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There are so many variations of X-Fi cards arround and i don't know wich of them i should buy.

So for instance this one: Soundcard

It looks like a good deal, but i'm not shure.Which sound chip is it using.CA20K1 or some other?

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I use Windows XP, but I do not care about driver problems.I want to know if this card is good and wich audio chip it has.

Because there is a datasheet here

and it shows this or similar card with a CA0107-PAG chip and not CA20K1.I never heard about this chip before.

Edited by leon
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I would take the new SB X-Fi Titanium for PCI-Express.It has the CA20K2 chip, wich is improoved version of CA20K1.But this card does not have an AUX IN connector on the card, so i cannot connect a DVD drive to it.

I don't know why Creative dropped this connector.Where should I connect my DVD drive or drives?

Some info about CA20K1 processor

Firstly the CA20K1 is an audio processing unit.It's a dedicated unit that is capable of processing about the same amount of instructions per second as early Pentium 4s (a little over 10000 MIPS), and is clocked at 500MHz.

Other audio cards from different brands, and on board audio chipsets, make use of a different kind of processor, known as a DSP (Digital Signal Processor) - it's only real role is to direct the other components involved with the chipset as to how and when they carry out their change to the audio signal, while a lot of the actual processing work itself is still unloaded to a certain degree to the CPU. Although, a PCI audio card can handle most audio processing by itself, it still needs the CPU for help. The X-Fi on the other hand, is capable of processing all audio files by itself with no interaction with the CPU, as well as orchestrating how and when the other PCB components can do their thing. This is where the X-Fi can support up to 128 simultaneous hardware voices, and a whopping 65535 software voices (in "game" mode"). Although some C-Media and other brand chipsets can equal 128 hardware voices, they are nowhere near capable of even coming close to touching the number of software voices the X-Fi can produce.

The Difference in Depth!

Ill take the CMI8788 chipset(Thanks to triggerc) and the CA20K1 APU for an example!

Although the CMI8788 is a really good audio chip, it's still a DSP - although highly specialized. On many older audio cards, you had a "chipset" which was a combination of a few various DSPs, DACs/ ADCs and other components - which made up a 'set' of 'chips' that processed audio signals in a specific manner.

The CMI8788, though, is a single DSP - it can carry out processing much more efficiently and faster than many DSPs can, but because it still relies heavily on the CPU and the SYS BUS, it still gets labeled as a chipset.

The CA20K1, on the other hand, is a highly specialize processing unit, that is comprised of a handful of individual components all intergrated within one singular unit - making up the whole . . . and the CA201K has no need for CPU processing, the unit handles all audio stream processing onboard - although it still needs to make use of the SYS BUS for access to DRAM (can't get around that, every expansion card does).

for a better understanding of the X-Fi architecture, and how it operates, I'll post a quote taken from techreport.com It's a lot easier to understand than what info Creative has released in the past; and TBH, the review does a better job than me........

The X-Fi architecture

Before exploring where the XtremeMusic fits into the Sound Blaster Xtreme Fidelity family, let's take a moment to explore the 51-million transistor X-Fi audio chip that's at the heart of Creative's new Sound Blasters. Manufactured using 0.13-micron process technology, the chip has roughly half the number of transistors of an Athlon 64 and more than 11 times that of the Audigy, so it's quite a leap from previous generations.

The X-Fi's processing power is divided between five internal units: the sample rate converter, digital signal processor, and mixer, filter, and tank engines. Much of the X-Fi's muscle ripples through a sample rate converter (SRC) that Creative claims pushes over 7000 MIPS. The SRC is actually made up of 256 individual sample rate converters, all of which tackle sampling rate conversions in the same manner. First, the sampling rate of an incoming audio stream is doubled. Next, a poly phase Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filter is used to produce a sampling rate four times greater than the desired output sampling rate. Finally, the sampling rate is reduced by a factor of four for output. According to Creative, this process is nearly transparent, and any loss in quality during sample rate conversions is miniscule compared to the noise generated by even the best DACs available on the market. If you're not convinced, the SRC can be bypassed when it's not needed.

Although the X-Fi's sample rate converter has significantly more processing power than the rest of the chip, it's still only one of five main chip components. The next X-Fi component of interest is the Quartet DSP. Quartet, in this case, refers to the fact that the X-Fi's digital signal processor is made up of four SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) hardware threads. Each of those hardware threads has two data paths, leading Creative to describe it as TIMD, or Thread Interleaved Multiple Data. Giving each DSP thread dual data paths is a clever way to deal with audio data, which generally arrives in multiples of two. With four "stereo" hardware threads, the DSP can tackle eight data streams at once—perfect for an eight-channel sound card. As one might expect, the Quartet DSP's instruction set is audio-centric. It can handle both fixed and floating-point data types, and Creative claims that the interface is programmer friendly.

The Xi-Fi's SRC and Quartet DSP are undoubtedly the stars of the show, but the chip has several other essential components worth mentioning. More than 1200 MIPS of processing power are dedicated to the X-Fi's mixer, which handles the scaling, combining, and, of course, mixing of audio streams. The "Tank" engine handles all of the X-Fi's delay-based effects, including reverb, chorus, reflections, and inter-aural time delays, while a filtering engine dedicates a couple hundred MIPS to environment modeling, equalizers, and positional 3D audio. The X-Fi also has a transport engine that interfaces with onboard memory and an I/O bus, such as PCI. As you might expect, the chip also has an audio I/O component.

and if one still needs further proof of the CA20K1 being more of a processor . . . on an X-Fi PCB, there is typically a small flash memory module located nearby the APU. This module is used to store the APU BIOS that your SYS BIOS needs in order to be able to properly communicate with it - much similar with how modern GPUs have onboard BIOSes as well. Some X-Fi models, though, don't have the flash memory module, and instead use a standard DRAM module in it's place. On these models, if you were to run the serial number on the DRAM, they typically come back as a 2MB. module......

Edited by leon
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Auzentech X-fi Forte is a good card, but not what I need. Unfortunately now there is no Audio card that I would buy.

They are either too expensive or too limited.

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