better and sharper in which the X-Fi couldnt.
The only thing this card lacked in and that the X-FI had was Sound distance location not much to put off as its still great but the X-FI did rule in that department at best.

So to Sqaure everything off

Asus Xonar d2x ultra = Music Games Love Razz
Creative XFI Titanium = better price+Games+works better in XP

Repeat if you are going to be using XP then definitly get the x-fi the xonar fails to produce great sound without its vista 8 channel feature which is only with vista other than that xonar rules
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