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Which sound card?

dat789

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It's time, I think, to replace my 7 year old Creative Sound Audigy 2 ZS with something better and more current.

I'm not sure if I want to stick with Creative but then again am open to suggestions.
Budget for a good decent sound card is between 50£ and 75£ (or up to 100$).

Which is popular amongst gamers?

I've got a 5.1 Creative speakers which is also old but that's another issue. Any help on suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
 
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I'd say Auzentech, they are based off of Creative chipset's i believe so gaming performance is excellent! Asus is not so good with gaming IMO. The new Creative stuff is supposed to be decent. EAX is where it's at for gaming
 

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To be honest, if what you hve works stick with it. With those speakres your not going to notice a quality difference and most games dont take advantage of EAX. Save that money for upgrading the rest of your system, like more memory or an overhaul at some point.
 
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The new Creative stuff is supposed to be decent. EAX is where it's at for gaming

What are you smoking? EAX is irrelevant as Microsoft removed DirectSound in Vista & 7, and the new Creative cards are just DSPs and have no actual sound synthesis hardware. It's mostly offloaded to the CPU.
 
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What monte84 says is right, if you want to make the jump I'd recommend you the Asux Xonar Essence ST/STX (difference is in the BUS, legacy PCI or PCIe) and then you'd need a good pair of cans.
A good choice is the Xonar Xense too, it has a good amp and it comes bundled with the closed pads Sennheiser PC 350.


Creative is pretty toasted these days, they are really outdated.
 
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What monte84 says is right, if you want to make the jump I'd recommend you the Asux Xonar Essence ST/STX (difference is in the BUS, legacy PCI or PCIe) and then you'd need a good pair of cans.
A good choice is the Xonar Xense too, it has a good amp and it comes bundled with the closed pads Sennheiser PC 350.


Creative is pretty toasted these days, they are really outdated.

Way over OPs budget. Xonar DX/D1 might do the trick.
 
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I would try the Asus Xonar DG. It is less than your budget, but still a very capable card.
 
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Auzentech X-RAIDER. Inexpensive, replaceable opamps and sound quality is supposed to be great. I just purchased one, should be here next week to replace my old Creative card.
 
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What are you smoking? EAX is irrelevant as Microsoft removed DirectSound in Vista & 7, and the new Creative cards are just DSPs and have no actual sound synthesis hardware. It's mostly offloaded to the CPU.

Hardware Acceleration was removed...

Directsound is still there but what allowed EAX to exist is now software based

http://asia.creative.com/products/p...category=872&product=21116&nav=0&listby=usage

I recommend waiting for these^

http://connect.creativelabs.com/developer/Wiki/Introduction to EFX.aspx

OpenAL EFX(Depends on the game)
Directsound EAX(Windows XP/Windows 8)
XAudio2

are the few things you need worry about for support wise you mainly want the improved DSPs
 
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Way over OPs budget. Xonar DX/D1 might do the trick.

But will he be able to notice any difference? I think that suits better to stay with what he has or make the right jump, that was my point, sorry if it wasn't clear :toast:



Hardware Acceleration was removed...

Directsound is still there but what allowed EAX to exist is now software based

http://asia.creative.com/products/p...category=872&product=21116&nav=0&listby=usage

I recommend waiting for these^

http://connect.creativelabs.com/developer/Wiki/Introduction to EFX.aspx

OpenAL EFX(Depends on the game)
Directsound EAX(Windows XP/Windows 8)
XAudio2

are the few things you need worry about for support wise you mainly want the improved DSPs

http://vr-zone.com/articles/creative-s-sound-core3d-gets-nekkid-in-front-of-the-camera/14353.html
 
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What are you smoking? EAX is irrelevant as Microsoft removed DirectSound in Vista & 7, and the new Creative cards are just DSPs and have no actual sound synthesis hardware. It's mostly offloaded to the CPU.

Then don't get the new. The Recon3D is crap.

Get the Titanium HD. It's drivers are better than the older cards and it offloads openal. It will be more relevant in Windows 8 which allows for more offloading (still no DirectSound). Asus has it's own driver issues, the primary difference is theirs can damage your ears/equipment.
 
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Oh god, not again this EAX bullshit. EAX is not dead and that's the end of it. And EAX is not the only thing, Creative soundcards have by far the best 3D sound positioning and if you're a gamer at heart, don't look at anything but Creative. I've changed as much soundcards as some have graphic cards and out of all i loved Aureal (which is now gone obviously) and Creative ones the most. Had Xonar as well but quite frankly apart from raw sound quality, i wasn't especially impressed by it.

Another surprise was the Analog Devices integrated soundcard on ASUS Rampage II Gene with the BlackHawk audio enhancements. That turned crappy onboard soundcard into a proper gaming beast, mostly thanks to proper bass enrichment.

