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Soundcard, worth it?

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#1
So, I got about 450$ for an upgrade, and will probably buy a cheap 120hz monitor for gaming. I opened a thread about the best upgrade for the money right now, and someone mentioned an inexpensive soundcard would be useful. Now, I'm using a pair or Logitech G930 which are connected via USB, while I sometimes play or listen to music with a small Logitech 2.1 system (this one). My question is, would I notice any difference by using a dedicated soundcard?
Thanks in advance.
 
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#2
Well there aren't a bad set of speakers. Your Headset is USB so a sound card is of no benefit there. The headphones are the "sound card"
I mean I run my X-Fi Fatality thru a really old and pretty cheap Creative 5.1 set. It still sounds MUCH better than on board.
 
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#3
Well there aren't a bad set of speakers. Your Headset is USB so a sound card is of no benefit there. The headphones are the "sound card"
I mean I run my X-Fi Fatality thru a really old and pretty cheap Creative 5.1 set. It still sounds MUCH better than on board.
Mmm yeah but you are talking about 5.1 systems while I got a 2.1 one. You think I will notice the diffecence? And what soundcard would you recommend?
 
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#5
do you demand high quality of sound? better like thx dolby or like that?
are you kinda audiophile? if yes, you could add soundcard in your list
for daily use you could use onboard soundcard. for today onboard soundcard is pretty good but for serious need you need serious card.
 
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#6
do you demand high quality of sound? better like thx dolby or like that?
are you kinda audiophile? if yes, you could add soundcard in your list
for daily use you could use onboard soundcard. for today onboard soundcard is pretty good but for serious need you need serious card.
Yeah, I'm pretty serious about music and would like to get the best out of my speakers. I guess I'll try to get one, any advice about a cheap one? This is the cheapest one I found: CREATIVE Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio, 49,20CHF (=41€)
 
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#7
Realteks onboard has this "in a can" sound to that no amount of EQ'ing can get rid of. The EQ itself is also pretty poor not near enough range to be useful. The overall clarity just isn't there like on my X-Fi(I don't run any "effects" just straight 5.1 with an EQ)

Everytime I build a new PC I always give the onboard a test run to see if it's "better" but I always end up disabling it and back to the X-Fi

Even the Realtek in my laptop over Optical to my receiver using DDL(which should be a "clean" signal) has that "hollow in a can" sound.
 
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#8
Yeah, I'm pretty serious about music and would like to get the best out of my speakers. I guess I'll try to get one, any advice about a cheap one? This is the cheapest one I found: CREATIVE Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio, 49,20CHF (=41€)
That one isn't a "real" X-fi it's using the older CA0106 not the EMU20K chip. It essentially a rebadged Audigy Value/SE

Auzentech use X-Fi chips. Something like the Auzentech Forte is a great card for the money. In some ways better than Creatives own. Has a Headphone amp and even changeable OpAMPS.
 
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#9
A sound card is most definitely worth it in your case. That mobo has the ALC892 which is one of Realtek's poorer recent offerings, SNR of about 95db. The ALC898 and ALC889 are the good ones with ~ 105db SNR. The xonar DX is quite highly regarded so i'm sure that would be a worthwhile upgrade.

Do not get the xtreme audio, as above it's not really an X-fi. I did tests and found that it was only slightly better than the ALC888 (similar to ALC892) and that was only due to software enhancements.
 
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#10
A sound card is most definitely worth it in your case. That mobo has the ALC892 which is one of Realtek's poorer recent offerings, SNR of about 95db. The ALC898 and ALC889 are the good ones with ~ 105db SNR. The xonar DX is quite highly regarded so i'm sure that would be a worthwhile upgrade.

Do not get the xtreme audio, as above it's not really an X-fi. I did tests and found that it was only slightly better than the ALC888 (similar to ALC892) and that was only due to software enhancements.
After looking up on the web, I guess I'll get the Xonar DX for about 70 bucks. (I currently have 80, so it's perfect :) )
I also heard about really bad drivers support on both creative and asus sides. Did you have any issue with yours, and are there maybe some user-made drivers?
 
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#11
What i did was take another set of 2.1 speakers and hook them to the rear out on my onboard sound. That in it self made a difference to me. Enough of a difference that I decided I didn't need a dedicated sound card. I do listen to music alot at my rig. I have a set of Logitech and a old set of Creative/Cambridge soundworks hooked up. So it's like 4.2 with the 2 subs. :toast:
 
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#12
A sound card is most definitely worth it in your case. That mobo has the ALC892 which is one of Realtek's poorer recent offerings, SNR of about 95db. The ALC898 and ALC889 are the good ones with ~ 105db SNR. The xonar DX is quite highly regarded so i'm sure that would be a worthwhile upgrade.

