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PCI or PCIEx1 sound card?

manofthem

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#1
I want to get a sound card. I'm in the process of looking and researching, but my question is what kind of card should I get: PCI or PCI-Ex1? I'm asking because I am running 2 card in xfire already at x8/x8 on a Asus P67 Pro. I don't know if adding a PCI or PCIEx1 will affect that at all. So since I don't know, I'd love to have some insight as to the best way to go about this. Specs on the side.

And if you're feeling good, I'm open to suggestions on a decent sound card, under ~$70. As I said, I'm in the research phase so suggestions are welcomed. Thanks

Edit: I may have posted this in the wrong section...
 
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#2
IMO either will work fine, It's more about what ports are available. With Most boards now days only come with 1 PCI slot and a 2 PCI-Ex1 slots. Most buyers just get what other buyers choose, which I believe is PCI-Ex1... But also wonder the same thing to, I haven't bought a sound card since the late 90's. Just because on-board audio took a big jump in performance and quality.
 

manofthem

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#3
I have 2 PCI and 2 PCIEx1 slots, though 1 of each are covered. PCIEx1 up top above GPU1 is available, and the first PCI under GPU1 is available. But I don't know which is better to use
or if it all comes out to be the same.
 

FreedomEclipse

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#4
I think theres something about latency in reguard to the whole PCI Vs PCIEx1.

PCI has a higher latency then PCI-E x1 so therefore possibly suffers from more sound related issues like clipping.

Im not 100% clear on this so dont quote me on it. but i am sure that PCI-E x1 tends to have lower latency.

Ive used 2 PCI-E x1 soundcards and about 2 or 3 PCI soundcards.

to me, its about space as I run 2 6970s and having a Xonar sandwiched between 2 of them wouldnt be very healthy for it
 
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#5
Do you foresee any other upgrades that would require or benefit from either port? For example, if you may upgrade your computer with a USB 3.0 card or a Storage Controller card, the extra bandwidth of PCI-E x1 vs. PCI would be valuable(500MB/s vs. 133MB/s). In that case, it would make more sense to go ahead and populate the PCI Slot with a Sound card, thus leaving the PCI-E x1 free. However, if you'll have another use for that PCI slot, it would make sense to leave it free. Also keep in mind that your next build may not have a PCI slot at all, if you want to keep the Sound card.

As far as performance goes, pick the card that seems best for your uses. Both busses should perform fine.
 
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manofthem

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#6
I think theres something about latency in reguard to the whole PCI Vs PCIEx1.

PCI has a higher latency then PCI-E x1 so therefore possibly suffers from more sound related issues like clipping.

Im not 100% clear on this so dont quote me on it. but i am sure that PCI-E x1 tends to have lower latency.

Ive used 2 PCI-E x1 soundcards and about 2 or 3 PCI soundcards.

to me, its about space as I run 2 6970s and having a Xonar sandwiched between 2 of them wouldnt be very healthy for it
Sounds good, thanks. You have a similar setup, yours a little more beefy. I was just wondering if there was any downside when using 2 gpus that are already running at x8/x8. But since you're running it, I'll likely go with a PCIex1. That's what I wanted to do since I really didn't want to squeeze one in between my to cards.


Do you foresee any other upgrades that would require either port? For example, if you may upgrade your computer with a USB 3.0 card or a Storage Controller card, the extra bandwidth of PCI-E x1 vs. PCI would be valuable(500MB/s vs. 133MB/s). In that case, it would make more sense to go ahead and populate the PCI Slot with a Sound card, thus leaving the PCI-E x1 free. However, if you'll have another use for that PCI slot, it would make sense to leave it free. Also keep in mind that your next build may not have a PCI slot at all, if you want to keep the Sound card.

As far as performance goes, pick the card that seems best for your uses. Both busses should perform fine.
I don't forsee any other upgrades as of now. I have onboard usb3 and that's about all I need. i'll likely go with the pciex1, especially considering it's more future upgrade protected...
 
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#7
As far as latency issues go, I currently use a USB sound card and don't have issues with clipping. I'd imagine my USB card to have much higher latency than either PCI or PCI-E.

Also worth noting is that all PCI slots share the same bus bandwidth(unlike PCI-E), and that performance issues may crop up in a system with tons of high-bandwidth PCI devices on that bus. However, in your computer with only two PCI slots, one of them obscured, this won't be an issue.

If a computer had a sound card, video card, storage controller, usb controller all on the old PCI bus, it might show issues.
 
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#8
Downside??? Id say the biggest problem i have with my setup is noise from my 6970s when they ramp up when i start gaming and my cramped case that makes me have to put my 6970s in at an angle to get them in but other then that, no - no real downsides.

the case i'm getting soon will have noise absorbent padding so it should help reduce the noise a little
 

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#9
I would go with PCI Express x1. PCI days are numbered. Sound cards tend to live longer than the rest of the computer so it's a good idea to go with the standard that is new(er).

The other reason is that PCI slots on motherboards since PCI Express was introduced are always on the bottom of the motherboard. It can make it difficult to plug all the audio cables in--especially if you're using a micro ATX board.
 

manofthem

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#10
Thanks for all the replies!!! I'm going to go with a PCI-Ex1 card to be sure. I appreciate the help
 
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#11
I myself just bought a card and was forced to go with PCI-E. For the simple reason that that's all I had available. Like previous posters said, its about what you have available. Try to think towards the future too. If you want to get something else in the future and need that one slot you have now, then give it a thought. ;)

Card I bought:
ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1 Interfac...