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Should I buy a sound card?

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#1
I've been thinking for awhile now that my sound system just isn't what it should be despite using an optical connection, using a sound card should improve this right?

Obviously it improves the sound in some way but really how can anyone ever explain the difference unless you've heard it for yourself... which I haven't. Either way I'd like to upgrade my rig but not spend too much at the moment, so what would be an ideal sound card with a budget in mind?
 
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#2
okay... so looks like it'll be a late response I guess, anyways I've been looking between a Asus Xonar DG & a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio any input on either of the two?
 
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#3
i prefer take xonar. in here asus stuff kinda easier to find, but i guess it depends on area
 

hat

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#4
Well... definitely don't get the Xtreme Audio. It's basically a re-badged Audigy.

I have a Xonar DG and I think it's great, but I don't think it will do any more than stereo over optical do to a missing feature set (hence why it's so cheap).

If you REALLY want to use optical, your choices are limited... I know I saw an Asus Xonar somewhere with HDMI...
 
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#5
but I don't think it will do any more than stereo over optical do to a missing feature set (hence why it's so cheap).
Explain please?

Also both the cards I found (above) have a optical port on them :) hence why I mentioned the two, so no worries about that.
 
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#6
Well... definitely don't get the Xtreme Audio. It's basically a re-badged Audigy.
yeah the sad thing is my audigy value aint get right driver for win 7 and it left dusty now
 
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#7
Do you plan on keeping your Samsung speaker array? A top notch soundcard would be somewhat wasted with mediocre speakers.
 

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#8
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#9
Do you plan on keeping your Samsung speaker array? A top notch soundcard would be somewhat wasted with mediocre speakers.
I kinda have to disagree with that :p Yes the none of the speakers in the setup look much at all but it's very misleading and sure surprises everyone who's heard them the sound is very impressive just unfortunately not at lower volumes... I know loudness isn't everything but damn neighbour won't let me turn it up past a quarter of the full way.

They do produce a very clean/realistic sound, much better than I thought they ever would, saying all this though and I'm not actually planning on keeping them I have a mate who keeps pestering me for them & as they've actually gone up in price since I brought them it gives me the chance to sell them at the price I paid for them!
 
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#10
Sound card saves CPU cycles which means better frame rates in games. My X-Fi card is great for the money. Great positional sound.
 
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#11
That's not strictly true, not all sound cards have a APU, some are hardware driven - which in turn uses the CPU, by today's standards the amount of CPU power it uses is minimal. (Learn't from Hat's thread posted above :) )
 
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#12
That's not strictly true, not all sound cards have a APU, some are hardware driven - which in turn uses the CPU, by today's standards the amount of CPU power it uses is minimal. (Learn't from Hat's thread posted above :) )
Most modern sound cards have an APU, mine does. There is no point in using one unless your onboard audio really sucks otherwise.

Back in the P4 days, this made a bigger impact in game performance. Framerate along with sound quality is improved for me in BFBC2 when I go through my sound card instead of onboard. BFBC2 appears to run smoother overall when using my sound card.
 
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