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

Suggest a new sound card

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Darkmind, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Darkmind New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Messages:
    159 (0.04/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Honestly, It's been YEARS since I ever deeply looked into sound cards. Only briefly keeping myself up to date with some of the new ASUS and Auzentech sound cards out available. I've read EAX is pretty much "bye-bye", and X-fi is not the main thing now.

    Anyhow, a decent sound card I could use for both my analog computer speakers, and home theatre system (S/PDIF connections). I use my computer mainly for gaming, but I'd like to also turn it to a machine where I can watch HD movies, with a digital 5.1 sound system out in my front room with a bigger screen. BTW, my current home theater receiver does not have HDMI (it's old).
     
  2. Dent1

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,368 (1.77/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,035
    If you want to output Dolby Digital or DTS from movies any soundcard with SPDIF output will do the job, you do not need to spend a lot of money at all. If you want DD and DTS in games you'd need a encoding card i.e. X-Fi Auzen Forte, X-Fi Titanium, ASUS Xonar etc.
     
    robal says thanks.
  3. rhino

    rhino

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Messages:
    171 (0.09/day)
    Thanks Received:
    47
    Sound card

    This subject is top of my list this week also, I've had enormous problems with the PC sound card shorting my amp and or distorting the sound quality, have had to revert to the Scythe Kama bay amp as a fill in while I decide what to do.
    Tricky at the moment, as far as I can see, so-called dx10 sound compatable is the latest necessity. Trouble is, there's no new sound cards come out this year!?
    The best solution I have found is the Asus Xonar Essencs STX €150.
    Seems to have everything covered.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2010
  4. Darkmind New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Messages:
    159 (0.04/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    I've been trying to read up on this subject, and what I got so far is either the Auzentech prelude, forte, or the asus xonar (thinking the essence stx). I may just wait for a little while longer. I'd like a good quality sound card that has decent support for EAX 5 (there are still games I play that use it). There are so many mixed reviews and points of view on the subject due to creative fanboyism + hatred toward creative. It kind of fogs the view for a lot of people. I guess it has to do with how people perceive audio quality as well...
     
  5. claylomax

    claylomax

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,656 (0.85/day)
    Thanks Received:
    279
    Location:
    London
    Mine :D
     
  6. Darkmind New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Messages:
    159 (0.04/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    How well does it perform in EAX games? Any driver errors?
     
  7. claylomax

    claylomax

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,656 (0.85/day)
    Thanks Received:
    279
    Location:
    London
  8. Darkmind New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Messages:
    159 (0.04/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    I see it has DTS support, but no dolby digital support?
     
  9. Dent1

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,368 (1.77/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,035
    Is there even a comprehensive list of games that support EAX 5.0? There can not be more than a handful of games that support it in 2010, either way neither Vista or Windows 7 support EAX so its a waste of time.



    Remember that is DTS encoding i.e. upmixing stereo sources into DTS bitstreams. That soundcard will still decode Dolby Digital from supported DVD titles, BluRay titles or HQ video rips from the internet.

    BTW which speakers do you have, its a 5.1 set up right?
     
  10. Darkmind New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Messages:
    159 (0.04/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5
    I do want a high quality sound card, still. What I have in my eye sight is the Auzen Forte, or the Titanium HD. How's the Forte doin for ya Dent?

    And, yes my speakers are 5.1 (analog). However I also plan to use my computer for home theater purposes (which is in another room and has S/PDIF connections) so having a good balance between gaming and movies would be great. I was thinking of the Essence STX but from what I've read, people say it's great for headphones, but kind of lifeless with speakers comparatively
     
  11. Dent1

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,368 (1.77/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,035

    I wouldnt listen to the hype of sound card reviews, because sound is very subjective, its hard to distinguish let alone explain the difference beween good sound and excellent sound quality.


    Like I said earlier, if you are using SPDIF for movies (physical DVDs) or DVD Rips in AC3 then any dedicated or integrated soundcard with digital coaxial or fibre will output DD/DTS for you.

    You only need these exotic sound cards for encoding games, mp3s and generally all stereo sources into DTS Interactive (DTS connect) or Dolby Digital Live in real time. I would get the cheapest soundcard that could do this. I think the Asus Xonar DS is probably the best choice on a budget. The Auzentech X-Fi Forte & HomeTheatre and ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 being the choices for the premium products. I would get the cheapest that does the job i.e. the Xonar DS. I couldnt justify getting a HDMI soundcard capable of outputting DD True HD 7.1 and DTS Masters 7.1 without a amp that supports it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  12. freaksavior

    freaksavior To infinity ... and beyond!

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    8,086 (2.56/day)
    Thanks Received:
    913
    Having owned some of the cheaper cards, and the new hdav, I love the Xonar D2X! Amazing quality, but as Dent said, it is subjective. I've had a few creative, and I despise creative products. I would seriously look into the Xonar series.
     
    Dent1 says thanks.
  13. Dent1

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,368 (1.77/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,035
    I wouldnt avoid Creative outright, their X-Fi series sucks, known for bugs, I wouldnt normally touch Creative with a pole, but their collaboration with Auentech has upped their quality. The Auzen X-Fi cards are pretty stable indeed. Although its a little bloated with the interface and memory usage. But to the OP, I would buy based on what satisfies your needs at the cheapest price regardless of brand loyalty.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010

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

Share This Page