1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

New Sound Card Advice upto £150

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by fireblade77, May 19, 2010.

  1. fireblade77

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    183 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    hi guys i really need some advice on this cos i dont want to waste my money.
    ive been reading alot of reviews and these r the cards im looking at.
    1st choice would be the Auzen X-Fi™ Forte 7.1 BUT i cant find 1 forsale in the uk.

    2nd choice i think is the Asus Xonar Essence STX £144 cos it has the built in headphone amp

    3rd choice Asus Xonar D2X 7.1 PCI-Express £94 (how much of a difference would i notice between this card and the more expensive asus one with the built in headphone amp) ?

    last choice which i know some of u will hate i think is Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium £100
    reason why i put the creative one in there is cos i have had my creative x-fi fatality for about 4 years now i think or maybe longer and the only trouble i had with it is with the drivers for vista when vista 1st came out but then ever since service pack 2 its been great and im now on windows 7 pro 64bit with no problems with sound or drivers, also i read about the asus cards not supporting the eax 5 and the software it uses to try and emulate this for gaming doesnt always give a good 3d sound positioning very well so this is sort of putting me off the asus card a little.
    the Auzen X-Fi™ Forte 7.1 sounds perfect for me but i cant find one anywhere in the uk to buy and im not going to order one from another country.
    my main use for these cards is gaming and a bit of music. i have a very expensive setup in my front room for movies so i dont watch movies on my pc.
    i have a set of logitech z5500 5.1 speakers and a pair of sennheiser pc350 headphones (soon to change to the pc360) i use my headphones about 80% of the time.
    not sure if i need to take the eax thing into account as i dont think on windows 7 with the games i play use it, maybe someone here can let me know.
    battlefield badcompany 2
    call of duty world at war
    call of duty mw 2 (not playing much due to finding multiplayer games is crap)
    future call of duty games.
    sorry for the long post but i really would like some help:banghead:
    plz try not to just post saying dont get creative their drivers r crap cos ive not had any problems with their drivers for a long time (years) all this bloted drivers stuff i dont care about its the sound quality in my games i want.
    :respect:
     
  2. InnocentCriminal

    InnocentCriminal Resident Grammar Amender

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    6,484 (1.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    847
    I'm in the market for a new sound card as well as my Audigy has just randomly died on me.

    :(

    Unfortunately my budget isn't as large as yours but I've been looking at the D2X due to my friend having one. He swears by it, says it's freaking amazing. I'm, however, are most likely only able to afford a DX.

    In regards to what card you should buy, I'll go with my friends recommendation. He swears by the D2X so I'll give you that as if it was my own. I'd definitely get one if I could warrant the extra £60+.
     
  3. fireblade77

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    183 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    after looking again at the asus range with both the d2 and d2x and essence st and essence stx it just sounds like a pain in the arse to go for pci-e over pci due to having to dig out a floppy drive cable to power the card so is there any sound benefit for going to pci-e over pci ?
     
  4. RejZoR

    RejZoR

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    5,191 (1.34/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,204
    Location:
    Europe/Slovenia
    Essence STX is powered by standard molex connector (the one used to power IDE disk drives), not floppy power connector.
     
  5. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,324 (7.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,778
    I wouldn't get the Essence, only because if you ever want to get a proper surround setup, you can't.

    I would seriously try to find a Forte, or just wait for one. The headphone amp kicks ass, and drives my RE0's nice and hard, the sound quality is absolutely superb, the cpu usage is lower, and it still has real surround sound. It's the best sound card under $150, hands down.
     
  6. RejZoR

    RejZoR

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    5,191 (1.34/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,204
    Location:
    Europe/Slovenia
    You can, but only using digital connectivity as far as i can tell. Analog is indeed stereo only.
     
  7. fireblade77

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    183 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    how come all reviews of the card say it would have been nice if it would have been powered by a standard molex connector and the photo of the card i see is not a photo of a standard molex its a few small pins like the one in the back of a floppy drive ?

    also i will never use anything else on my pc apart from a sound card and my 5.1 speakers or headphones for games and a little music as i have a better system down stairs for all other.
     
  8. mdsx1950

    mdsx1950 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,107 (1.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    413
    Location:
    In a gaming world :D
    ASUS Xonar D2X. Been using one. Its awesome. I recommend it.
     
  9. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,324 (7.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,778
    Essence won't do 5.1 thru your speakers. It only outputs stereo in analog. Your speakers would need a digital input for the Essence to give you surround sound.
     
