VOGONS


First post, by DerBaum

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Have you ever asked yourself if the SB0460 SoundBlaster X-Fi card you are going to buy has 2 or 64 MB of RAM?

Creative made a lot of different versions of the classic X-Fi card. And sellers often don´t know what they are selling.
I sometimes find cards where the seller just adds the wrong name to the card to make it sell better.
If you look up Wikipedia it just tells you the name and the amount of RAM it should have...
Or people give you the advice to get a "Fatal1ty" card...

Lets find out how you can spot the difference.

In general there are 2 versions of the X-Fi card. 64MB "Fatal1ty" versions and 2MB regular versions.

The Fatal1ty versions come with a black box attached to the top right of the PCB (this is just a fancy light).
Regular versions are missing the black box.

BUT there are sneaky sellers wich put the black box on a regular card (it fits with no problems) and keep the Fatal1ty version where they take the box from...

Here is the trick: check the RAM soldered to the card.
There are 2 Positions where RAM chips can be soldered. The upper one is for 2MB and the Lower one is for 64MB.

This picture shows 2 of my unmodified cards.
The Fatal1ty card (bottom) with the black Box uses a "MT48LC32M16A2" in the lower position as a 64MB RAM Chip.
The standard card without Box uses a "HY57V161610ETP-6" in the upper position as a 2MB Ram Chip.

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There is also a version of the X-Fi card wich uses Samsung RAM instead of Hynix ram in the upper position. (still 2MB)

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AND there is a version of the X-Fi Fatal1ty card wich uses 2 "48LC32M8A2" Chips in a 32MB*2 (64MB) configuration.

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Here is a bigger picture of the chips where i put the 2MB versions on the left and the 64MB versions on the right.

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To sum it up:
RAM soldered to upper position (Samsung or Hynix) 2MB (no black Box top right) = regular
RAM soldered to lower Position (or 2 chips) 64MB (black Box top right) = Fatal1ty

Reply 1 of 10, by Sombrero

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I'm currently making changes to my rigs and I tried to figure out does the 64MB X-Fi cards have any real benefit over the regular 2MB cards. I found only one review that tested that and according to their testing using 64MB card increased fps like 0.1%. (Edit: or did it only drop CPU usage by 0.1%? Can't remember /edit) I'm not even sure does that go for any and all games or just the games that make use of that 64MB ram and the only one game I know to do that is UT2004 with the X-Fi patch. Maybe possibly Quake 4 too? If anyone knows others feel free to chime in.

Seems to me the 2MB cards are just as good in practice. Either way I still pulled the 64MB fatality X-Fi card from my P4 box and installed it to my new xp/7 rig I'm putting together and got a cheap 2MB X-Fi for the P4 box as a replacement. At least for now, until I find a pcie X-Fi titanium with a reasonable price

DOS/Win98SE: Abit BX133-RAID / P3 650MHz / Voodoo3 3000 / 128MB SDRAM / Audigy 2 / Orpheus
WinXP: Asus P5K / P4 HT 651 3.4GHz (65W) / 6800 GT / 2GB DDR2 / X-Fi
WinXP/7: MSI Z77A-G43 / i5-3570 / GTX 960 / 8GB DDR3 / X-Fi

Reply 2 of 10, by DerBaum

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Sombrero wrote on 2022-08-16, 17:09:

I'm currently making changes to my rigs and I tried to figure out does the 64MB X-Fi cards have any real benefit over the regular 2MB cards. I found only one review that tested that and according to their testing using 64MB card increased fps like 0.1%. (Edit: or did it only drop CPU usage by 0.1%? Can't remember /edit) I'm not even sure does that go for any and all games or just the games that make use of that 64MB ram and the only one game I know to do that is UT2004 with the X-Fi patch. Maybe possibly Quake 4 too? If anyone knows others feel free to chime in.

Seems to me the 2MB cards are just as good in practice.

My understanding is that a game must be programmed to use the extra RAM...
And to be honest i only know 1 game that does use it: Quake 4

BUT as always: Better to have it then to need it ... i guess 😁

Reply 3 of 10, by pentiumspeed

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The EMU2K20 xxx are hardware acceleration, while ones that are not, relies on CPU for processing.

That is significant. Also there is some that are 16MB versions.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 4 of 10, by DerBaum

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pentiumspeed wrote on 2022-08-16, 23:14:

The EMU2K20 xxx are hardware acceleration, while ones that are not, relies on CPU for processing.

That is significant. Also there is some that are 16MB versions.

Cheers,

The SB0460 mentioned in the title was not available in 16MB .
Please have a look at this website about the chips : https://wiki.debian.org/X-Fi
The X-Fi Extreme Audio with CA0106 (or CA0110) also was not the SB0460.

Have you found a different version of the SB0460 with 16MB and/or CA0106 chip, then please linke them here.
Note: The CA0106 is a QFP package and the CA20K1 ia a BGA package.

Here is a link where you can see a SB0460 without heatsink. The chip is labeled "CA20K1". https://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/x-fi-xt … r-review,3.html

Reply 6 of 10, by The Serpent Rider

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Similar to how Gravis Ultrasound works, X-Fi use memory to buffer sound samples to improve perfromance in games (or potentially any software which can utilize DirectSound3D or OpenAL). But realistically - 64 Mb was useless outside of few games, especially on PCIe cards. It's "nice to have" thing mostly.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 7 of 10, by DerBaum

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-08-17, 09:40:

Similar to how Gravis Ultrasound works, X-Fi use memory to buffer sound samples to improve perfromance in games (or potentially any software which can utilize DirectSound3D or OpenAL). But realistically - 64 Mb was useless outside of few games, especially on PCIe cards. It's "nice to have" thing mostly.

Exactly. I think it was more like a marketing move by creative.
The best thing they could do was brand these models as "Fatal1ty" to appeal to gamers wich spend more money on hardware anyway.

Reply 9 of 10, by FinalJenemba

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I had one of those x-fi fatal1ty in my gaming rig as a teenager. I had it paired up with that big Logitech 5.1 surround system everyone has back in the day. I highly doubt the ram meant literally anything, but I remember buying the fatal1ty version because of it. Well I was a teenager, I was the target audience I guess 🤣. It did sound incredible with those speakers tho. That card went through a few of rigs and stuck around for awhile.

At some point I upgraded to the newer x-fi that was the USB one with the volume knob because I was using headphones 90% of the time. No idea what happened to the card, but the USB unit is there around here somewhere. I should prob dig it out, I bet it sounds allot better than the sound my TV's headphone out port is making from nvidia's HDMI.