Do not get the xtreme audio, as above it's not really an X-fi. I did tests and found that it was only slightly better than the ALC888 (similar to ALC892) and that was only due to software enhancements.
I agree and even so if his onboard was better. Even playing lossful mp3s through my Logitech Z-5500s (decent but hardly great for music) I noticed a nice difference in sound quality with an X-Fi over onboard. And I am far from an experienced audiophile.

The additional software features and control is also nice plus EAX (and Alchemy) as I am a gamer. Can't speak for Xonar drivers but for Creative you want "X-Fi Support Pack 2.0" under Windows 7 which is actually by some dude named Daniel K. but they are hosted by Creative cuz they are solid. Just a cheap Xtreme Gamer here too. Had it for years now with pretty much zero issues.

By the way, what monitor(s) are you considering?

What i did was take another set of 2.1 speakers and hook them to the rear out on my onboard sound. That in it self made a difference to me. Enough of a difference that I decided I didn't need a dedicated sound card. I do listen to music alot at my rig. I have a set of Logitech and a old set of Creative/Cambridge soundworks hooked up. So it's like 4.2 with the 2 subs. :toast:
Interesting method but it's hard to "decide you don't need a sound card" before you actually try one. They really are better overall and across-the-board.
 
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#13
HT Omega
 
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#14
I agree and even so if his onboard was better. Even playing lossful mp3s through my Logitech Z-5500s (decent but hardly great for music) I noticed a nice difference in sound quality with an X-Fi over onboard. And I am far from an experienced audiophile.

The additional software features and control is also nice plus EAX (and Alchemy) as I am a gamer. Can't speak for Xonar drivers but for Creative you want "X-Fi Support Pack 2.0" under Windows 7 which is actually by some dude named Daniel K. but they are hosted by Creative cuz they are solid. Just a cheap Xtreme Gamer here too. Had it for years now with pretty much zero issues.

By the way, what monitor(s) are you considering?



Interesting method but it's hard to "decide you don't need a sound card" before you actually try one. They really are better overall and across-the-board.
Yeah, and I sometimes listen to FLACs so I would hear the differemce.
By the way, the monitor I am considering to buy is either the Benq xl2410t or the Benq xl2420t.
 
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#15
IMO having an independent source to handle audio makes your computer work not as hard and frees up some of it's resources.
I'd say everyone should have a sound card where applicable.. Some games don't play well with onboard sound at all. They just can't handle too many sounds at once, not to mention they can't handle top tier quality as well. A dedicated sound card however, will handle them all and ask for more..

Example, with onboard sound, some games you play, you might actually have to edit the config, to limit the amount of sounds a game can make at once.. A sound card helps alleviate issues like that.. Some games will totally lag out and crash because of this problem. It is very well documented.. GL and whatever you do.. Enjoy. :)
 
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#16
Not indending to hijack this thread... I have an ASUS SupremeFX II / PCIe that came with my Maximus Formula also have one with my Rampage Formula.

What's underneath the hood of that?
 
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#17
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#18
Hmm not cheap but the HT Omegas look great. $35 off + free shipping on the Clario II 7.1 at the Egg right now:

Link
 
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#19
Hmm not cheap but the HT Omegas look great. $35 off + free shipping on the Clario II 7.1 at the Egg right now:

Link
Thanks, but unfortunately I live in Switzerland and here you don't get a wide choice of online stores. The only soundcards I found here are the ASUS and Creative ones.
 
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#20
They ship international. Email them directly.

http://www.htomega.com/wheretobuy.html

"For other countries, please email to sales@htomega.com
Free shipping for domestic orders, $15.00 Worldwide. And International orders also received the 30-day return perid and full guaranty."
 
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#21
They ship international. Email them directly.

http://www.htomega.com/wheretobuy.html

"For other countries, please email to sales@htomega.com
Free shipping for domestic orders, $15.00 Worldwide. And International orders also received the 30-day return perid and full guaranty."
Holy damn, I tought it was way cheaper than that! 150$ plus 15 for ww delivery, I might take it in consideration after a couple of years with the Xonar DX. I think that's more for pro audio guys. Thanks anyway for the info!