Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro. Sound Blaster X-Fi is a lineup of sound cards in Creative Technology's Sound Blaster series.
The series was launched in August 2005 as a lineup of PCI sound cards, which served as the introduction for their X-Fi audio processing chip, with models ranging from XtremeMusic (lower end), to Platinum, Fatal1ty FPS, and Elite Pro (top of the range)..
64 MB of dedicated memory found on the Fatal1ty Pro sound card via two Micron Technology 48LC32M8A2-75 D (PC133) SDRAM chips. The top-end Elite Pro model was aimed at musicians, bundled with the X-Fi external I/O box (offering phono with preamp inputs for turntables, high-impedance input for guitars, 1⁄4 inch mic input, headphone output, line-in, and full size MIDI I/O, as well as optical and RCA Coaxial digital inputs and outputs), and remote control.
The Platinum and Fatal1ty FPS models both offer a front-panel drive-bay control unit and remote control, while the base model was supplied without any such accessories. All but the top model claimed 109 dB signal-to-noise ratio, while the Elite Pro model uses a higher-end DAC, with 116 dB claimed. The bottom two models feature 2 MB onboard X-RAM, while the top models offer 64 MB of X-RAM, designed for use in games to store sound samples for improved gaming performance. Launch reviews did not support Creative's claims of higher performance, however, with even the top-end 64 MB equipped model falling slightly behind the older Audigy cards..
October 2006 saw a minor rebranding: the X-Fi XtremeMusic edition, which was in fact a highly capable gaming card, as it offers hardware decoding and EAX support, was replaced with the XtremeGamer model. The revised model featured half-width PCB, non-gold-plated connectors, optical out instead of the digital out and digital I/O module jack, and lacked the connector for users wishing to purchase a separate X-Fi I/O box.
Functionality is otherwise the same. The market segment occupied by the XtremeMusic was moved downwards, with the introduction of the (cheaper) 'Xtreme Audio' and 'Xtreme Audio Notebook' products, which, despite the "X-Fi" label, are the only products in the X-Fi line not using the EMU20K1 chip (CA20K1) but an older chip similar to the Audigy SE and SB Live!
cards (CA0106-WBTLF) and thus lacking the hardware acceleration of 3D sound and EAX sound effects, gaming and content creation features and the I/O extensibility of all the other X-Fi models.
The other new product introduced was the X-Fi 'XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro', identical in function to the Fatal1ty FPS, but made more affordable by the unbundling of the I/O panel and remote control.
In 2007 Creative Technology unveiled PCI Express x1 and ExpressCard/34 versions of Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio during Consumer Electronics Show.
Creative did not yet release PCIe versions of their EMU-based X-Fi cards as adapting the CA20K1 chip for PCIe proved to be troublesome, with the company itself reporting design difficulties, latency problems and delays.. ExpressCard Sound Blaster X-Fi for Notebooks (34 mm with a removable plastic adapter for 54 mm slots).