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Dolby Digital 7.1 vs. Creative X FI sound Card

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December 6, 2006 12:07:24 AM

The new Intel D975XBX2 board has the Dolby Digital 7.1 built in. Is one still better off spending the $250 or so on Creative's X/FI sound card? Is one clearly superior?

Where does BOSE companion 5 series fit in? They connect only via a USB?
December 6, 2006 2:34:50 AM

well its still built in,....i mean with xfi xtrem music u get the 24bit music rates
and u get the cryztalisation and it takes off a little tiny bit of load off the cpu
*not like it matters to me...2.8ghz OC amd dual core*

mmm do u have a 7.1 speaker set up already?
i mean if ur gona use the monitor speakers the card that is worth like 90+ is worthless really with out a capable speaker sys


if ur willing to spend it, and have a good speaker system id say go for it


if not stick with the onboard

***E!@$12 EDIT
i just saw u have the bose speakers...nice bose..mmmm i love those things

neways i would say xfi, specially if u spend alot into those sweeeet speakers you might as well get all the performance out off it you know?

like over clocking a cpu, hey u paid 200bucks, u should be entitled to squeez a lil more out off it
December 6, 2006 3:25:53 AM

Quote:
The new Intel D975XBX2 board has the Dolby Digital 7.1 built in. Is one still better off spending the $250 or so on Creative's X/FI sound card? Is one clearly superior?

Where does BOSE companion 5 series fit in? They connect only via a USB?


$250? Just go for the cheapie Xtrememusic, it costs like $70-80 now.

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

$90, $70 after rebate. I pay around $100 for it a month ago, the price for the card has been really falling lately. I remember it being almost twice as much when it first launched
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December 6, 2006 6:35:12 AM

My mistake, I was talking about the Platinum edition;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Either way, is the Premium Sound Card always going to produce better quality than the built in Dolby Digital 7.1? And will the question be moot as products like Bose Companion 5 utilize a USB connection?
December 6, 2006 5:21:11 PM

Yeah, Im extremely impressed with the Bose Companion 5 speakers. Not much of a Bose fan before, but these speakers sound excellent. But then again, they cost a ridiculous $400! And they use a USB connection, Im not even sure if you'd need a sound card..
December 7, 2006 9:43:36 AM

Quote:
My mistake, I was talking about the Platinum edition;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Either way, is the Premium Sound Card always going to produce better quality than the built in Dolby Digital 7.1? And will the question be moot as products like Bose Companion 5 utilize a USB connection?


If you are using both with a digital connection, the sound quality will be the same. Digital just means the sound processing is bypassed down the chain. If you use the analog outputs, the PCI soundcard will be of higher quality, primarily because it's further from the motherboard and is effected less by the electromagnetic interferrence. Additionally, the digital to analog converter (DAC) might be better.

Quote:
well its still built in,....i mean with xfi xtrem music u get the 24bit music rates
and u get the cryztalisation and it takes off a little tiny bit of load off the cpu
*not like it matters to me...2.8ghz OC amd dual core*


Creative uses a lot of advertising jargon to confuse users. It doesn't matter what they *claim*, your music or any audio is limited to the actual content. A sound card can't make it sound "better", it's just playing back the source. It can't make your source better, it can only have less *additional* distortion than a different sound card.

The Crystalizer uses CPU cycles, it doesn't reduce them. The Crystalizer just adds a bit of "spice" to the sound output by boosting the treble and the bass. This is conventionally known as a "Smiley Face Equalizer", also known as "West Coast Sound" in the 1980s. You get additional distortion as a tradeoff for boosted treble and bass. The Crystalizer is useful if your speakers aren't accurate, and boosts the bass and treble that would be otherwise missing from an unadulterated audio signal.

Some speakers aren't accurate because they are designed for decor (looks) rather than audio performance, which is often the issue in many PC speakers. The type of distortion (high frequency) that occurs when this type of equalization is used can be fatiguing to people with good hearing, so it's not a perfect solution for everyone.
December 7, 2006 5:10:01 PM

What do you think about the Bose Companion 5 which connects NOT to the Sound Card, but rather via a USB connection?
December 7, 2006 5:37:16 PM

well... as astrallite said... if its a digital connection from the sound card, the sound quality is very unlikely to be any different than using an alternate digital output... ...im 'assuming' the usb cable is carrying a digital signal, so, really... usb would be the same as coaxial rca and optical toslink... since its only a single cable, and not 2 or more cables that are typical of analog
December 7, 2006 5:38:42 PM

Quote:
Yeah, Im extremely impressed with the Bose Companion 5 speakers. Not much of a Bose fan before, but these speakers sound excellent. But then again, they cost a ridiculous $400! And they use a USB connection, Im not even sure if you'd need a sound card..


Speaker systems that connect via USB have their own built in D/A converter...basically their own soundcard and cannot play through an addtional sound chipset like that found in onboard or an add-in card like the X-Fi. So any soundcard you get will not be used with the Bose CP5's, you may as well disable the onboard sound and not spend money on a good soundcard like an X-Fi or M-Audio.

I've not heard the Bose Companion 5's so I won't knock them. Enjoy.
December 8, 2006 7:24:28 AM

Too late! Already have the Creative x/fi premium card. I didnt realize that the new Bose comp. 5 used the USB interface. Their previous series don't. Wasn't a huge Bose fan, but have to give em credit here, these are outstanding computer speakers.
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