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Best sound card for gaming

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#1
Hey guys I just need recommendations for a sound card thats good for gaming. Not too expensive.
 
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#3
I second the Xonar. If you have multi channel speakers and want more than mere simulated surround though, you'll have to go with something a bit more expensive than the DG.

This is the one I'd get. Only $32 after rebate and the HUGE plus is it has DTS Connect.
ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Inter...

Note that the games do not have to be encoded in DTS for it to play them in DTS. This card can take the PCM signal from the games and encode them with DTS. That's what DTS Connect is.

Just make sure your MB has a free PCI slot, esp if you use or plan to use SLI or Crossfire.
 
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#4
If you want the best then it normally has to be expensive.
Personally I use an x-fi titanium HD, which is superb for gaming, movie and music.
 
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#5
Yeah, well his title is a bit misleading, but the post clarifies affordable. You don't have to spend over $100 to get better than onboard sound. Hell, most onboard chips only produce up to 16,000Hz. IMO the ASUS cards are the only way to go in an affordable price range.

Creative has never put much into their cards. Did you know with mods available on the net you can basically turn an inexpensive Audigy card into an X-Fi? That is because Creative has a cheap, cookie cutter way of manufacturing, and varies their product mostly via software.

It's getting even worse with Creative's latest DSP based Recon product. They're basically putting all the sound quality into mere firmware now. Worse yet, Creative's driver support is always the worst of any sound card on the market.
 

btarunr

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#6
I use Creative SB Recon3D. Its Scout Mode is helpful in BF3.



And then there's this (how I talk to strangers):



Inb4 "creative bad drivers herp derp" nonsense.
 
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#7
I used a Creative X-Fi Titanium and i totally recommend it, now i have a Creative Titanium HD and it's even better. Also this weelk i'll be getting an Asus Xonar DX (seems pretty good, we will see) to connect my Analog 5.1 speakers since the Titanium HD doesn't have 5.1 analog out, but my headphones are connected to the Titanium HD. The Recon 3D seems pretty good for gaming, not so good for music, but no worse the the onboard, don't have one though.

Never had any issued with creative drivers so far, except that you can't install 2 sound cards with are similar, because i was planing to have both the Titanium HD and the X-Fi Titanium in the same PC, but now i will replace the X-Fi Titanium for the Xonar DX.

Also what's "not too expensive" for you?
 

hat

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#8
It's not nonsense, it's the truth. Just a really old truth that's been gone over for years.

I had a Xonar DG for a while before my friend sent me his old X-Fi Fatal1ty Pro. It was a good card, I liked it... the headphone amp was a nice feature as well. The only other thing I really have to add to this is that I have a friend who swears up and down that you want a PCI-E card, not a PCI card. Something about collisions on the PCI bus and somesuch... not sure if it's better for performance, sound quality or both.

If you were looking at the Xonar DG, consider this:
ASUS Xonar DGX 5.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Expre...

or, the PCI-E variant of the D1:
ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1 Interfac...

Note that sound cards are only good for analog audio. If you're already running optical, hdmi, or coaxial spdif to a home theater receiver, then a sound card will do little more than nothing for you.
 

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#9
I've never faced any problems with any Creative drivers, ever. And I've been using Creative sound cards since the days when you had to load drivers using autoexec.bat and config.sys
 

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#10
I've run into that memory leak issue here and there, and I'm not the only one I know who has. Seems to happen a lot with CMSS/Stereo Expand and Ventrilo... and their solution is "well don't use those features then". MS and Creative bouncing the blame for the problem back and forth and nobody does anything to fix the issue.
 

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#11
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#12
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#13
I just got a ASUS Xonar DGX with the Unified Drivers and Love it. I hear stuff that makes me jump all the time
 
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#14
I bought a dg, was $15 with rebate if that is still going on. It was certainly an improvement over my onboard. Gaming is not the same anymore without it. I can not say for anything better, but for the xonar dg is a heck of a deal.
 

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#15
I bought a dg, was $15 with rebate if that is still going on. It was certainly an improvement over my onboard. Gaming is not the same anymore without it. I can not say for anything better, but for the xonar dg is a heck of a deal.
n this is where AIBs rock over onboard audio
 
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#16
I have my pci X-Fi Fatal1ty Extreme Gamer I am looking to sell for $30. Real good card. In a smaller place and don't have my 5.1's hooked up so I really don't need it to game with headphones.
 
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#17
On the mention of Pci-Ex vs PCI, PCI was mostly a problem with Creative cards. When they went to Pci-Ex, most of the complaints of crackling audio went away.
 
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#18
A sound card is like the only thing I will miss going mini-itx. Gonna use onboard optical out to my Z-5500s. Not great solution but no other options that I know of...
 

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#19
A sound card is like the only thing I will miss going mini-itx. Gonna use onboard optical out to my Z-5500s. Not great solution but no other options that I know of...
USB Sound cards
 
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#20
Which are worth a damn? The Z5500s do have a DAC albeit not a great one (also far from an audio expert here).
 
