Creative Unveils Sound Blaster with RGB Lighting

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    I don’t know why soundcards are still a thing, considering how easy it is to buy and hook up a USB DAC or HDMI receiver, but Creative is at it again with another Sound Blaster card – and this time, it comes with RGB lighting. Using flashy lights to market a sound product is weird, I think, but the card does boast a beefy headphone amp and Saber-class DAC. Of course, quality depends a lot on implementation and not just fancy parts, so it is hard to say how this thing actually sounds.

    The Sound BlasterX AE-5 card is the first sound card to feature a built-in RGB controller that comes with the Aurora Reactive Lighting System. A separate RGB lighting system could set a user back by at least USD 50, but now this is built into the card itself with the AE-5, giving users amazing value and performance for their system. This also means that valuable space within a gamer's desktop can be saved for other components. The RGB controller, powered by Creative's very own Aurora Reactive Lighting System, not only lights up the card through the PCB, but also gives gamers the flexibility to build their dream gaming rig by connecting up to four LED strips to match the awesome sound with an awesome light show.
     
  2. silent-circuit

    silent-circuit [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Expected price on this is around $150... I'd much rather it were $50 less without the RGB bullshit.
     
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  3. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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  4. vegeta535

    vegeta535 Gawd

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  5. azuza001

    azuza001 Gawd

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    Bah. I still have a Soundblaster in my pc at the moment, a soundblaster z I believe. System sounds great, but can't honestly say that it's a huge improvement over on board, and an external dac would definitely be easier to mess with at this point and probably sound better. Only reason it's in there is it came with the system lol.

    Soundcards just don't offer anything really compelling anymore. Games don't make use of them in any meaningful way (vs other options). Hdmi to external source is just so simple and easy to do. There just doesn't seem to be a point unless you need it for professional work, and even then I find it hard to believe there are not better options.
     
  6. Tak Ne

    Tak Ne [H]ard|Gawd

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    What next.. a fridge with 5.1 sound?
     
  7. dR.Jester

    dR.Jester 2[H]4U

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    Noooooooooo a fridge with RGB LEDs inside
     
  8. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Next time: an RGB light with RGB lighting!
     
  9. Evil

    Evil Gawd

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    So... this lets you turn your modern PC into a old style Jukebox.
     
  10. TechLarry

    TechLarry Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Can I have awesome audio instead. Please?
     
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  11. daglesj

    daglesj 2[H]4U

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    And it uses...a white plastic Molex for additional RGB power. How classy in 2017!?
     
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  12. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    heres a vid. I agree with him, skip the rgb and drop the price a bit. and yeah, wtf is with the white connector?! at least hide it somewhere then.

     
  13. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim [H]ard|Gawd

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    NOOOOooooo
    (requires 4-pin molex peripheral connector from PC power supply)
    but colors, amirite
     
  14. gunbust3r

    gunbust3r Gawd

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    Whats the estimate for when we reach peak RGB?
     
  15. Burticus

    Burticus [H]ard|Gawd

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    Agreed. Ditch the stupid RGB stuff and sell this for $50. I'd buy one. Maybe. I still have a 10 year old X-Fi Titanium I got on clearance for like $50...a freaking decade ago. Yeah, I have to use "modified" drivers to get the full control panel/crystalizer etc. But I don't use them much.

    If I was building an entirely brand new rig today, with no leftover parts, would I buy one? Ehhhh I dunno. I do use optical in/out for my PS4, so I'd need that, but I've seen that on some motherboards, or I can buy an Asus card that has it for like $40.

    Not exactly sure how Creative Labs is still in business, actually.
     
  16. trentchau

    trentchau [H]ard|Gawd

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    Doesn't seem like it does bad audio. Did you read about it any? It sounds like there are improvements and the reviews say it's got some nifty audio related features. While rgb caters zero to me there is a rgb market and those are the people who would also possibly by the product without batting an eye.
     
  17. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I honestly like the RGB lights.

    The Chinese people making this stuff have no taste, it's always going to be ugly and look like something out of Power Rangers. At least with RGB you get to pick a color you like.
     
  18. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron [H]ard|Gawd

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    Creative soundcards are a rip off, and they can suck a fuck with their shitty drivers.
     
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  19. Amadeus-484

    Amadeus-484 n00bie

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    I will definitely be buying this card... If it has an actual OPL2 or OPL3 chip, like a real Sound Blaster. If not... Ehhh, why bother?
     
  20. Sonicks

    Sonicks Gawd

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    People still buy sound cards?
     
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  21. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya [H]ard|Gawd

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    Still useful if you need analog outputs, but I'm perfectly happy with my modded X-Fi XtremeMusic and Titanium cards :)
     
  22. Azphira

    Azphira Gawd

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    Haven't used sound cards or on board sound for 2 years now, first I was using the Audioquest Dragonfly, now the Sony Cas-1
     
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  23. dark_reign

    dark_reign [H]ard|Gawd

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    While onboard audio is much better these days, it's still not as good as a discrete sound card. Of course you need a great set of cans to hear the difference but it's going to be subjective.

