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Need help buying a new sound card

Last response: in Components
August 30, 2006 5:48:29 PM

I just bought the Logitech Z-5500, and was wondering what sound card would go good with it. I have a really crappy one so anything would be a good upgrade. I have about 100-200 bucks to spend and would be open to any suggestions.

More about : buying sound card

August 30, 2006 6:08:01 PM

im tempted to say that an audigy 2 zs works fine for most people. especially if your not an audiophile.

some others may say the entry x-fi is better.
August 30, 2006 6:44:59 PM

im tempted to say that an audigy 2 zs works fine for most people. especially if your not an audiophile.

some others may say the entry x-fi is better.

id go with the Xfi. if i had the cash i would.
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August 30, 2006 7:08:31 PM

The entry level X-FI is good enough. You can find it for maybe 80 bucks these days. It's better than the Audigy's (marginally) and will last you for a long time (considering how long the Audigy's are lasting also). If you want/need a front I/O port, you can get an X-FI plat for 160 or so, but I've seen Audigy 4 Pro's go for a little more than a hundred...

Thats a pretty good article on it. Knock yourself out.
August 30, 2006 9:56:46 PM

I was planning to use the sound card for games.... Now does it matter what kind of X-FI I get? I have about 100-200 to spend....
August 30, 2006 10:25:39 PM

im tempted to say that an audigy 2 zs works fine for most people. especially if your not an audiophile.

some others may say the entry x-fi is better.

Really, if you want the best jack-of-all-trades soundcard, yes, unfortunately, I have to recommend something in the Creative line, Audigy 2ZS, 4, or X-Fi. I hate to admit it, but Creative has that market.

...but if you're into just Music and Movies. There's way better than Creative, IMO. ...especially when connecting digitally to speakers or pre-amp/receiver.

So, before we can really suggest solutions, it'd be good to know what you use your soundcard primarily for. ...or you can be a zombie and get a Creative card and give it no more thought. ...not the best at anything but gaming, but good all-around cards, overall. ...and you don't need to get a X-Fi to do well, okay. ...all the sudden everyone needs a $120 soundcard...that can't even encode DDL or Dolby Digital.

...but of of course you know we look forward to offering our opinions and help. what are you going to use your card primarily for?
August 30, 2006 10:57:46 PM

Well I am going to game mostly World of Warcraft, and some first person shooters, but mainly games. I will also listen to music but its not the main reason I bought the speakers and hopfully a new sound card...
August 30, 2006 11:08:34 PM

Thanks. With that info I'd suggest getting the best Creative soundcard you can afford, but stopping at the X-Fi XM....unless you want to pay $400 for an X-Fi EP (noone will recommend this for gaming, its a waste of $$ for that). An X-Fi Platinum or Fata1lity is just if you have money to waste, you'll not likely use their features enough to justify the extra expenditure but the front panel look kinda cool in a tight rig and the Fata1ity's extra memory and glowing LED are toys that scream "Hey, I've put some $$ in this rig." but don't have much more use, currently.

I'd say an Audigy 2ZS or X-Fi XM are you best choices for gaming based on my understanding of their abilities.
August 30, 2006 11:10:45 PM

I would say the X-Fi because I use it for gaming and playing music.

My sound card that came with my AN8 Ultra was acting weird when I was playing games. So I was looking at the 2 ZS and X-Fi so I went with the X-Fi so I could use the long life.
August 30, 2006 11:12:59 PM

Thanks for the info. It helped alot so X-FI XM is what I will get. Now since I am getting 5.1 system and my room is a cube/square box how would the best setup be for it? Placing the speakers in the best position?
August 30, 2006 11:21:20 PM

Yes that is the X-Fi card that we are talking about.
August 30, 2006 11:29:15 PM

Yeahp, that's the ever-popular X-Fi XM...good card. 5.1 placement. Well, with my Z-5500's I actually sit on the floor with the satellites surrounding me and the sub off to the left. I sit about 4 feet from all the satellites. This gives a descent immersive soundstage.

However, I doubt you'll be doing something quite like that. If you can put the 3 front sats in front of you, perhaps on a desk, with the sub under the desk or off to the side, (or in a corner if you're aiming for the the kind of bass that kills any mold you may have on your walls, as one forum member put it). ...put the rear sats behind you or off to the sides of your listening position. ...the closer you can get the sats to ear-level height (or pointed towards your head) will help adjust for any dispersion limitations they may have.
September 1, 2006 4:01:51 PM

Thx. I just got the system and hooked it up with the new sound card. I put the speakers just how you said they are at my ear level and the sub is just to the right of me. Sounds great, but really have not been able to turn them up hooked them up late last night. Today I think I will shake everything in my house. Thx for all the help guys... :D 
September 1, 2006 4:38:19 PM

Great fun! Enjoy.