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On board audio versus stand alone - thoughts?

Last response: in Components
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January 26, 2014 5:52:08 PM

I'm not really sure where to put this, the audio section of electronics seem to be in the dark when it comes to computer sound cards.

Bottom line is I'm upgrading my mobo to one of the ROG ASUS Maximus VI edition motherboards - and all of them have a specific on board audio system that is intended for gaming.

I own a Sound Blaster Audigy Z stand alone sound card.

Any audiophiles on here who know which is the overall better sound card? Obviously the ASUS is a little more up to date technology wise than the Audigy Z - but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be better overall output.

At the end of the day, what do you personally feel is the best route when it comes to sound and gaming or entertainment purposes? Stand alone sound cards? Onboard sound card with an external amp?

What would you be shooting for to get the most bang for your buck, and what are your thoughts on the Soundblaster Audigy Z versus the onboard audio from these ASUS Mobo's.(labeled SupremeFX Formula).

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January 26, 2014 6:38:45 PM

The onboard SupremeFX will be just as good as an add on sound card and in this case will be better then the SB Audigy z. I have the Asus Rampage 111 Extreme and the onboard sound was great. I bought a Asus Xonar STX sound card with SENNHEISER headphones thinking I needed a top quality sound card for top quality headphones. There is no difference when connected to the sound card or the onboard sound.
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January 26, 2014 6:45:15 PM

Looking at the specs of the SB Z (I didn't find an Audigy z so assume you mean this card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
and the onboard, I think you will be hard pressed to tell any difference at all in gaming.
If you are useing top of the line audiophile headphones, and have really good hearing, then the Z "Might" enable you to hear more of music.
Also, much will depend upon the speakers you are using with your PC or whether you are running the sound out of the PC and through a dedicated audio amplifier or receiver. PC speakers have NOT improved a lot in the last 8 years.
Down side of the Z is if you go all-out and do a 7.1 surround system, it doesn't mention that it is designed for that.

You already have the card. Try your system without and with the card. Let your ears help make the decision. Specifications don't really mean a thing until you hear the sound.
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January 26, 2014 6:46:36 PM

inzone said:
The onboard SupremeFX will be just as good as an add on sound card and in this case will be better then the SB Audigy z. I have the Asus Rampage 111 Extreme and the onboard sound was great. I bought a Asus Xonar STX sound card with SENNHEISER headphones thinking I needed a top quality sound card for top quality headphones. There is no difference when connected to the sound card or the onboard sound.


What Sennheiser cans are you using?
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January 26, 2014 6:56:12 PM

HD-598
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January 26, 2014 7:03:37 PM

inzone said:
HD-598


Thanks. Am considering replacing my HD 280 Pro set, might have to save and wait - those look really nice.
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January 26, 2014 7:44:55 PM

I'm running a pair of HD 598's myself - and frankly, for myself at least, I prefer a Razer Blackshark Headset over them for gaming purposes. The 598's are amazing for music and clarity, but the bass on them is pretty weak and I really do not like the open ear design that Sennheiser insists on going with.
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January 26, 2014 7:55:31 PM

dirtyblacksocks said:
I'm running a pair of HD 598's myself - and frankly, for myself at least, I prefer a Razer Blackshark Headset over them for gaming purposes. The 598's are amazing for music and clarity, but the bass on them is pretty weak and I really do not like the open ear design that Sennheiser insists on going with.


Thanks, I will look at those too.
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January 27, 2014 10:47:46 AM

The HD-598's don't have a mic but I don't need one , but I find the sound to be very good for both games and movies.
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