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Sound card upgrade

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#1
So I've been looking into upgrading my speakers somewhat. Right now I have a cheap 2.0 set that works just enough for my needs, some gaming and music listening.
I am by no means a sound snob and personally cannot tell the difference between decent 320kbps MP3s and flac audio.

I plan to buy the Edifier R1280T speaker set in the near future and I've been wondering whether I should upgrade my soundcard as well. As a budget upgrade, I've seen people recommending cheaper sound cards tho some suggested to stick with the onboard stuff if the speakers are not really high-end. Right now I can get a Xonar DGX for a reasonable price but I figured I'd hold off buying it if it is not necessary, if the onboard will do the job that is.
Currently, the board I'm using has a Realtek ALC887 codec and from the motherboard review on here this implementation a got decent review on that part.
So, yay or nay on the sound card upgrade, and if yes do you have any (budget oriented) recommendations?
 
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eidairaman1

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#3
Pcie/pci, ht omega, creative labs, e-mu
I'm looking for PCIe cards, so you're saying that a sound card is necessary/worth it?

Also, the only ht omega cards I found are far and away from budget cards.
 
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#4
Your onboard audio is enough. No need to waste money since the new speakers aren't that special anyway.
 
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#5
Your onboard audio is enough. No need to waste money since the new speakers aren't that special anyway.
actually,this is very far from the truth.
I have a measly microlab 2.1 system, 1280t is a much better setup
when I upgraded alc8xx (don't remember but it was on z77 extreme 4) to alc1150 I heard it instantly.
 

eidairaman1

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#6
So I've been looking into upgrading my speakers somewhat. Right now I have a cheap 2.0 set that works just enough for my needs, some gaming and music listening.
am by no means a sound snob and personally cannot tell the difference between decent 320kbps MP3s and flac audio.

I plan to buy the Edifier R1280T speaker set in the near future and I've been wondering whether I should upgrade my soundcard as well. As a budget upgrade, I've seen people recommending cheaper sound cards tho some suggested to stick with the onboard stuff if the speakers are not really high-end. Right now I can get a Xonar DGX for a reasonable price but I figured I'd hold off buying it if it is not necessary, if the onboard will do the job that is.
Currently, the board I'm using has a Realtek ALC887 codec and from the motherboard review on here this implementation a got decent review on that part.
So, yay or nay on the sound card upgrade, and if yes do you have any (budget oriented) recommendations?
Budget?

Onboard is as budget as you can get.
 
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#7
On-board is hit or miss depending on the actual mobo. I used to use an Asus Xonar sound card on my Asrock P67 & KIller z270 motherboards. On my current gigabyte Z370, the on-board is just as good as the sound card so I don't use it.
 
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#8
I'd certainly vote for getting something new,but I'm skeptical about the cheapest xonar/creative labs cards too.
How about that sound blaster z ? it's good price and people say it's better than alc1220. it'll blow the integrated sound quality on that old b75 mobo for sure.
do you have a spare pci-e slot ?
 
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#9
When I bought my Ryzen system I got a Sound blaster Z for under $100 because no more PCI slots for my X-Fi.
Sound quality is the same or better as the old card X-Fi and much better than the onboard, the Edifier R1280T 's are definitely nice enough to hear the difference, I have a pair myself.
Plus it has dual outputs so you can hook up 5.1 and headphones at the same time and switch via the SB app instead of having to unplug and replug things.

The only issue I encountered was the Gigabyte X470 had major issues with detecting non GPU PCIE devices but that was gigabytes issue not the card, I think you should be fine with the B75 chipset.
 
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#10
I'd certainly vote for getting something new,but I'm skeptical about the cheapest xonar/creative labs cards too.
How about that sound blaster z ? it's good price and people say it's better than alc1220. it'll blow the integrated sound quality on that old b75 mobo for sure.
The soundblaster would definitely be an improvement, tho that brings the question of is it necessary? I can't really justify spending on a more expensive card if the return will be barely noticeable. Also, just checked the prices that sound card is like 70% of the speaker price.

I actually sort of found a result. I'll just get the speakers and later on, if necessary I'll just pop in a card.
 
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#11
The soundblaster would definitely be an improvement, tho that brings the question of is it necessary? I can't really justify spending on a more expensive card if the return will be barely noticeable. Also, just checked the prices that sound card is like 70% of the speaker price.

