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About three years ago, I bought a Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Champion, a PCI-E soundcard with a 5.25" drive component - link

As far as I can tell, the card has failed. I've tried the onboard sound as a replacement, and I'm not impressed, so I'm considering another.

I'm wondering if I can buy this significantly cheaper version, sold without the drive and simply connect the drive.

In the absence of anyone else having done this (probably unlikely!), could any owners or vendors of the latter please confirm the presence of two pin-out blocks on the 'rear' of the card (opposite end to the consumer jacks)? Thanks!

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Simple answer yes, you can do it, it works. Since the Fatal1ty Professional and Champion were same cards except the breakout box.

However I'd think twice about tossing another ~80 Pounds on a few yrs old piece of hardware. I'd stop here as next I'd stepping into product recommendation territory which is forbidden here.

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Thanks. Yes, I do wonder about the merits of even having a separate soundcard at all - but it did work well, whereas even the fairly well reviewed audio chip on my motherboard sounds muddy and vague to me. Ordered one - can always flog the pair together! –  Rob Pridham Feb 14 '12 at 13:35
    
Its not about the dedicated sound board. I've used dedicated audio boards for more than 13 years now (Got the first in '98). And still haven't found an onboard solution (except the nVidia nForce2) which would please my ears. It's about the specific audio processor you are after. If you know what I mean :) –  IUnknown Feb 14 '12 at 13:52
    
Confirmed this as the answer today - works great, and although it may be the placebo effect, it sounds much better than the onboard to me. Job done. –  Rob Pridham Feb 20 '12 at 23:30

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