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Gaming card/surround sound set-up

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May 30, 2006 6:29:06 PM

Hey guys. i have a gaming pc i built around 2-3 years ago and im about ready to do a big upgrade on it. i wanted to start with my speaker setup while i find out what other hardware im going to buy so i can kinda play around with it a bit :wink: i havnt really been up-to-date on whats out there, but i have a really cheesy set up now with just two speakers and some cheap sound card. what im after is a nice surround sound setup with a good sound card. $$ isnt a big deal to me but then again i dont plan on spending like $500 just for speakers. im also a little confused as to what sound card to look at. i was just wanting something thats easy to set up and i dont have to mess with a lot of settings if that makes any sense. thnx


*oh yea another thing i was wondering. if i wanted to, could i share the speakers between both my pc and tv with a special adapter? or do they not have one
May 30, 2006 8:26:29 PM

Check these for speakers...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Order=PRI...

and for a contemporary sound card you're likely safe with M-Audio and Creative, or Turtle Beach...

http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?SubCa...

I've used Turtle Beach (tho that was long ago) and several Creative SoundBlaster cards. Currently using X-Fi's, which are nice, but you can get good sound for less $$. IMHO, the Creative SoundBlaster cards are more widely accepted by game developers. What games do you like to play and how important is audio quality and performance to you?
May 31, 2006 1:57:50 AM

performance and quality is a must. again im willing to spend some money on this because i plan on hopefully keeping it for a while. the types of games i mainly play are a lot of shooting / action games. i play some WoW here and there as well
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May 31, 2006 2:07:13 AM

Give some consideration to the SoundBlaster Audigy 2 or 4...or if you want to be very current and don't mind spending a little more...the SoundBlaster X-Fi. The base model @ ~$100 is nice by on its own, but if you'd like front-panel drive-bay connections consider the X-Fi Platinum or even the Fata1ity ($but @ $279 for the that model its hard to recommend).

Those are all nice pieces. If you prefer to avoid Creative and their SoundBlasters I understand that M-Audio makes quality goodsounding cards, yet they don't offer hardware exceleration and I don't think they offer the surround sound EAX that SB cards do.

...just my humble opinions...
May 31, 2006 3:06:44 AM

thnx for the replies. i was looking up some reviews on the Klipsch and it seems like a lot of people are having problems with it such as subs/amps dying too fast. other than that everyones saying the sound quality owns.
May 31, 2006 3:57:03 AM

I have the X-Fi Extreme Music along with the Klipsch Pro Media 2.1. I had sound card for about a year now and the speakers for over 8 months and to this day both worked and sounded just like new. I don't know about everyone else but I don't have any problems with my speakers. I still love both this sound components and would never look anything else. :wink:
May 31, 2006 4:42:14 AM

The Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 Ultra is good, but a lot of people have had problems with the amp and stuff and it's pretty outdated. I have Logitech Z-5500's paired with a Creative X-Fi Music and it's AWESOME. Nothing I've heard sounds this good. The clarity of the sound and the bass is amazing. I mainly play UT 2004 and the surround effects are great. If you get these, set the Crystalizer to 20%, and turn all the CMSS-3D effects off when you're using headphones cause it'll make music sound like shit. Keep it on when in gaming mode though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

$120 for the X-Fi

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...

$235 for the Z-5500

Cheap as hell for products of that quality.
May 31, 2006 10:59:12 AM

This has all made me think...what if you could get electrostatic loudspeakers made for PC audio. That would be something I'd love to audition.

On a completely seperate note I'd be curious to know how well the contemporary sound cards upmix 2-channel stereo to 4.1 or 5.1 surround. Is it convincing surround or are the rear channel merely mirrors of the front?
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