A Closer Look
It’s been a couple of years since Creative released any new sound cards but with one glance you can see cards have gone from green PCB to aesthetically pleasing accessories. Looking at the card you wouldn’t think of the DAC (Digital to Analog) converter and Xamp dual amplifier for each ear cup on your favorite headphones.
The BlasterX AE-5 Pro Gaming card only requires a 1x PCIe slot but for Aux power it also needs (optional) a Molex connector we’ll look at in a few. Hard to believe so much sweet sound coming out of a single PCIe port on such a small card. Spoiler: Be prepared for the first large explosion when wearing your headset it will probably make you jump and your heart thump.
The business end of the card shows a pretty standard 5.1 setup but the card does offer virtual 7.1. We found ourselves wondering what would happen with the Kraken using the Krackens virtual 7.1 with the virtual 7.1 on the BlasterX AE-5 but both card and headset handled it well and our brains didn’t melt so virtual away to your heart’s content.
Connectivity Options (Main)
- 1 x TOSLINK Optical Out
- 1 x 1/8" (3.5mm) Mic In/Line In
- 1 x 1/8" (3.5mm) Headphone/Headset Out
- 1 x 1/8" Front Out, 1 x 1/8"
- Rear Out, 1 x 1/8" Center/Sub Out
On the connector side, there’s the standard FCC warning and identification sticker. Knowing RGB well by now those lines up top are sure to be pumping out some great RGB. The small card pumps out 32-bit 384kHz playback with a 122dB DNR, and ultra-low distortion and jitter.
The back of the card we find the Molex connector and the front panel header. For those wondering the front panel, header pushed out just as sweet sound as the sound out on the connector end of the card.
On top, the card is the RGB connector for the LED strip, not the handiest place for it and a tad hard to hide the wire but get creative and it’s doable.
The back of the card is patterned in white and black and fairly unremarkable.
Then finally there’s the sticker shot verifying model number and FCC warnings.
So what does the RGB do for you?
It makes your discrete sound card stand out and shine.
The RGB can sync with your chassis choice of ambiance or rainbow it for a visual buffet.
Let’s throw a little Rainbow party inside the computer.
Want to run some demonic red while Diablo runs across the screen and blood splashes from your blade?. The color effects with a full RGB system are just endless and you can even let the BlasterX AE-5 run on mood so it punctuates game play or audio on its own. If this thing could fetch a beer we know men who would marry it.