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Cards with AC97 front panel audio hookup?

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December 25, 2006 2:06:44 PM

Do they exist? I've tried the Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer card, which looked like it had the right connections in the store, but it turned out to be Intel HD front panel, which doesn't work with my case.

Basically, I just upgraded my machine's case to an Antec P180, which, unlike my last one, has front panel audio. Inside the machine I had a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value, which sounded perfect, but had no hookups for the front panel. The motherboard has integrated AC97, so I tried that, the front panel works, but it sounds TERRIBLE (static in the headphones, tons of other interference, no clarity at any kind of volume)

Browsing Newegg, I don't see anything promising looking. A few have the right connector, but they don't specify if it's AC97 or Intel HD. Anyone know of a card? I don't really care how much it costs, as long as it's under like $120
December 25, 2006 2:43:37 PM

As far as I understood you want a sound card with audio panel in the front?
You can get the Creative Audigy X-Fi Fat4lity in Newegg for $130 after $50 in rebate.
December 25, 2006 3:08:36 PM

No, what he's looking for is a card that he can connect the connectors for the front panel stuff that came with his case to. You know, the ones generally attached to the motherboard for the front panel audio. He wants that.

@OP
I too have searched for such a thing, but was frustrated by the lack of things that had them. This, of course, was some time ago, so I don't have any current information. I finally resigned myself to just enabling the onboard audio for the front panel connections since I didn't use them much, and what I was going to use them for didn't require any real hardcore connections.

I eventually just stopped using the front panel altogether and made a breakout box that I could connect all those connections to (and a few more) and set it next to my computer. I know that's probably not your style, but that's what I did.

You may want to look into getting a 1/8 inch stereo connector from radio shack and soldering the connections to the connector and connecting to the outside backplane. My most recent case has a setup like that, and it works great.

Unfortunately I don't know of any cards right off hand that have AC'97 connections built into them. I will look into it.
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December 25, 2006 7:24:46 PM

Did you think about the XtremeMusic? I Think is better. Better make sure ;) 
December 25, 2006 8:36:18 PM



that card looks pretty crap:/

If you like all the extra junk, I just want it to sound good and not pay arm and a leg. Paid 70. and Has front connector, unlike those more expensive ones with connector that isn't compatible unles syou buy a special front for it from same comp.

Before saying it looks crap, why don't you state the reasons besides aesthetic assessment that it's crap. I'd "Love" to hear it.

If you like all the extra junk, I just want it to sound good and not pay arm and a leg.

Quote:
Did you think about the XtremeMusic? I Think is better. Better make sure ;) 


You going to record music or something? As far as I have researched, there is no difference at all between them for general use, such as listening to music or playing games. So unless you are doing something specific and need certain detail, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
December 25, 2006 8:55:47 PM

Well Creative was OK until beggining of X-Fi series. Now they are becoming like ATI and NVIDIA, giving new names to their cards and confusing customers and making them buy wrong cards for their specific purposes and/or making wrong decisions.
December 25, 2006 9:19:33 PM

Quote:
Well Creative was OK until beggining of X-Fi series. Now they are becoming like ATI and NVIDIA, giving new names to their cards and confusing customers and making them buy wrong cards for their specific purposes and/or making wrong decisions.


such as?:/
December 25, 2006 9:26:32 PM

Quote:
Before saying it looks crap, why don't you state the reasons besides aesthetic assessment that it's crap. I'd "Love" to hear it.


ah, sarcasm..well if we're being pedantic then i'd say "look" and "aesthetic" go hand in hand-.-

but seriously:

aesthetically...i said it looks crap coz it has three outputs:/ not even a flexijack...how are you meant to get sound in if you have 5.1/7,1 set-up except through the front connections panel?
aesthetic point number two is its size, of cousre size can be decieveing...but the bigger it is the more paths there are, obviously its assumption, but i'd assume it can do less..
and i read alittle bit of the overview...i didnt notice it say it had Xram (not that xram does anything) so what makes it a gamer card:/

also there is nothing on there to hook up the front panel or a breakout box...on the whole..very unimpressive..thogh it does at least have the Xfi chp.