I have yet to test new Core3D based soundcards. I was also a freak for sound and even though i already have the excellent X-Fi Forte i'd really like to test it out. Though i'm not yet sure how.
Maybe i'll buy the cheapest one and then sell it if it won't be any special. What bothers me the most is that they brag about 4 core audio processor and then they talk about web chatting and stuff like that. My calculator can do that, why would you need a 4 core APU for that?
I'd expect no less than 256 voices, even more advanced HRTF algorithms (X-Fi already has damn good ones though), much more advanced audio enhancements etc. And all this be HW accelerated. Oh well, we'll see.
 
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I have a Xonar HDAV 1.3 and in game's it sound's like shit comapared to an old box i have with an Audigy 2zs so ya EAX make's a difference. Asus support is shit so don't expect there to be much improvement on what they're doing right now, IIRC they are running an EAX 2.0 equivalent for gaming, that's so 1999 :laugh:
 

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What are you smoking? EAX is irrelevant as Microsoft removed DirectSound in Vista & 7, and the new Creative cards are just DSPs and have no actual sound synthesis hardware. It's mostly offloaded to the CPU.

yeah i was just about to say that EAX is worthless now. Its just a marketting thing now.

Oh god, not again this EAX bullshit. EAX is not dead and that's the end of it. And EAX is not the only thing, Creative soundcards have by far the best 3D sound positioning and if you're a gamer at heart, don't look at anything but Creative. I've changed as much soundcards as some have graphic cards and out of all i loved Aureal (which is now gone obviously) and Creative ones the most. Had Xonar as well but quite frankly apart from raw sound quality, i wasn't especially impressed by it.

Another surprise was the Analog Devices integrated soundcard on ASUS Rampage II Gene with the BlackHawk audio enhancements. That turned crappy onboard soundcard into a proper gaming beast, mostly thanks to proper bass enrichment.

I have yet to test new Core3D based soundcards. I was also a freak for sound and even though i already have the excellent X-Fi Forte i'd really like to test it out. Though i'm not yet sure how.
Maybe i'll buy the cheapest one and then sell it if it won't be any special. What bothers me the most is that they brag about 4 core audio processor and then they talk about web chatting and stuff like that. My calculator can do that, why would you need a 4 core APU for that?
I'd expect no less than 256 voices, even more advanced HRTF algorithms (X-Fi already has damn good ones though), much more advanced audio enhancements etc. And all this be HW accelerated. Oh well, we'll see.

Why does it matter if they have by far the best sound in gaming, when their drivers suck!

 
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In the price bracket you are looking one of the cheaper Asus Xonar cards would be your best option (imo)
There are are 3 or 4 available, mostly with a few features cut (the chip they are all based on supports DTS and Dolby Digital live encoding) compared to the D2 card (£85-90)

The DS is pci, and only supports DTS £38
The D1 is pci, and only supports Dolby Digital Live, i think this might be discontinued £55
The DX/XD is pci-e, and supports both formats £55
The DG is pci, has a built in headphone amp and only supports 5.1 (all others are 7.1) £20-25

If it were me i would get the DX/XD
 
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I should add that after 3yrs with my Xonar HDAV 1.3 it still DOES not function correctly and Asus doesn't care to fix. They even CHARGED ME for the RMA!! I installed a Xonar DX2 in my uncle's rig and it seem's to be fine....
 

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But will he be able to notice any difference? I think that suits better to stay with what he has or make the right jump, that was my point, sorry if it wasn't clear :toast:

Yes, I'm seriously thinking of making the jump. I mean I'm not sticking up for low end cards anymore ... rather mid-high range.
The Asus Xonar Essence ST is waaay over budget but I like perhaps in my next overhaul?

Feedback is good so far. I'm compiling a list of what's suggested here. Wow, you people really keep up with the details even down to technical specs. *impressed*
 
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There's some good deals to be had on forums and ebay. That will help with budget issues. I got my HD for $100 new, seen it down to $80 used on some forums. I'd imagine you can find similar in the UK.
 

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OK.
Looks like if I don't do this, I'd be torn between sound card makes. So, from now on... vote (and based it on experience with the card as much as possible rather than preference or brand-biased)

Creative?
Asus?
what else?
 
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Well it's pretty simple. Asus offers nothing that offsets the risk of hearing damage done by the screech bug they refuse to address. No sense playing the lottery with your hearing.
 
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HT Omega makes good cards, and I have not had any issues with drivers from XP - 7. Might be out of your price range though. Check some reviews.
 
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Well it's pretty simple. Asus offers nothing that offsets the risk of hearing damage done by the screech bug they refuse to address. No sense playing the lottery with your hearing.

I had a problem like this. Care to explain what is this screech bug?
 
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That's it. I've had it on Vista and, with no solution anywhere, I disabled Windows sounds and it solved the problem. After messing around one day with Asus drivers on my Win 7 machine (no problems since I put the Xonar in) I got it again. Disabled Windows sounds and so far so good.
 
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