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New Motherboard ALC 1150 Onboard or SoundBlaster Recon 3d Pro

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by mtrai, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. mtrai New Member

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    Well I guess you need to know the mother...I had to replace my motherboard recently and got ASrock Fatil1ty 990fx Killer. It has the Realtek ALC1150 with purity sound (marketing hype I am sure, the purity sound but it does sound a lot better then my old sabertooth 990fx r2.0 when the sound worked).

    I had bought a soundblaster REcon 3d Pro in old motherboard when the sound went out as I did not want to do yet another motherboard RMA at the time. Another issue recently arose so I got this motherboard.

    Not sure if this information is needed or not. CPU FX 8120 mild OC to 4400 Ghz, 20 Gigs ddr3 1600 ram (13 gig for ramdrive)(mixed ram 2x8 and 2x2 dual channel), Windows 8.1 update 1, AMD HD 7770 x 2 (factory OC)

    I use a set 5.1 Logitech z506. Used for online gaming, home music, and movies. Yes this was a budget build as I am on disability so have to plan wisely.

    So the question is should I use the ALC 1150 or the Soundblaster Recon? I have unlocked the Dolby Home Theater in the ALC 1150 Onboard or I have THX on the soundblaster.
     
  2. Apocalypsee

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    The Killer Realtek ALC1150 doesn't sound that good because the Ti NE5532 is just a generic opamp, but it's definitely sounds better than any old onboard sound I heard before. Creative Recon3d is just gimmicky software DSP, there is nothing done in hardware anymore unlike the old CA20Kx DSP on old X-Fi cards. So it's boils down to your preferences. Since you have both why don't you try one at a time?
     
  3. scope54

    scope54

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    I've been in the same boat, got the 'Purity Sound' on the Asrock Extreme 6 but still have a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 zs. I decided to use just the purity and I haven't noticed a difference. I need to plug the Audigy back in and test it though. (i'm now inspired to plug the Audigy in now)
     
  4. kenkickr

    kenkickr

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  5. mtrai New Member

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    Last I checked there were no Pax drivers available, though it has been a while.

    Yeah I should just test them out. The recon3d card is sitting in my desk now.
     
  6. james888

    james888

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    Try them both and you tell us. Only way to know for sure.
     
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  7. mtrai New Member

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    Alrighty then, I have started testing both. I installed the Soundblaster Recon3d Pro into my system and running both the Realtek ALC 1150 Purity sound and Soundblaster side by side. ( Well one at a time)

    Test specs:
    AMD FX 8120 BE (OC 4400)
    ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer
    AMD HD 7770 X2 ( Crossfired note no USB Filter driver installed and GPU card audio disabled)
    20 Gigs Ram ( yeah I know mix and matched at 1600 something)
    Logitech 5.1 M506 Speakers

    All defaults for both Realtek and Soundblaster control panels. Volume controls in windows and the speakers remained the same.

    Main test songs
    "Take me to the River", Annie Lennox
    "Proud", Heather Small
    "Joyful, Joyful", The St. Francis Choir feat. Lauryn Hill, Ryan Toby, Devin Kamin & Ron Johnson (Sister Act)
    "Rolling in the Deep", Adele
    "Hotel California Live 1980", Eagles

    Movie
    "Avatar" Blue Ray, DTS

    Only game on my system right now
    Neverwinter Online

    Preliminary testing, the Recon3d trounces Purity sound. In General the recon3d has a more powerful sound. Deeper Bass. Mids and highs do not get lost and heard and are richer. The ALC 1150 purity sounds is good too, and would serve most everyday users as far as sound. IT does not have as strong as bass but the clarity on the mids and uppers is superior. Note all the testing was done at defaults and flat eq as it should be. I would be interested to hear the difference with a headset though.

    The

    Granted the recon3d is really gaming card and has a number of unique options that the ALC1150 does not have.

    I can't test with a headset right now, as my gaming headset got broke when I moved 8 months ago and I have not been able to afford to replace it. So I am withholding judgment on headset sound, until I can afford one (on disability). They both support studio quality headphones and headsets of up to 600ohm impedance with built in seperate head phone amps. ( ALC1150 Purity support headphone amp is only front audio port.)

    Now to the funny thing I just realized while looking up a few of the specs this morning, is that Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel had some part in the recon3d...and yeah you guessed it my motherboard.

    There are some key differences though, but most people will never be able to tell the difference like SNR, and anyhow those numbers provided are only paper.
    Soundblaster is 5.1 ALC1150 Purity 7.1
    Soundblaster has Optical In and Out ALC1150 Purity Optical Out only

    All in all at this point the sound blaster is winning especially for gaming. It is a toss up between each in music. Once again one has better bass and other has better highs and mids, so it is really a toss up. the ALC 1150 preforms better with vocals in the movie I tested.

    IMO unless your just an audiophile you really would not know the difference.

    PS...The difference in the bass is amazing on the sub. Sub cone facing me, 3 feet away, same songs and all as above. Sound Blaster I can feel the air being forced out the Sub strongly. This is hard to explain right, unless you know what I am saying.

    /Edit to clarify the ALC 1150.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  8. mtrai New Member

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    My testing between the two will involve CPU usage between the two.

    One other thing of note I just ran across is the Recon3d has been re-released withouth THX branding or THX Studio Pro software, the THX has been replaced with SBX Pro Studio in the software. SBX Pro Studio is a pure Soundblaster creation. However the THX branded and the non THX audio cards are exactly the same.

    The other change to the card is the Fatal1ty named was also removed with the re-release.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  9. james888

    james888

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    A while ago I tested an even older sound card against realtech 892. Realtech won overall but the older card had a lot more bass
     
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  10. mtrai New Member

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    Been testing all morning...what I stated earlier is mostly true but I do need to revise a bit of it.
     

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