$80 for extremely limited functionality seems a bit mad to me when you can get superior soundcards on newegg for less. (i'm not american so i dont browse it but i have seen some linked from other posts, etc)
thats why. of course i may be wrong...but thats why it "looks" it without going into detail.
December 25, 2006 10:22:13 PM

Firsteval they created a new name for the new sound card line now called X-Fi

Now they started with

Elite Pro
Fat4lity
Xtreme
and another one i dont remember

Then from somewhere we started seeing this new FPS series WOW Fat4lity Profesional Series. Which added I think x-ram to some models that didnt have...

After that Creative releases more to the line...

Xtremegamer
XtremeMusic

Plus all the before models like the Audigy 2 ZS, ZS Platinum, ZS Platinum Pro and the Short-Time popular Augidy 4.

Doesnt that make the customers get confused? Good example NVIDIA: GT,GS,XT,GTX,GTS
ATI: GT,XTX,XT,PRO,GTO etc
December 25, 2006 10:33:29 PM

actually it went
elite pro
fatality fps
platinum
extreme music

then they released

fatality pro (now that name is stupid, coz youd think that was better than fps)
extreme gamer
extreme audio

i know, its mad:/ audigy 2 zs platinum and audigy 2 zs video (whatever the fuck that was meant to be) and audigy 4 platinum which i havent seen anywhere.

its not that confusing, though...just like its safe to assume that 5600 is worse than a 7600 nvidia card.

the thing with them was advertising all their cards to be "extreme" or whatever when they were capped at 46Khz...the general rule for anyone wanting professional audio "avoid anything with soundblaster written on it"...i dont think its like that now coz the elite pro has high-impedence inputs and they have to get into the sound card. but i dont know.

i think Gcards arent really confusing...they go up in numbers and the ones with the more x's on are prolly better...lol! the thing that confuses me still is whats the difference between GT and GS...but i dont reeally care yet. perhaps when i am in the market for a Gcard i will find its confusing.
December 25, 2006 10:35:17 PM

follow up: actually, youre right about it with regards to ATI cards...from the outlook...i wouldnt have any idea which ATI card was best. at all.
December 25, 2006 10:42:43 PM

Quote:


i think Gcards arent really confusing...they go up in numbers and the ones with the more x's on are prolly better...lol! the thing that confuses me still is whats the difference between GT and GS...but i dont reeally care yet. perhaps when i am in the market for a Gcard i will find its confusing.


GS is same thing only with less pipes, well not less, they cut them. They are still there, just unusuable.
December 25, 2006 10:51:13 PM

oh!
i remember reading about that ages ago...people used to re-connect the pipes in lesser Gcards but it wasnt a good idea because some of the GS cards had fewer pipes because some failed quality checks or something.

hmm, if you dont mind...do you know roughly how much difference the amount of pipelines makes between a 7600GS and GT?
December 25, 2006 10:54:08 PM



I already tried an X-Fi XtremeGamer, the hookup looks like the right thing, but it's actually Intel HD. When I plugged it into the front panel interface, it actually did play sound through the headphones, but the "headphone sense" thing was broken, it would cut out the speakers (as if headphones were on) when nothing was plugged in, and it would play through both the speakers AND the headphones when they were plugged in. Creative tech support didn't have any useful solutions.

But other than that problem, the XtremeGamer sounded like my Audigy 2, that is, awesome.
December 25, 2006 10:56:00 PM

Since you know about the release dates of the sound cards tell me something

Which one is better then for GAMING and MOVIES and MUSIC

Fat4lity PRO or Fat4lity FPS?
December 25, 2006 11:10:37 PM

if you're asking me then:

for gaming they are equal...they both have Xram (infact they are the same card, one just ahs a front input panel)

for movies and music

now that depends, they all have 7.1 on the card iteself and an input flexijack for mic's, additional headphones or whatever

but the FPS comes with an i/o panel:
on that are 2 1/4" jacks for ins and outs with qulity wire (thats music if you have pro headphones or want to record in without scaling to a 3.5mm)
there's optical out and in (thats for movies if you have an optical set-up...but i think its limited in its surround...either 2.1 or 5.1 definately not 7.1, strange but there must eb a rwason) midi input and output (thats for music...keyboards in, etc) and coaxial connections (thats for movies or music depending on your setup, again).

