Creative has just launched some their latest products. One of them is the X-Fi Xtreme Audio. Some rumours say that this X-Fi Xtreme Audio is not a real X-Fi. Is that true? I don’t know since I haven’t checked the card with my own hands and eyes. Photos below are taken from Creative’s website.

I got this picture from Creative’s website.

The X-Fi Xtreme Audio (click photo below for larger view):

The “old” Audigy SE (click photo below for larger view):

Not really a same card, but let’s check the chipset.

They share the same chipset? Audigy SE (black PCB) is not X-Fi for sure, but how about this X-Fi Xtreme Audio (blue PCB)? It brings X-Fi name but without the X-Fi chip (it uses same chip with Audigy SE)?

Below is the real X-Fi chipset (see the different, it’s CA20K1!): This is the “giant” processor with huge amount of transistors and outstanding processing power. The “old” chip doesn’t have such capability.

I think Creative shouldn’t trick the consumer by providing X-Fi logo on card which has no X-Fi chip inside. Yes perhaps they can emulate the X-Fi software to run on this old non X-Fi chip, but how about the performance? I heard that this card has no hardware acceleration. Well, Creative and X-Fi is well known for its gaming capability. Without it, I will not buy X-Fi for sure.

Most users outside there are expecting explanation from this problem.

Added 21 Januari 2007:
I have discussed this things with a person from Creative. He admitted that the Xtreme Audio doesn’t use the CA20K1. And in the future, “X-Fi” logo will become Creative’s trade mark for high quality sound. No matter what’s the chipset inside. So, from this moment, we can expect a lot of “X-Fi” logo and device from Creative mixed with and without the CA20K1 inside. I guess the price can be used as the simplest method to identify whether you will have the CA20K1 or not inside the device. The lowest on the rank should be the X-Fi Xtreme Music. If you see an X-Fi with price lower than this, expect to find it without CA20K1.

About the sound quality? Only your ears can be the judge 😀