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What's a good soundcard?

hat

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#1
My uncle may be looking for a new sound card since he's fed up with Creative's bullshit with the audiodg memory leak issue... this issue's been around since Windows Vista and they've got tons of bug reports about it, but they still refuse to fix it... there's been 3 driver releases since then, and the issue still exists. The current fix is to disable sound blaster enhancements (gee, let me go and disable these features that I expected to get from my $100+ sound card), or to restart the windows audio service once in a while. None of these are any real solutions, Creative needs to fix this issue.

Anyways, that aside, I don't know what to reccomend; I would say ASUS, but I've heard ASUS has thier issues too, although I don't know what, specifically...

Basically, we're looking for an X-Fi card with upmixing support (like CMSS) that doesn't have the bullshit that Creative's cards have.
 

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#2
Auzentech? They use Creative's processor.
 

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#3
Sound cards

BGears, Auzentech, HT_Omega, Turtle Beach, Diamond, Asus
 

hat

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#4
Any specific models we should look at?
 

eidairaman1

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#5
BGears only has 1 model, HT Omega have several, Same with Asus, Turtle Beach, Auzentech. Diamond I am not sure about.

Just go up to the websites and look for yourself.

I Personally am thinking about a HT Omega Claro + or Claro Halo.
 

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#6
We're looking for a tried and true solution. My uncle isn't exactly a sugar daddy and he can't afford to go through sound card after sound card until he finds one that actually works.
 

eidairaman1

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#7
all the others Excluding Auzentech are non Creative Labs DSP.
 

hat

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#8
Still looking for a recommendation for a specific model soundcard...
 

eidairaman1

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#9
All I can say now is check out the forums for the Card Manufacturers to see if they have any driver/software related techniques that do the same thing as CMSS.
 

hat

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#10
So far it looks like the Asus Xonar D2 is a good card. Does anyone know if it has the same memory leak issues as the Creative cards, and if it supports upmixing?
 

hat

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#11
So far it looks like the Asus Xonar D2 is a good card. Does anyone know if it has the same memory leak issues as the Creative cards, and if it supports upmixing?
Anyone? I know we have more sound card junkies at TPU than this...
 

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#12
I never had issues from my d2, or d2x, or my HDAV. I have a d2x i would sell and I have the majority of the drivers/software/accessories it came with.
 

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#13
Ah, someone who's had personal experiance with the card... just what I'm looking for.

How's the upmixing support? We're looking to be able to have regular stereo content, like an mp3, upmixed to 5.1.
 
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#14
Personally got the ASUS Xonar Essence STX Soundcard recently and couldn't be more happier with it. I, too was fed up with Creative's less than stellar performance and driver reliability ever since I gave up my old SB Live! Value lol. I can't fault my card, and has been and excellent addition to my audio setup, but don't take my word for it -

Here if ya can be bothered please read some of the following reviews or opinions from many a respected source audio and computer industry wise -->

http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=766494
http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-xonar-essence-stx-review/
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/asus_xonar_essence_stx/
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2339333,00.asp
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/multimedia/display/asus-xonar-essence-stx.html
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/audio/asus_xonar_essence_stx_-_pci-e_audiophile_soundcard/8
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/reviews/asus_xonar_essence_stx
http://www.stereophile.com/computeraudio/asus_xonar_essence_ststx_soundcards/
http://www.avforums.com/forums/soun...52206-asus-xonar-essence-stx-impressions.html

Apparently for my purpose (Playback using 2-Channel Audio + Analog out to my new high quality amp and speakers) it hands down beats the like of the Creative cards, themselves and the high end Creative cards by Auzentech, the M-Audio Audiophile 192 Card, ESI Juli@, any onboard by absolute miles, and at least on par if not better than some High-End music production cards from the likes of RME and LYNX.

Also passes through surround sound through SP/DIF and TOSLINK connection in case you were wondering.
 

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#15
anything with C-media chipsets can be changed to do upmixing very easily, although you have to turn it on and off.

5.1 as 5.1 (audio only comes out where source specifies)


2 channel gets upmixed.



its not automatic, but none of them are anyway... creatives CMSS 3D for example, fucks with programs that already have surround sound - your front audio comes from all speakers at once, destroying positional audio for movies and games.
 

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#16
Using a ASUS D2X. I recommend.



