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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [05.05.06]
Manufactured by: Creative Labs


Fatal1ty I/O Drive

Besides X-RAM, a fancy LED, and this quote from Fatal1ty himself in the promotional materials,

"When I'm competing I need top-class performance and the most realistic sound to help me know where my opponent is and Sound Blaster X-Fi really delivers for me...there is nothing faster or better."

...there are also a couple pieces of hardware included with the card.

The Fatal1ty I/O Drive extends the connectivity of the X-Fi significantly - having only four ports for eight channels of output and two channels of input on the card itself, you can see how this was made to be more important than necessary. As you can see, all the inputs one would require are found on the I/O Drive - Digital inputs and outputs are made available in both optical and coaxial connection types. RCA auxilliary input is also available, as are headphone and microphone ports, each with its own volume control. Finally, MIDI input and outputs are included, along with a pair of mini adapters for these ports.

Whether all this is useful is up to the buyer, of course. I personally found the front headphone and microphone ports handy for using my headset for Skype (although adapters are required for both, as the X-Fi uses 6.35mm plugs instead of 3.5mm miniplugs found on most PC audio components. Only one plug adapter is included with the Fatal1ty.

Thankfully, the "Fatal1ty" logo does not glow.

The Remote

Also included is a basic IR remote control, seemingly confusing the Fatal1ty as a HTPC solution rather than a gaming solution (the Platinum is supposed to be the HTPC solution). However the remote actually comes in handy, being able to control driver features like CMSS and the Crystalizer. Since it is an IR remote though, you will need an unobstructed path to the IR receiver on the I/O port - this means that if you have a case with a door, you'll have to use it open to use the remote.

Next Page: (The Drivers)