Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook review

Boost your laptop's onboard audio

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Our Verdict

If onboard audio isn't enough, then Creative's solution is the one for you


  • Will enhance your laptops inbuilt audio with ease


  • More expensive upgrades could be better

Creative's high-end audio hardware gets resized to notebook level in this iteration of the company's X-Fi family, which is welcome news for those disappointed with their lappy's onboard audio (which, to be fair, is rarely up to snuff).

The sound quality is an improvement over standard onboard audio hardware, although it's wasted if you're using a pair of standard travel speakers; you're better off investing in a decent set of cans to go with it.

At around £45 it's not the most expensive upgrade you could invest in, but only those deeply concerned with sound quality or those who have a laptop hooked up for long periods to better audio equipment, need apply.

For most of us, onboard audio suits well enough.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSound Board
Product FamilyX-Fi
Number of Audio Line In2
Number of Audio Line Out5
Brand NameCreative
Form FactorInternal
Sound Channels7.1
Host InterfacePCI Express x1
Number of Microphone Ports1
ManufacturerCreative Technology, Ltd
Product ModelXtreme Audio
Product NameSound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Sound Card
DAC Data Width24 bit
Product LineX-Fi
System Requirements
  • Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Windows XP with Service Pack 2
  • Windows XP x64 or Media Center Edition
  • Intel Pentium 4 1.6 GHz, AMD Athlon XP 2000+ processor or equivalent
  • 256MB RAM (512MB for Windows Vista)
  • 600MB of free hard disk space
  • CD/DVD-ROM drive
  • Available PCI Express slot (1x, 4x or 16x)
  • Headphones or amplified speakers
  • Internet connection to download PowerDVD software
Manufacturer Part Number30SB082000000
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Your music and movies deserve Xtreme Fidelity. Add the PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio sound card to your PC and turn your downloaded music into your own personal concert. Watch DVDs or downloaded videos with full cinematic surround sound. Plus experience 3D audio and EAX effects in games.

Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)104 dB
Additional Information
  • X-Fi CMSS-3D
  • Enjoy realistic sound effects in games
  • X-Fi Crystalizer