  10. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421 (4.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,634
    More proof that Auzentech has almost Zero distribution in the UK!!

    their cards are like gold dust. re/e-tailers stock them, go out of stock, then im guessing they cant restock as most of them have trouble getting stock.

    even the distributors listed on Auztenchs website havent had them instock for a LOOOOONNNNGGGGG time & even if they do have an item in stock 99% of the time its that fucking DIN expansion card thing for the forte or some crap like that.

    I have a STX doing 5.1 through my Z5500's. they sound fucking amazing.
     
  11. fireblade77

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    183 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    these speakers (logitech z5500) do have a digital input but i use analog for 5.1 with my creative x-fi fatality so it would be ok yes ?
    i can switch between input direct 6 ch direct which is what i use or optical or coax.
     
  12. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,324 (7.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,778
    Forte is out of stock, EVERYWHERE. Even directly from Auzen themselves. They are back ordered out the ass. lol.

    I bet the quality would be better if the STX did analog surround. I trust Asus and Auzen more than Logitech when it comes to DAC and opamp selection.
     
  13. RejZoR

    RejZoR

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    5,191 (1.34/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,204
    Location:
    Europe/Slovenia
    Donno about others but my Essence STX was using IDE molex.

    Like this (that black thing at the back of the card):
    http://pcformat.techradar.com/files/images/Asus_Xonar_wee.jpg
     
  14. fireblade77

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    183 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    ok so let me get this right, would u all agree that if i was to buy the asus essence st not stx with windows 7 pro 64bit and my logitech z5500 5.1 speakers and sennheiser pc350's that when i play battlefield badcompany 2 and call of duty games that they would sound better than my 4yr old creative x-fi fatality sound card and the 3d positioning in games would be perfect and would playing my games with the essence st with my headphones sound better than the asus xonar D2 cos it has the built in headphone amp or is that just better for music ?
    cos my main use is for gaming.
     
  15. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,324 (7.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,778
    For positioning? Keep your XFi. Creative does positional audio better. Asus does music better, imo.
     
  16. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421 (4.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,634
    you cant get ANY Autentech cards though some of the main re/e-tailers in the UK. doesnt matter if its the Forte or Prelude - zero stock. a few sites still have listings but are out of stock & have no ETA on when they will have stock. even on EBAY - parts either come from Australia, USA or China/Hong Kong & theres hardly any listings on there even
     
  17. WhiteLotus

    WhiteLotus

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    6,566 (2.31/day)
    Thanks Received:
    862
    Got a DX off ebay about a week ago. Great card.

    EDIT: Sorry it's a D2.

    STUPID ME
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  18. fireblade77

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    183 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    does that mean i would be better off buying this for gaming then ?
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium - Fatal1ty Professional Series 7.1
    and if so would this sound better than my 4yr old creative x-fi fatality ?
    i dont just want positioning i do want good sound too :)
    i just dont want to buy a sound card that has worse positioning than my sound card i have now not that there is much wrong with the sound card i have now for positioning or sound quality i just dont want to be missing out if there is much better i could have :)
     
  19. InnocentCriminal

    InnocentCriminal Resident Grammar Amender

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    6,484 (1.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    847
    :O

    How much for?
     
  20. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    14,421 (4.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,634
    higher end Xonars offer the best sound quality evur. I had a XFi titanium fatality pro & it sounded so meh but it was great for games.
     
  21. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,324 (7.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,778
    That Titanium wouldn't be much better than what you have now. It would sound a little better, but not that noticeable. The Essence or Forte would both sound noticeably better tho.
     
  22. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,324 (7.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,778
    If you want better sound from your headphones, why not just buy a headphone amp?
     
  23. fireblade77

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    183 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium - Fatal1ty Professional Series 7.1 £100 on offer today but will go back upto £118 but i cant buy today so its gonna cost around £100 - £118
    lol never thought it would be so hard trying to buy a sound card :laugh:
    u still think the creative would sound better for positioning when i dont think that battlefield badcompany 2 or call of duty games use eax ?
     
  24. fireblade77

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    183 (0.06/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    would that just plug into my x-fi ?
    how much would they cost to getter better sound and would it help in games ?
     
  25. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,324 (7.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    3,778
    No, no help in games. None of these cards are going to help you in games either. They will only give you better quality sound.

    There are a bunch of Cmoy style headphone amps you can either build or buy, that sound good, are reasonably priced, and tend to be very portable. They plug in line with your headphones. You can easily get a very good one for the price of a sound card.

    This will only help with sound quality tho.
     

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page