Or else theres another card called HT Omega Claro 7.1+ and some other cards that have good specs. Check the HT Omegas out as well. ;)
 
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#17
For stereo:
ASUS Xonar Essence ST or STX (PCI and PCIe)

For surround:
ASUS Xonar D2X
Auzentech X-Fi Prelude (PCI)
Auzentech X-Fi Forte (PCIe)

For gaming:
Auzentech X-Fi Prelude (PCI)
Auzentech X-Fi Forte (PCIe)
 

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#18
you dont need an x-fi for gaming, EAX is dead these days. all that matters is whether you want analogue or digital - digital? get a card with encoding that your speakers support.

analogue? get a card with good sounding outputs. Even the C-media based auzens are great here, trust me as i own one. EAX is worthless in todays gaming world, and you get stable drivers that will be updated for years to come

(i have a C-media 8760 sound card here that was old when i first went XP, and its got updated drivers for windows 7 with all features working. creative sure as hell don't do that)
 

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#19
Ah, someone who's had personal experiance with the card... just what I'm looking for.

How's the upmixing support? We're looking to be able to have regular stereo content, like an mp3, upmixed to 5.1.
I ran mostly 5.1 through it all most all the time. So mixing it up from 2, to 5.1, i used a receiver for that.
 
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#20
Mussels, you couldn't be more wrong. If you think EAX is dead, you should check the games again. There is a lot of them that still support it. Plus, there is excellent ALchemy for legacy games that nearly all have EAX. Very useful if you play older games even today (like me). And some games sound even better through ALchemy (all Source based games). Performance is also slightly better when 128 sounds are used (games are slightly snapier than with Essence STX, even on Core i7 920).
And the last thing where nothing can touch X-Fi cards in gaming is CMSS-3D. A 3D positioning algorithm, blend of Sensaura, Aureal A3D and some other technologies that deliver the best sound positioning you can think of in games. No hard sound shifting regardless of speakers number (be it only 2.0 or 7.1), what's behind you actually sound slike it without being overdone. What's in front of you sounds like it, whats above sounds different than below (Elevation Filter). MacroFX delivers trully amazing "rendering" of sound effects at very close ranges (rocket flying by your head or car passing you). I had Essence STX which is C-Media based and it was good sound, but it just cannot mach sound precision found on X-Fi powered soundcards. It just doesn't sound as perfect as X-Fi.

If you're alergic to Creative, go with Auzentech. They seem to care a bit more about customers, though i never had problems with Creative drivers...
 

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Mouse Logitech G403 + KKmoon desk-sized mousepad
Keyboard Corsair K65 Rapidfire
Software Windows 10 pro x64 (all systems)
Benchmark Scores Laptops: i7-4510U + 840M 2GB (touchscreen) 275GB SSD + 16GB i7-2630QM + GT 540M + 8GB
#21
oh i have alchemy universal, so i still get EAX if i need it... but it makes none of my games sound better, and without the old monopoly (if you didnt have EAX you didnt get 5.1 sound), there is simply no reason for it.

I do not feel like i am missing a thing with EAX disabled.
 

btarunr

Editor & Senior Moderator
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#22
Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1. Great price for the DACs and AMP circuit.
 
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System Name Addison Clark
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#23
I had a Asus Xonar D2X I absolutely loved but needed the PCI-E slot for another graphics card. Unbelievable crisp sound with nice tight bass on my Z-5300's and the damn best surround sound I've ever heard out of the cards I've had in the past. I've had a XtremeGamer Fatality, XtremeGamer, Titanium Fatality, and then the D2X. When I have the money I'm hopefully gonna get the D2 since I still have a PCI slot I can use.
 

FordGT90Concept

"I go fast!1!11!1!"
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#24
anything with C-media chipsets can be changed to do upmixing very easily, although you have to turn it on and off.

5.1 as 5.1 (audio only comes out where source specifies)
http://img.techpowerup.org/100510/Capture652.jpg

2 channel gets upmixed.
http://img.techpowerup.org/100510/Capture653.jpg


its not automatic, but none of them are anyway... creatives CMSS 3D for example, fucks with programs that already have surround sound - your front audio comes from all speakers at once, destroying positional audio for movies and games.
HT OMEGA Striker 7.1 here and that's what it looks like. No complaints from me, really.
 
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#25
Im going to second/third/fourth the Xonar D2X. I had it for quite a few months then sold it here in the forums. I loved it (Win 7 64), and my buyer loves/loved it as well. Drivers were superb, no memory leaks and CRYSTAL CLEAR sound! (Great for music, movies , surround, gaming)