for the PC user, they probably have a 5.1 setup whcih will fit in the back of the card and dont need the I/O panel, it has an additional jack for a mic for gamers and Xram for games that make use of it (dont seem to be any:/)

i got an FPS coz i found one going cheap (£55 or USD 110~) and i really wnated an I/O for my guiitar.

SOOOO...if you dont need optical, coacxial, 1/4" jacks and dont have a midi guitar or keyboard...the FPS is probably not for you coz it costs a lot...that why they released the patalifty pro...consumer preassure....gamers wanted Xram which was affordable and creative couldnt push Xram if no one had it

for games theyre the same, for music and movies on a PC the pro is probably better....not to mention the connections on the card are of a higher quality than those on the I/O panel.

(sorry if that was long-winded)
December 25, 2006 11:14:06 PM

Quote:
I think I found a winner:

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

The front audio hookup has 2 jumpers on it - so does my motherboard, so this suggests to me that it's AC97. It's also very cheap. I think I'm going to order it, any comments?


comment 1: never heard of them
comment 2: dont speculate, check their website
comment3: cheap = crap??? (probablybjust cheap coz it doesnt have a processor)
comment 4: looks pretty good for the price, if it supports it...then thats definately a go.
December 25, 2006 11:15:45 PM

Well, the reviews all say it's good, and I really don't need a processor on it. At any rate it'll beat the hell out of my AC97, so I think I'm gonna go with it.
December 25, 2006 11:19:01 PM

yeah, i just meant that processors increase price...its probably a decent card with decent connectors...justmake sure that it supports what you want...becasue if none of the others do it may be unlikely...and that would be frustrating.
December 25, 2006 11:26:47 PM

I'm 90% sure the front connector is the AC97 standard one, since they need jumpers on them if they aren't hooked up. But even if I'm wrong, buying a $25 card and having it not be what you need isn't half as frustrating as buying a $110 Sound Blaster and not having the right hookup.
December 25, 2006 11:33:13 PM

too true, lol
December 26, 2006 12:11:50 AM

Well if you buy a sound card you might want to get a good one cuz sound cards are not the kind of stuff that somebody would like up be upgrading regularly.

So I guess Ill go for the FPS since you never know when are you gonna need those ports :p 
December 26, 2006 12:13:34 AM

So is there any differnce at all between XtremeGamer and Music? In terms of... having a 2.1 setup and that's it. Will having music for some reason bring me better music and gaming will be better fps in games but worse in music? I checked their specs, and they don't differ at all save for some bigger port on music I saw, but I wont be using it anyway. It will be just line out and that's it. Not even a mic.
December 26, 2006 12:33:36 AM

if you mean the xtreme gamer fatality pro of FPS and the xtreme music then the answer is no, theyre the same in that department.

they have the same connectors, the same processor, one just lacks RAM, which is of no use to music playback.

The x-fi elite pro is the only one with higher-quality connectors and a higher-quality breakout box...but its like £300:/

IF you meant the xtremegamer (the little card with the coloured connectors) then i'm afraid i dont know. my guess would be that theres no noticable difference at all (after all, they both have to X-FI chip)...the connectors arent gold on the outside..but that doesnt mean the connection isnt gold-plated on the inside.

(oh, and ages ago in this thread i was wondering where the input was...i just saw it in white on the other side of the card to mine, lol)

so although i dont know...the chances are that the connectors are of the same/ only very slightly lower quality that will be unnoticable.

i'm sure it was dubbed "xtreme music" to push it to those on the budget end i.e. those without an agenda...then they can grab the niche markets by appealing to HTPC people (platinum), gamers (who are easy to hype up:p ) (FPS) and wannabe-pro recording artists (elite)
!