I actually sort of found a result. I'll just get the speakers and later on, if necessary I'll just pop in a card.
well,it isn't necessary,you'll get them playing on integrated too.
but the point is what batou said,1280t is a very nice pair of speakers and you'll get better sound out of them on a better sound card.the difference should be instantly perceptible.
you said you don't see a difference between 320kbps mp3 and flac,but that's cause you said you're on cheap 2.0 speakers and the most basic sound card too. I can't imagine that with a big upgrade you'll not see the difference with time.We only know what we're used to.That's the problem with people who tell you that there's no point in getting a sound card upgrade.

btw I was gonna get the 1280t at one point myself too :) but I spent it on moar games and another ssd again cause I'm a moron :laugh:
 
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#12
actually,this is very far from the truth.
I have a measly microlab 2.1 system, 1280t is a much better setup
when I upgraded alc8xx (don't remember but it was on z77 extreme 4) to alc1150 I heard it instantly.
Maybe. But in what way if I dare ask? Personally as long as the audio is not distorted I'm fine. And most of the time I don't even use it from the PC. I turn it on to hear the radio or play songs from my phone via BT. So yeah, sound quality on speakers might not be my thing.

BTW both Creative and ASUS have horrible driver support. At least ASUS has third party drivers iirc. So try to get external USB sound card if you can. I think Sound Blaster E3 or E1 are external.

Yep. Sound Blaster E1 (https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Headphone-Amplifier-Integrated-Smartphones/dp/B00J2JATL0) It's sold as an headphone AMD/DAC but connecting to PC you can also use their software if you need it.
 

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#13
Maybe. But in what way if I dare ask? Personally as long as the audio is not distorted I'm fine. And most of the time I don't even use it from the PC. I turn it on to hear the radio or play songs from my phone via BT. So yeah, sound quality on speakers might not be my thing.

BTW both Creative and ASUS have horrible driver support. At least ASUS has third party drivers iirc. So try to get external USB sound card if you can. I think Sound Blaster E3 or E1 are external.

Yep. Sound Blaster E1 (https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Headphone-Amplifier-Integrated-Smartphones/dp/B00J2JATL0) It's sold as an headphone AMD/DAC but connecting to PC you can also use their software if you need it.
Creative also have 3rd party drivers just fyi. >You can find them here< - no AE-5 support yet sadly as the creator doesnt have an AE-5
 
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#15
The Xonar DGX is a great budget card. Best bang for the buck and you will notice the quality over any onboard sound. I have tested this many times with many boards including the Gigabyte Creative labs Amped-up Audio on the G1 boards. Keep in mind its still not as good as a external DAC
I have an extra one laying around, to bad your not in the US
 
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#16
Is that PCI-E x1 or PCI card?

Great audio quality, especially for headphone users, but one of the DGX cards is well-documented to frequently cause blue screen crashes in Windows 10 upon exiting sleep mode. There are third party drivers available that usually fix the issue for people. The official drivers have not been updated in a few years so it's very clear that Asus is no longer interested in supporting this card. I recommend looking elsewhere unless you enjoy troubleshooting.

Newer = better generally, all you're paying for with a soundcard is software processing access today.
 
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#17
The Xonar DGX is a great budget card. Best bang for the buck and you will notice the quality over any onboard sound. I have tested this many times
I have an extra one laying around, to bad your not in the US
That's the one I was looking at but I'll have to postpone the upgrade either way due to some circumstances, thank you for the feedback tho.
Is that PCI-E x1 or PCI card?

Great audio quality, especially for headphone users, but one of the DGX cards is well-documented to frequently cause blue screen crashes in Windows 10 upon exiting sleep mode. There are third party drivers available that usually fix the issue for people. The official drivers have not been updated in a few years so it's very clear that Asus is no longer interested in supporting this card. I recommend looking elsewhere unless you enjoy troubleshooting.

Newer = better generally, all you're paying for with a soundcard is software processing access today.
The X models are PCIe. Now that I spent some time redoing cables in the PC I figured out I should be looking at half height cards and sadly the Z is full height. Full height cards will fully block air access to the GPU, I know it's not a hot card but either way. But as I said, I'll have to postpone this upgrade for now. Also, thanks for the input.
 
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