Sound cards of today

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Mumm
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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by Mumm » Sat May 10, 2008 8:28 am

Yeah... the Layla has been and A-D staple for years in digital recording, They have been around for a good while but I never had the chance to use one. Thats a whole different kind of hardware aimed at bringing in audio though vs what these cards we are talking about do.
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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by bandieramonte » Sat May 10, 2008 4:15 pm

I have run tests with and without my XtremeGamer sound card, using World in Conflict's built in benchmark tool, at 1920x1200 Very High Settings (Vista DX10 enabled).

With the sound card I receive:
Average: 23
Minimum: 8
Maximum: 56

With the onboard sound I receive:
Average: 21
Minimum: 6
Maximum: 56

Well, the difference can't exactly be said as to be negligible, with the average FPS differing by 9.5%. But still is kind of close to Creative's 15% statement. Maybe in other kind of bench the 15% increase can be achieved with this card, maybe by lowering the resolution or else. I'm no expert in benching, any ideas?

It would be particularly interesting if the admins and/or moderators here could do some tests regarding the use of sound cards and obtain helpful conclusions.
Last edited by bandieramonte on Tue May 13, 2008 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by Alathald » Sat May 10, 2008 10:30 pm

I would think with lower res the difference would be less noticeable because of less strain on the CPU but still, ~9% is more than I expected an is definitely nothing to be dismissed...I'll have to keep an eye open for a sound card to game with! I still say the audio on my board sounds quite good although that is one of the reasons I bought this particular board (I spent WAY to much on it anyway :? ).
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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by Sovereign » Sun May 11, 2008 12:15 am

Hate to say it, but Creative X-Fi. We have a love-hate relationship with them as gamers. EAX is generally a good thing, but the DK issue showed how stupid Creative can be, especially when confronted with the fact that their products did not work out of the box as advertised on said box! There are alternatives that do clones of EAX, I can't speak for whether those work well or not because the only real soundcard I've ever owned has been an X-Fi XtremeMusic.

The problems I had stemmed, of course, from bad drivers and issues with NVIDIA's nForce chipset. Now that I'm using an Intel P35, the problems have gone away entirely (nForce PCI-based Gigabit NIC + X-Fi = Massive static, but somehow abit IP35-Pro PCI-NIC + X-Fi = Pure audio bliss).
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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by Foxtrot » Sun May 11, 2008 3:31 pm

Thanks to this topic I realized that onboard sound is generally crap. Not only does it load the CPU, it also sounds worse :( I thought that Realtek 889A, the upper shelf onboard, is good, but I begin to suspect it isn't after reading this:

http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards-co ... lc889.html
http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards-co ... digy2.html

You think I'd be better off sound-wise buying a $30 Creative Audigy SE?

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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by Mumm » Sun May 11, 2008 4:24 pm

Foxtrot wrote:You think I'd be better off sound-wise buying a $30 Creative Audigy SE?
I would stay away from the SE line if you can. The quality isn't as good as some of the others and there are driver issues from what I've been told. NewEgg actually has an X-Fi card for $50 at the moment that would be much better. Even more so if you run Vista as an OS. You may hear some improvement if you get it run properly but I would personally hold out till you can afford a better card. You also maybe able to locate a good used card on eBay or something.
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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by whowhat » Thu May 15, 2008 3:22 pm

I'm not an expert by any stretch, the only technical acoustics experience I have is helping design a soundproofed room where I work. I do however own an x-fi platinum fatality (I use the remote to control my computer, another nice touch). I've done a fair amount of recording with it recording my friend's band, and it blows their dell integrated laptop sound away in that respect (I'd hope so). The purchasing of a nice sound card matters much more for things like recording than it does for simple entertainment.

As for simply listening to things, I've used it with a 4-year old creative 5.1 system as well as a fairly new 6.1 system. I've also used it with 2.0 systems (normal computer speakers) and fairly nice sennheiser headphones. I have also used all of the aforementioned speaker setups and the headphones with the HD audio onboard my ASUS P5K. I do have to say that I noticed a substantial difference in sound quality with the headphones and 6.1 system. Much crisper bass notes and generally clearer sound. I thought I did with the 5.1, but it was so minimal that I can't be sure it wasn't just my own confirmation bias. The processing of surround sound is greatly improved, everything sounds like it's coming from a very specific and accurate point in the room. The old 2-speaker system was the limiting factor, and no change in sound card was noticeable. These higher-end sound cards also come with a grip of nice software for fine-tuning your listening experience.

I would say if you are planning to use your computer for home theater purposes (as I have) or if you just want to hear every casing hit the concrete and every footstep in your FPS's, then investing in a decent sound card is not a bad idea. You will however be wasting your money if you do not buy speakers/headphones to match the quality of your card. If you just want to listen to occasional music and youtube, there's absolutely no need for anything other than integrated sound.

As for the original topic of this thread, I have not heard much about other brands, although I've heard murmurs that ASUS makes some solid products as well.

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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by setscrew » Thu May 15, 2008 3:56 pm

My new system I assembled last weekend (for a friend) has an ASUS Xonar DX under Vista 64 Ultimate on an ASUS P5E-VM HDMI. Very clean installation with no drivers issues (used driver on included CD). I was quite happy to see that some manufacturer is finally using the PCI-e slot.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6829132006

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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by stopthekilling77 » Thu May 15, 2008 9:42 pm

ive got the Asus SupremeFX card that came with my Asus P5N32-E

sounds infinitely better than the onboard of the Gigabyte GA-73VM-S2
which i'd been using as the replacement for the first one while it was being replaced

they sent me a whole new retail box when i sent off just the mobo, so now i have two of the cards! woot!
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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by dudemann » Sat May 17, 2008 4:37 pm

If you want a high quality sound card and EAX 5.1 support, but don't want the possible hassle of Creative's drivers not functioning with your motherboard chipset, than I think the best option would be going with the Auzentech X-fi Prelude http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6829156005. Of course this is not for those who are OK with thier onboard audio (it costs between $175-$200), but in my personal opinion, if you're going to spend between $200 and $600 on video, why not take some load off your CPU and get a sound that's gonna sound as good as it looks.

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Re: Sound cards of today

Post by Inclyne » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:39 pm

I produce progressive house n progressive trance so sound cards make the world of difference compared to onboard sound. I formatted me pc a while ago n lost my drivers for my sound card. I had to listen to music n produce with onboard sound n I could hear the huge difference!!! After downloading the drivers again I was sooooo happy to have good quality sound again. I dont really think sound cards matter that much to gamers.

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