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soundcard choice help

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#26
The most important part of any 5.1 sound setup is actually getting the speakers positioned correctly and getting the sound levels set correctly. You can spend a lot of money on soundcards and speakers and home theater speakers and whatnot if you don't have the basics right, you are wasting your time and money. OP, start simple and get those speakers properly located and leveled once you have them connected to your motherboard's onboard sound card. I suspect you will be happy with what you already have.
That's correct
 
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#27
Ill give you my opinion since I hit a similar conundrum you seem to have now awhile ago. When it came to Audio on my machines I never really put much thought into it because I just wanted to hear the effects of the game/video/etc. Now a days when it comes to sound cards the built in ones often give such a good experience that it has almost rendered the market for sound cards dead. That being said, sound cards do exist out there better (In some cases much) than the integrated on the top boards but they mostly appeal to people doing audio editing and such where they need extreme levels of quality.

I bought a Samsung 1000Watt 5.1 Surround sound speaker system (Its a blu-ray player system) and plugged it in the optical port on my system. I had been given a creative sound blaster audigy card from a friend that was top notch and pretty pricey which I used for a short while. I thought the whole system sounded amazing plugged into that card like that but then my curiosity got the better of me and I tried the on board optical to see if the quality changed. It did not sound any different to my ears and gave the exact same effect I was expecting playing games/movies/etc.

In short, my opinion is that the on board (You have the maximus so you have a real nice one) controllers are so nice now you would probably not notice a difference in quality even with a real expensive card unless your doing some extreme audio engineering/editing. I would recommend trying your speaker system first on the on-board with an optical connection and seeing if you like that. Do that before investing the money on a sound card because you might be pleasantly surprised how great it sounds.

Just my advice based on experience...
 
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#28
Ill give you my opinion since I hit a similar conundrum you seem to have now awhile ago. When it came to Audio on my machines I never really put much thought into it because I just wanted to hear the effects of the game/video/etc. Now a days when it comes to sound cards the built in ones often give such a good experience that it has almost rendered the market for sound cards dead. That being said, sound cards do exist out there better (In some cases much) than the integrated on the top boards but they mostly appeal to people doing audio editing and such where they need extreme levels of quality.

I bought a Samsung 1000Watt 5.1 Surround sound speaker system (Its a blu-ray player system) and plugged it in the optical port on my system. I had been given a creative sound blaster audigy card from a friend that was top notch and pretty pricey which I used for a short while. I thought the whole system sounded amazing plugged into that card like that but then my curiosity got the better of me and I tried the on board optical to see if the quality changed. It did not sound any different to my ears and gave the exact same effect I was expecting playing games/movies/etc.

In short, my opinion is that the on board (You have the maximus so you have a real nice one) controllers are so nice now you would probably not notice a difference in quality even with a real expensive card unless your doing some extreme audio engineering/editing. I would recommend trying your speaker system first on the on-board with an optical connection and seeing if you like that. Do that before investing the money on a sound card because you might be pleasantly surprised how great it sounds.

Just my advice based on experience...
really good accurate advices, Thanks,
 
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#29
Ill give you my opinion since I hit a similar conundrum you seem to have now awhile ago. When it came to Audio on my machines I never really put much thought into it because I just wanted to hear the effects of the game/video/etc. Now a days when it comes to sound cards the built in ones often give such a good experience that it has almost rendered the market for sound cards dead. That being said, sound cards do exist out there better (In some cases much) than the integrated on the top boards but they mostly appeal to people doing audio editing and such where they need extreme levels of quality.

I bought a Samsung 1000Watt 5.1 Surround sound speaker system (Its a blu-ray player system) and plugged it in the optical port on my system. I had been given a creative sound blaster audigy card from a friend that was top notch and pretty pricey which I used for a short while. I thought the whole system sounded amazing plugged into that card like that but then my curiosity got the better of me and I tried the on board optical to see if the quality changed. It did not sound any different to my ears and gave the exact same effect I was expecting playing games/movies/etc.

In short, my opinion is that the on board (You have the maximus so you have a real nice one) controllers are so nice now you would probably not notice a difference in quality even with a real expensive card unless your doing some extreme audio engineering/editing. I would recommend trying your speaker system first on the on-board with an optical connection and seeing if you like that. Do that before investing the money on a sound card because you might be pleasantly surprised how great it sounds.

Just my advice based on experience...

If you are using HDMI or SPDIF optical or coaxial to connect the PC to the speakers then a sound card is pretty much useless because it's being used only as a pass though device, in short the sound card is not doing any sound processing at all. Use a sound card if you are going to use the analog outs.

To the OP. Unless you have high end ANALOG speakers or high end headphones your onboard sound is good enough. And since you will be connecting the 5.1 though optical you are not going to use the sound card the way it's supposed to.

Regarding which brand is better for music, games, etc., IMO both are great for music, but for games Creative ones have the edge (i'm talking about high end sound cards, which are the ones worth buying).
 
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#30
Thanks for the Infos, that was my final conclusion, Z906 + Xonar Phoebus solo...
Yes. Keep in mind I'm only recommended the Asus RoG Xonar Phoebus Solo because your specification says you have it already. You spent good money on it so you may as well use it (opposed to on-board).

Also I tend to get more noise when my on-board is connected to my case's front panel audio, I only use headphones occasionally so its not really a big issue.
 
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#31
Yes. Keep in mind I'm only recommended the Asus RoG Xonar Phoebus Solo because your specification says you have it already. You spent good money on it so you may as well use it (opposed to on-board).

Also I tend to get more noise when my on-board is connected to my case's front panel audio, I only use headphones occasionally so its not really a big issue.
That's right i have the Xonar Phoebus Solo, Next week I will put it back in my rig,

Thanks a lot guys, you're amazing
 
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#32
If you are using HDMI or SPDIF optical or coaxial to connect the PC to the speakers then a sound card is pretty much useless because it's being used only as a pass though device, in short the sound card is not doing any sound processing at all. Use a sound card if you are going to use the analog outs.

To the OP. Unless you have high end ANALOG speakers or high end headphones your onboard sound is good enough. And since you will be connecting the 5.1 though optical you are not going to use the sound card the way it's supposed to.

Regarding which brand is better for music, games, etc., IMO both are great for music, but for games Creative ones have the edge (i'm talking about high end sound cards, which are the ones worth buying).
Yea that was something that I found interesting when I first learned of it because to me it ruined the point of many sound cards I saw on the market. Though sound was never something I paid much attention to it was a revelation when i realized that.

That's right i have the Xonar Phoebus Solo, Next week I will put it back in my rig,

Thanks a lot guys, you're amazing
No sweat, enjoy!
 
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#33
The only feature you will be getting from the Xonar would be Dolby Digital Live. That feature will give you games in true 5.1 sound if they have multi-channel sound. Other than that, there won't be any difference from the onboard sound. All the other features of the Xonar only work on the analog outputs and you are using the digital output.
 
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#34
The only feature you will be getting from the Xonar would be Dolby Digital Live. That feature will give you games in true 5.1 sound if they have multi-channel sound. Other than that, there won't be any difference from the onboard sound. All the other features of the Xonar only work on the analog outputs and you are using the digital output.
The Asus RoG Xonar Phoebus Solo doesn't support Dolby Digital Live, which is a shame as most of the other Xonars do which is a huge selling point.

There is usually DSPs and presents applied on a driver level by default which can alter the difference between on-board and dedicated.

But overall I agree with your message. Dolby Digital Live or DTS connect is one of the only reasons to buy a dedicated sound card in 2014.
 
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