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Thread: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

  1. #1

    X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    I am starting to look at upgrading to Ivy Bridge, which means whole new mobo and what not. I already have an X-Fi Titanium Fatality card but I noticed this new Recon3D card. Is this the next step above X-Fi or is not worth bothering with. Any info I find on it seems to not make any connection to X-Fi tech so it seems like a lateral move. Any thoughst would be helpful.

  2. #2
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    Re: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    From what I've read:

    X-Fi: 7.1 channels, Recon3D: 5.1 channels

    X-Fi: hardware accelerated OpenAL and EAX, Recon3D: software OpenAL and EAX only, no hardware acceleration

    The Recon3D has some voice enhancement stuff that the X-Fi does not. On the other hand, X-Fi has ASIO drivers, and Recon3D does not.

    Here's a summary of card features:

    http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/img/pc...ml/25.jpg.html

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    Re: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    This certainly opens an interesting debate.
    I am looking to upgrade from my PCI X-Fi to a PCI-E X-Fi as plan on upgrading to a new Z77/X79 based system not too far down the line.
    What would you say is the best all around Soundblaster card. Baring in mind I enjoy music, movies and games and use a Creative 7.1 speaker system.
    From what I can gather the Recon3D seems a bit of a downgrade/sidegrade to a X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty series card.
    But what do you all think?
    The X-Fi HD would certainly be a winner IF it had Analogue 7.1 output.
    John

  4. #4

    Re: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    The X-Fi is superior in every sense IMO. From what I've read the Recon cards are good with positional audio and the only consumer who might find it a worthwhile purchase would possibly be competitive gamers where it is advantageous to hear where your opponent is (achievable regardless of technical audio quality). I personally have always been a bit OCD about my sound card purchases, in that EVERY time Creative launched another evolution of it's Sound Blaster line, I absolutely HAD to have it. I've had almost every card since the Sound Blaster 2.0. As OCD as I am, I will not be replacing my Titanium HD's (I have two of them) with anything from the Recon series unless Creative were to create an audiophile type of product with a better signal to noise ratio and accelerated audio. As far as I can tell the Recon series is a product that is cheaper for Creative to manufacture and I suspect there is a business strategy to compete with Realtek in the OEM market.

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    Re: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperBill View Post
    The X-Fi is superior in every sense IMO. From what I've read the Recon cards are good with positional audio and the only consumer who might find it a worthwhile purchase would possibly be competitive gamers where it is advantageous to hear where your opponent is (achievable regardless of technical audio quality). I personally have always been a bit OCD about my sound card purchases, in that EVERY time Creative launched another evolution of it's Sound Blaster line, I absolutely HAD to have it. I've had almost every card since the Sound Blaster 2.0. As OCD as I am, I will not be replacing my Titanium HD's (I have two of them) with anything from the Recon series unless Creative were to create an audiophile type of product with a better signal to noise ratio and accelerated audio. As far as I can tell the Recon series is a product that is cheaper for Creative to manufacture and I suspect there is a business strategy to compete with Realtek in the OEM market.
    I'm very curious, does the Titanium HD decode Dolby and DTS through optical/coaxial?

    Or is there ANY other PCI-E card that does this, whether it's from Creative or other brands? I'm looking to replace my PCI X-Fi in the future.

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    Re: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    Decoding is handled by what's on the other end. Encoding is what counts from the soundcard - the HDs should at least have DDL encoding, and quite possibly have DTS encoding as well (I can't confirm this from experience). Passthrough works completely independant of it, but they can decode both as well if you're outputting to analogue.

    I can say that the Recons are able to encode only DDL, but there was a rather upset post somewhere (I think this board) stating that they can't encode DTS. They also handle passthrough just fine.

    Personally, I'm not sure the loss of hardware audio is actually that detrimental on the Recons - assuming it is actually gone. Unfortunately I lack suitable testing software to really get deep into it, but every test I've run suggests a Recon (whether it's hardware accelerated or not) is equal in performance to an EMU10K1 X-Fi (standard PCI ones from CL, some 3rd party PCIe ones with bridge chips) when the voice count is low and actually faster as the count increases. Either CL have some very, very good software, or hardware acceleration is actually alive and well; despite claims otherwise.

    The only significant negatives that I can really mention of the Recon, having used one for a long while now, is that they're obviously limited to 5.1 output (not always important), ASIO is missing (though I've never used this, some may find it a deal-breaker) and SoundFont support is gone (again, only an issue for certain people - and there's work-arounds). Otherwise, pretty much all the dumping on them seems to stem from either not wanting to like the cards, or having sonicly perfect ears (consider that 16-bit, 44KHz audio only offers 96dB of dynamic range).

    There's still a few niggling software complaints, but that's nothing which can't be resolved over time.

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    Re: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    Thanks for the very informative post Thalyn
    So it seems that Creative's software is very well executed? Perhaps it is pseudo hardware acceleration, i.e multithreaded software accelerated by the "Dual Core APU" (AudioProcessorUnit?)
    Either way I am a little bit sceptical as to whether these cards are true successors for the X-Fi or a stop gap to keep us relatively happy before the new breed of highend cards are released which will hopefully have 7.1, DTS, and HD Audio Support!
    John

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    Re: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    Recon3D actually looks like a downgrade compared to the old X-Fi...

  9. #9

    Re: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    I agree with that I got the Recon3D fatality and the sound + software is totaly crap now, I preferred my old X-fi Platinum...
    Btw anyone know why headset button doesnt work in Recon3D software? I can only choose stereo or 5.1 :X

  10. #10
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    Re: X-FI vs Recon3D, whats the difference

    The Headphone option should only work if you've got something plugged into the headphone jack (second in from the top) on the rear or the front jack (either the front panel or via the HDA header). If you've got it plugged into the Front out on the back of the card than it probably assumes it's not headphones.

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