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#21
I use Creative SB Recon3D. Its Scout Mode is helpful in BF3.

http://img.techpowerup.org/121015/bta091.jpg

And then there's this (how I talk to strangers):

http://img.techpowerup.org/121015/bta093.jpg

Inb4 "creative bad drivers herp derp" nonsense.
I partially agree. Can't say Scout Mode helps in BF3 much, but it does in COD, L4D and a few other games. The problem with using it in BF3 is, it also amplifies explosions in the background, over which you cannot hear anybody's footsteps (heh).

And I can say that the Recon3D is the first glitch-free and stable sound card I've ever had in Windows 7 and I used the Xonars (DG & D2) & the Creative Xtreme Gamer before getting this card (all of which had problems in W7). And since the Recon3D unofficially fully supports EAX and DirectSound through ALchemy, I can safely say, there's not a single sound card out there that does GAMING better on Windows 7 than the Recon3D (don't even get me started on the terrible Xonar GX emulation crap, which does not even remotely come close).

P.S. How did you manage to change the colour of the control panel? Or is yours the non-Fatality version, hence the blue control panel colour scheme (mine's red)?
 

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#22
It's not nonsense, it's the truth. Just a really old truth that's been gone over for years.

I had a Xonar DG for a while before my friend sent me his old X-Fi Fatal1ty Pro. It was a good card, I liked it... the headphone amp was a nice feature as well. The only other thing I really have to add to this is that I have a friend who swears up and down that you want a PCI-E card, not a PCI card. Something about collisions on the PCI bus and somesuch... not sure if it's better for performance, sound quality or both.

If you were looking at the Xonar DG, consider this:
ASUS Xonar DGX 5.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Expre...

or, the PCI-E variant of the D1:
ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1 Interfac...

Note that sound cards are only good for analog audio. If you're already running optical, hdmi, or coaxial spdif to a home theater receiver, then a sound card will do little more than nothing for you.
The PCIe one would be the one I'd pick... seems to have higher quality caps and such on it. Also... my gpu is currently blocking all my PCI slots...

As for Creative... The cards seem to work fine until you turn on hardware acceleration in games... audio lags like crazy... though I think this is a DX issue since my realtek chipset does the same thing when using the 3D sound back drivers and such.

I miss the old days of EAX and such.
 

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#23
I partially agree. Can't say Scout Mode helps in BF3 much, but it does in COD, L4D and a few other games. The problem with using it in BF3 is, it also amplifies explosions in the background, over which you cannot hear anybody's footsteps (heh).

P.S. How did you manage to change the colour of the control panel? Or is yours the non-Fatality version, hence the blue control panel colour scheme (mine's red)?
Scout mode hotkeys look after that. If you're lurking or capturing key bases on foot, it helps. Yes, mine is the non-Fatal1ty variant.
 
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#24
I use Creative SB Recon3D. Its Scout Mode is helpful in BF3.

I'm thinking about getting this card because I do a lot of gaming.
 
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Jacksonhole Florida
System Name DEVIL'S ABYSS
Processor i7-4790K@4.6 GHz
Motherboard Asus Z97-Deluxe
Cooling Corsair H110 (2 x 140mm)(3 x 140mm case fans)
Memory 16GB Adata XPG V2 2400MHz
Video Card(s) EVGA 780 Ti Classified
Storage Intel 750 Series 400GB (AIC), Plextor M6e 256GB (M.2), 13 TB storage
Display(s) Crossover 27QW (27"@ 2560x1440)
Case Corsair Obsidian 750D Airflow
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC1150
Power Supply Cooler Master V1000
Mouse Ttsports Talon Blu
Keyboard Logitech G510
Software Windows 10 Pro x64 version 1709
Benchmark Scores Passmark CPU score = 13080
#25
Creative - King of Marketing

Creative has always used cutting edge graphics on their packages and their software looks all futuristic and cool, but the truth is Creative's hardware and software is bottom rung crap that rarely works properly together - witness the dozens of third party drivers that have been written for Creative hardware in an attempt to address these problems. I used Kx Mixer for my Audigy 2 card just to get it to work in XP. Nothing I tried would get it to work properly in Win 7. Yes, it's old hardware, but how hard is it to continue support on your own hardware when each legacy unit that's still in service is a testament to the manufacturers quality and longevity? Almost every other PC hardware company maintains a driver database to cover any hardware that will still plug into a slot or port, and the O.E.M.'s drivers are almost always the best ones to use. Not in Creative's case, though - their driver problems are legendary and their lack of solutions in the face of universal criticism also reveals their total lack of concern for their customers. Of course, all the above is just my opinion as a long time sufferer. Yes I could have bought a different brand, but locally only Creative is available and I was young and foolish. I am now using the on board Realtek ALC892 that came on my Asus P8Z77-V, and it works great using the optical SPDIF at 24 bit 96,000 Hz. So stay away from Creative and go with any Asus card that fits your budget.