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Hardware Creative Sound Blaster Z review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 11 Feb 2013.

  1. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    I gather you didn't try the Windows 8 consumer preview? because I did and X-FI support was completely lacking. I gather not much has changed now with Windows 8 support?
     
  2. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    Wait a minute, if that's supposed to be an EM shield, why does is have a bloody great windows in it?
     
  3. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    Not tried windows 8 yet, drivers and software is always ropey after a new OS release. Will probably wait until I have a suitable device for Windows 8, it doesn't seem like a Desktop OS to me. Anyway I believe the latest X-FI Drivers do add windows 8 support.

    Back to the card on review, I'd be interested to know if there is any difference in sound quality or performance with the 3D sounds being processed on chip.
     
    Last edited: 11 Feb 2013
  4. Harlequin

    Harlequin Well-Known Member

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    http://support.creative.com/downloads/welcome.aspx?nDriverType=1#type_1

    theres your win8 driver - same as win7 and vista , just now whql for win8.

    nothing changed in 3 years.
     
  5. POMLORE

    POMLORE New Member

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    Have gone from the X-FI Xtreame Gamer Fatality Pro which in my view was a good card for many years to new Z Card.
    I must say so far I like the new card, no problems so far and now can have 5.1 speakers and headset plugged in at the same time, just swap inputs with control pannel which is a big improvement on the old card
     
  6. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Thanks for that Harlequin, I know it didn't work when I tried the Win8 CP, but I'm sticking with Windows 7 for the foreseeable future.
     
  7. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    I have had a Creative Audigy 2 ZS almost since launch (nearly 10 years ago?) and after the first few teething issues I have had no problems since. No crack, no pops, no game errors. So I am not fussed about future driver support as mine just seem to work, although Creative did seem to release a new driver back in December 2012 and that is what mine is currently on.

    Instead of just complaining about how bad your experience of Creative is, why not state what you would buy these days? That would be more constructive rather than childishly stating 'I will never buy anything Creative again'.

    My main dislike of these cards and is started with the Titanium version of the X-Fi is the pretty box they use to make it look good on the top... However, once the unit is flipped over and installed all you see is the same crappy PCB and ugly solder points. See we end up paying extra for a visual effect that we can't even see...
     
  8. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    I don't think the shroud is for visual effect, it's supposed to be shielding EM interference.
     
  9. mikeyandrewb

    mikeyandrewb New Member

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    In the wake of the Creative-poor-driver-support bandwagon, can anyone recommend a sound card that will work in 2 years time? Preferably less than £100.
     
  10. Harlequin

    Harlequin Well-Known Member

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    asus xonar D2 or D2X ;)
     
  11. TC93

    TC93 New Member

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    I think the article was pretty accurate. I currently have both this Sound Blaster ZX in my computer, and my Essence STX. Trying to compare the two. Although I plan on returning the ZX, but only due to the fact that I love Dolby Headphone on my Essence STX which the Z card doesn't have, and the STX is better with music.

    The Z card has more of an in your face type of placement for hearing sounds, and the STX with Dolby Headphone has more of a open sound that to me is more realistic and clear. Positional audio on both cards are equal despite what some claim.

    Although the Z card is a good card, and I love the ACM module that comes with the ZX. Its very nice looking. The software is not bloated either, or not yet anyways.


     
  12. TC93

    TC93 New Member

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    That is an interesting point, I hadn't thought of that.
     
  13. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    It's not a EM shield, it's a bit of bling because that's what they think their customers want. And seeing as they have to aim at new customers all the time as for some reason people who've been stung once don't keep coming back and buying new cards, this is what they keep doing.

    Look this is a company that makes a card called the "X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality Pro" which has fail embedded in the name at every mutated acronym, 'rad' spelling and GAMER GAMER GAMER addition.

    Don't trust them. Their chips are great, I'd even wager their board designs are probably okay but their care and attention to the user experience of their existing customers is effing awful.
     
  14. blackworx

    blackworx Cable Wrangler

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    If you take the S/PDIF output from your motherboard's built in sound hardware and hook it up to an external DAC is there any point in a souped up card like this? This is a serious question. ATM I have just such a setup (mobo output > rackmount DAC > balanced output to a pair of studio monitors).

    I'm thinking mainly in terms of stereo use, but having just invested in a surround amp for the living room I'm also curious about the relative performance with multi-channel encoding should I ever go for an HTPC.
     
  15. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    I too would also like to know the answer to this and the benefit of dedicated sound cards over onboard when plugged in to further external hardware.
     
  16. mdshann

    mdshann New Member

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    My X-Fi PCI (yes, the original one!) works great in Windows 8 x64 Pro. Worked in Windows 7 x64 too. Sure, all the garbage apps that came with it don't work, but I didn't want those back in 2007 when the card was shiny new either.
     
  17. mdshann

    mdshann New Member

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    Sounds like something bit could find out for us...
     
  18. dolphie

    dolphie New Member

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    I have used Creative gear since the first SoundBlaster showed up in the 1980's. But my last one was the XFi extreme music edition and it had all kinds of problems. I since moved to Asus Xonar, my first ever none-Creative sound card, and I doubt I'll be replacing that for a good few years or more.

    I'm glad people like you call it like it is. I hope Creative see this and realise that spending that kind of money on something that has issues and bugs and hassles, is enough to make people look elsewhere.
     
  19. jimmyjj

    jimmyjj Member

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    I sense.... I will not be buying a Creative sound card any time soon.
     
  20. Vallachia

    Vallachia Member

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    I would like to also point out that this card CANNOT do 7.1 out, despite what bit's review says.
    It is only capable of 2.0, 2.1 and 5.1 via either analogue or SPDIF. From there you can upscale SPDIF to 7.1 via DTS Neo:6 or whatever, but the audio processor itself is only capable of 5.1 surround sound processing. If you have a 7.1 receiver and speaker setup then this is not the card for you.

    Creative themselves don't claim it can do 7.1, so not sure why the reviewer does:
    http://au.store.creative.com/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-z/1-21402.aspx

    On the whole the SoundCore 3D processor is far less powerful than the old X-Fi 20K2, but at least this card isn't as expensive as a good X-Fi used to be.
     
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