And we all wondered if the day would ever come, it's certainly been delayed far longer then many would've expected but finally we see a PCI Express based audio card from Creative. It was showcased at CES last week and is said to be based around their lower-end X-Fi XtremeAudio offering with optical in and out ports to eliminate the need for a breakout box (be it internal or external).
Hopefully now that they've gotten the ball rolling we'll see some nice high-end audio cards surfacing which make use of the PCIe x1 interface.
Although it doesn't seen to have received much attention, Creative showed off a PCI Express version of its X-Fi XtremeAudio sound card at CES earlier this week. The folks at Japanese site PC Watch have taken some pictures of the card at Creative's CES booth, and one can spot a few interesting details.
For one, the card uses a PCIe x1 interface, so it should easily slip into most recent motherboards. Creative has also outfitted the card with S/PDIF optical in and out ports, reducing the need for a bulky break-out box or 5.25" drive bay interface. Interestingly, the card appears to have a much smaller X-Fi chip than either the original XtremeAudio or Creative's X-Fi XtremeMusic. Considering that the X-Fi XtremeAudio is currently Creative's cheapest X-Fi sound card, it seems strange that the company would choose to show off a PCIe version of that particular card rather than, say, a PCIe X-Fi Fatal1ty.