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Creative Labs SoundBlaster ZXR gets tested and reviewed
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Hilbert Hagedoorn
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Default Creative Labs SoundBlaster ZXR gets tested and reviewed - 07-18-2013, 11:07 | posts: 20,460 | Location: Guru3D testlab

In this article we review the SoundBlaster ZXR from Creative Labs. Creative Labs basically had the market cornered for many years and some diehard fans felt that during this time their designs suffer...

Creative Labs SoundBlaster ZXR gets tested and reviewed
   
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Warboy
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Default 07-18-2013, 11:24 | posts: 368 | Location: Missouri, USA

You guys didn't test it for true hardware acceleration?
   
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Default 07-18-2013, 11:28 | posts: 3,717 | Location: Australia

Isn't Soundblaster and interesting name, when you consider it is silent without speakers?
   
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Default 07-18-2013, 11:33 | posts: 214 | Location: Germany

I was thinking about getting one of these. The question is. Do you have to install the 2nd Card right next to the first one? Or could you have that one a few slots away?
   
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Default 07-18-2013, 11:42 | posts: 3,625 | Location: Nederland

I wonder if it's worth upgrading my current Soundcard to this one.

I'm using Headphones only, the AKG K601.
   
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Default 07-18-2013, 11:55 | posts: 7,493 | Location: GTA, Canada

I'm terrified its flimsy ribbon cable will crust up and die just like every ribbon cable in history has, and it only has 1 year warranty so Creative will just laugh at me. I tried contacting Creative to see if I can order a spare ribbon cable but I couldn't get a hold of them.

One thing that really annoys me is that as the dial is turned to change the volume it causes static and sometimes for whatever reason it can disable the right channel so I have to move it, yes as in turn the dial. I don't know if mine is defective or if they're all like this, knowing Creative they'll take 2 weeks to respond to an RMA request then do nothing but waste my time. Also it's made of mud and sticks, I looked in its general direction and the SB logo on it started to peel.

If there was a simple alternative I would have taken it just to avoid Creative but there wasn't. The only other option for me would have been the Essence ST + Xonar H6. That would have required a PCI slot and ordering them separately as I couldn't get them in one location. The STX cannot connect to the H6. Having the daughterboard on the ZxR is also a nice hand up over the ST + H6.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKillNL View Post
I wonder if it's worth upgrading my current Soundcard to this one.

I'm using Headphones only, the AKG K601.
My last card was an X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro, same card as yours I think? It's definitely an upgrade in all sound ranges, but nothing to write home about. I wanted it so I can have swappable op amps (which I still haven't gotten around to, life, you know) and I needed a dedicated headphone amp as my headphones are the 250 Ohm version.

I should note that it will not be loud enough for 600 Ohm headphones, I use the 600 Ohm setting with my 250 Ohm headphones.

Last edited by Neo Cyrus; 07-18-2013 at 12:01.
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 07-18-2013, 13:38 | posts: 16,158 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbold View Post
I was thinking about getting one of these. The question is. Do you have to install the 2nd Card right next to the first one? Or could you have that one a few slots away?
You can put the DB-Pro card wherever the ribbon cable will allow.
   
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k1net1cs
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Default 07-18-2013, 14:06 | posts: 3,714

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguy91 View Post
Isn't Soundblaster and interesting name, when you consider it is silent without speakers?
Well, isn't a 'flashlight' an interesting name, when you consider it can't light jack crap without batteries?




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Default 07-18-2013, 14:29 | posts: 354 | Location: MA, USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Cyrus View Post
I'm terrified its flimsy ribbon cable will crust up and die just like every ribbon cable in history has, and it only has 1 year warranty so Creative will just laugh at me. I tried contacting Creative to see if I can order a spare ribbon cable but I couldn't get a hold of them.
Crust up and die? What do YOU do to cause that and make this seem like a typical thing? Do leave them out in the sun? I've seen 10 year old computers that were on 24/7 in places without A/C that never had deteriorating cables (and they used IDE).

And yes, everything deteriorates eventually, but computers from 20 years ago still have perfectly usable ribbon cables. It's a matter of environment that really causes damage to the cables - typically extreme cold, extreme heat, or UV rays. So what I want to know is how you manage to have seen crusty cables, presumably more than once.
   
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Neo Cyrus
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Default 07-19-2013, 05:07 | posts: 7,493 | Location: GTA, Canada

They were in typically well ventilated/cooled cases. My current one has excellent air flow. It's not too dry or humid either, but it is slightly on the humid side.
   
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Default 07-19-2013, 07:00 | posts: 1,065 | Location: South Dakota

I have the downgrade to this just the Z. Its very very good.. I use ****ty desk speakers and some good razar headphones.. Funny thing the desktop speaks now sound rather good lmao..
   