    Creative is marketing this sound card for the epeen / deep pockets crowd. It's not really meant for gamers.
     
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  24. Budzman

    Budzman Gawd

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    Getting tired of this RGB overpriced trend.
     
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  25. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I don't think the RGB is being included with the price. They are following the trend of spiffy MB lighting and using it as a selling point.
     
  26. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    The Sound BlasterX series is for pro-gaming products. They make sound cards, headphones, mouse pads, etc in that series for gamers. They have other products for non-gamers.

    The Sound Blaster ZxR is an internal soundcard and it's $100 more than this card will be. That's more for those with deeper pockets. Even higher still is the X7. It's double the price of the RGB card and the X7 Limited is $100 above the X7. They're external usb DACs.
     
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  27. daglesj

    daglesj 2[H]4U

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    The main reason I used to buy a sound card was to take the strain of audio processing off of the 'single core' CPU.

    Haven't had that worry for many years now.
     
  28. tetris42

    tetris42 2[H]4U

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    Both Creative and Asus's drivers are what convinced me to give up soundcards and go to a DAC. You can have the best hardware in the world and it doesn't fucking matter if it's not stable or glitches out regularly.
     
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  29. Bawjaws

    Bawjaws n00bie

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    Are Creative's drivers still terrible? They certainly were back in the day, which is what has prevented me from buying any of their soundcards since about 2004. I had an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum (with the 5.25" bay breakout box) and it was fine when the drivers played ball. The only problem was that they were flaky as hell. Great hardware, terrible software.
     
  30. ecmaster76

    ecmaster76 Gawd

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    Do they even put their own chips in these anymore? I thought they were just skinning Realtek these days.
     
  31. vegeta535

    vegeta535 Gawd

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    Wut it is marketed right at gamers. It seems these kids want all the flashing lights. I am still waiting on the first case of RBG induced seizers and maybe this RBG shit dies.
     
  32. frankmansal

    frankmansal [H]Lite

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    Thank GOD I can have RGB on my sound card to go along with my Case, MB, GPU, RAM,PSU,KB,Mouse. Wait i still need RGB for my wireless card when are those coming?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017 at 5:29 PM
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  33. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    Onboard sound is great in most cases, nothing like the old days and pretty much no driver issues. Add on to that, most mobos are coming with upgraded sound to start with, and if you are going to fork $150 for a sound card, you might as well go up only $50 for a better mobo WITH a build in sound card. I was surprised when my new ASUS mobo detected my high ohm (250ohm) headphones and adjusted power to match, sound great even without my amp. And if you want the best sound, you are not going to get it from a sound card, but a DAC/AMP. Add-in sound cards are a thing of the past.

    Onboard, for most people, will out shine what 99% of people are using for speaker/headphones.
     
  34. cocheese256

    cocheese256 Gawd

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    I used Creative sound cards in every build until I installed Vista. They crippled their drivers, stating that the hardware was not compatible with the new OS. I found modified drivers that made the hardware work just fine (after I bought a new card from them and it still did not work right). I found that not only the modified drivers made both cards run fine, they threatened the modder with legal action. Then they released Alchemy for a fee that did the same thing. I started to use on board audio after that. I have not had a single problem with any of the on board chips yet. They work well for me and are extremely easy to use.
     
  35. dark_reign

    dark_reign [H]ard|Gawd

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    If RGB is the main selling point then yes. If we're just talking about the audio quality, most pro and non-pro gamers don't need this.
     
  36. Reimu

    Reimu [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't see why we should consider this for a surround sound 5.1 solution. This sound card lacks digital coax out for one.
    Those of us who are using a real 5.1 setup are better served with a receiver that connects to the PC via HDMI or digital coax!
    USB external DAC would also be superior overall.
     
  37. TechLarry

    TechLarry Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    I use a Schiit Stack. I do not miss audio cards at all.
     
  38. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]Lite

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    I'm kind of in flux with audio on my 4k 1080SLI rig at the moment. No real interest in buying this, been using HDMI audio for most of the last 5-10 years.

    Here's the new dilemma. .for 4k to my T.V. I'm having to use the only HDMI to it. I've tried a DP to HDMI adapter but it's limited to 16/48 2.0 with that solution. I'm used to 24/192/7.1 sound. My MOBO onboard via coax will do either 24/48 5.1 or 24/192 limited 5.1 but not all bit streams or 7.1. Overall really not a big deal but I've been considering a sound solution again. Probably won't and this thing is definitely ridiculously overpriced.
     
  39. DJS4000

    DJS4000 Gawd

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    i've had zero problems with my Zx and windows 10. the only thing that's missing is automatic switching from speakers to headphones upon headphone plug-in but that's it. having used creative cards for years i know the pain of SB drivers by heart, but it's honestly a non-issue today. and even older products still work with all the OS'es with the daniel_k drivers.
     
  40. kju1

    kju1 Gawd

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