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Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum VS. On-board Sound

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February 23, 2007 3:00:57 PM

I'd like people's opinion on a system that I'm building, and various sound card options I have at my disposal. I'm building a system with an EVGA nForce 680i MB, which has on-board sound via a 7.1 Channel, Azalia chip. I plan on using a decent set of Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers which I already own.

I have the following options:

1) Buy a Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum @ ~$150
2) Install an existing Sound Blaster Audigy SE that I own (free)
3) Use the on-board sound that comes with the EVGA MB (free w/ MB)

I'll spend the ~$150 for the X-Fi, if it's worth it -- but I'm not sure it is. Should I buy the X-Fi, install the Audigy I have, or just go with on-board sound? Thoughts?

-- DJBarty
February 23, 2007 4:12:19 PM

Do you already own the eVGA board? MSI is releasing a board with X-Fi on it, though I don't know how that would compare with a stand alone card.

MSI Diamond
February 23, 2007 6:02:19 PM

I don't own the board yet. But the MSI w/ X-Fi on-board certainly makes sense. Good call.

I can't find this board for sale anywhere though. Sh1tty.

Thx.
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February 23, 2007 6:21:22 PM

Remember that on-board sound uses some cpu power (~5%) to run! Its always better in my opinion to use a separate sound card.
February 23, 2007 6:44:32 PM

I'm not expert, really, but I'd think it depends on two factors:

a) Is your PC fast enough for you not to be bothered that you are loosing a few frames on the lesser variants of sound cards. And since you are considering spending $150 on a sound card (which a lot of people with fairly decent gaming computers don't) I take it, your rig is good enough not to care.

b) Are you an audiophile. If you can actually tell the difference and relish in pleasing your ears, it might be worth it.

Me, personally, if I had a 2.1 system, I wouldn't bother.

You can't miss what you never had in the first place.
February 23, 2007 6:58:11 PM

Quote:
I'd like people's opinion on a system that I'm building, and various sound card options I have at my disposal. I'm building a system with an EVGA nForce 680i MB, which has on-board sound via a 7.1 Channel, Azalia chip. I plan on using a decent set of Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers which I already own.

I have the following options:

1) Buy a Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum @ ~$150
2) Install an existing Sound Blaster Audigy SE that I own (free)
3) Use the on-board sound that comes with the EVGA MB (free w/ MB)

I'll spend the ~$150 for the X-Fi, if it's worth it -- but I'm not sure it is. Should I buy the X-Fi, install the Audigy I have, or just go with on-board sound? Thoughts?

-- DJBarty


I'll try answering this as a person who went from on-board sound to an Audigy to a X-FI Platinum.

Going from on-board sound to the Audigy gave me both an increase in general computer performance. Not just in game play, but when listening to music CD's while doing office work. I think this was a very good investment, considering its cost.

I bought a set of 5.1 speakers and the Audigy didn't seem to do them justice, so I bought a X-FI Platinum to go with the speakers. I think it was a good buy, but I have both the speakers and the desire for excellent sound to justify the purchase.

In your case, having only a 2.1 speaker setup, I think using the Audigy that you already own is a good idea. It would unload the cpu while giving good sound for the speakers that you have. Unless you buy a good set of 5.1 or 7.1 speakers, in my opinion, I don't think there is good reason to invest in a X-Fi card.
February 23, 2007 7:01:42 PM

My search on newegg didn't reveal any onboard memory, so I wasn't sure about the audigy.

Now that I know, I agree completely with what Sailer said above.
February 23, 2007 8:08:34 PM

all im goin say is dont use onboard sound if u can at all help it, esp for gaming, its just evil lol tho im sure most that do will say its just as acceptable.

I will say i brought the FATAL1TY version of the X-FI which was £88 *around $170* not the platinum, as u may know it comes with the 64 X-Ram on the card which is suposed to improve performace with preloading high res sounds etc. Wtih that one i get a good 5-8 FPS more on the benchmarks ive ran than my only Audigy 2, which is still a decent card i think.
February 24, 2007 12:23:27 PM

Which is exactly why a lot of people argue it is not worth it. Unless you can hear the difference and feel like you need that superior quality audio to enjoy your gaming/music needs, you can gain more then 8 FPS from investing that £88 in most other parts of the the PC.

£88 can buy you:
an extra 1Gb of good quality RAM
upgrade from E6300 to E6600 (not everyone likes to OC)
upgrade from 7600/1650 models to a 8800GTS 320Mb/X1950XT
and probably still have money left over.

P.S. I know my examples aren't perfectly accurate
!