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Default 07-19-2013, 09:04 | posts: 3,714

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Cyrus View Post
They were in typically well ventilated/cooled cases. My current one has excellent air flow. It's not too dry or humid either, but it is slightly on the humid side.
That's odd.
Even the ribbon cable from my SB Live! Platinum still bends just fine, or the 80-pin IDE cables I still have around, and it's pretty humid here most of the time.

I honestly have never seen an IDE cable 'crust up'.
Cut up, yes, from the stray swings of my minus screwdriver, but never crust up or anything like that...at least not the 80-pin ones.




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Default 07-19-2013, 09:34 | posts: 296

I'll cling to my Auzen X-Fi, just because of 7.1 speaker support, since I have that setup. If there's no new Creative card with 7.1 support agian by the time I build my next rig, they'll lose me as customer.
   
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Default 07-19-2013, 10:12 | posts: 4,623 | Location: Not Far North Enough (England)

If I didn't have a 16-channel recording soundcard I'd probably be using something like this. High end audio really does make a difference.
   
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Default 07-19-2013, 14:39 | posts: 516 | Location: UK

I love my ZXR - best sound card I've ever owned. Great quality for both music and games + movies and the ACM mic is a nice addition too
   
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Default 07-19-2013, 14:42 | posts: 3,625 | Location: Nederland

Is that extra card needed or optional to install?
   
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Default 07-19-2013, 14:58 | posts: 1,087 | Location: USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKillNL View Post
Is that extra card needed or optional to install?
Optional
   
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Default 07-19-2013, 18:21 | posts: 7,493 | Location: GTA, Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKillNL View Post
Is that extra card needed or optional to install?
As mentioned it's optional, but most of us have consoles so just output their optical SPDIF to the ZxR for some non-crap console sound. That's what I use it for. The analog 2.0 cable gets interference and sounds terrible.
   
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Is it worth the price point?
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warezme
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Default Is it worth the price point? - 07-19-2013, 20:11 | posts: 57 | Location: Texas

I'm still rocking X58SLI, mobo and OC'ed i7 920 with the PCI slots. I just upgrade the video card(s) from time to time. I have been dragging an old XFI Fatal1ty with break out box from mobo to mobo and there will come a day when PCI is not included. Is this card that much better then the old XFI cards? or is it time to leave built in well enough alone?
   
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Default 07-19-2013, 23:07 | posts: 3,625 | Location: Nederland

Right now it costs around 175 Euros here in Holland.

I wonder if it's worth the money as Gamer only to replace my X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro.

It's quite some money, but then again the components are top of the line and a soundcard will last for long time.
   
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Default 07-20-2013, 00:07 | posts: 513 | Location: Serbia, Indjija

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Cyrus View Post
...it only has 1 year warranty so Creative will just laugh at me...

I'm not audiophile, my last non-onboard audio card was Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Digital (SB0220) and I was more than happy with it, still have it and it still works like a charm in one older computer with WinXP. Now I'm quite happy with integrated audio solutions mainly because I don't have/care for hi-end Hi-Fi audio sistems anymore. But to pay 250$ and get only 1 year limited warranty for something that supposed to be HiTech audio card? No way, at least 3 years of warrany is right measure for that price, for my old SB0220 it was 5 years od warranty and back then that card was just a lower-middle class audio. No thanks Creative, for less money I'll buy some comparable audio solution from Asus with 2 to 3 years of warranty even here in Serbia.
   
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Neo Cyrus
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Default 07-20-2013, 17:41 | posts: 7,493 | Location: GTA, Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazY_Milojko View Post
But to pay 250$ and get only 1 year limited warranty for something that supposed to be HiTech audio card?
Typically long warranty on a sound card isn't crucial as it doesn't have such strain on it as a video card does. The only one I ever had die was killed by an OCZ power supply that was dying and at the time it was probably around 5 years old (X-Fi Xtreme Music).
   
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Default 07-20-2013, 20:58 | posts: 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenMaster View Post
I love my ZXR - best sound card I've ever owned. Great quality for both music and games + movies and the ACM mic is a nice addition too
Did you own an Asus Xonar Essence?
   
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Default 07-20-2013, 22:17 | posts: 736

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguy91 View Post
Isn't Soundblaster and interesting name, when you consider it is silent without speakers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by k1net1cs View Post
Well, isn't a 'flashlight' an interesting name, when you consider it can't light jack crap without batteries?
Well isn't 'Creative' an interesting name for a company considering they've done nothing 'creative' for chuffin years!!
   
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Default 07-20-2013, 22:32 | posts: 17,825 | Location: New Jersey, USA

Sure they have look at the line of z series sound cards.
   
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